Last week, a large group of vapers gathered at the Bahama Mamas Bar in Grand Theft Auto 5: Online. I heard about the event after a group of 20’s came into my shop and asked if I had joined any online ‘vape-ups’. I admitted that I hadn’t, but was intrigued by the concept. They explained that every week when they’re all free at home, they decide to meet at a bar in GTA, socialise for a while and then run off and do team missions.
This got me thinking about how far the vape community has progressed in such a small amount of time. It seems the vape world and the gaming community share very similar interests, and I wanted to investigate the topic in more depth.
Vape Ups in Gaming
GTA’s map encapsulates 81 kilometres of free-roaming land for you and your friends to explore and with 10 bars and pubs at your disposal, you and your friends are bound to find somewhere cool and quirky to hang out.
People may ask, ‘Why can’t you just go to the pub in real life though?’ The concept doesn’t aim to replace social normalities, what it does offer is a more relaxed alternative to meeting up after work. Depending on your daily or weekly routine, it can sometimes be difficult to meet up at a local pub or bar after work. Many of your friends may live too far away from your local pub or bar and it is therefore difficult to herd everyone to one place.
This ‘Vape-Up’ idea solves this problem by letting you vape and game in the comfort of your own home. With a vast map to explore in GTA and with vaping being an indoor luxury, combining the two together is a genius idea.
So, what happens during these Vape-Ups?
Meeting at the bar is just a very quirky and obvious meeting point within the world of GTA. Since the topic is quite new to me, I’m not all geared up on the specifics. However, what I was briefly told was that there are 10 pubs and bars in GTA where you can hang out, throw darts, play pool and just generally chill out. You can also punch someone’s lights out if you’re that way inclined.
What the vapers seemed to do was start out at a pub (where everyone would meet) have a catch-up, and then head out in a gang to complete missions or just to wreak havoc around the expansive map.
Where has the idea come from?
The main reason why this is picking up traction is because of how socially acceptable vaping has become. The gaming industry is one of the biggest in the world and currently dominating the film industry. It makes sense that vaping (another growing trend) has allied itself with the social sphere of gaming. Immersion is key here. If you’re an avid gamer, you will fully understand the appeal here. Meeting up on your favourite online game with your friends is fun enough, but allowing yourself the time and opportunity to vape and enjoy your new e-liquids in the comfort of your own home adds a whole new dimension to socialising.
Does it expand to other games?
Yes, of course. The only reason why GTA seems to be a popular choice is because of how it imitates life and allows you to roam the world like you can in reality. Bars and pubs offer a virtual form of socialising and it just adds to the immersion. In essence, the idea simply offers a form of escapism in the comfort of your own home. It doesn’t matter what game you play, the point is that you can collectively meet up online, anywhere and discuss new vaping products and e-liquids.
Would I recommend this?
I think this is a fantastic concept. It brings together two demographics that seem to share very similar interests and gets them talking about gaming and new vape products they have trialled and tested. The fact that the Vape-Ups happen in bars just adds that sense of immersion and social normality. This is definitely something I can see expanding to a wider audience in the near future.