View From the Road: It's Time to Grow Up

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View From the Road: It's Time to Grow Up

If the RealID fiasco demonstrated anything, it was that we gamers need to start acting like adults.

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It is quite odd indeed. Though I'm pretty confident in myself as person, there is a little something inside me, that suppress the fact, that I am a gamer, to the world's non-gamers.

I have no idea why.

Maybe it's because, people don't get, that games are time-consuming and not life-consuming.

Interesting. The thing is though, I don't really think all the problem lies with gaming in general, although obviously part does, but more just with WoW itself. Like it or not, you can't deny that WoW is the most well known MMO out there, very likely the most well known PC game out there, and to those who don't play games, maybe even the most well known game, period. With this comes a whole bucket of negative stereotypes. WoW is known as the game that you get addicted to, in and outside the gaming community. How true this actually is doesn't factor. If there's ever a piece about game addiction, what's the main game likely to be? World of Warcraft. It's the accepted scapegoat for all game addiction cases.

Now, there's no real reason to be ashamed about playing WoW, but some people think there is. When you say you play WoW to some people, the first thing they're going to think is "This person is addicted to it".

What I'm saying is, I don't think the people who wanted to hide the fact that they play WoW from their friends and family were ashamed of being gamers, more that they were ashamed of being WoW players, in the same way that some people are ashamed of smoking. It's seen as an addiction by mainstream media, not a game.

I myself haven't really met any gamers who feel the need to hide their gaming, or are ashamed about it, but I have met WoW players who are ashamed of it. Which is stupid anyway, but you get what I'm saying.

Jim Rossignol wrote on this gaming stigma of shame in his book [i]This Gaming Life[i/]. I, too, am ashamed to admit to many of my acquaintances that I am an avid gamer, mostly on the grounds that most of the people I know think that gaming is a waste of time.

Wait, so if your name was released to the public on a WoW forum, how would anyone who doesn't frequent these forums find out?

Don't forget certain companies won't hire you if your a known WoW player, and women/men/signifigant others are crazy on the BEST of days.

To this day I believe RealID would have been a fantastic idea. I will say this. I find it VERY ridiculous that those that consider themselves "famous" in one form or another make the excuse that RealID would increase harassment in their future. This will sound rude, but the so called famous people that go from anywhere like Hollywood to game editors are about a 1%-2% of the millions that play WoW. That RIDICULOUS notion that these people prevented a good idea from coming to fruition is insulting.

Did that make me sound like a prick? I do believe it does, but does not change the way I saw RealID removed for such STUPID reasons like having your name shown. I'm sorry, but unless your credit card or social security number are shown next to your name. Your fears are nothing more than egotistical problems, nothing more.

This is certainly one of the best articles I've seen on The Escapist, I fully agree with your opinions here.

TsunamiWombat:
Don't forget certain companies won't hire you if your a known WoW player, and women/men/signifigant others are crazy on the BEST of days.

Which companies? I've never heard a single credible report to this matter, and have actually seen reports that employees attribute leadership to what they learned in WoW guilds, like the Starbucks guy.

I'm not ashamed of my WoW playing. I openly tell my friends and anybody who asks, and we all have a good laugh about it and move on. Hell just this evening I explained the concept of a dungeon group to a mate using dots, squares, a triangle and an x.

John Funk:

TsunamiWombat:
Don't forget certain companies won't hire you if your a known WoW player, and women/men/signifigant others are crazy on the BEST of days.

Which companies? I've never heard a single credible report to this matter, and have actually seen reports that employees attribute leadership to what they learned in WoW guilds, like the Starbucks guy.

I've honestly heard more stories of people bonding wuith the interviewer over the fact that they both play wow than I have of companies rejecting potential hires on the grounds that they play.

-m

lol WoW is like being in the Closet apparently. My buddy didn't mind it. If i played WoW i'm sure i wouldn't have minded it.

You know. It is somewhat similar to people with different sexual orientation. The whole coming out thing, it's not easy for many.

