There are so many negative things said about people who play video games that you never know what to believe. If you listened to half of it you’d think that gamers are among the worst people in the world. You would think they are violent, anti-social degenerates who don’t care about anyone or anything other than getting in front of that screen every day. Unfortunately, many of these misconceptions come from people who don’t simply don’t play. Sadly, many of these misconceptions have been fueled by the media and people who want to blame video games for all of society’s ills. However, it is safe to say that many of the negative connotations attached to gaming are false. Here are four common misconceptions about gaming that need to go away.
They make people violent – This is probably the most persistent image about gamers, one that started its ascent after the Columbine massacre. Let us just say once and for all that violent video games do not make people violent. It’s the same as watching a violent movie, which is somehow less of a target than violent video games. Multiple peer-reviewed studies have confirmed that violent video games don’t make people violent in real life.
Gamers are all loners – There is that image of the gamer playing all alone in a dark room in front of a glowing monitor. This is what most people think of when they think of gamers. This is not in the least bit true. Gamers are incredibly social people. Games themselves were meant to be played by and among friends. Many gamers also play online with friends or strangers. They also flock to communities like joystickgames.com where they can learn more about games. Gamers aren’t loners, they just prefer having other gamers around.
Gaming is immature – This is another common misconception about gamers and is a trope that pops up frequently in movies and TV, that of the immature gamer who refuses to grow up. This misconception is rooted in the idea that video games are created for children and children alone. However, there are lots of video games made specifically for adults, games children have no business playing because of its subject matter. The fact is that gaming is for everyone, whether you’re six or 60 and no one should be shamed for enjoying a harmless pastime.
Gamers are all men – Gaming is not the boys club most people make it out to be. Without a doubt, marketers played a large role in this misconception as they focused their marketing efforts on boys rather than girls. Additionally, the developers also created games that would appeal more to boys than girls, packing them with male characters while excluding female ones. However, gaming is now enjoyed by a much larger demographic than ever before and even though it is still a male-dominated area of interest, that demographic is changing every day.
Sadly, misconceptions like these tend to persist even where evidence is presented to the contrary. Luckily, however, depictions in the media are changing, allowing the image of the embattled gamer to evolve in line with reality.
Author – Hemant Kumar Gupta