The Power Of Game Hype In The Workplace

Just over a year ago, I moved from my city of birth to my current home. I’m about 4 hours away from the place that helped to shape me into who I am. I spent over a 1/4 of a century in that city and nearly a decade in my job there. Personally, I believe myself to be quite introverted and hitting a reset button on friends and colleagues isn’t an easy task for me. I don’t make friends quick or work chums as easy as I would like.

Part of this is my own personal preference and my own fault. I like to listen to podcasts and audiobooks while I work. But if I know the person I’m working with, I’m more than happy to talk. Unfortunately my current workplace is more, older generation staffed. Very few new staff get brought on and so not only is the majority of the workforce 2 or 3 decades older than me, but those cliques are already established. Then you have the fact that I live in the UK and I don’t have watch football. Nor do I watch soaps. I know, shoot me now! Not much of a Brit and definitely not hip with 90% of my co-workers. I could watch football, I could make the effort for the sake of conversation…..but I don’t want to. I find it boring and I can’t fake an interest in it. If you’ve heard Moss from the IT Crowd talk about the ludicrous display, then you have an idea of my footie patter.

So imagine my intrigue when I heard mention of mouse and keyboard play. 2 staff who were hired a few months ago were chatting about upgrading a computer when I was asked by a manager to help their station. I had talked to these newcomers before and got along with them fine but outside of casual work banter we never touched on anything more personal. The conversation quickly changed after that mention but it stuck with me as a future topic. I know a lot of people play games so I shouldn’t be surprised that they were gamers, but finding someone in my workplace to talk to about games is different. Like finding a diamond in the rough.

So last week, was the launch of Red Dead Redemption 2. To be exact, it was out on the Friday which was the next day. I just so happened start my job with those 2 staff members. I needed to talk to someone about Redemption 2 as I had been keeping my excitement at bay since its announcement but now with the game so close, I was overflowing with giddiness. So I asked (fake name time!) Mr Black if he was getting Redemption 2. ‘No but Amanda Hugginkiss is. She’s going at to the shops at midnight to collect it.’. What followed next was hours of chatting about games. All 3 of us sharing our history with gaming. Talking about our excitement over Redemption 2 and the possibility of being *sick*  for work, starting consoles, favourite games, hours spent on Call of Duty 4, Runescape memories and loads more. The time flew by and since then we’ve been talking about our own progress on Redemption 2 and how we’re playing Arthur Morgan. Not only that, they’ve told me of other people in work who game and so I know now who I can geek out with.

I had a range of friends and co-workers where I previously lived and we were all big gamers. When I moved, my connection to them dropped. I still talk to a lot of them but it’s not the same as seeing them constantly. But that is life. Co-workers leave and friendships dissipate sometimes. I’m aware of that. However, that excitement over a new game or film, I haven’t felt that in a long while. Not since moving. I was excited for Redemption 2 but no where near the level I was for previous games. And I realise now that that was because of my environment. There is something infectious about hype among colleagues and work mates. When you have a bunch of people who are counting down the days left to the next Battlefield or a new trailer for a game getting shown around the break room. When it’s home time before you even realise and the only realisation you have is that you just spent 6 hours talking about E3. I missed that. I didn’t realise how much I actually missed it until I experienced it again after so long.

It’s amazing what talking to the right people about the right topic yields. I had known both of those 2 for a good few months. Not extensively but on good terms. Within a day, my knowledge of them easily eclipsed my previous knowledge of them. I now have someone I can easily talk about something I love with. And even though that still only equates to about 1% of the workplace I know to be gamers, it still feels good to have someone who enjoys what I enjoy. There are people I can talk to comfortably and that alone makes my job so much more enjoyable. It’s still work at the end of the day but now I have people to talk to whilst we share that misery. Yay!

 

October 2018 Free Time: Games/Films/Series/Anime

What a terrifying month we’ve had, full of spooky shenanigans but also a fantastic month for games and a particular show I want to talk about. So, here are a few highlights of my month.

