***Sandbox Gamers***

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Post by SavageNFS on Tue Mar 08, 2011 7:41 pm

Until recently, I thought there were two kinds of people in the world. There were people that were gamers...and people who didn't. I have recently learned that there is a third category. People that game occasionally or casual gamers. For someone like myself, casual gaming just isn’t possible. I game every day (well at least 6 nights a week). Sometimes just an hour, but on average 2-3 hours a night. My wife falls asleep early and my kids do as well. So come 9pm, I am ready to play some games. The usual routine is to play from 9 to 11:30pm with my friends. I have met some fantastic people over the years. We all hang out at a place called Sandbox Gamers.

Gaming to me is as much about playing the game as it is hanging out with your “friends”. While most of my regular gaming buddies are stateside, I occasionally game with people in Great Brittan, France and Japan (the time zones really make it challenging). For someone that has never played online and jumps on for the first time, it is easy to get turned off. A “random” game lobby (room) with “randoms” (people you don’t know) is likely to be filled with racist remarks, sexual remarks, swearing and general moronic behavior. This type of gaming crowd gives gaming a bad name. The secret to avoiding this is to make your friends and stick with them. A forum like this one or SBG dedicated to gaming is a great way to meet people, find a group of players that you enjoy hanging out with and have fun online.

Why play with a group? I grew up playing pong on a dedicated console (the very first gaming console) on a 13” Black and White TV. Then onto the Atari 2600, Intellivision, Sega Genesis, Vic 20, Commodore 64, PC, PS1 and PS2. It wasn’t until the PS2 that I ever even tried playing “online” and that system was a joke. Even when I bought my 360 on launch day, I didn’t have a decent internet connection for a year after getting it. I always played single player games…it was fun, but I had no idea how much more fun it was to play with a group. My regular crew knows how I play, what my strengths are and my many weaknesses. We communicate and play tactfully. We don’t always win, but are competitive. It is hard to find a group of players that you get along with. My group doesn’t talk much in game. We joke around in the lobby, but in a match, we tend to focus on the mission on hand (unless something really funny happens and we all get a laugh). Other people joining our group are often either talking too much or annoyed that we are talking to little. For us it is just right.

Bottom line, you need to find a group of people that you get along with, play the same types of games you like to play, at the same time of day that you like to play. It can be challenging. A gaming site can offer you the opportunity to find that right group. We discuss all different types of games (from RPG’s to FPS to Racing to Sandbox to RTS). I like FPS (First person shooters) and Racing genres myself. Although some RPG’s (role playing games) that involve shooting or action (like Mass Effect) have gotten a lot of play time from me the last few years. As games come out, it is important to have a wide range of friends to play with. For example, my friends that I play Black Ops with would just assume not game than play a racing game. So when a new racing game comes out that I want to play, I play with other people that enjoy racing games. You get the idea…diverse group so that when you head online you are playing with people you know and enjoy playing with. You can start a private party on XBL or PSN so that you only hear your friends and filter out all the craptastic background noise from the 12 year olds and racist bigots.

However, gamers are pretty opinionated people in general. Myself included…we are passionate about gaming and will start arguing about the most trivial things. I’m a graphics whore, while others might care more about game play or the voice overs. Clearly you can act like immature idiots. I myself tend to find myself acting a little more mature on other sites and a complete n00b on SBG. Our site is often a free for all and that isn’t about to change. You don’t hang out and throw out controversial opinions about a game that happens to be another passionate individuals favorite. They will tear you apart for not loving their game. So there is good and bad…I find the friendships made over the years make it all worth it. SBG is run by me (Andre) and another guy named Joe or “Toxic Donut”. Joe is the vB guy and really is the true admin. I’m more of the guy keeping the peace and trying to keep everyone posting. Which lately has been a real problem because I haven’t had much time for the site because of another little project that you may have seen here. I know how to do a few things, but Joe really knows his stuff. Joe is a really good friend of mine and we really need each other. He happens to be the biggest instigator on the site. I spend half the time cleaning up messes he created…LOL. Not to say I don’t make a fair amount on my own.

Console gaming? Xbox 360, PS3, or Nintendo? Man, come to site to ask those questions. They are all great systems…I personally have all three. I rarely play the Wii, but the kids did for a long time. The Kinect has taken over most of their gaming until Pokeman Black and White came out Sunday. The PS3 gets some play time from me as well, but only on console specific games. If the game is available on the 360 or PS3, I’m buying the 360 version every time. Xbox Live is just easier to play with friends. Sure the PS3 is more reliable, has slightly better graphics, blah, blah, blah. XBL just works. PSN is a pain in the ass to play with friends (usually, but it is getting better). I will say the PS3 is a much better media streamer and I own 3 because of this). There are a few PC gamers on the site as well, but for the most part, they are pretty quiet because they are playing WoW (World of Warcraft) or LoL (League of Legends) or some other game. Most of our PC gamers are also console players. If you are interested in gaming at all, stop in and start posting. I’ll welcome you and have your back. Just make sure you use the same username as you do here so I know who is who.

I hope this is what you were looking for Joel, if not let me know what you want to know more about and I’ll be happy to elaborate. Anyone else have any questions, fire away…
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Post by 4hams on Wed Mar 09, 2011 7:32 am

Savage, that was a fantastic overview of different types of gaming and of your site! Sounds like a great place!

I have an old V4FX steering wheel from years ago when myself and a bunch of buddies use to play Nascar Racing 3 on the net. We also played the truck series and of course nascar legends which was really cool driving the old late 60's and early seventies cars. We use to play for hours as the races were real time so if a race at Daytona took 3.5 hours for real then that is about how long it took us to complete the game.

I have a coupon for DIRT 2 for the Steam Network I guess it is. Got it with my video card over a year ago and have never tried it. Steve (Duff) told me to join and we could play online I just have never got around to it...

Savage, anytime you want to post some news or any info regarding gaming please feel free to do so!
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Post by smduff on Wed Mar 09, 2011 9:07 am

1 vote for gaming MOD, might as well put him to work LOL
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Post by 4hams on Wed Mar 09, 2011 9:37 am

I second that motion!
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Post by SavageNFS on Wed Mar 09, 2011 1:43 pm

LOL...I'm not sure I'm qualified :HAHA:
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Post by 4hams on Wed Mar 09, 2011 5:02 pm

In that case you fit right in!!! :D:
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Post by bob2701 on Wed Mar 09, 2011 7:28 pm

Congrats Savage....
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Post by SavageNFS on Wed Mar 09, 2011 7:36 pm

Thanks all...really happy to be a part of another site!
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Post by 4hams on Thu Mar 10, 2011 7:37 am

Glad to have you hear Savage! We have such a great group here. Yes a small group but someday it may grow.
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