Gaming has grown in strength over the last few years and as a result of its popularity, has become more socially acceptable right across the board than ever before. But there is still negativity and misunderstanding towards gamers mainly from the misinformed who just don’t get it. Here we take a look at the biggest myths about gamers which just aren’t true.
All gamers are guys
This is perhaps one of the easiest to argue. Most of us know girls who game, a lot of you will have at least one or two in your friends list more than likely more. Examples include bs angel of Halo Waypoint as well as The Fragdolls but for some reason people just seem to think that it’s all a bunch of guys online. While there are no two studies that can agree on the numbers studies have been done and seem to indicate that anywhere from around 30 to 60% of gamers are in fact female. Even taking the lowest numbers that is still a far higher number than the 0% a lot of people seem to come up with.
All gamers are young
Saying that all gamers are young is another myth which seems to have gained quite a lot of attention. Just as with numbers of female gamers, the numbers from whoever’s study always seem to conflict with everyone else. But the point is the typical demographic of teens and twenty something’s being the only people who play is again totally unfounded. Just think back to the rise of the arcade back in the eighties and nineties. Most of the people who frequented these social hotbeds may well have forgotten that enjoyment they used to get from gaming or perhaps they really did ‘grow out of it’ the way a lot of people think but the fact remains that those people who were at school back then are the parents of this generation and to believe that all these people would have abandoned their hobby rather than follow it is again stupid. As I said before while the studies don’t seem to agree the majority do agree that the average age of gamers is well above early twenties with one estimating at forty one.
All gamers are dumb
Saying that all gamers are dumb is well, a pretty dumb statement really but the fact is that a lot of people expect the people who ‘waste all their time in front of a game’ will have had their brain rotted away by the devil within the TV. Gaming is more likely to increase the way our brains work. Every game whether it be Resident Evil, Call of Duty or even Pacman involves a level of skill, practice and problem solving skills as well as trial and error. The only grounds for this idea is that gaming can be a distraction, just like social networking, from other more important things like studying for exams but then no one says Facebook makes you dumber.
All gamers are geeks
While a lot of people believe we are all dumb and destroying our brain cells in front of the console there is also a lot of people who believe that all gamers are geeks. This is again not true and while gaming relies on the advances of technology and we have games based around mythology. This doesn’t mean that we are particularly interested in the finer points of gaming. Whilst the community is incredibly varied in activities outside of gaming and there are those of us who embrace our general geekiness it works both ways and there is plenty of people who just game. Please take note that this means just because we love to play games it does not mean we have any idea how to fix your printer.
All gamers are addicted to/love energy drinks
While the general consensus among a lot of people is that we all sit at our consoles or computers for days on end, surviving only on Mountain Dew and beer snacks this just isn’t the case. While I enjoy energy drinks, mountain Dew is definitely not my favourite and I know plenty of gamers who hate the stuff and plenty of energy drink drinkers who hate gaming. The two just don’t go hand in hand at all people drink energy drinks to keep them awake for whatever reason the fact that some of us need perking up once 3 a.m. rolls around just means we use the right tool for the job.
Gaming makes people violent
This is the myth that gets me the most and the fact of the matter is that people won’t only use it as a defense but those around them will eat it up. The mainstream media has always cried out for something to pin the problems of the world on. Look back a few decades and it was music that was corrupting everybody. Then come the eighties and all of a sudden the vile ‘video nasty’s where to blame and in recent years it has become video games. Just look at the medias response to the tragic events in Norway. As people where coming to terms with these unspeakable acts, media outlets had already got the ball rolling accusing violent video games of being the culprit. At the end of the day it is the same for everything, you choose how to act as a person and have to take responsibility for yourself. Not blame video games. That’s like me saying I got hooked on mushrooms because I played Mario, complete and utter bullshit.
All female characters are guys in disguise
This is yet another sex related myth. Why is it everyone, gamers included, assume that a female character has to be a dude? Some guys may want to play as a female then why not? On a game such as halo you can argue that a lot of guys will do it as a female Spartan is an ever so slightly smaller target but when it comes to RPG’s and MMO’s there is an obvious reason. If a guy is going to be sat in front of a character for hours at a time surely the majority would prefer to stare at the back of a woman for such a long period of time. But just because it happens doesn’t mean that all online chicks have to be guys and what difference does it make anyway?
All gamers are virgins
Has to be said whenever this argument comes up somewhere it makes me laugh every single time without fail and let’s face it someone always brings it up. While I’m sat writing this now my good friend is sat playing away on his console, checking out some hiding places on Halo Reach to be exact, and do you know what? He’s got a son. While this doesn’t mean you have to have kids to have had sex it does prove the point. Hell most of us have probably had sex with people who play video games, nothing better than finding people who you share common interests with.
All gamers are anti-social
The proof of this one is in the pudding my good friends. While people will turn around and say ‘oh you just sit in the house playing video games’ this is often itself not true but even if it is how can it be said we are all anti-social loners. Look back to arcades hundreds of visitors every day would flock to play the newest cabinet games with their friends and as gaming has become more home based so have our social circles. The fact that all of us will have friends, both online and offline proves the point. Gaming has never been more social now you don’t have to stand up all day in a hot arcade downtown. A lot of games offer at least four players local with the possibility for up to 32 players with certain online games, a friend list which maxes out at 100 people all these things show how social interaction hasn’t been lost along with the games the communities surrounding them have only grown in strength.
Gamers let gaming rule their life
A lot of us will spend a lot of time playing games but I personally believe that this doesn’t mean we let it rule our lives. How is playing a game any worse than watching the TV for hours on end? At least when we game we are engaged actively and personally rather than just brain dead staring. We have control over what happens which makes playing a game a far better and more interesting option. None of us can deny that there have been people who have allowed games to take over their lives and literally have spent every, waking minute sat in front of their games but this is not the norm the way so many people seem to think it is.