Let yourself experience a new world of gaming

Every gamer has their preferences, whether it be in genre or play style. It’s easy to remain comfortably in one niche of gaming, simply searching for a new game that resembles one that provided an enjoyable experience. However, “Overwatch” showed me why it’s worth stepping into a new world of gaming.

Blizzard Entertainment is primarily known for “World of Warcraft,” a massively multiplayer online role-playing game, so when “Overwatch,” a team-based multiplayer first-person shooter, was released, many were curious to see if it would be successful. Honestly, I wasn't one of them.

According to information released by Blizzard, more than 9.7 million people participated in the open-beta, or the free testing, of “Overwatch.” The hype around the game started out strong and has only continued to remain at large. Andy Chalk of PC Gamer, a popular gaming publication, wrote that there were over 10 million players after only a few weeks of its release.

Gaming is a very personal pastime. Each and every gamer has personal preferences regarding game genres and play style. Personally, I’ve never been a first-person shooter fan. I wouldn’t say I dislike them, but I very rarely choose to spend my time playing them as I have genres that I already love exploring. However, some friends and family members urged me to try “Overwatch” during the open-beta, and I decided it wouldn’t hurt to at least play a few rounds.

Games are typically catered toward a specific audience (in this case, fans of first-person shooters), so I didn’t expect to really enjoy “Overwatch.” Imagine my surprise when I quickly fell in love with it. 

Being a fan of MOBA’s, multiplayer online battle arena games, I enjoyed the way that each hero in “Overwatch” could appeal to different play styles. “League of Legends,” one of the most well-known MOBA’s, has been a favorite game of mine for years because I knew there was always a champion I could play to fit the mood I was in. Some days I am itching to play support and focus on aiding my teammates, while other days I craved to dominate opposing players. Thankfully, Blizzard followed the patterns of many MOBA’s. The idea that each team needs a variety of characters to provide an array of strengths can help garner true teamwork.

“Overwatch” can appeal to all gamers. Fans of first-person shooters are the expected audience for the game, but Blizzard incorporated different aspects that can appeal to anybody. In a phone interview, gamer Joseph Jumayao, 25, gave his opinion of “Overwatch.” He, like me, is a MOBA player. He expressed that the hero-based character system and team aspect of “Overwatch” appealed to his gaming preferences. He feels that it “appeals to the player more than just the concept of a shooter game.”

It isn’t, however, a game suitable for only casual gamers. Competitive player Zachary Salinas, 27, shared what drew him to “Overwatch” in a phone interview. It was publicized as a “top-competing game,” but he also felt he could play it with some friends who are more casual gamers.

My conversation with both gamers supported the idea that gamers shouldn’t limit the games they open themselves to. By simply agreeing to try something new, I have found a new game to love. If I hadn’t stepped into a different world of gaming I would have never had the experience that is “Overwatch.”

Reach the columnist at jbhalver@asu.edu or follow @jackhalversen on Twitter.

Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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