So you want to become a gamer? You think you have what it takes to join this elite group of individuals? You have the attitude, but do you have the skill, and more importantly, do you have the equipment? This short list will help you in your quest for online domination. Once you have everything you need, you will be ready. So get your game face on and let's go.
You will need a gaming system, whether it’s a console or a PC—it doesn't really matter. People have their own preference on what kind of system they enjoy gaming on. Some people like to have amazing, shiny graphics and huge frames per second. This kind of person loves to sit at their desk being uncomfortable and using writing tools to play their favourite games. They will probably buy every game that comes out and set all graphics to maximum. They will probably play the game for about five minutes. They will then go on different websites or forums and use their preferred gaming controller for what it was designed for: writing, to write about how much better than a console it is. They will explain how the graphics are better and how they are running it at a million frames per second. These types of gamers are known as "The P.C Master Race." They are not real gamers, but the kind of people that will buy expensive sports cars when they can’t even drive. Then there are the console gamers. These are the real hardcore gamers that love to just get in the game and play it. Their eyes may bleed while playing, but at least they can sit back comfortably in their favourite chair or sofa and use a controller made for one purpose—to play games. Even the console gamers are divided amongst themselves, though, each with their own favourite choice of console. Each group claiming that their choice is the best but in reality they are all equally underpowered for the price that they paid.
So the choice is yours. Do you go with the PC or do you go for the console? Only you can make this choice. There is one thing that can sway your decision, and it is the choice of games. Now on to step two.
The games. You will most definitely need games in order to enjoy your chosen system to the fullest. What type of games do you enjoy? Do you enjoy strategy games like Command and Conquer or Age of Empires? Maybe you enjoy shooting people in the face. If so, a first person shooter is probably going to be your thing. Maybe you imagine yourself as warrior with heavy armour or a powerful wizard shooting out flames or lightning bolts. Role playing games will probably be your thing. Maybe you like sports games, yeah, then maybe you should think about just buying a ball and finding a field somewhere. Perhaps you like none of the above and you enjoy card games or board games, in which case maybe buy a pack of cards or an actual board game. Depending on your choice of games, you might find different systems suited to that choice. If you enjoy strategy games like Age of Empires, or Starcraft or something along those lines, you are probably better off playing them on a PC. The mouse and keyboard are a lot better for these types of games. In fact, the keyboard and mouse are better for most types of games because all you need to do is point the mouse around a bit with no actual skill involved. Although you do have the added danger of developing carpal tunnel, which is very painful and can end your gaming career as quickly as it started. If you enjoy first person shooters, the console is a good choice with the added aim assist. Aim assist will take out a lot of the skill and effort involved in games like Call of Duty, which are recommend for the younger and less focused audience. You spot someone, press the aim button, and the weapon will usually snap straight to the target's head. Now all you need to do is press the trigger and boom, head shot. Role playing games are mixed, with single player games like Skyrim or the Witcher being equally as good on whatever platform you choose, but a massively multiplayer online game would be a lot better suited to the PC due to the keyboard having lots of buttons you can assign to different skills and shortcuts. But again, the choice is all up to you. If money is no option and you want the shiniest graphics, go for a PC. If you just want to chill out and play a game with a group of your "casual gamer" friends then you will probably end up with a console. Bare in mind though that not all systems have the same games. A lot of the top games may come out on all systems, but most systems have exclusives that will only be on that system. Do some research on games you like the look of that might be coming out in the future.
Snacks. Again, this step is definitely based on personal preference and allergies—crisps and chocolate being a popular personal choice—but things like sausage rolls, sandwiches, and even those little scotch egg things are a good choice. It is important to have a bin close by because the wrappers will soon pile up over several gaming sessions and you will soon feel like you are gaming at your local rubbish dump. Don't forget drinks. It's important to keep hydrated, especially for the longer gaming sessions, even the shorter eight hour sessions it is important to have some type of liquid, preferably not alcohol, as this will have the opposite effects and will also effect your gaming performance.
Music. This step is optional, but depending on the game, session, and whether or not you are playing with friends, it will drastically improve a gaming session. Some games will have an excellent soundtrack and sound effects, but after hours of gaming, they can become boring and you can find yourself switching off. Some upbeat music will help to keep you going and the adrenaline flowing, which is especially helpful if you are playing a fast paced game like an fps or a beat em up. Some of the younger generation prefer Dubstep style music. I enjoy this, but mostly I will listen to Nine Inch Nails or something along those lines while I'm doing something like strikes in Destiny. I don't usually listen to any music while playing something like Battlefield, because I enjoy the sounds and I feel I need to hear what is going on around me in the game.
Enjoy the game. No matter what game you play or what system you play it on, the only thing that matters is that you enjoy the game you are playing. Try and complete that game and get all the the achievements before moving on to the next one, get your money's worth of that game before discarding it. You can always trade in your old games to get new ones, but it's nice to build up a collection of good games that you can come back to at another time. Maybe in the future when your current system is retro, you could possibly make some money out of it, or at the very least wow your kids or your kid's kids and show them how cool you once were. You may not have the best house or car or job, but at least you can game with the best of them and, at the end of the day, isn't that all that really matters in life? Owning noobs.
Congratulations. If you made it this far, you are on the right track to becoming a successful gamer. Don't let all this training go to waste by getting a real job or starting a family. You have come too far to be held back by all of that. I wish you good luck in the future, and I hope see you on the battlefield, so I can keep my killstreaks high.