This week we're crushing on everyone's favorite web-slinger/photographer, Peter Parker. Arguably one of Stan Lee's most popular and well-known creations, Spider-Man's history is incredibly rich and spans multiple universes and timelines. For this particular post, we're going to focus on the Peter Parker from the 1994 TV series "Spider-Man," mainly because he has the best TV theme song, but also because it focuses on the personal conflict that Peter Parker goes through as Spider-Man.
One of the many things we love about Peter Parker is how he never quits. We're all human. Not all of us have spider powers and fight super villains on a regular basis, but we all reach our low points. We all deal with loss, disappointment, and the pressure of responsibility. Peter is able to find the lesson in everything he does, applies it to his life, and comes out better for it. Here are 3 things we learned from Peter Parker about how to be a better gamer.
1. We All Have Great Power
In this series, Uncle Ben has long passed and Peter Parker has already become the Spider-Man we all know, is attending college, and working as a freelance photographer for the Daily Bugle. We all know that Uncle Ben is easily the most influential father figure in Peter's life. He taught him several lessons, the most important and impactful being about great power and great responsibility. Yet, rather than self-destruct under the guilt of Uncle Ben's death, Peter chose to honor his legacy by using his powers for good to make a difference. To not sit on the sidelines. To not say, "Not my problem," when he could do something. It's the same thing that makes us pick up the trash that's not ours, or tell that person who's being rude in the chat to stop, or step in when we see someone having a bad time. Maybe we don't have the power to protect an entire city from the Insidious Six, but we do have the power to protect each other from hate and loneliness by making each other feel welcome. Are we using that power responsibly, or have we been blissfully cruising along because [insert gaming community issue here] "isn't our problem?" You're part of this community. It is your problem and you can do something about it.
2. The Black Suit
I'm going to set the tone for this segment by making the following comparison: The Black Suit represents the worst parts of the gaming community. Misogyny, unfair categorization, toxic vitriol language, general hostility and misguided hatred. It hits home even heavier because odds are, at some point in our lives and gamers, the good majority of us have donned a black suit. We've bullied someone, we've said/done things we shouldn't have, we've rubbed it in a little too much after getting that double kill. And you know what? It felt good. Why shouldn't we yell at that noob for going -16 in Team Deathmatch? We're skilled gamers, we've worked hard to get to the level that we're on. We are better than most gamers. We carried that match. Our team would have never won without us. We're real gamers, not them. They're just filthy casuals who should stay out of our way. They can never be as good as us— Woah. What's with all this we and us stuff? Is that really what I was thinking just now?
See what I did there? Just because you can, doesn't mean you should. Wise up. Take the black suit off and treat everyone in a way that would make Uncle Ben proud.
3. Never Lose Sight of What Matters
How often has this happened to you: you've begun playing a game you find fun, then someone comes along and ruins the fun for you, so you consider never playing that game again. This is what basically happens to Peter Park in one particular episode in the TV series in which was blamed, as Spider-Man, for the destruction of a medical facility while fighting with Doctor Octopus. Public opinion is a big deal for Spider-Man. After all, protecting the city of New York is hard enough when everyone doesn't hate you. In the same way, playing a game can be difficult as is without people being utterly awful to you while you try to do your best. If you stream on Twitch or have ever played a competitive game, you likely understand what I'm saying. For Peter, it took a visit to a young Spider-Man fan named Maria Taina Elizando and another battle with Doc OcK to remind him why people need Spider-Man, despite the giant troll at the Daily Bugle (J. Jonah Jameson) saying otherwise. Think of why you play games. Maybe it's because you were raised on games or because you simply think they're fun. Whatever the reason, hold on to it as tightly as you can and don't let anyone take it away from you.
If You Don't Remember Anything Else From This Post, Remember This:
If you wear the black suit too long, it will turn you into Emo Parker, and literally nobody likes Emo Parker.