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Geek Culture! Dealing with Non-Gamers

ratings-collageOk, rather than talk about something fun and shiny, I’m going talk about a topic that I’m sure many gamers out there have experienced more than once in their gaming careers. For some reason video gaming carries a sort of stigma.  With some people, all you have to mention is that you like video games and they start treating you like dirt, which they have absolutely no right to do, and I’m going to lay out a few reasons why you should never, ever feel bad about your hobby or have to explain why you play.

We all know the vision and stigma people get when they think of a “gamer”:  Sweaty.  Overweight.  Anti-social.  Violent.  Unemployed.  Computer nerd.  Inactive.  Messy.  I know some of you, and that is definitely NOT true.

I was recently in a situation that were some co-workers said behind my back, within earshot, and knowing full well what my hobbies are, “There is more to life than video games.”  Ouch!  Talk about passive-aggressive stabby-stabs!  It really did hurt and I was quite angered.

Here’s why anyone who states that gaming is a waste of time is wrong.  What do these people do to relax?  Many of them watch TV for hours on end and that’s it. At least I think video games are more interactive and social than gaping at the boob toob.  Sam and I don’t even have cable.   We have HD rabbit ears and they aren’t even plugged in.

Gamers get on forums, speak to each other on voicechat during games, and even meet each other in person!    Sounds like a good way to connect with people and make some friends to me!  Also, some of these video game poo-pooers have to recall that even if they play solitaire on the PC they are engaging in a video game. They may not necessarily be classified as a “gamer,” but it they are certainly utilizing gaming technology!

In less hostile situations like the one outlined earlier, I explain how I enjoy the story of a game, or how I like solving the puzzles.  I try help people realize that there are more video games out there than the ones that people hear negative news about, like the Grand Theft Auto series.  All that crap comes from dumb people, ranging from stupid parents who buy their kids a game with an M rating, to Jack Thompson riling up the masses with so-called moral outrage.  So, the key is EDUCATION.  Help non-gamers understand the range of what is out there and the truth behind the hype.  I’m not saying go on a crusade, but steer people in the right direction when misinformation gets out.  Anyone remember that Mass Effect flap?

Another way I have found that helps with dealing with non-gamers is pick up and play games, which is why the Wii has become so successful.  Otherwise, I like to engage people in the SingStar games.  Who can’t follow words and sing into a mic?  We had my aunt over to dinner, and she played that and had a blast.  She doesn’t have a console, but she does a lot of stuff on Pogo.com for fun and to relax, so she understands. I even have a friend coming on Saturday and we are going to sing along to SingStar Queen, since we are both big fans of the band.  She is also a video game-a-phobe, but is anxious to try this because of the dangling of the proverbial musical carrot named QUEEN.

A third way I believe has to do with being good gamer citizens, meaning we are responsible people who take care of ourselves, have jobs, and generally contributing members of society.  Many people have a stereotypical gamer image in their minds.  Granted, there is some truth in stereotypes, but still, it’s not always accurate.  Many gamers are well-educated people with good jobs and other social interests.

Want some proof that video games are doing good?  Want some ammunition?  Check out this Cracked.com article.

Video games are the comic books and rock’n’roll of our generation. They are the new entertainment media that the previous generation rails against.  Rock music, comic books, and video games?  I say that’s a good time.

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