Category Archives: Non Gamers

“5 More Hours, Please”

“I want to play this video game for five more hours.” This is the refrain of the person who wants to game, but he or she is not an addict. You might think, though, that this quote suggests an addictive behaviour.

You might picture someone sitting on a couch with Cheetos stained fingers. In the other hand, the person clutches a frosty Big Gulp, sporting a pronounced couch groove and sunless skin. This couch potato description might be true in some cases, but one should not assume this about people who play video games. One should not store negative imagery about gamers in one’s head and drew upon these images at will.

Instead, I see the plea to play for five more hours  as an acknowledgment that video games are wonderful and engrossing. They are so wonderful that one wants to spend more time with them to enjoy everything they offer.

However, it’s probably not very wise to stop everything and play for five straight hours. Don’t stop living your life and loving others. Find a responsible way to make time for games.



Filed under Non Gamers, Video Game Misc.

7 Signs You’re a Non Gamer

1. You vaguely recall seeing swarms of people packed into dimly lit arcades in days gone by. You’re sure they always had their quarters ready to start a new game. One day, years later, you see a “Games” folder on your computer and start jamming quarters into the disc tray.

2. You heard about an advertisement for “gamer fuel.” You decided to get some for your new console. So you went down to the station to get some gasoline.

3. Your friends say they decided to skip work to play the latest AAA video game. You thought a AAA game had something to do with getting a  broken down car out of the mud.

4. Your friends grab the magic mushrooms in Mario games and encourage you to do the same. You’re afraid the mushrooms are wild, deadly and possibly psychedelic. And you’re pretty sure this is peer pressure.

5. You spend more time playing with the box that your console came in than with the console itself. You might also be a baby — babies are known to do this after all.

6. You thought the disc tray in a video game console was a coaster.

7. When your friend said he loved to play with Mario and Luigi, you thought he loved spending time with your Italian cousins.

What other signs are there that one is a non gamer?


Filed under Non Gamers

Non-Gamers Aren’t Weird

“Non-gamers are weird.”

Someone searched for this phrase and landed on my blog. This type of thinking bothers me because it prevents both gamers and non gamers from getting along, and it paints a silly picture of both sides. Really both sides could do better.

The phrase makes all non gamers look bad. It paints this group of people all one color with a swift and silly stroke. And it doesn’t even explain what “weird” is. You could never prove such a ridiculous claim about so many people.

Gamers who agree with the phrase also look immature. The phrase offers no evidence for its irresponsible claim. Worse yet, the phrase attacks a large group of people instead of offering a thought-provoking statement. It’s as dumb as calling someone a name that a six year old would use.

Some gamers might find this phrase to be cute. It points out, in an immature way, that there are differences between gamers and non-gamers. It might bring a smirk to your face. But it isn’t funny for long.

Can’t we all we get along? Phrases like the one that began this article will not help us achieve this goal. If we all do get along, then I hope people will see video games and gamers in a positive light. Perhaps some people will then play video games for the first time.

I hope more people will challenge their negative assumptions about video games and play them for the first time. I want everyone to have fun, and I think video games offer that experience. But I can’t force non gamers to try this hobby, and it won’t help to call them names. We have to approach each other with mutual understanding and respect. Let’s do it!


Filed under Non Gamers

No Time for Video Games?

So you think you have no time for video games… Well, you might have time if you’re doing one of these silly things:

  • Stressed out, wringing your hands, worrying about what might happen. Need to relax.
  • Roasting something in all its delicious natural juices and letting the smell awaken your stomach from its digestive slumber. Can’t think straight with the smell. Can’t reflect. Need distraction.
  • Watching the same movie, which you’re starting to get sick of, for the one millionth time. In your pajamas. Haven’t bathed. Smelly.

If you have time to procrastinate instead of doing meaningful work, then you probably have time to play some video games.

There’s time for video games in your life. In small bursts, and as part of a well-balanced life that includes bathing, you could unwind and have fun. Give it a try.

Leave a comment

April 27, 2015 · 9:48 pm

“Only Children Play Video Games”

Rise and shine from nap time so we can dissect this silly quote.

Believe it or not, some people agree with this quote. I’ve met one person who once uttered a similar sentiment. Their words suggest that adults who play games have some growing up to do.

Why would anyone agree with this quote? Perhaps parents assume that only children played games because that is what they have witnessed. Maybe parents have heard the chatter on Xbox Live and assumed teenagers dominated it.

