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3 Myths About Gamers. Presented by Saljack Enterprises. Gaming. Media & Entertainment.

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!

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69 thoughts on “3 Myths About Gamers

  1. Don says:

    I like to play video games to clear and center my mind when I have been busy and need to step away.

  2. Tarhata says:

    Well, some of us are still socially awkward. Admit it guys, gaming is a form of escape from other people, right? With gaming we can be ourselves and not be judged. And it eats up our time so there’s no chance to go out and meet friends.

  3. Cath says:

    These are myths and therefore not TRUE! So sad people still have prejudices about us. But I’ll leave them to their opinion. Not my problem.

  4. Jacques says:

    Decades ago, these myths were likely closer to facts. These days, they simply aren’t accurate anymore. Gamers are now more diverse in terms of age or gender. Many of them are actually very productive members of society. And lastly, they aren’t as introverted as they were thought to be.

  5. Meg says:

    It’s 2016 and these myths are still here? No way! These myths need to die a natural death already. I’m sure most gamers are tired of hearing this over and over.

  6. Lina Tesch says:

    I’m a girl and a proud gamer. Me and my girlfriends even have Xbox Wednesdays once in a while! And I’ll tell you this… I’m neither socially awkward nor lazy (or a boy)!!! 😉

  7. Nathan Schade says:

    Gamers are smelly, fat introverts? Far from it.

    Think of Aphrodite (StarCraft 2), KayPeaLoL (League of Legends), and Alodia Gosiengfiao (DOTA 2) and you’ll see that gamers nowadays are certified HOTTIES!! 🙂

  8. Chrissy says:

    I would agree to some of this… some gamers tend to be socially awkward.
    Gaming is fun though

  9. Iago says:

    I wonder who created these myths? Non-gamers perhaps. Anyway, I hope people stop spreading these myths.

  10. Mark I. says:

    To tell you the truth I’m a socially awkward type of gamer. But since it is online, I get to play around with people that I don’t know. So you can mess around with them without even knowing who you really are.

  11. Buddy says:

    Mostly gamers that play on cafe’s are more socially engaging. While players who play in their home are socially awkward.

  12. Naira says:

    I would say some of this is true and some, not so much… I used to game a lot a couple of years ago. I still do, actually (just not so much because of work)
    I can’t speak for all the gamers, but I’ve met a lot of them and some of them are my friends. Some are actually lazy and socially awkward, and some just do it because they have time before going out to parties and such.

    Personally, I love gaming. I enjoy it a lot if you find the right game for you.
    I spent hours and hours before just on specific games to play with a group of friends. I have no regrets and I actually miss it.

    Could you actually say a lot of gamers are socially awkward? Heck, do you see them playing in computer cafes or at home playing MMO’s or something?
    They’re reaaaally loud and just insult each other and call each other noobs haha.

    Either way, Gamers are awesome. As long as they’re not doing 24/7

  13. Mau says:

    I agree that the above are all myths! I could think of gamers that definitely break the stereotype– most of them aren’t teenagers, lazy nor socially awkward.

  14. Jonathon says:

    That’s a load of crap! They can think of me whatever they want as long as they won’t stop me from playing games. Honestly, IDGAF.

  15. Virginie says:

    People will always have pre-conceived notions towards other people they are not familiar with. Hey I don’t care what they think of me as long as I enjoy gaming and still be a nice person with a stable job. It’s their problem, not mine.

  16. GIo Fabella says:

    Games are meant for everyone. They are a form of media for everyone to enjoy. Like TV, they allow us to escape from our daily stresses and give us something fun to do to pass the time. Anyone can be a gamer, from a teenage boy to a CEO of a multi-billion dollar company. These myths are just that, myths.

  17. Sven says:

    I know that there are many gamers nowadays that are female. It’s just that they cannot often be found in internet and/or PC gaming cafes. I think they are more comfortable playing ion their own homes. Lazy? Some of the most productive people I am working with are gamers. Socially awkward? Perhaps a bit. Then again, perhaps they just prefer to keep their circles of friends small.

  18. Isabelle Two says:

    I don’t know if it’s just me but I always find gamers to be very intelligent. If someone says he/she is a gamer, I get impressed instantly.

  19. rej says:

    For someone who has a brother who is a gamer, things listed here are way off from our reality. I mean, these might be a fact to those who have a prejudice against gamers.

  20. johnny says:

    these 2 listed here are indeed myths. these are just biases of most people on gamers. I mean, one look at a gamer and you’ll think “he’s just wasting time”.

  21. Zed says:

    I’m glad you decided to write this post. There have been so many misconceptions about gamers and most of them are simply not true. Gamers are often judged negatively by society and it’s just not fair.

