Once a gamer, always a gamer

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Anthony Sanchelli
  • 39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
Most people can remember playing some sort of game when they were younger, but there are some who never grew out of it. For some of those at Incirlik, gaming is an extension of who they are as Airmen.

"My passions add to my personality, which lends to the whole-person concept," said Master Sgt. Dustin Barnes, 39th Force Support Squadron manpower and organization superintendant. "I feel like gaming has had a positive influence on my life."

There have been a number of groups emerging from Incirlik; some groups focus on video games, some on board games and some on large tabletop war games. Airmen involved in these groups range from any age and rank, and from new gamers to veterans.

"I've been playing tabletop war-games for about 15 years," Barnes said. "I keep in touch with my gaming buddies from way back. Since we all still play the same games, there's always a story to tell."

Though the groups certainly focus on the fun aspect of what games offer, there are other reasons more important to these gamers.

"First and foremost, it's the friendships and camaraderie," Barnes explains. "I recently introduced a new game to some folks here on Incirlik based on World War II. Although most agreed it looked fun, only a couple of players have committed to buying, building and playing--but they love it, and that's what makes it enjoyable."

Players not only build relationships with one another, but develop competitive friendships.

"The amount of strategy required, the competitiveness and the camaraderie amongst the players is what keeps me playing," said Senior Airman Aaron Ellison, 39th Communications Squadron cable and antenna maintenance technician. "That, and the games look super awesome."

Some of the gamers have found it difficult to find those willing to play the large time-extensive tabletop games they've come to know and love.

"It isn't difficult to find other players that enjoy the same type of games, but it is difficult to convince those players to invest in these large games," Barnes exclaimed. "This hobby is expensive, both monetary and in time spent. Some folks just can't make that commitment, which is why I try to incorporate my family into my hobby."

Incirlik gamers are always looking for more Airmen to play, whether it's a short board game or a long, "blood-thirsty" tabletop battle that goes for six hours.

"If anyone is interested in watching, learning or playing tabletop games, I'm always willing to teach," Barnes said.

For more information on gaming groups at Incirlik click here, or call DSN 676-5995.