These parents are partly correct: developers create some games for children. That is obvious to anyone who reads an ESRB rating that says “Early Childhood,” or “Everyone”. Parents could also point to some gamers’ childlike behaviour to support the quote in this post’s title.

To some extent, immature gamers can blame themselves; they give credence to this quote. These are your stereotypical Xbox live denizens who shout slurs online. While the Xbox Live stereotype is not a fair assessment of all gamers, it’s true that young people sometimes say stupid things online.

Some gamers make things worse when they insult their own hobby. I’m pretty sure I’ve heard someone say that colorful platformers are for children. This comment manages to both insult gamers who like platformers and testifies to the speaker’s immaturity because it uses childish reasoning. Why couldn’t an adult play a colorful platformer, and what is it about the genre that makes it inherently childish? It’s unclear. But to the uninitiated observer who hears such comments, gamers may seem young or childish.

I now have to point out some obvious facts. Bear with me because there will be some who are still in doubt. Yes, the average game player is 31 years old. So the quote that began this article is wrong, even if some adult gamers have immature personalities. Here is another fact: the ratings on game boxes also tells us that they are–sometimes–for adults.

Video games have mature themes, and that is one reason adults might play them. Now mature themes could have two meanings. It might signify blood spatters and loose virtual characters or other themes that some children might not understand. Those themes might, for example, include sacrifice, honor and death. An adult with an education and life experience might be able to appreciate and interpret these themes while they play.

Adults can play any game that they want and that includes children’s games. What harm could come if an adult plays “Early childhood” games with their kids? Or what happens if a an adult plays a game rated for “Everyone?” These are silly questions because there is noting wrong here. These questions, and the fact that the average gamer is an adult, reveal the silliness of the quote in this post’s title.

Perhaps the worst aspect of this quote is that it overlooks how video games have a positive impact on people of all ages. Games help business people melt stress away like an ice cube on a warm summer’s day. Educators can also use games to teach concepts to children. Games might even help some women improve their spatial reasoning skills.

In sum, the quote in this post’s article is false and silly. The average gamer is 30 years old, adults can appreciate “mature themes,” and video games can benefit people of all ages. Commit this quote to the fire for it does not deserve our attention any longer.


Filed under Non Gamers

Talking to Strangers about Video Games

Imagine you met someone who has never played a video game. Now imagine you had to explain a Mario game to them. In this silly post, I imagine the conversation would go a little something like this.

Me: Hey, so I played this awesome Mario game the other day. It’s brand new.

Stranger: Who’s Mario?

Me: He’s a plump Italian plumber with a bushy mustache, overalls and a red cap. The cap has an “M” on it. He also has a lanky brother named Luigi who also has a matching cap.

Stranger: Oh, so it’s some kind of plumbing simulator? How thrilling.

Me: Ha, no that’s hardly the case. See, Mario travels fictional worlds to save a princess from evil forces.

Stranger: Oh, cool, it sounds like a medieval legend. Is there a fire-breathing dragon?

Me: Well not quite. There’s an evil dragon-like creature named Bowser. He breathes fire too. Bowser also has a lot of evil henchmen who try to stop Mario.

Stranger: Are the henchmen dragons too, or magicians or knights or warlocks?

Me: Uh, among others, there are giant bullets, flying turtles, evil concrete blocks and toad-like brown creatures with permanent sneers and fangs.

Stranger: That sounds weird. Well, what’s the setting like? I mean what’s the world like?

Me: Well, sometimes you visit a magical Mushroom Kingdom full of giant mushrooms. You’ll even find people in that world wear mushrooms on their heads. Sometimes the mushrooms are painted in bright neon colours. And you can touch mushrooms to become invincible or grow bigger and stomp on every bad guy.

Stranger: All those rainbow coloured mushrooms makes the game sound very psychedelic. Far out man! Are the main characters high on drugs?

Me: Gee, ya know, I guess it does sound kind of psychedelic. I never thought about that before. But no—the main characters are not high on drugs.

Stranger: Oh, man, this conversation has given me the munchies something fierce.

Me: Well, see you around. Go check out the Mario games when you get a chance.


Filed under Non Gamers, Video Game Misc.

Why You Should Play Video Games

Check your silly assumptions at the door. I’ve got five reasons why you should play video games now. Your old excuses just won’t cut it anymore. Your silly stereotypes will fall apart as your read this list.

