I'm a scientist in my late 20s, I don't usually play computer games but I used to love them as a kid. Recently a friend introduced me to Demigod and I found the strategy options so absorbing that I bought it and have been playing it for a few months (85 games, my overlay tells me). I'm just about to put the game away again but with the 2,408 minutes of play time I've invested online with you guys, it feels a little like I'm leaving a community, so I wanted to introduce myself and share my reflections on the experience.
One of the things that has stopped me from playing online games in the past has been the rudeness and (honestly, I'm rarely so critical of people, but in this case think it's justified) stupidity of most people who seem to play online games. There's only so much patience I, or most adult players I think, have for being told we must be "gay" as though it were an insult before we walk away and leave the children to grow up on their own. As Frogboy also mentioned recenlt, one of the best things about Demigod, and one of the main reason I've stayed as long as I have and have introduced other players to the game, is how rare this kind of behaviour is. Honestly there've only been 4 or 5 games where I've heard this sort of thing and that's a good enough ratio for me.
On the flipside, I've found intelligent conversation to be just as rare. I usually work fairly long hours and play at the lab in the evenings, as a way to wind down before going home. I like learning and trying new startegies, but I'm not die-hard focused on winning and wouldn't mind a bit of casual banter throughout the game - just on how the day's going or recent interesting movies or tidbits of news or reflections on the game or, really, any less-serious casual converstaion. There's been, again, about 4 or 5 occasions where I've met a player online and had a decent chat about something, either in the lobby or in those moments during the game (respawning, farming, taking down a tower, etc) where there's space to type. Those times have really felt like I've been chilling out and enjoying a computer game with cool people. They've been exactly what I was looking for and I'm really grateful for them.
Most of the time though any attempts at conversation have just met silence or just gameplay-focused acronyms. I've never seen a polite decline to converstaion, just, overwhelmingly silence or game-talk. I'm wondering if anyone has insight about why this is? Is it a lack of English ability? Is the average community member just really young? Is it social skills? Are most people just really, really focused on playing and winning? Is it maybe a major norm-violation on my part to try to make conversation in complete sentences; is there some unspoken rule that everyone but me knows that in-game is only for stricly focused game-playing? Is this peculiar to Demigod or will I find the same in whatever strategy game I play online?
That said, the gameplay has been great and mastering the strategies has been a lot of fun. I ended up being able to build a pretty nasty regulus, if I do say so myself.
All in all, I think the expience has been valuable. The one thing that could have made it better was a way of visibly flagging games as "casual". That way people could self-select into those who take things seriously and really want to win and those who as just casually playing a game. Each seems to be frustrated by the other: the hard-core gamer doesn't like casual players doing badly, chatting, not taking the game seriously enough or experiementing with new DGs or strategies when they should be focused on winning; the casual player tires of the insults, rage-quitting and taking the game too seriously from hard-core gamers.
Anyway, that's me and those are my thoughts as I hit "uninstall". Thanks for sharing this time with me, I'm interested to hear your replies.