Happiness is a Warm Controller

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Happiness is a Warm Controller

Many a gamer have been asked this simple, yet slightly derisive question: "You still play videogames?" Sean Sands answers it.

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Why are gamers so ashamed of themselves? I mean, you don't see movie buffs being cross-examined about how they should 'grow up'. The average age of gamers in the UK is 34 for christs sake!
it's nothing to be ashamed of playing it if you're over 29.

Why do we climb the mountain?

Because it's there.

I game because I know I can, and there is still a satisfaction to be had from managing to find that one sweet spot on a boss after hours of relentless mashing. I equate this to a small scale version of the satisfaction gained after hours of merciless climbing, only to reach the summit.

I must say, i got asked by a girl around my age in the pub "Do you still play games?" I was like "Oh God how do i answer this". Im always honest and i told her i play video games and she highfived me. Everythign went better than expected..

"You still play videogames?"
Yes, why not? There's just no way you could go outside and lead a bunch of brick-faced marines in power armor to distant places where you can chainsaw aliens.

I'm only 19 and I still get the "pitty look" every time I respond with "Yes, I still play"
But I simply just don't let it bother me.
There fun, they pass time - Whats wrong with that?

My father is 56 and plays a ton of video games, mostly MMO's, RTS's, and RPG's. He's currently on LOTRO. He tells me it's because no one is around to play D&D with him anymore.

The Spirit of the Hill!
To me, playing video games amounts to many of the same decisions one makes in seeing a movie, watching TV, or reading a book. At the end of the day, all art forms are an escape from the casual and mediocre. Wonderful article.

Furburt:
Why are gamers so ashamed of themselves? I mean, you don't see movie buffs being cross-examined about how they should 'grow up'. The average age of gamers in the UK is 34 for christs sake!
it's nothing to be ashamed of playing it if you're over 29.

I never will be ashamed, even when i'm old and grey. I'm 17 at the mo' and i don't think i'm going to give up gaming, reduce maybe, but not quit. Besides, playing a video game after a long day at work/school is theoretically good for your profontal cortex, according to the theories of Dr Kawashima.

Its all escapism isnt it, theres only so many times you can watch Two and a half men and visit Tesco in a day

Like he says in the article, I guarantee that his is the last generation which would even dare to ask that question. I have yet to meet a person at or near my age (23) who DOESN'T still play video games. The majority of my friends play quite a lot.

Awesome Sean! I am 23 and have struggled with gaming as part of my identity also. It is not much more accepted now as it is with your generation. I still get condescending remarks and am still asked "You still play videogames?" probably as much as you.

I don't let it get to me. If I am asked that question I just know that this is a person that I will not be able to get along with for very long and should just keep them at arms length.

I have also come to realize that I am more a gamer because I chose to be. Stand tall Sean and know that there are a lot who back you up in your hobby!

Xzi:
Like he says in the article, I guarantee that his is the last generation which would even dare to ask that question. I have yet to meet a person at or near my age (23) who DOESN'T still play video games. The majority of my friends play quite a lot.

It must be a regional thing. As many people as I know that DO play games, there are easily more that I know that look down on gaming. I know all my friends do, because I wouldn't be friends with them if they didn't!

Happiness is a Warm Gun started on my ipod as soon as I clicked the article. Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeird.

Anyways: Everyday my friend asks me why I waste time being a gamer nerd. I just say "'Cause it is fun", and leave it at that. I do not know why he can not understand that.

Hmm Gaming as a mid-life crisis? Interesting. It's not as self-destructive as an affair or quitting your job and its not as expensive as a Hot Rod. I mean, that's what Sean was talking about at the end there right? He wants to be sneered at, different. He's rebelling from the carbon copy suburbia that so many find themselves in during their middle years?

Furburt:
Why are gamers so ashamed of themselves? I mean, you don't see movie buffs being cross-examined about how they should 'grow up'. The average age of gamers in the UK is 34 for christs sake!
it's nothing to be ashamed of playing it if you're over 29.

Because society still looks down on us and makes out how games are 'really for kids'. And the thing about being looked down on for so long is that we end up wondering if we are the one's who are wrong, rather than the people telling us we're wrong.

Nevermind. One day, when gamers take over the Earth, non-gamers can be herded into ghetto's.

Respond with: You still watch X-Factor/Soaps/Big Brother/The OC/Whatever terrible craze is being hyped at the particular time.

SirBryghtside:
I don't get it - people seem to consider 'gaming' as Mario, Sonic, etc, all the kiddy things.

But who's supposed to play the 18+ games?

I suppose the majority of people who aren't gamers think there aren't +18 games.

SikOseph:
Respond with: You still watch X-Factor/Soaps/Big Brother/The OC/Whatever terrible craze is being hyped at the particular time.

True. That stuff is utter drivel.

This articles spot on.
I've felt the sting of game shame many times and wondered why theres still a childish stigma attached to it.
People need to realise its a media thats grown up with the generation thats now in its mid thirties and has developed and matured with them.
It's not all badly drawn cartoon sprites chasing coins and dodging barrels anymore.

When my controller gets warm it makes my hands sweat...