The stigma of gaming is still strong, especially in some parts of our wonderful world. When you say openly "Hey i play video games" people tend to go "Uh whaat? Ain't those, like for, you know, uh, like kids, like?". Some time will have to pass, till the older generation that got unlucky enough to fully ignore the whole computer-world expanding onto their lives, will either accept the fact or die from natural causes (yeah... natural, right).

I personally never shied away from it, even my office has gaming posters and gaming references all over the place, but it took time to convince some of my bosses and co-workers that it's not some idiotic toy for little kids.
Surprisingly they had much easier time accepting my music and clothing style (mostly something you could call cyber-gothic/punk/classic gothic) than my gaming hobby. For them internet is just a tool for work, checking the news, contacting with business partners and so on. They maybe played Solitaire once or twice, but never bothered with anything more. It is the harsh reality.

Just like you cannot force people to be fully open everywhere about their religious beliefs, sexual orientation or other private details, you can't expect them to not want to share their, still often frowned upon, hobby.

Gaming as a wide spread phenomena just surfaced really not long ago, 6 maybe 10 years ago. You need at least another 5-10 years for it to become socially acceptable. Believe it or not, not everyone lives in US.

Fuhjem:
Wait, so if your name was released to the public on a WoW forum, how would anyone who doesn't frequent these forums find out?

"googling" someones name?

Hell if I played wow I wouldn't want employers being able to look that up, and for exactly the same reason why I wouldn't want them to be able to look up the fact that I drink on weekends. I may not be addicted but it is an activity were enough people are and that the risk of it is always there.

Matt_LRR:

John Funk:

TsunamiWombat:
Don't forget certain companies won't hire you if your a known WoW player, and women/men/signifigant others are crazy on the BEST of days.

Which companies? I've never heard a single credible report to this matter, and have actually seen reports that employees attribute leadership to what they learned in WoW guilds, like the Starbucks guy.

I've honestly heard more stories of people bonding wuith the interviewer over the fact that they both play wow than I have of companies rejecting potential hires on the grounds that they play.

-m

I know we have one employer in town who will not hire you if they find out you play WoW. It cuts into the workers productivity and they aren't focused on their jobs like they should be, or at least that's what they said(in their defense they have had quite a few people with WoW problems make life hard on everyone else there).

Matt_LRR:

John Funk:

TsunamiWombat:
Don't forget certain companies won't hire you if your a known WoW player, and women/men/signifigant others are crazy on the BEST of days.

Which companies? I've never heard a single credible report to this matter, and have actually seen reports that employees attribute leadership to what they learned in WoW guilds, like the Starbucks guy.

I've honestly heard more stories of people bonding wuith the interviewer over the fact that they both play wow than I have of companies rejecting potential hires on the grounds that they play.

-m

why risk it? if it is not sure to be a positive thing i would like to keep it away from interviewers :p

extreme example that holds no basis in reality: you are a mass murderer, maybe you let your interviewer know, maybe he is one too and you bond and you get the job yay ! but i guess it would go wrong, i dont see how, but there is a way

I also feel people need to grow up. I have no problems talking about my hobbies and I hold a professional job. I have even defended videogames (And films while I was at it) at training events with no repercussions.

People need to stop pretending the RealID changes would have been the end of the world.

The other day just for the hell of it I found the business government registration info, home address, and some other stuff of a co-workers old friend.

RealID isn't some horrible OH MY GOD THEY CAN FIND ME! They can find you anyway. You know back before the internet, when you carried around these things called wallets, and they had cards. You know how you used to get this thing called "mail" which had your name AND home address on it? Yeah, good thing we're so much more terrified about our privacy now.

I know I am. I live in a shack in the woods with seven assumed names and no social security number. I can't ever apply for old age benefits, but God damn it, I can't be sent pizza as a prank. Because that never happened before the internet.

