Home > Quote of the Day > (Rather Large) Quote of the Day: “Gamer Life” or “Why Gamers Rule”

(Rather Large) Quote of the Day: “Gamer Life” or “Why Gamers Rule”

For all those that feel video games are a waste of time, that gamers are basement-dwelling shut-ins and losers who function socially, here is a scathingly appropriate response. My own coming soon.

I’ve been playing video games since I was five years old, starting with the Atari 2600. On the weekends, if I was lucky, my parents would rent a video game for me. I would always look through the art in the instruction booklets on the ride home, and it got me started with drawing.

In middle school and high school, I was in art classes. I was considered for several art programs throughout, and I graduated my senior year in an advanced placement course.

When I was in the fifth grade, I was pulled out of class to take a test. The proctor had a flip book of words and a stopwatch. She would turn the page, and I had to read the word aloud as quickly and as accurately as I could. The results of the test indicated that I was reading at the level of a high school junior, despite the fact that my parents always struggled to get me to read anything at all.

In my junior year, I tied for highest score in the school in our statewide writing examination.

I’ve had a tremendous imagination all my life. I can find stories, humor, and adventure in even the most mundane tasks. I’m rarely ever bored, and I find myself constantly dreaming up new worlds, characters and situations.

I have an insatiable hunger for learning. I often look into something that has piqued my interest and find myself in an entirely different subject hours later.

I’ve never been in a romantic relationship that didn’t last at least three years, and the friends I made during my formative years are still the very best I could ever ask for.

Now I’m an Intelligence Specialist in the United States Navy and working at the Pentagon.

You look at video games, and all you can see is noise and guns. What you don’t see is creative problem solving, critical thinking, moral choices, conflict resolution, relationship building, cause and effect, drama, comedy, tragedy, learning opportunities, fantastic stories, the rewards of overcoming adversity, attention to detail, music appreciation, understanding different perspectives, and more concepts and situations that run the gamut of all human experiences.

The fact that video games are played in front of a TV makes them no less impactful than literature, film, or any other medium.

Anything in excess is bad for you, and if you’re not putting these kinds of things into context for your children, then you are an example of bad parenting. That’s true of everything; not just video games.

If you don’t understand “so-called ‘gamers’” or video games in general, that’s fine. But passing judgement on the people who do is completely ignorant and unbecoming of someone looking to make a career of shaping young minds.

If I were in your shoes, I’d educate myself on video games to understand why they’re so appealing and how I could use them to relate to my students and enhance their learning.

But what do I know? I’m just a gamer.

An Answer to: “Videogames or Life?”, Please Enter Your Initials

 

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  1. October 5, 2012 at 12:27 am

    I disagree totally and the fact that the blogger got good grades in school and a job is not because playing games helped him.

    Games are a waste of time. They aren’t art – a play or a piece of music you can appreciate in one viewing. Games are about repetitive action and grinding (especially MMOs) – i.e. time sinks.

    Games aren’t a useful hobby. What skill do you gain from it compared to playing the piano or playing soccer? What does gaming skill mean when the rules can be changed at any time by the developer? When all your built-up skill means nothing after they patch it outl and adjust the game balance, release a new expansion that makes all your accumulated gear worthless or when everyone has moved on to a new game? A soccer player will always be good at soccer.

    Where is the social connection in games? Where are these real-life people you speak of in my single player games? What friendships am I building in CoD or TF2, where I am endlessly shuffled in matches among millions of other players? If anything gaming is anti-social. It promotes griefing and trolling because my actions have no real impact – there will always be new victims in the next auto-matchmaked game. The only social interaction in games is to build up real-life friendships if you both enjoy gaming, and can use games to share time together – e.g. casual dormwide DoTA matches, MMO guilds that gradually build up from an inner circle of actual friends.

    If you only play games for the experience, to try out a new story, explore a new world once in a while or analyze new developments in interactive media that’s ok. But that doesn’t make you a gamer. That just makes you a temporary visitor, a tourist. I have the same pity for gamers as I do for model train enthusiasts. Every night they feel compelled to withdraw from society into their cavernous den, to play with their ultimately pointless toys. I, on the other hand, would rather work towards building a career so I can travel and explore all the myriad wonders the real world has to offer.

  2. October 5, 2012 at 2:48 am

    Thanks very much, Bronte!

  3. November 28, 2012 at 10:58 am

    Gosh, I don’t know why Anon comes across as so hostile but… here are a few of the gifts I’ve gained from games. (I’ve been gaming since I was 7.)

    – Lifelong friends who are effectively family
    I migrated to Australia 5 months ago. It took me 3 months to find a job, and my friends, a couple whom I met on a MUD would not let me pay for *anything*. They showered me with love and support as well as providing food and lodging. I could not have done it without them.

    – Other lifelong friends whom I’m still truly delighted to hear from and talk to (but aren’t on the family level)

    – Copywriting skills
    I’m a professional copywriter, amongst other things (UX designer is my ‘umbrella’ title). MUDs (one in particular) taught me how to write. Roleplaying in such a context taught me how to write in order to persuade, and to inspire emotion, and (yes, I went there), cybersex taught me how to write to inspire desire. Ooh a rhyme.

    Long/short descriptions taught me how to cram meaning into as few words as possible, when needed. Learning to squeeze the maximum amount of meaning into 72 characters directly translates into being able to write effect headlines, email subject lines, and what have you. This is valuable stuff in any marketing-related activity.

    Being the Guild Master of the Newbie Helpers in said MUDs taught me a lot about how to achieve clarity in technical writing. Right now, I work in software development, and that’s a huge plus.

    – A safe place to explore gender roles while growing up
    In some places it’s just not safe to dress up as the opposite gender. And even if it is, it may not be possible, viable, or convincing.

    These are just a few things I thought of off the top of my head, I’m sure there are loads more.

    @Anon
    Don’t judge what you’ve never experienced and don’t understand.

  1. October 6, 2012 at 1:45 am

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