OT: Interesting I don't come from that generation but I do get the question: "you play that kind of game usually when its not an FPS or mainstream game, usually when its very lighthearted and cute (did someone say kirby?) and it is usually asked in the tone you are implying.

Well to be honest, I'm most likely very much addicted to my computer. If I had to choose between never having a woman again or a computer, I'd probably keep my computer. I've been playing games for about 20 years of my 27 year life and its probably one of the few things that keep me sane in a world that really doesn't make much sense at times.
Sure, I like my work, I love my girlfriend and my mates are great, but my computer (and to a lesser extent my PnP roleplaying games) are integral to my continued existence as a functioning adult.
Fun thing is, I don't really feel it defines me as a Gamer. I'm not a gamer stereotype at all, except when at work or with my gaming friends. In any other case, I'm just a smiling cynic who doesn't expect much from life but takes what he can get. Sometimes, I even get annoyed at people who strive to define themselves as gamers, those who try so hard to let people know that they're something special because they play computer games. Although, the ones who define themselves as RPG nerds are even worse.
Despite being a gamer, thats not what I am. I am regular person with hobbies some people find unusual, much like so many others with unusual hobbies would be.

There's definitely the "sense of accomplishment" factor at play, even if it's virtual. I just beat Assassin's Creed II, and I still feel on top of the world. Besides, it was good for me. I now have a desire to learn Italian.

I'm 14, so it's something of a norm for my age, I believe. Still, there are always those snobby people who think gaming is so childish and immature. I counter them by stating that they are basing their opinion off of a preconceived notion, and are being a sheep.

While they try and figure out what "preconceived" means, I tell me friends about how I still can't blow up the goddamn Spirit of Motherwill in Armored Core: For Answer.

It's hard. I can't seem to find a gun with enough fire power and ammo. It's a hard game, but I'll get it soon.

Anyways, I game because it's an accomplishment. As it is when I finish a book, and sometimes if I watch a movie (it depends). Also, I find it fun, yes. Fun in the sense that I get to be somebody else, or do something unimaginable. I live with the struggles and frustration, because I'm more pleased in the long run.

"You still play videogames?"
"Yes. You still watch football?"
"Err... That's not the same thing."
"You have your sports, I've got mine."

I'm guessing these articles have something to do with thanksgiving?
I know I had to explain myself to a person that watched soaps...

Why should I be ashamed? I distill my own urine into drinking water all the time.

clairedelune:
My father is 56 and plays a ton of video games, mostly MMO's, RTS's, and RPG's. He's currently on LOTRO. He tells me it's because no one is around to play D&D with him anymore.

+1 to your dad! We need more people in that age group with that opinion. The main problem here is that most people still equate "game" with "toy", so we can't get a lot of respect from them because they won't change that association. Hopefully in ten years or so, when my generation is taking over (I'm seventeen) and theirs is losing steam, videogames will get the same respect as a pastime as movies get.

And I'll be pushing it along any way I can.

I do get a bit of gamer-shame from time to time, but what I'm still surprised by is the occasional sneer about how I still read comic books. That one tends to stick in my craw a bit more, since all the progress in the mainstream that industry makes, and people still tend to look down on people who read them (not collect them, but actually read them). Then again, usually these people are the type who think Fast and the Furious is excellent film-making and worship Staind, so it doesn't get to me as much.

Comics and video games do seem to have that very common trait of being frowned upon by the mainstream, which is just sad and pathetic considering that fantasy football and spending every waking moment twittering is more acceptable.

Great article sean...lot of people out there dont have a good impression about games,but I think it's because they refuse to give it a try...if they are so stubborn,they are the ones who should be ashamed of themselves.I grew up playing games and I'm still gaming because I feel a lot better when I play games than watching stuff like football or whatever others watch.We never ask them to stop watching other stuff, so they dont have to do it either.And right now modern warfare 2 has collected twice the amount that Dark Knight got on it's first day...and this itself shows that gaming isnt something a small bunch of freaks do. If someone like to play games,people should let them be that way.

To some extent I think this mentality will carry on for more generations. When I was in College most of my peers stated they simply didn't have the time to play games anymore. Other friends of mine became much more social and drank all the time and had other things they did.

I, however, didn't play games when I had the time. I made the time to play them. Some people looked at me as if I was destined to fail out of College, but in truth I just managed my time. I did my class work, I played games, then whatever time was left was spent hanging with friends or doing something else. No one stopped going to see movies, but I only went when I had the spare time.

So most people will look at video games as being something sacrificed in adult hood, when you just don't have the time you did when you were younger, but I don't think that will happen to me (of course, that happens when you're spending your unemployed time researching the ins-and-outs of becoming a game writer). Games are here to stay.

It's most troublesome with my family, though. Particularly my father. He tries to draw comparisons between my playing video games and people watching sports, as I've never truly enjoyed viewing them on TV. I try and explain that I'm not watching a video game being played, I'm doing the playing. I'd rather go out and play football then watch other people do it. The only sport I can get into is Hockey, and even then to a very limited extent through the television. It's just easier to enjoy in person.

