The Girl has considered taking golf back up because a lot of people she knows from work play. I've told her that unless there's a controller involved, my golfing usually consists of dealing with a fifth on the back nine.
It seems, though, that those worlds are colliding:
We biz gamers are playing for fun, but valuable relationships sometimes result. "I can be at home at 2 in the morning with writers and directors and producers and executives who all vaguely know each other in the business," notes producer-manager Aaron Kaplan. "All of a sudden, I get to know people the way they really are."
The Xbox Live broadband Internet service was designed by Microsoft so that owners of the old Xbox and current Xbox 360 console could play with or against each other, as well as download game content. Players can blow one another's heads off in "Gears of War," sneak into a terrorist compound in "Rainbow Six: Vegas," compete in a boxing ring in "Fight Night," or even play a friendly game of "Uno."
The fast-growing networking tool is distinguished by little details like a microphone headset and the ability to send and receive messages. Another key factor is the "gamertag": Each person has a moniker that keeps them anonymous. It's like a cell phone number -- a valuable piece of private info that we share only with a few select comrades.
And my nerd poker group occasionally gathers for a party where showbiz players can meet face to face. We sometimes have to remind each other of our real names.
Online play is a unique and often contradictory experience. It creates social interaction, but is also a solitary activity. (I have debated whether drinking while playing is the same as having a beer during any other social activity, or if I'm simply somebody drinking alone on my couch.)
But the question remains: While networking is occurring, is there any remorse about not reading a script, or poring over a contract one more time? (Personally, I wonder: Would I have written a better story if I'd spent more time writing and less time "researching"?)
Feel free to chortle a bit that Variety calls them "vidgames". And sure, this is the liberal technorati of Hollywood, not the conservative boy's club of Wall Street or even good old CBOT (Chicago Board Of Trade). Still, you can see the attraction ... especially from an American work ethic. More and more we don't have time to go hit the green or the court. Time at home is a very valuable asset for the average corporate worker these days. So being able to mix socialization, networking and time on the couch? Bonus.