Not all gamers are smelly, fat introverts living in a basement. Not all gamers are socially inept teens with four eyes and greasy hair. In fact, if we all look at the pop culture’s depiction of gaming enthusiasts, we may see that most of the video game folks are just normal people who want to get entertained.
Stereotypes are contextual. They are true in a given period or setting, but never across the board. These misconceptions are a classic mixture of selection bias and confirmation bias.
Here are some of the worst stereotypes that just aren’t true about the gamers:
Myth 1: Gamers Are Young Males
The common view of a gamer is a teenaged boy who comes home from school and plops down in front of the television to play video games for hours on end. Does that happen? Of course, it does! But does it describe the entire industry? Not quite. If you thought men dominated the demographics, you might want to reconsider as 48% of gamers are female. The usual reaction to this is that they aren’t real gamers. People usually define gamers by their stereotypes. They should understand that the gamers are people who play games. It is as simple as that.
Myth 2: Gamers Are Lazy
Flinging on Netflix and watching the entire seasons of television at a time is normal. Reading the book one after another is admirable. Sinking hours into Facebook, Twitter, or Reddit is acceptable. But when you invest time your some time into video games, then suddenly you’re a lazy loser with no life goals or passions. Of course, gaming is not any better than other forms of media, but it is certainly not the worst. Some people do find themselves addicted to video games because they offer a safe form of mental escape and it is true for all the forms of entertainment. Just as books, Netflix, books, and Facebook all provide a moment of freshness in the busyness of life and this is what video games do. E-sports don’t require as much effort physically from players as traditional sports, but the mental aspect of practicing is even there. So should this kind of work ethic be considered lazy?
Myth 3: Gamers Are Socially Awkward
The basement dwelling stereotype is that gamers, programmers, hackers enjoy spending their time in front of a monitor, keyboard and mouse. Some call them introvert or socially awkward. But does an affection with computers certainly imply that one is either socially awkward or introverted? Maybe, maybe not. Given that we’re all spending more time in front of monitors and mobile screens, it only seems right to say that people as a whole are losing social sense and maybe it has nothing to do with the gaming industry at all.
The gaming industry has changed a lot over the past few decades, and the demographic too has changed with it. There may have been a time when lazy and socially awkward boys were represented as gamers, but there is no longer an exact representation of the group.
Do you think these stereotypes hold true or do they need to change? Share your views in the comments section!