The Double Standard Against Gamers
I am a gamer and I am proud of it. I have put money into video games and am not ashamed. Yet this is just part of my life yet it is a part that is treated with a double standard by none gamers. For some it is a lack of understanding, other pure contempt and others still profit/political career. It is because of this that video games and gamers are treated with a double standard.
To prove the point let us look at a few different people. People look at the book guy who has a large collection of books and regard him as smart intellectual. A movie buff is given respect for his knowledge. A person who likes to eat revered in food challenges and is considered a gourmet or coinsure of food. Yet a gamer is looked at as childish and wasting his time. This is a complete double standard that people expoit for political gain and money in addition to a convenient escape goat for violent actions.
Everyone remembers Columbine School shooting, it was a national tragedy brought on by bullies and unfortunate youths that couldn’t take it no more and became mentally unbalanced. It should have been a time for a deep look at ourselves and reevaluating how our schools are ran, are regard toward bullying and the bullied, and a deep look at ourselves for failing everyone involved. Instead it was turned into a media circus and the blame game began and no there wasn’t proper blame going around on the bullies or parents, or even teachers and school administrators, no it was video games that were to blame.
Doom first launched in 1993 and was uploaded to shareware in 1995 where it reached 10 million people. It was a game that had some popularity to it. Columbine happened on April 20 1999. That means for 6 years no one killed anyone because of Doom but all of a sudden it is doom that made some kids snap and go on a killing spree, not likely. This is another example of politicians, the media, and various others using the not understood video games and video game culture to take blame away from a problem they should have been handling.
In truth nothing was learned from that day. My school at Bridgeman simply used the excuse that they didn’t see the bullying and thus it wasn’t happening allowing the bullies to continue on bullying and making people like myself miserable. Yet I never thought despite years of playing violent video games and loving them to go and shoot up my school. In fact the news did more to put that idea in my head than video games ever did. I remember my first impression upon hearing it was “You can do that” because it had never crossed my mind to exact revenge in that manner and low and behold afterward string of school shootings takes place. Was it gaming culture to blame or was it in fact failed policies, corrupt administrators and media sources to blame? You be the judge.
The next trend that I see is the addiction to video games and how they affect your mind. First off addiction be it to drugs, alcohol, hoarding, or video games is a very serious thing and should not be used for political conveniences or taken lightly. I’m sure many of you reading this article have come across one of these articles normally written by none gamers with no real science behind them, playing off people’s fears and current events. Normally a gamer will gamer will know it is bullshit pretty quickly but the average person who does not understand gaming culture, does not understand why we would at midnight be a our local GameStops to pick up a copy of Portal 2 or Mortal Kombat or whatever midnight release that is going on at the time will not have the same ability to notice the bullshit.
The further danger comes from the fact to recognize the level of bullshit in the article one has to play games and immerse themselves in the gaming culture which the articles are telling this is highly addicting and bad for them so the chances of them seeing if this is indeed true are slim and unless they have a true gamer as a friend they will not be able to get a good source of information and this is what these panderers are counting on and what they exploit to control the masses.
What is the difference between an avid reader and a avid gamer? What about the difference between a coinsure of food and a coinsure of video games? What about a frequent movie goer and a frequent gamer? Doing any of these things seems to be okay but if you are love video games and play them as much as others read, eat, or watch movies then according to these people you have a problem. It doesn’t matter that you are not technically addicted to video games and that what you are doing is not a medical addiction, neither of these facts is considered by the writers and advocates against video games.
There are people that will come out against video games, saying it is bad for kids but these people are ignorant and hypocrites. First off video games have ratings and M for mature are not meant for children and Rockstar Games has even gone on record saying that if you buy their games for your kids you are a bad parent. Second no one is forcing these games on anyone, the people coming out against these are the same ones that don’t spend time raising their own children and teaching them wrong from right.
How many of these same people will you see at peace protests or anti war demonstrations? I guess it is only wrong in their eyes to kill people virtually for when you do it in real life it is perfectly okay.
Gaming culture is a fun and engaging thing, it is no different from anime culture, or book culture, or any other culture and yet it is treated differently even though it is not. We who love games love to immerse ourselves in our hobby of choice. It is no different for us to get excited when they release a Gears of War Replica Lancer than it is for a book lover to get excited when they are making a screen adaptation of their favorite book. How is it any less natural and acceptable to immerse yourself into gaming that it is to immerse yourself in book clubs, attending conventions, getting excited that a sequel is coming out. It isn’t and it is time that it stopped being treated differently.
It is time for adults to be adults and that means accepting that something new is hear and that it is not just for kids, that it is not Satanic or evil (owe yes I have heard some say that). It is time that Gaming culture be treated with the respect that it deserves, that it be accepted as an equal form of art just as music, movies, and various other mediums are. It is time for gaming to not be used as a scapegoat anymore for failed people and policies. It is time for the double standard to end!