Monday, April 5, 2010

A Bit of Blah: Gaming Misconceptions

1. Only Men Play Video Games
This is so false that it hurts. Not only are there some fucking GORGEOUS women that play videogames out there, but they would probably be able to kick your ass in a heartbeat if you even suggested a face-off. There are whole girl gaming guilds on World of Warcraft, and whole Girl Gaming Teams for competitive gaming. True, gaming is still a male dominated space, but not for long. What's most unfortunate about this whole misconception, is that there are men who will admit that girls play videogames, but will instantly assume (and I have evidence of this) that girls will only play Rockband, or Wii Fit, etc.

And I'm not talking big macho men who are saying this, I'm talking the same self-professed gamers that I talk to every day! They say "Oh Mercer, you don't count as a girl, you're just one of the guys to us!" before realizing that that is exactly the point! There are TONS of other girls just like me who act as "one of the guys", and play as "one of the guys", but aren't! Damn it, guys, Men are not the only ones who play video games! /shake fist

2. Playing Video Games will Make you Violent
As was best put by one of my friends, "video games are a great way to vent", and I stick by that statement through and through. Whenever I'm angry, and have had a frustrating day, there is nothing I enjoy better than turning on my XBox (currently broken due to a butter knife incident), and killing some Zombies; or turning on my PC and pwning alliance noobs in lowbie zones. There is something gratifying about being able to take your frustration and anger, and do something about it without actually hurting or harming anyone. I know that I could never physically hurt someone the way that I do in videogames, and that's a comforting thing to me.

Sure, there are gonna be those kids that lead an angry lifestyle, and they are naturally going to gravitate towards the angrier, more violent games. That is just a fact of life. Just like people assume women will flock to cutesy games with cartoon animals, it can be assumed that pissy, angry teens are going to find pissy, angry games. That does not mean that every tween that goes and buys Left 4 Dead 2 is gonna go out with a rifle and shoot some fools.

3. Playing Video Games lead to a sedentary life, which may result in obesity and lack of sex-drive.
I play more video-games than I would care to admit, sometimes, especially in public. However, I am neither fat, nor a-sexual. I go to the gym everyday for an hour and a half, and work out on a cardio machine in order to counteract the effects that snacking and videogames might have on my system. Therefore, it can be argued that just because one games does not mean one is going to be fat.

I have lots of friends, too, that play videogames and say the same things. No one, in all of the people that I've interviewed for an upcoming project, has reported any weight gain, even when most of them have spent upwards of 5 hours a day playing videogames at their house. The only person who has said anything about being overweight, or that I know to be overweight, has been that way since childhood, and before videogames arguably became a large part of her life.

In fact, most of the gamers I know are tiny because all they do is drink Mountain Dew Code Red; they forget to eat.

4. Gamers are anti-social geeks.
If anything, gaming promotes socializing to a crowd that may otherwise be left out of typical social circles. The social aspect of games is especially promoted by MMOs such as Ragnarok, and World of Warcraft, but is also making a rise by things such a chat capabilities via XBox Live. This makes it so that even if you are not in the same room as your friends playing with them, you can still communicate on a more human level than text may enable. 

Just because some people prefer to socialize in a less in-your-face manner, such as a frat, or a kegger, DOES NOT mean they are geeks, nor does it mean they are antisocial

5. Gamers have obsessive/clingy personalities.
You try playing for achievements and levels and NOT getting obsessive. While it's true that gamers have a tendency to cling to their own kind that does not mean that they will cling to you. This goes along the same principle as being afraid of gay people: just because they're gay, and you're the same sex as them does not mean that they will be attracted to you. Gamers stick to gamers because it is what they know, it's what makes them comfortable; it's basically the same as Jocks sticking to Jocks. 

Just because gamers are obsessive about their games does not mean they will be obsessive over you, get over yourself.

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