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Clans 101

by Nicholas Holden (Holden ZA)  Posted Friday, November 09, 2012 12:42:00 PM

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Clans. It’s a word that you wouldn't use with someone whom you just met in the street. Clans are the teddy bear that no one knows you sleep with at night, yet it brings you some comfort knowing that when you with your teddy ,your safe. 

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I have been in a clan for as long as I have been on Xboxlive, since the early days of 2007 (yes, that’s five years and then some). My introduction to clans was with a withdrawn attitude at first; I came from the outside world of gaming where ‘clans’ are regarded as a group of nerds that sit and stagnate in their mothers basements, hiding from any hint of daylight. Yet, as with most things, my first impressions were completely wrong. I was rather introduced into a world of competitive gaming, a glorious sub culture of gamers that came together to use their skill and intuition to try beat their respective opponents. Taking on this battle of wit and skill was my newly discovered team members . These team members all came with their own personality, game skill, ethics and mannerisms. Each individual had something to offer to the team, be it as it may, some were not as good as others but this didn’t deter their ambition to contribute to the team. The clan description then became clear to me, that clans are rather not the team of nerds that I first thought. Rather, clans are the melting pot of a group of people that were forced to work together to the best of their ability to overcome an objective was determined by the clan’s intensions.

Clans all have their own identity/types which they themselves build. In our South African community we are extremely lucky to have such a diverse group of clans. We have several types of clans in South Africa; from the old casual clans to the new youthful competitive clans. Clan gaming is really for anyone and everyone. However, be careful about what group/clan you decide to join, due to the fact this clan will come with its own set of generalized reputation that they themselves have built (aka clan rep).

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Clan rep’, is the basic assumption that people will give you and your team mates in a clan. As the wise words are, “Actions speak louder than words”, the same is true of the clan sub culture. Research is never a bad idea before deciding on which clan to join. Just by asking some of the community what they think about a clan you will receive a great amount of feedback. You are a representative of a clan and the opposite is also true, a clan is a representative of you. So in essence you have to find a team that matches you personality. For myself, I wanted to be a part of a team that is friendly and competitive and not afraid to laugh. I believe that I found that in the clan in which I currently reside (High 5), some people would however see my team in a different light but that is fine by me, I am happily ignorant. As long as you are happy with your decision you will be rewarded accordingly, with a group of team mates that actually are happy to see your name pop up, when the screen displays (insert gamertag) is online.

When joining a clan you will find yourself developing relationship with the members inside your team. Most of which should be positive, you will quickly develop your inside jokes and in-game antics which will make playing the same game for 5 straight hours that much more enjoyable. You team mates are everything, with a good set of team mates the boundaries of gaming burst open. As we have seen with many previous clans. Some local websites have their roots at clan gaming, then there are Youtube directors that are making a living playing games that started out just playing in a clan (such as the Optic clan ).

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Competitive clans in South Africa are rapidly on the rise, as new teams seem to be spurting out of the ground and are infiltration the competitive scene in games such as Call of Duty, Battlefield, Halo, Gears of War and many others. Now as a casual gamer you might ask yourself, “What does competitive gaming have to offer me?” The answer is different for different people. Some players just want to be a part of a team, a group that can talk with one another and enjoy their gaming experience (usually known as the casual clans).These players find their satisfaction from not taking gaming too seriously and rather enjoying their team mates company while they collectively kick back and cap players.

Then there are the clans that go out to win. These clans are usually classified as the competitive clans. The players in the competitive clans find their satisfaction from taking on the opposition and do their utmost to claim the elusive victory. These clans are forced to work together to produce the best results, that’s why you will notice that in these clans the players are very ‘tight’ meaning that if one player is playing a game it is likely his team mates will be there too.

Overall clans are something that I find has brought the community of gamers closer together. It allows players to know that there is someone out there that has their back. Here are a couple of words from some clan players in South Africa.

Xtaz Phobia (Xtaz) : There is nothing quite like competitive gaming. The thrill of playing against other talented players in competitive matches is intense and, win or loss, it keeps me coming back.

Annihil8tor ZA (DMW) : Being in a clan is like having a sense of belonging. After awhile it becomes all you know and you find yourself defending it with all you have! When you have clocked the single player and achieved the goals from a multiplayer perspective the only thing remaining to play for is Clan rivalry. Whether its serious hatred for one another or just a friendly competitive rivalry. The Clan keeps the web of interactivity going.

F34R CS1977 (F34R): Playing in a clan, gives a sense of belonging, in the abyss that is the world of online gaming Clan's are merely like the gangs of the 80's just a group of friends hanging out on the corner at the shop. Competitive gaming has tapped into our human nature that is to compete. It's given gaming the proper e-SPORT feel. I may not be able to run 100 m in 14 secs any more, but i will be able to cap your flag in 14 secs... Competitive gaming is part of all us; we just don't all realize it... Oh so you play for fun, but you relish beating your bro to see whose king of Fifa in your house? You competitive pal!

Clans offer a completely different gaming experience. Rather than be the lone ranger you now have a crew of rangers who have your back at all times. It’s a crew of gamers who share more than just gaming, who soon become an influence in your life. These clan gamers are not basement gamers they are everyday people who, given the opportunity, can share their life experience with you and you with them. I have truly learnt a lot from clan gaming, and connected with people that I probably never would have in my everyday life. Clans can turn an average day into an awesome event, clan gaming is not just for the elite. Clan gaming is for anyone and everyone that wants to game and be apart of something bigger than just the game.

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