The truth is, when I was in high school if people played video games few of them ever spoke about it (I was more up front about it, but then again I loved my free FF7 T-shirt)fast forward a decade and I'm subbing in a classroom and a group of students are casually talking about playing MW2, and these are kids of a wide variety of social cliques (a Cheerleader, a hippie, a jock, and stoner among them). I had to keep myself from jumping in and talking about my favorite sniper spots with them (not out of shame, more out of professionalism). When I was in high school that would have never happened.

It's slow in coming Funk, but it's coming nevertheless.

I don't use my real name for anything on the internet. Chances are anything I say now I will look at in 10 years and think "god I was an idiot" back then. But it seems to make sense now dammit!

I'm not ashamed of gaming but I also don't feel a pressing need to broadcast every detail of my life to the rest of the world. If someone wants to know about me they can ask me. Googleing someone to learn about them is mild form of cowardly voyeurism and I protect myself from it. Just like I close the shades when I change my clothes (though that is more to protect my neighbors from seeing horror that they can't unsee than any kind of modesty on my part).

Cody211282:
Hell if I played wow I wouldn't want employers being able to look that up, and for exactly the same reason why I wouldn't want them to be able to look up the fact that I drink on weekends. I may not be addicted but it is an activity were enough people are and that the risk of it is always there.

Matt_LRR:

John Funk:

TsunamiWombat:
Don't forget certain companies won't hire you if your a known WoW player, and women/men/signifigant others are crazy on the BEST of days.

Which companies? I've never heard a single credible report to this matter, and have actually seen reports that employees attribute leadership to what they learned in WoW guilds, like the Starbucks guy.

I've honestly heard more stories of people bonding wuith the interviewer over the fact that they both play wow than I have of companies rejecting potential hires on the grounds that they play.

-m

I know we have one employer in town who will not hire you if they find out you play WoW. It cuts into the workers productivity and they aren't focused on their jobs like they should be, or at least that's what they said(in their defense they have had quite a few people with WoW problems make life hard on everyone else there).

That doesn't sound very much like a place that I, as a gamer, would be partiularly interested in working at.

I work at what is essentially a government administrative office. Management doesn't care about what you do in your off hours, and the operating assumption on the part of older employees is that young male employees play games, including warcraft.

I chat with the other sub-30 male employees about gem configs, and raiding technique, and the older employees ask, "are you talking about that warcraft, thingy? My son plays that" while feigning interest.

This suits me just fine.

I don't understand why you would want to work at a place that actively rejects a passtime that is in many ways fundamental to your identity. That's just asking for a career of misery.

-m

It's wierd, I've spent the last two years learning the specifics of games design, even before, I have had interviews for jobs where I've spent longer showing the interviewer how to use a controller so she could bond with her son, but... I still don't like telling new people that I'm a gamer. I play on consoles, PCs and hand helds, I play tabletop games, board games, pen and paper RPGs - this is a massive part of my life, and I still don't like admitting it.

I think it has a lot to do with stuff like Big Bang Theory (just a more recent example) - these people are gamers, they are nerds, and they are hugely socially awkward outcasts, and that might be the only insight a person will get into gamer culture (we don't get as many "person kills someone with an XBox in the room" stories in England). I tell someone I'm a gamer, and there is a strong chance that they will start treating me like the token nerd. I just find it easier to say I'm into movies and work games in as I get to know someone, but it's a slow, painful process getting people to know that I'm a gamer AND a real person.

Well I guess it's about time to man-up. Though I'm no adult, only 16, I've still hid my love for gaming on a couple of occasions.

I agree with this article very much. I saw way too many people being paranoid about being googled on the WoW forums, and I know far too many people that just cover up their gaming habits.

I also come from a family that is a bit confused on my gaming habits, thinking I should have dropped them years ago. People either don't seem to realize that its an older hobby now than it was "intended to be" as I seem to see it, and as such you have those few people that look down on it, and those other people that figure they will be looked down upon for still playing so many games.

As for myself, I'm totally the type of person who walks around with a Pokewalker on the outside of my pocket, when the thing isn't lost. RealID really was no problem for me in the hiding my gaming habit sense.

