The lights are on
Power Member - Level 10
The point of this blog is to give American gamers a little insight on what it is to game in Europe. It is completely different, and frankly pretty interesting.
I currently live in Germany on Foreign Exchange. Video games have always been a big part of my life, and being in another continent hasn't changed that one bit. I will admit, that I haven't touched a console in the 7 weeks I have been here. I have just stuck to my Alienware PC. I have noticed some severe differences in the attitude not only towards gaming, but gamers themselves here in Germany. First off, violence is NOT taken lightly. This is a country where you "only download child pornography if you are SURE the site is safe, and has no viruses." But yet, you have to be 18 to purchase many games here. And it isn't taken lightly like in the US. In America, you walk into any 10 year old gamer's room, and you are bound to see more than a few "M" rated games lying around. In Germany, you walk into a 15 year old gamer's room, and you don't see anything above the "12" rating. They literally CANNOT play "16" games, until the day they turn 16 years old.
Another big difference is the price. The kids here are paying 60 euros for these games, which converts to about 82 American dollars. Because most of the games are difficult for kids to get their hands on, and once they are old enough the games are just so *** expensive, most teens are reduced to pirating games. I know the commenters are going to say "Uhh, well duh idiot American teens pirate games too..." but really, it's not as big of a problem in America. Because most Americans play console games, and console games are pretty difficult to pirate, most Americans just dish out the 60 bucks and play their game.
Probably the weirdest and most confusing thing to me is how accepted gaming is by women here. My German girlfriend loves videogames, and used to play the hell out of WoW. My German tutor played WoW until her kids got in the way. She has Star Wars: The Old Republic pre-ordered. In America, every single girlfriend I have ever had has complained about my gaming habits at some point or another.
Another pretty bazaar thing about European gaming is that as far as consoles go, they are stuck in the last generation. I have met two people that own PS3s, and not one that owns an Xbox 360. People who consider themselves games here play PS2 or the ORIGINAL Xbox. Most people just play PC though.
I'll have more insight on the European world later on, I'm sure. Leave questions and comments!