My mom is not stupid, nor computer illiterate, but she has never played any video game in her life, not even Solitare, and she's 60. I seem to spend a lot of time explaining raiding to improbable people since my social group includes a lot of non-gamers. Since this is my mom, I felt there was a lot at stake. It went surprisingly well.
Me: I'll probably have someone to ask about the words in that book you gave me since my gaming team just accepted an application a person of [my ethnicity] who is a native speaker.
Mom: You have a gaming team? What game?
Me: It's the one I told you about, Wow. Only these days I focus on the team part of the game.
Mom: How does it work?
Me: You can play in two divisions. You can have a team of 25 people or 10 people. Each person controls one character on screen. Each character has a different ability, and they have to use their powers together to defeat a computerized enemy. Some characters fight close up with swords or knives, some shoot enemies from a distance with physical weapons, some use magic to damage enemies, and some are medic types and heal allies. The enemy is almost always a dragon, but sometimes it's a different kind of monster. It's a fighting game. It requires a lot of coordination so you have to be selective about who is on your team. Sometimes fire comes up out of the ground as you're fighting the dragon and then your whole team has to move together.
Mom: Can you see other people's characters?
Mom: Each person only controls one character?
Mom: How do you choose what role you will play?
Me: You decide when you create your character first, and then you play though part of the game alone, learning your role, and when you're good enough you can apply to join a team. Some are very competitive.
Mom: So you get the role at random in the beginning?
Me: No, you get to choose. Though the description you get on the screen when you begin doesn't give you an idea of what it will feel like once you get to the team part.
Mom: Do you make a new character for each fight?
Me: No, you get to keep the same character the whole time you play the game.
Mom: So what is your character?
Me: I play an elf that heals people with magic.
I could tell my mom really approved that I chose to play a healer.
We talked some more about the social dynamics of the raid group (which with non-gamers I always call "gaming team" because raid group is jargon; gaming team sounds like bowling team and that's the correct idea), about which of my real life friends also play, and how long a raid takes before moving on to the more usual topic of when I'm going to provide her with some grandchildren.
It might seem weird that I'd even try to explain raiding to my mom. Because we're first generation immigrants and I spent most of my childhood in the US, there's a lot of cultural gaps between me and my parents and I find myself often having to explain things that normal families might take for granted as mutually understood. If I didn't try to explain, I would hardly have a relationship with my parents. Whether I'm explaining how Starbucks coffee works, what Burning Man is, the place of the burrito in San Francisco cuisine, or 25 Man raiding, it's all pretty much equally alien to my parents.
Da Voodoo Doctor is In (Advice 5c)
- Explaining Raiding to My Mom