Friday, February 1, 2013

Cafe people - The Power Gamer

*blows dust off blog*

Okay let's do this.

Once in a while, I go to the Starbucks in Astor Place. It's probably the closest cafe to where I live, but it is usually mobbed by 9am. There's rarely anywhere to sit, let alone anywhere near an outlet. I used to never go at all, because it used to cost $10 to access their wifi, but sometime ago they changed that when I wasn't looking. Their wifi is now free, so I try to get over there whenever I can get out early enough.

There's one gentleman who obviously has NO problem getting there early. Every day (or at least, every day that I'm there) I see him. A dude in a black leather coat hunched over a massive laptop - one of those souped-up alienware computers with the fancy insignia on it. The laptop sits on top of a big cooling stand. There's a keyboard attached, as well as a USB enabled XBOX style controller. He wears huge noise-cancelling headphones with blinking blue lights. His gear takes up the entire table.

And what's he doing on this computer? Playing MMOs. Every day. All day.

From a Starbucks.

I first saw him playing The Old Republic around the same time I was playing it last year. Then I saw him playing The Secret World. He is always playing the current Big MMO Of The Moment.

Whenever I tell this story, I get theories ranging from amusing (he's a pro gamer trying to make it big, but can't afford internet) to practical (he's a gaming journalist) to sad (he tells his family he's going to a job but comes to a Starbucks to play games instead). Who knows why he does it. He just does. Like most of the people I see every day in cafes, I don't engage. I just observe, come up with my own theories, and file them away to consider later when I'm designing characters. Who knows, you might see this guy in the next Blackwell game.

It would be oddly appropriate.



  1. Playing an MMO in a cafe.. that sounds like an ergonomic disaster.

  2. I saw this with you! It's not an Alienware, it's a decorated ASUS.

  3. He would only be successful if he was a Youtube or partner.

    Man Dave, I've just been ploughing through the Blackwell games. They are absolutely fantastic. Definitely looking forward to the next one.

    Also, your previous blog mentioned you had nothing to write about the business side of game development i.e publishing. I dunno... if you do have some interesting insights into publishing, and you want to write about it, I wouldn't mind hearing about it!


  4. must be annoying to go to the bathroom with all that gear! :S

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  6. Play mmo in cafe and some game card, its hardcore to high to me, i like my sofa

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