For today, I had planned to write some profound discussion-provoking piece. I wanted to come up with something so genius you’d all be compelled to comment and continue talking beyond the end of the article. An idle comment by a friend stopped me in my tracks, though. My writing style is definitely different than most. The tiniest thing can spark a story in my head and I cannot sit still until it’s on paper. That tiny thing just now is pretty simple: creating a perfect game environment.
It doesn’t really matter what type of game you’re playing nor whether you’ll be alone or with others. According to my friend the environment is every bit as important as the game itself. Having the proper setting, equipment and even snacks are all crucial components to having a successful adventure. I had to stop and think about this for a few moments. I only had to look as far as my two hours of raiding earlier to realize how right she was. Without even realizing it, I always create my perfect environment prior to playing, as well.
On the left side of my desk is my go-to snack for raid night – always something crunchy and salty. Don’t ask me why or how this habit started because I have no flipping clue. It’s tradition, though, and one I don’t dare break or I cannot concentrate on tanking! Just above the snack area sits my Pepsi – always in my favorite large tumbler with lots of ice. This is refreshed as needed throughout play time.
On my head is (sadly) a cheap WalMart-bought headset so that I can communicate through Ventrilo with guild members. I would definitely love to upgrade to a more comfortable and better-sounding headset at some point. That will come when I can afford it, though. For now, what I have works just fine. It doesn’t matter that it’s not high quality – it’s still very necessary to have these plugged in and ready to go.
On the right side of my desk sits over-the-counter medication called Theragesic. I have severe Degenerative Disc Disease in my lower back and neck. Two hours straight sitting in my chair and concentrating on being the best tank I can be so the rest of the group doesn’t die can cause my neck to start hurting pretty badly fairly quickly. The medicine is in easy reach. I don’t have to look for it. Grab it between pulls and slap some on the back of my neck so I can keep going. The same holds true for my trusty bottle of Excedrin – it’s right next to the Theragesic.
I also have a couple of little quirks I’ve noticed tonight now that I’m actually paying attention. I have a wooden handmade “footstool” under my desk that I use occasionally to relieve pressure on my lower back from sitting too long while writing or working. I laughed at myself tonight as I realized how big of a role that sucker takes on during game time! My feet are firmly planted on it and even at times move around or tap – kind of like when you’re the passenger in a car and want to slam on the brakes for the driver. Even little things like this have become a part of my overall game environment without my realizing it. Take something like this away, and the experience itself will fundamentally change. I wouldn’t be able to touch the floor for one thing – I’m that short, yes. It would be pretty distracting to slam my feet around in mid air while doing it on the footstool is something I had never even noticed before now.
Sound silly yet? Perhaps, but I want you to take a moment and envision your game environment whether it’s while hanging with a group in your favorite MMORPG, sitting at a table with others during board game night or even in the living room with your console. What constant things do you have around you in order to heighten your experience and environment so that it completely rocks for you?