The holidays are always tough, though. I tend to write out a list of games I'd like and where their black friday sales are going to be for my mom, and he looks at it with shame. As if I'm too old to be making lists. However, no one in my family would ever know what to get me otherwise. I mean, what else would I get for Christmas? I have enough clothes and everything I could use that isn't film or game related I already own (a laptop, Photoshop and a Wacom tablet).

Of course, this is also just part of the difference of being a media junkie versus, well, anyone else. I'll learn how to change my oil out of necessity (assuming it saves money in the end), but I'd rather pay a kid to mow my lawn than do it myself. But film, music and games? I'll analyze and dissect it because that's what I do. That's my fascination. Entertainment is a special brand of art that not everyone gets, and it fascinates me.

But I guarantee you when I'm fifty, whether I'm writing about video games as a profession or not, people will still say the same thing. "You STILL play video games?".

I think every one here still plays games, but I still build LEGO sets. the older you get, the more money you can spend on them.

Gaming gets a bad rap for the simple fact that it's long hours spent doing little constructive. Other hobbies provide you with either something concrete (like pottery or painting) or some identifiable effect on your body or mind (like hiking or sports or sudoku). At least, that's what arguments have been thrown at me to guilt me into quitting.

The only hobby with a similar problem is reading, but most "self-important windbags" don't attack this on the grounds that "reading is good for you", and books are nowhere as immature or meaningless as videogames. What they fail to realise, however, is that Mills&Boon is just as mindlessly consumer-driven as most of the low-budget, generic FPS's and RPG's out there, and that in the same breath, "Portal" can be seen as the videogame Isaac Asimov would have created, had he been given the chance.

Basically, both hobbies are regarded by most as being ultimately pointless (unless you read the kind of books the inquirer likes, or manage to defend yourself behind the academic shield of Dickens, Tolstoy or complex philosophical treatises), but videogames have yet to infiltrate the world's academia. Until such a time as the public hears of a videogame Jane Austen, gaming as a whole will be shunned by non-gamers as a simple novelty that should have died out years ago. But the same story played out in the film industry, so I'm not particularly worried.

Off topic, the question "You still play videogames?" has an older brother - one that has p*ssed me off for years - "You still read fantasy?"

We do it to relax - I doubt many people who go fishing actually do it for 'fun', but that doesn't mean they don't still enjoy it. It's more for the experience.

I've never really understood why playing a game is looked down on more than say, reading a book. Sure, reading is more intellectual, but it also engages your brain less (I guess) and you're still just sitting around.

But it seems far more excepted now - at school many think it's odd if you haven't got a console in your house. A point that is both good and bad for me: I game, so it's good many others do in some way as well, but I vastly prefer playing on a PC which most people who only play Fifa and CoD don't seem to get.

But still, it's getting there.

I can't help but totally disagree with the article.

Okay, I must admit, I'm still 19, but that doesn't make me easily amused, does it? I generally find genuine satisfaction from my games. 75% of the time, at the very minimum, I am having fun playing a game. I usually quit a game if I am not having fun with it, or know I will not have fun with it. Video games are fun in the same ways that sports, movies, and books are fun. You aren't ECSTATIC the entire time, but expecting to be like that the entire time is just ridiculous if you ask me.

That small 25% of the time I am not having fun are times when I have beaten a game and am achivement hunting, or when I am playing online and losing horribly. (A near-loss is fine, but I don't want to be made a fool of.) I'm a completionist, I like to do everything in my games, but I often cannot stand the times when I am not having fun.

I think, perhaps the reason the author has such a low ratio of fun to play is because of the particular games he is playing. He mentioned Dragon Age and World of Warcraft. While, Dragon Age is probably a good game, it is not for certain people. It's known for it's difficult combat and competitive and grind-y nature. Certainly not for everyone. Furthermore, World of Warcraft is totally infamous for truly not being any fun at all. Oh, the countless people that admit they do not have fun with WoW, but still play it.

Perhaps I am the type of guy that needs to go into a field of work that involves video games, (Being a creative-lead on a project would be my dream-career.) because I truly have a love for video games and I truly have fun most of the time when I play them.

I once had an experience n the train, which I think illustrates the fact that 'real' gaming isn't mainstream.

2 girls walk in and sit across me. They talk about how they are going to write some assignment for school, but unfortunately, one of the girls doesn't have her laptop anymore. The other girl replies that it's a shame and that she has a desktop computer (the details are somewhat vague to me, so this is roughly what they said).
Immidiately, the first girls asks, "What's that?". She is then explained what it is, and her first reply is another question, "What do you use that for?"

I was kind of perplexed and surprised that some people doesn't give desktops a thought.o

Usually the folks who direct the 'you still play video games?" comment/question to me are the same people who've gone to (basically) the same bars/pubs that we went out to when we turned 21--over a decade ago.

I don't question their arrested development hobby, they shouldn't question mine.
Besides, there's nothing like coming home after a long night at work and repeatedly killing someone who is quite likely just starting their day. :D

Like all other hobbies games are not always fun. They demand work, and we know that. We don't mind putting some effort into it, cause thats what makes it rewarding! It's the same for people that like building stuff out of wood. The building process is hard work, the good part is looking at and/or using your finished piece.

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