Gamer’s DNA

This story starts few months ago in Modena. We are there at PLAY Festival, running demos of Robinson, Zombiaki and Neuroshima Hex. We have support from local gaming club – 3 geeks help us present our games with us.

We need about 3 minutes to got to know each other. It’s a moment and I feel like I know these guys for ages. Toy says joke after joke and literally changes our booth into stand up comedy center. Alan complains about everything and he is damn good at this. Igor talks too much with me wife, hmm…

We are from Poland, they are from Italy. In Poland weather always sucks, in Italy it is always shiny. In Poland my childhood was watching our football team sucks. In Italy their childhood was winning World Championship. I grew up in small city with no history behind. They grew up in a city with Palazzo Ducale – first military Academy in the world.

We have nothing in common. And yet, in a moment we have this positive connection and we feel like old buddies…

***

Few weeks later I am in France. I sit with Fabien, Emanuele and Yann. We play Kemet. 

Fabien? I’ve just met the guy.
Emanuele? I played with him once in my life, two years before.
Yann? I talk with him on Skype quite often. In person I see him for the first time in my life.

The game didn’t even begin when the first very nasty comments start to pop up. We need 10 seconds and we already talk like oldest friends with history of hundreds of games played together. Nasty jokes fill the air. I am in the middle of great game with my old buddies.

Game plays amazing, we have a great time and after the game is finished, we talk – we are all surprised how it is possible that 4 guys from 4 different parts of the world see each other for the first time in life and feels like old buddies and immediately gets positive connection…

***

Few weeks later I am in Ukraine. OK, Ukraine is close to Poland, we have very close history behind… So I am not surprised when it happens again but…

***

Then I go to Gen Con. Saturday evening I am invited to play game with Rob and his friends. I am there, I sit and immediately I feel like I spent years in school with all these guys and we were playing as kids in the kindergarten. Jokes, laughs, nasty comments, smiles. Pure fun. Boardgamers who love football – just like me! Amazing time!

When Rob was a child he lived in a free country called America, At that time I lived in Poland oppressed by USSR. Rob watched Donald Duck as a kid, I watched Reksio. Rob listened to… I mean, there is a huge cultural gap here. We lived in two different worlds. Not only different countries, these were two different worlds those days, at 70′ and 80’…

And yet, we are there at Gen Con, we sit and we have amazing time and we feel like we’ve been playing that game together for ages…

***

How is it possible than in spite of living in totally different environments, we have so much in common? Is reading Tolkien and Howard, watching Willow and Alien, playing D&D and Warhammer the factor that was above communism, above different cartoons in TV, above everything else? Had our passion and love to our hobby had stronger influence on us than politics, cold war…

I don’t entirely understand it. But I have to say it – I go to convention in different parts of world and I meet gamers from different cultures (greetings to ‘You suck!’ team from Bremen, Germany! ) and story repeats every single time – in a one second I get connection with them and we play games like we knew each other for years.

I don’t understand how it works. But this is amazing!

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