Hi, my name is Sharon, and I’m a Gamer. It started so innocently… I guess you could say that TCGs were my Gateway drug, and they weren’t even my cards (they were my son’s). After the Pokemon cards and the Magic cards came the Lord of the Rings cards, which led us to looking for other games based on JRR Tolkien’s Middle-earth. And lo and behold, there was a game in development that fit the bill: Middle-Earth Online.
That’s when I really went under. For three years, I was community manager for MeoSource, a fansite supporting the development of Turbine’s Middle-Earth Online, later to become LotroSource once the game changed to Lord of the Rings Online. During (and since) those three years I played as many PC games as I could get my hands on; the only thing that saved me was a family budget and my complete and utter inability to play console games. Yes, you could definitely say that I was hooked. My genre of choice: MMORPGs. My play style? Role player, baby.
Horizons, NeoCron, Dark Age of Camelot, the sublime Star Wars Galaxies (had we only realized then how good we had it!), NeverWinter Nights and Diablo (multi-player, of course), Vanguard, City of Heroes, even Madden (multi-player, of course), yes, World of Warcraft, Dungeons and Dragons Online and Lord of the Rings Online, and now Star Wars: The Old Republic and hopefully soon Guild Wars 2… I’ve tried to break the hold that MMOs have on me (well, not really, but I’m trying to build a concept here so work with me…) but I’m in too deep. And, to be honest, I don’t want to walk away. So, I know I have a “problem”… but I’m willing to accept the responsibility that comes with that particular addiction.
In all seriousness, I have been gaming for many years and I’ve seen games grow, develop, explode and fade away. And I know that I’m somewhat of an anomaly when it comes to gaming. First of all, I’m female, and old enough to be most players’ mother (and that’s being charitable). I love the role playing aspect of MMOs specifically, but in them I am now usually play solo. I know how hard it is to try to explain to someone who doesn’t game how you can identify so strongly with a character and even a name (for me, Eáránë Táralóm and Makea Teras, for reasons I may or may not divulge here) and yet there is little bleed over from character to player. I firmly believe that the best gaming experience has a social aspect to it that exists outside of the game. And I’m really looking forward to sharing all these topics and more with you all in the weeks to come.
~ Sharon Browning