Games

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I completed Yakuza 0! Over 90 hours and according to the end game statistic I hadn’t even completed 70% of the game. It is a meaty game. I’m planning on doing a review soon so if you’re on the fence about it, feel free to check out my review when I release it. I finished it just in time for this month’s big release……

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Red Dead Redemption 2 has been taking up my time like a lot of gamers lately. I’ve not played a lot of it but it is great so far. I may do a post in the future on it but I just want to say how fantastic it looks. The environment and the small details Rockstar have put into the game really imbue the world with that lived in feel. So far, a great sequel (prequel I guess) to the first one.

Films, Shows and Anime

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The Incredibles is one of my favourite Disney/Pixar films. The Incredibles 2 however just couldn’t live up to that for me. This isn’t a bad film, it’s forgettable, it’s definitely not incredible. It sits with Monsters University and Finding Dory for sequels that don’t amaze me but are entertaining to watch. It’s worth a watch and has some very funny moments but it lacks the same level of quality that its predecessor has. My major issue with it is I didn’t have any love the villain. Syndrome in the first one has a great history with and reason for hating Mr.Incredible. Not only that but his motivations are understandable but misguided. A hero is only as good as their villains and when the villain is lacklustre then everything around it is. Other than that the sequel just felt unfocused compared to The Incredibles. Disappointed but still a decent couple of hours. Average

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I was blown away by The Haunting of Hill House. A horror show done right. It is a classic haunting story. Family moves into a new house, weird shenanigans occur and then the frights start happening. Classic horror film setup. But by turning the story into a show, all the characters involved get to show their individual trials during and after the haunting. The show takes place in flashbacks and in the present day and does a great job of merging the two. During the early episodes each family member gets an entire episode to themselves and the creators don’t let it go to waste. Each character is fleshed out and honestly, a few of the early episodes were some of the best I’ve seen from a series in a long time. The scares were done very well too. They were sprinkled in just enough. The scares were a variety too. A lot of dread but jump scares too. It had a nice mixture and didn’t rely too heavily on one kind. I am actually sad that the show is over. I can’t praise it enough. Super Recommend

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Last month I mentioned watching FullMetal Alchemist: Brotherhood and being close to finishing it. Within the next 2 days I watched over 20 episodes. It hit a stride that really gripped me. Safe to say that this is a fantastic anime. The troubles of the Elric brothers, the amazing supporting characters and it’s ability to blend drama with comedy just make it such an intriguing and enjoyable watch. Highly Recommend

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Last month on my September article, a blogger by the name of Nerfd recommended me a few anime series to try. Erased was one of them. The concept immediately grabbed my attention. I’m a sucker for minor time travel in any media. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Timecrimes, Triangle. Anything that has time travel usage in small ways compared to going thousands of years in one direction. Erased, itched that itch sooooo good. First episode spoilers incoming. Our main character recalls of a time when he was a child and a string of children abductions and killings happened. Recent events leads him to believe that the killer is still on the prowl and that a person had been wrongly convicted. The protagonist has the ability to travel back in time to his former self and what follows is him in his school boy body trying to solve the killings with his adult knowledge of what took place those years ago. If he succeeds not only could he save those of the past but also prevent further fatalities in the future. I really enjoyed this show. It’s bleak but it has a nice injection of charm and humour in it. Also, without trying to spoil it, the mum is a top tier mum in anime. I really liked her character and just how she interacts within the story. My only negative is that I felt the last 2-3 episodes were a bit rushed. I would have appreciated another few episodes but that is a minor qualm. Highly Recommend

Random Recommendation

Today I thought I’d mention the book or audiobook, John Dies At The End by David Wong.

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This book is half horror and half dark humour and it blends the two nicely. It follows Dave and John, 2 loser best friends as they experience weird happenings after they are affected by a strange substance they refer to as Soy Sauce. It’s a great read and I’ve read this several times now. Essentially it’s 2 guys who have no business being the main characters getting mixed up in weird, otherworldly stuff in the town of *Undisclosed*. It’s stupidly bizarre and one of the few books that I legitimately laugh at. If you want something sinister and occulty with a good laugh, you can’t go wrong with this.

Anyway, that’ll do it for this month. Feel free to share your views or recommendations in the comments. Thanks for reading.