Friday, July 20, 2012

So You Want To Be A Gamer?

If you want to be an online gamer, there are a few "Tools of the Trade" you will need before you even get started on your Online Gaming Adventure.

The following are items you will need to begin or enhance your online gaming experience.

A Gaming Console

You will need to choose which console you prefer. The 3 consoles currently dominating the marketplace are the Xbox 360, Sony PlayStation and Nintendo Wii. You will need at least one of these.

I have the first two. However, I primarily play on my Xbox 360. Whatever you choose, this is simply the first step toward becoming an online gaming extraordinaire.

A Controller

You can't play without a controller. Heck, in some instances you can't even set up your online account without one. Any console you choose will come with a controller. It will be basic. It will work. However, if you plan on gaming a lot, you may want to invest in some additional "controller accessories". For example, I prefer to use a rechargeable battery pack with my Xbox controller. I also purchased additional battery packs and a charging cable just in case. There is nothing worse than lining an enemy up in your sites, getting ready to pull the trigger and then....nothing! Battery Fail. Don't say I didn't warn you.

An Online Account

Xbox Live, IMO is hands-down the best online gaming experience. After all, you get what you pay for.

Search the web for available deals. I have my XBL Family Account set to renew automatically, but I have a few friends who swear by searching amazon for deals. It can't hurt to look.

P.S. You could also use your FREE PlayStation Network Account. I just prefer my XBL account over PSN.

An Online Identity

This is probably one of the most important things. Choose your name wisely. This is what will represent you in the online gaming world. Think of things you enjoy. Maybe you love racing? "Racing Guy" may work for you. You may love pillow pets, but do you really want to be known as "PillowPetLuvr" online? Most times, the name you choose may not be available. This is when you must get creative. It is okay to substitute a 0 (zero) for the letter "O", however don't get carried away. Your name should be easily identifiable. A pet peeve of many gamers is when a person does any of the following to their name:

Using a long string of numbers anywhere in their name (ex. Sniper1918212)
Using any of the following the numbers "420", "666" or "69" anywhere in their name. Most of us really don't need to know if you are a street pharmacist, devil worshiper or what your favorite positions are.

Alternating lower and uppercase letters (ex. CaLiGuRlFoREvER)
Substituting a ton of numbers for letters (d3v1ld0g)
Probably the least offensive of this list - Using the letter "x" as a placeholder because your name was not available (ex. xxAngelsxxFan)

A Gaming Headset

You need a gaming headset to communicate with the other players in the game. You can use the standard headset if you choose. You can upgrade to a wireless one. I prefer to use a headset that lets me hear EVERYTHING. I want to be able to hear the other players as well as the in game sounds.

My gaming headset of choice has always been Turtle Beach. I have owned numerous models, but my latest set is hands-down my favorite.

Why? I heart my Turtle Beach Headset for multiple reasons:

  1. Dolby Surround Sound (you can literally hear the enemy walking from across the map.
  2. The ability to independently control game and chat volume is a must.
  3. They use Bluetooth technology, which means I can utilize the headset outside of the game (ie. listening to music, pairing with my mobile phone, etc.)
  4. They are one of the best gaming headsets available around the $200 - $300 price point.
  5. My husband can game, watch T.V. and Netflix as loud as he likes without bothering anyone else (this point makes the TB's worth the $$ price tag, alone). Just saying.
Other than occasional interference from other electronics in my house, the only other drawback of using a wireless headset (IMO) are the batteries. Purchase a rechargeable set or you will regret it. Trust me on this. Spend the extra money now, or you will wish you had.

What are you waiting for?
Now you have it. 
An organized and detailed list of the things every gamer uses.

Remember, practice online gaming etiquette. Just because the other players can't see you, doesn't give you the right to insult or treat others in a negative manner.

Especially girls.
Be nice to the girl gamers. :)
Happy Gaming!