Your stubborn resolve not to play will crumble like a cookie before this mighty list. You’ll be playing video games before you finish this post. Do you dare read to my list? Continue in 3, 2, 1…

5 Reasons Why You Should Play Video Games

1. Meet some new people

Not all gamers are pasty nerds who live in windowless bunkers. Gamers have lives. We’re normal people. So come join us for a game or two and toss away those silly stereotypes.

2. Blow off some steam

We’ve all had rough days at school or work. Those rough days make you want to explode with anger sometimes. Here’s a better idea: play a video game before the steam comes out of your ears.

3. Find out what all the fuss is about.

Video game companies rake in millions of dollars. Some video games have shattered entertainment sales records.

Have you ever wondered what makes these games so appealing? There’s only one way to find out.

4. You have heroic tendencies

The other day you thought about bashing down a house’s door to save a cat from a raging inferno that threatened to consume everything in its path. But then you chickened out.

Don’t bother looking for cats to save from burning houses. Instead, you can play as a plumber who saves princesses from castles and shoots fireballs from his hands.

5. Interactive storytelling and fun

Everyone loves a good story. You write, read and watch them on the big screen.

You can also play through a story in a video game. However, let’s be honest, great storytelling in video games is still rare. Right now, that storytelling is like an infant taking her first steps in the world. Sometimes that kid will fall and other times she’ll sail along.

You know what else? Many games have boring stories, but many are still fun to play.


How would you persuade someone to play video games for the first time?


Filed under Non Gamers

Hey, You! Play Nice

Gamers need to get along with each other and everyone else. I know I seem idealistic—heck, the phrase “video game idealist” led one person to my blog—but it’s necessary.

We can start by being polite to non gamers who show an interest in playing video games. Now, I don’t want to trample on people’s freedom of speech; it can be fun to joke around when you’re playing. However, we need to treat new gamers with basic decency so they can play in a positive environment.

This positive environment will do wonders for both new and non gamers. It might encourage them to feel like they belong among a gaming community. The cynical non gamers might start treating this past time with respect.

And we should encourage non gamers and new gamers to play video games. If we don’t share this pastime with them, video games might die out or only use the same ideas from the past. Worse, only a privileged few might indulge in video games. That’s tragic. It would be like not sharing your gifts with as many people as possible.

How does this generation of gamers want others to remember them? We need to be more inclusive and tolerant towards everyone interested in this hobby. That includes women who, according to the Entertainment Software Association, make up to 47% of gamers. A new generation of gamers, of all genders, races and so on will see games differently than those who played in the past. We have to respect their new opinions and play style.

You hear people talk about serious issues like the national debt and climate change and the next generation’s burdens. Those are important topics that we need resolve. But I wonder if all gamers can spare a minute to consider their own behaviour and their legacy.


Filed under Non Gamers

5 Bad Reasons not to Play Video Games

Lots of folks might like or even love video games. However, they won’t admit it. They will always make up excuses not to play video games.

1. “They’re really for kids.”

Stats prove you wrong. Did you know the average video game player is 30 years old?

Let’s also look at stories in games. The complex story of a game like, say, Mass Effect 2 might be lost on a child. Some themes in games might be too mature for kids as well.

2. “They’re only for geeks.”

Don’t worry about what other people say about your hobbies. Be authentic. People will appreciate and maybe even love you for that.

Don’t let other people label you into a corner because you have a hobby they don’t understand. You’re a complex human being with diverse interests and never just a “geek”.

3. “They’re all about the graphics now. Also, I miss old school games.”

You’re wrong. Games like Dwarf Fortress 2 and Minecraft are popular and have minimalistic “graphics.” Or try an old school text-based game and fill in the graphics with your imagination.

Of course, if you miss older games, you can always download them, play remakes or try games inspired by the classics.

4. “They’re too expensive.”

Some people argue video games are cheaper than ever. Did you know that?

5. “I don’t have the time to play them.”

I can relate to this comment. I have precious little time to play video games, so I make time for them. I make time because video games are one of the most relaxing hobbies I have. If I didn’t have hobbies that helped me relax, I would go crazy.

You may not have much time to pursue hobbies, and I get that,  but I’m sure you need time to unwind. Video games could also help you relax. So I humbly suggest you try playing them.

Stop making up excuses and give video games a try. Believe me, there’s nothing to be ashamed of, and you will find gamers are just like you!

You’ll also like my post 3 Bad Reasons not to Play Video Games.


Filed under Non Gamers

Join the Video Game Defense Force

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?


Filed under Non Gamers