I want you for the video game defense force!
If you won’t join me, I’ll take up my sword and shield to defend video games myself. You might ask, “Why do you need to defend them?” Mistaken myths and assumptions about video games abound, and it’s up to the people who love this fun hobby to do something.
We all know what assumptions do to you and me; imagine the harm they do to games. How many times have you heard that games are just for kids? Yet the average game player is 30 years old. How many times have people dismissed games as shiny toys for teen boys? Yet we know that’s silly: women make up a large percentage of gaming enthusiasts. How many more times will others accuse gamers of being socially awkward? But it’s a hobby that fits into a balanced lifestyle, just like your cereal is part of a balanced breakfast.
If Aristotle were here, maybe he would tell us to aim for that golden mean in between too little gaming and too much. Many of us can reach this golden mean. So let’s dispel the myth that all gamers have no lives outside their hobby. That’s one simple thing we can all do to defend games from silly assumptions.
We will also need to communicate better with the public. They might hold on to silly assumptions as a weak crutch in their arguments. We need to tell them about their mistaken views.
Let’s start by addressing video game violence. Let’s tell concerned people about game ratings. Let’s listen to their concerns and show them what studies have to say. Let’s speak honestly about study findings and try to understand each other. Then we need to show them all the wonderful genres of video games, including the non-violent kinds. Chances are they will find a genre of video game that appeals to them. And when more people play and love games, we might have to defend them less.
But why should you bother to defend video games? They are worth defending because they fill people’s lives with joy. They transport you to distant worlds and take you on adventures to places that defy imagination. It’s the interactivity that sets games makes games both fun and unique.
Games also need a robust defense because they are so important in our world. They relieve tension, allow for creativity, and can help people learn languages. I’m talking about programming languages or perhaps playing games that teach one to speak a new language. Yes, games are so important in people’s lives that you can’t just take them away.
I wonder what our lives would be like without games.Think about the millions of people who work to make them for us.
Of course there’s nothing wrong with disliking video games, but there’s no need to spread silly assumptions and outright lies. So, since games are so important, we need to defend them. If we don’t defend video games, who will?
21 responses to “Join the Video Game Defense Force”
/takes up her own sword and shield!
.. Until the end.
I’m not too crazy about defending games to be completely honest. They’re just a form of entertainment to me and that’s all. I understand the reason why some people hate gaming and some times they have very valid reasons for doing so.
Most gamers, at least in my experience, are complete assholes and I would rather avoid being around too many of them.
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Thanks for the great and thoughtful comment!
Some parts of my post were meant to be a little silly, and I’m not some kind of zealous defender.
I agree that some people have valid reasons for “hating” gaming. I don’t really have a problem with that. Valid is the keyword there, and that’s their choice.
It’s the silly assumptions, myths and misconceptions that people have about video games and all people who play them that I think are illogical or wrong. I don’t think we should sit quietly when someone says something that doesn’t make sense. I gave some examples in my post…
Yeah, it’s unfortunate whenever a gamer or non-gamer is a jerk. I try to treat everyone with respect, and I guess I would walk away if I just couldn’t deal with that person.
True. Most people when they talk crap about games use GTA as an example because of all the bad stuff you can do in that game, but there are games like Mario that the whole family can sit down and enjoy. People are always looking for something new to complain about and today it just happens to be video games.
I would rather have my son play a violent game instead of going outside and getting into fights.
I would defend video games if I had to. Its unfortunate that the actions and lack of respect of those in the community turn people off.
Agreed! We need to treat each other with respect.
Sorry it’s taken me so long to comment, I’ve been busy. Anyway, I don’t think I’ve ever been around anyone who believes any of those lies. But if I ever come across someone who believes them, I will do my best to correct them. So, I guess I’m one of the minutemen for the Video Game Defense Force. Those are needed too, right?
We don’t turn away anyone. 🙂
Well, I learned a whole lot of English though video games and broadened my vocabulary through having to look up words once in a while gaming. Such as in Goldeneye to complete missions and most notably Pokemon Blue.
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Nice. I can’t say I’ve met anyone who learned some English through video games before. That just seems like another great reason for some people to play them. What is your original language, if you don’t mind me asking?
