It's tempting to file this all under "Us vs. Them," but non-gamers aren't usually trying to be confrontational, they're just bowing to basic human nature. When confronted with something they don't understand, they do whatever they can to fit it into terms with which they're more familiar. A woman paying $130 for a pair of shoes is one thing, but one paying $130 for the Legendary Edition of Halo 3 is something else altogether - something confusing - so our loved ones try to persuade us to fit a mold with which they can more easily identify. "Friends think I need to grow up and do something productive like take classes, etc.," scoffs NBG Julia343. "There's nothing I want to take. I can and do read the texts on my own without paying $300 + materials and stress for the semester. Or painting. OK, I could be a fifth-rate painter and end up with a ton of fifth-rate art work around. I do my best painting with a roller. Or teach piano again, when I scare the kids, and when the area is flooded with teachers? I'm single and in my early 50s. I just enjoy gaming on the 360."

Still, Kiki Kat looks on our role as strangers as a golden opportunity. "A benefit of being an older gamer, I think, is that if I start talking about games people will usually listen for a while whereas if a teenager starts talking about games people will zone them out right away," she says. Perhaps she's right, and we should make every effort to educate and inform the non-gamers in our life. Maybe the responsibility is ours to help bridge the gap between ourselves and those who don't understand us, but who, in all likelihood, truly do want to. Who knows? Perhaps we'll even get them to pick up a controller and play someday.

When Susan Arendt isn't writing the news at Wired's Game|Life or feeding her Achievement Points addiction, she's training her cat to play Beatmania.

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