Matt_LRR:

Cody211282:
Hell if I played wow I wouldn't want employers being able to look that up, and for exactly the same reason why I wouldn't want them to be able to look up the fact that I drink on weekends. I may not be addicted but it is an activity were enough people are and that the risk of it is always there.

Matt_LRR:

John Funk:

TsunamiWombat:
Don't forget certain companies won't hire you if your a known WoW player, and women/men/signifigant others are crazy on the BEST of days.

Which companies? I've never heard a single credible report to this matter, and have actually seen reports that employees attribute leadership to what they learned in WoW guilds, like the Starbucks guy.

I've honestly heard more stories of people bonding wuith the interviewer over the fact that they both play wow than I have of companies rejecting potential hires on the grounds that they play.

-m

I know we have one employer in town who will not hire you if they find out you play WoW. It cuts into the workers productivity and they aren't focused on their jobs like they should be, or at least that's what they said(in their defense they have had quite a few people with WoW problems make life hard on everyone else there).

That doesn't sound very much like a place that I, as a gamer, would be partiularly interested in working at.

I work at what is essentially a government administrative office. Management doesn't care about what you do in your off hours, and the operating assumption on the part of older employees is that young male employees play games, including warcraft.

I chat with the other sub-30 male employees about gem configs, and raiding technique, and the older employees ask, "are you talking about that warcraft, thingy? My son plays that" while feigning interest.

This suits me just fine.

I don't understand why you would want to work at a place that actively rejects a passtime that is in many ways fundamental to your identity. That's just asking for a career of misery.

-m

It's the big college employer in town, and they pay rather good for a small town like this. And as I have said when Iw as working there we had a few to many people decide WoW was more important then work, hell a few of them tried to install it on their computers and played that instead of taking calls(it's a call center and a busy one at that, 1 person not taking calls tend to back up the rest of the calls and that means the customers on the other end are pissed off when they get to someone). The only person I ever heard of not getting a job because of it mentioned it on his resume(he put raid leader as management experience, not a smart move) so it's not like they would fire you after yous tarted working because of it.

Brilliant article as always. I am starting to love you contributers more and more.

I am just saying, I never ever will hide the fact I am a gamer. Love it and I will keep doing it until my body is incapitated or whatever. I love it. Relationships faltered surely, because I didn't knew this girl was 100% against games. No matter what casual titles I put in her face.

I am not ashamed nor embarresed when I say I am only interested in girls who have some kind of affilation towards gaming. If not? We can be friends, but that's all we ever will be.

Have fun chaps!

I had this problem back when I played wargames. People assumed it was something done by introverted virgins in their 30s, who were big, hairy and lived with their mothers. (Although a surprising number of them did have beards.) The people who assume this are often the ones that have no or very little experiance with the medium, so they base their opinion as to whether or not their hearsay indicates whether it seems like an appropriate pasttime. WoW suffers from many of the same problems, because of the various images that have become assosiated with it, such as the said South Park episode.

I myself have only spent a small amount of time playing WoW, but from that short time of a few hours at my cousin's house, I can see why so many people enjoy it, but would also be ashamed to admit it. In ome ways, it's like a gaming equivalent of a drug; it's addictive, and different people will have different views when they find out you 'take' it: outsiders with not experiance will look at you in shame and with pity, because these people believe you are addicted to it. Some console gamers will also take this viewpoint, because they are not often exposed to MMOGs. Opinions from other gamers may vary between respect, because of the level of time and input required to upkeep a chracter, and indifference, because they see it as another game, no different to the time an Xbox 360 owner may put in to achieve that extra level of Prestige in Call of Duty, or the time a modder may spend making a map. In many ways it is unfair, because more Xbox owners probably become addicted to the idea of Prestige because they can compete with their friends, making it more of a 'sociable' activity than WoW, even thought the basic princible (more time and kills = more exp) is the same.