  22. Chris says:

    Does different types of games get to change your behavior in some way? I was just wondering.

  23. Juan Fidel says:

    Sangeeta that’s sad. Why not play with them so that you can get along with them again. Playing with them will be more fun.

  24. Sangeeta says:

    I wasn’t antisocial but since I got hooked on gaming, I’ve spent less time with my friends. On the rare occasions I’m with them, I can’t seem to get along anymore. Nor do I have any desire to meet new friends. Now they call me antisocial.

  25. Dickie says:

    Hey if I’m lazy, what about those kids spending hours on Facebook? Isn’t that a waste of time too? This misconceptions are unfair!

  26. Another myth is that gaming is a waste of time. If you’re really good at gaming you can get paid to do it and people will watch online.

  27. Drake says:

    I think most know that these are actually just myths. Those who don’t probably lived under a rock for decades.

  28. Chie says:

    The gaming industry has indeed changed a lot and has grown over the past few decades. The tournaments for gamers all over the world is a sure sign of this!

  29. Virginia says:

    I agree with the fact that most gamers are young males. Although, there are also a lot of girl gamers out there who plays just as much.

  30. Eloise says:

    Myth # 1 is obviously just a myth. I know plenty of female gamers and they’re really good at games. Some are even better than guys, IMHO.

  31. thelma says:

    although e-sports are done using minimal physical activity, one cannot be called lazy by doing such thing. I mean, do we call people working in the office who are in their desks for 8 or more hours a day lazy just because there is minimum physical activity in their job?

  32. jim says:

    gamers are in fact mostly males, and indeed it is a myth that all gamers are young males. my cousin is female, 29, and is a pro-gamer. Listed here are of course just biases towards gamers.

  33. Mich L. says:

    Fact is, gamers are those people who are not busy and have a lot of time to spare. To be honest, I was a gamer before when I was single, But when I got married and have kids to take care of, now I was like “man, I don’t have time for that”!

  34. Qiu Qiu says:

    I hate stereotypes. Everyone is unique. It’s not good to place labels on a certain group of people like gamers, for example and generalize them as though they are one and the same. That’s not right.

  35. Marina says:

    Yeah nowadays female gamers are increasing. Specially female gamers in RPG.

  36. Tope says:

    I’m a gamer but I’m not lazy. But I think most of gamers on myth three is correct.

  37. Danny Luei says:

    Regarding myths about gamers, what’s interesting is now the players can make money in conducting its activities in playing the game. Playing games can now be a job and generate huge income. In fact I read in the news, there is a soccer player who retired only to switch professions as a gamer. But I forget what his name :), I remember he was a soccer player from Brazil.

  38. Karlin says:

    I’m a transwoman and a proud gamer too! How’s that for a stereotype? I do cosplay during pride parades too!

  39. Pashneya says:

    We have evolved! But I still do have friends who fit into all three stereotypes. But I’m the more socially adept in our group so I always encourage them to go out with me!

  40. Chloe says:

    Myth 1: I am not young anymore and I am female. Myth 2: I go to my office at 7AM daily, go to the gym after work, tend to my garden after that, then whip up my favorite gourmet dinner. Weekends, I play sports and volunteer in community work. Myth 3: I have several friends and have no issues in expanding my number of acquaintances. Yeah, these myths describe me perfectly!

  41. I think there’s some truth to the young males and socially awkward bit, but it certainly does not depict all gamers. Gamers are often really smart and have good problem solving skills.

    1. Martha J says:

      Oh yeah fo sho. Gaming takes skillz and concentration and stuff.

  42. roisterous says:

    The main problem is that people become all too comfortable with stereotypes, and therefore expect those who fit into a certain group t’o fit all of the stereotypical molds. They are often shocked when an individual they’ve placed into a certain stereotype doesn’t fit all the aspects perfectly. But everyone is unique, and therefore not fitting perfectly into a stereotypical group should not be shocking at all.

  43. Ash says:

    Myth number 3 is so not true. My boyfriend is a gamer but he’s not socially awkward at all. His gamer friends aren’t socially awkward either.

  44. jachin says:

    I agree with these myths and I know for a fact that maybe sometime in the past, these points could have been true. I am a gamer myself but i’m not socially awkward, nobody in the office knew I was one until I told them. These are just some prejudice against gamers.

    1. jan says:

      I agree with jachin, there are some prejudice that others have against gamers. I once discussed this topic in my job interview because I was asked to say something unique about myself. The interviewers are actually surprised finding out that i am a gamer.