And what a fine choice of games to learn English from! I loved Goldeneye and Pokemen, though I had the Red version. :).
(An aside: this post was published a while ago, but I had some kind of WordPress glitch yesterday, and it was republished to the top of the page. Weird. Today, I managed to get the most recent post at the top of page again. But this one oddly still appears as number two even though it’s quite old. Oh well.)
My original language is Swedish. I know of quite a few people that aren’t natively English speaking who learned a lot of English through video games.
I also read on a forum that there was this Japanese that played pokemon Green before and sometimes even during classes as a way to read and learn more japanese, and wrote that the teacher and her were really cheerful after finally having captured Mewtwo after a long and intense battle. That also shows of bonding through video games!
Yeah, I’ve read this post before but this time I commented on it, so it wasn’t exactly a bad glitch after all 🙂
Cool! I never would have guessed Swedish.
Yeah, it was a pleasant glitch: more people got to read the post.
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I do not understand why being a gamer invites negative comments. I’m 30, I choose to game instead of watching hours and hours of TV. TV is boring, gaming is interactive and it’s way more fun. I don’t bash on people who watch TV for hours everyday, no one does really, because it’s normal. You don’t get told to “Get a life” if you watch TV.
As for the negativity. I would never ever let my daughter play or even watch me play violent video games. Those games are for adults, and have an age rating for a reason. There have been plenty of studies in the past [when they used to be able to test stuff on humans] that children exposed to violence at a young age, whether perceived or real, affects them negatively. They don’t have the emotional intelligence to deal with it. In which case, if a child happens to have a negative affect from playing a violent video game, that is totally the fault of the parent, not the game developer. Parents should be more active in viewing the game for themselves before offering it to their children. If a child watched an 18 rated movie, then we’d definitely blame the parents for letting them watch it, and we’d feel totally uncomfortable with the fact that the parents let this happen, so why are games any different?
I disagree though when the news is all, “Person X shot someone, and it turns out they played Call of Duty a lot, so that must be the problem, not the fact that their parents didn’t keep their guns locked up, or that the person X had mental health issues that went untreated due to the insurance crap in this country”. It’s not even causation, millions of people play Call of Duty, the numbers of people affected negatively would be crazy high, it’s like saying, 100% of serial killers drank water, it’s waters fault.
I guess this is human though, everyone wants someone to blame, and that someone has to be someone other than themselves.
Gaming can be very positive, I’ve used it as a form of therapy, really. It’s a coping mechanism, and a healthy one at that (so long as you don’t spend ALL your time doing it and have a life outside of it). In fact the health service here are looking at making video games that are therapy related. Games for alzheimers, kinect games as physiotherapy, games for stroke victims etc. They improve coordination and cognition.
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I grew up playing violent video games and I turned out just fine. I don’t think games make people violent. It has to be there already.
I agree that media takes it too far some times. That crap about GTA V and Dark Souls had my laughing hard. Why would you let your kids play GTA?
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I think I played Wolfenstein at a young age, and I also turned out fine. These days, I don’t think too much about violent video games and their impact. To be honest, I find myself moving away from violent video games in favour of “indie” adventures. There’s more variety in non violent games than I ever thought possible.
Also, I hope the media is careful about connecting video games to violence in the world. A sensational story could hurt our hobby and wrongly cause even more people to dislike games.
I actually can’t stand most Indie games. Early access and Indie games are two things I don’t bother with unless the game is really good.
Playing violent games doesn’t make a person violent. No one is forcing you to be violent. If you go out there and break the law it’s your fault. Not GTA’s or whatever you played before you did it.
Sure, I guess the video games and violence issue is an important one to consider. That might be a post for another time. Thanks for your comments. 🙂
I don’t understand why playing games invites negative comments either. Most of the time, there are no good reasons for this negativity. I can only guess that the people making these comments are immature.
And you’re right: games can do so much good. I hope we can get others to understand that the good aspects are real. Even if they don’t understand this, I’m sure they’ll find out out—one day— that video games are worth playing.
Let’s do it!
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I like your attitude :).