I have no problem accepting i'm a gamer.

In fact in my rather mixed group of friends (Skaters, athletes, geeks, muscians etc etc) i'm the designated Gamer Geek. It's a good life.

I agree, totally. I dont hide who I am..people at work know it, and, I dont hide it, I talk openly on it...

Gamers trying to hide behind it really just reinforce the sterotype that gamers are idiots...and, we are not. I still think the community has alot of growing up to do

Cody211282:

It's the big college employer in town, and they pay rather good for a small town like this. And as I have said when Iw as working there we had a few to many people decide WoW was more important then work, hell a few of them tried to install it on their computers and played that instead of taking calls(it's a call center and a busy one at that, 1 person not taking calls tend to back up the rest of the calls and that means the customers on the other end are pissed off when they get to someone). The only person I ever heard of not getting a job because of it mentioned it on his resume(he put raid leader as management experience, not a smart move) so it's not like they would fire you after yous tarted working because of it.

If they're going to reject my application based not on my qualifications, but on what I like to do for fun, then I didn't want to work there anyhow.

-m

Donnyp:
lol WoW is like being in the Closet apparently. My buddy didn't mind it. If i played WoW i'm sure i wouldn't have minded it.

Sniped.

Gaming: Homosexuality of the 21st Century

Matt_LRR:

Cody211282:

It's the big college employer in town, and they pay rather good for a small town like this. And as I have said when Iw as working there we had a few to many people decide WoW was more important then work, hell a few of them tried to install it on their computers and played that instead of taking calls(it's a call center and a busy one at that, 1 person not taking calls tend to back up the rest of the calls and that means the customers on the other end are pissed off when they get to someone). The only person I ever heard of not getting a job because of it mentioned it on his resume(he put raid leader as management experience, not a smart move) so it's not like they would fire you after yous tarted working because of it.

If they're going to reject my application based not on my qualifications, but on what I like to do for fun, then I didn't want to work there anyhow.

-m

I agree with you there, but I do also get where they are coming from, , also that rule only applys to people who can't keep their mouth shut about it for en interview, and I would guess they are the people have have a big problem anyway.

John, while I agree with most of the points you make, especially with needing "poster boys" for the positive side of gaming, I think that for the most part people are private. I think it comes down to the fact that unless you personally tell someone something, it's no ones business but your own, and the RealID thing took that choice away. Personally my co-worker Rob and I are rarely not discussing WoW on our breaks, and there are a fair few gamers at my job, even one of my managers is a big XBox fan, but a lot of people see gaming as a negative thing, a waste of time or an addiction and the like. I don't know about potential employers overlooking candidates because they play WoW, or lead a TF2 clan or something, but some of these potential employers are like our parents who didnt understand how we could sit inside playing Sonic 2 on such a lovely day, or maybe parents who cant shift their own kids of MW2 to do their homework. Hell one of my old guildies had to leave the game because his grades were slipping and his parents blamed WoW. To be honest they were more than likely right, he was raiding a hell of a lot, and it was exam seasong coming up. Anyway, backk to the point at hand, to me the RealID farce was about choice and Blizz making the options unreasonable.

Like I said though, I agree, we need "posterboys", like the starbucks kid and the like, because untill we can convince everyone else that we gamers are hobbiests like those who collect stamps or play tabletop games or whatever, we will always have this negative stigma.

Shale_Dirk:

Donnyp:
lol WoW is like being in the Closet apparently. My buddy didn't mind it. If i played WoW i'm sure i wouldn't have minded it.

Sniped.

Gaming: Homosexuality of the 21st Century

I'm in the closet.....With Master Chief.

Thats a Sig waiting to happen lol.

I'm not so sure it's a question of being ashamed. A lot of employers have skewed ideas of what gamers are like, labelling them as slackers or thinking they'll be unreliable because some horrendous WoW addiction will take over their lives. Might seem silly to some, but if the person's desperate for a job, or to keep the one they have, not advertising their hobbies might make a big difference.

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