  45. alfred says:

    Cool article! This is so true. Gaming is not always a bad thing and gamers are not always bad.

  46. richard says:

    I greatly agree with this. I can relate to this article because I am a gamer myself. I do believe that gaming or being a gamer is not always a negative thing.

  47. Salvador says:

    Back in my days, most gamers are male. It’s nice to know that there are many female gamers nowadays.

  48. Ricardo says:

    I think the third myth is true because me myself is a gamer and I’m a social awkward when it comes to others. The second myth is what gets me the most. Yeah it’s true playing games is just the same as watching tv shows or surfing the net. So don’t call us lazy!

  49. Kyo Kusagi says:

    Yup these are just perceptions of classic gamers. Its changing now with time though.

  50. Kadoya Tsukasa says:

    It maybe a myth but there is sone grain of truth to it in some cases, At the end it all goes down to personality.

  51. Mansoor says:

    I can’t enjoy gaming if it’s less than four hours. Does that mean I’m lazy and wasting my time? Does it look like I’m addicted to it? If you add up the hours other people spend on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat. Instagram, etc in a day, I bet it’s more than 6 hours! So who’s lazy now?

  52. Giovanni says:

    Well we can’t help other people’s view on us. I guess there’s some truth to it so it is our duty to crush those stereotypes! I’m a banker and a proud gamer!

  53. Spyder Jane says:

    I think that in every gamer there is a little flame that drives the idea that being a “gamer” means being part of something bigger. Times are changing, demographics are changing, but in the end, it all comes down to someone who loves to game and loves to connect with people for their mind, and not what they appear to be. The stereotypes may not change completely over time, but trying to set yourself apart from the base “gamer” is already stepping away from what it means to game in the first place. Don’t think so hard about it, and focus on the game and the giant smile on your face that it brings instead.

  54. Very relevant topic! I just talked about this on my blog in regards to the recent Game Awards. Stereotypes always stem from somewhere, but it’s up to the people within that “group” to stop propagating them, too.

    1. Maria S. says:

      I agree with what you’re saying but these “groups” come together or form because they firmly believe in what they say, even if what they say isn’t reality. There is little chance anyone can convince groups like this to anything else.

      1. Good point! People label themselves in certain ways absolutely because they identify with the label and characteristics that come with it.

        The point I was trying to make – which after reading my comment I see wasn’t clear – was that some gamers don’t fall into these stereotypes. Some gamers label themselves as “game enthusiasts” to distance themselves from the term “gamer,” but others, myself included, carry the label “gamer” but don’t fall into any of the stereotypes listed above. I play video games, I love video games, I blog about video games, I’m gearing up to start a Let’s Play channel, and I consider myself a “gamer”… but I also go to the gym, have a job, earned a few advanced degrees, and I’m definitely not male 🙂 although I might be a touch introverted…

        I think if enough “modern gamers” (the ones who don’t promote the stereotype) all stood up and advocated for change, the way people look at gamers would change.

        This is something that is happening – slowly, but it’s happening!

        1. Maria S. says:

          Love your response. Point proven other comments above! LOL

          1. Yikes I just saw those comments. I guess there will always be people who fall into a stereotype – like I said, stereotypes come from somewhere! – but I’m optimistic that the community will keep moving forward!

  55. Josh says:

    These myths were probably facts years ago. I personally know of several examples. These days, however, both the games and the gamers had evolved.

    1. Jackub says:

      Yep agree with you on that.

      1. john says:

        I don’t mean to cause any issues but I really think gaming is no place for women. Everyone has a place in this God’s world and we all need to focus on our duties. I won’t elaborate and I hope my comment does not get censored. We all need to be able to express our thoughts freely.

        1. Amy Meeks says:

          Excuse me??? What century do you come from?

          1. john says:

            I didn’t want to cause any offense. All I am saying is that I should be allowed to express my thoughts freely just as you are allowed to express yours.

          2. Maria S. says:

            I agree with Amy. It shouldn’t matter what century, this kind of thinking is just unacceptable.

          3. john says:

            See now who is being intolerant? I’m just expressing my freedom of speech. I don’t want to argue with anyone and I don’t want to get banned here. I won’t comment any further.

          4. Maria S. says:

            John, don’t you understand how insensitive your are by saying things like that? Believe you me, we do understand this whole freedom of speech thing. But using the “oh you’re violating my rights blah blah” cover to cross boundaries and lines in hurting people’s feelings is plain and simple wrong. Why do I even bother to respond to comments like these. Just like the other comment I responded to earlier from Athena, you can’t change the mind of people who are fixed with a certain mentality.

        2. sam says:

          dat there just messed up bro get with da times

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