Issues Gamers Should Think About

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BoneDaddy_SK:

redknightalex:
It wasn't a criticism, more an observation. I believe that to have a good discussion over the pitfalls, and the merits, of video games in general, you need to use information from both sides of the argument.

That's not accomplished by attempting to make the conversation all about what you want to talk about first. People are not going to listen to the positives that you want to talk about until you address the negatives that they are concerned about.

I'm not saying that we only talk about what "I" (using "I" loosely here because that's not what I'm trying to say, nor am I on one side or the other and never want to talk about the negatives of gaming) want to talk about, but both sides of the argument. I don't understand why a column cannot address, or at least present, both sides of the equation.

BoneDaddy_SK:

redknightalex:
As an aside, it's very human to sweep things we don't want to hear, ie the negatives, under the rug. Numerous studies have found that smokers, while knowing the risks and dangers of smoking, will basically hear the information but promptly reject it for reasons no more complex than that they don't want to acknowledge it. The sweeping is not only for gamers.

And this is relevant to my point, how?

Here's the simple truth of the matter: the criticism against gaming as a hobby/pastime/passion/etc is so firmly entrenched that you and I don't get to talk about the positives until we have addressed the negatives. Dr. Mark's column was illustrating several points that gamers have routinely failed to address when they should have gotten to them already. So accusing him of being too negative and not objective enough is missing his point. In fact, you're only reinforcing his point. You don't want to talk about the problems he named. You want us to talk about what you want to talk about.

To repeat, this is not an article meant to talk about the good and bad parts of gaming. Never was. The article is talking about the criticisms that we as gamers regularly fail to address and we need to start addressing them if we expect any progress to occur. By not addressing that point and insisting on telling everyone about learning a new language through imports or whatever you're only proving how bad we are at this.

I brought up the smoking because you talked about sweeping things under a rug. I'm only pointing out that we, as humans, do it regularly. Also a form of procrastination. It may not be relevant to the entire article but it was to our discussion at the moment.

I do want to talk about the points he brought up, and never have I said that I didn't, I only want a clearer view of the field which address both the problems in video games but also the potential positives. They may not have any positives, for all I know, but TV may not either (from some people's POV). As I alluded to above, I fail to see why we cannot discuss both the positives and negatives at the same time. Why must the negatives be brought first before positives are even mentioned? If a serious discussion is to be made out of this topic, saying only the negatives for an extended period of time only flames the fire of the anti-video games group/lobby/movement. It's also a poor way to start an experiment or study. Saying you see the faults, and acknowledge them, while at the same time providing counter-arguments is much more efficient than focusing on the negatives alone.

I do admit that I went past the scope of the column. I find that, although Dr. Mark is well versed and writes well, he typically disappoints me as I expect more than just the general overview. Perhaps I'm not his intended audience but I came here to make a point about what I felt was missing. Never was I saying that the negatives should be ignored (they need to be studied and looked at, that I do agree with), I was only pointing out that negatives do not live in a vacuum.

redknightalex:
I don't understand why a column cannot address, or at least present, both sides of the equation.

Because that wasn't the point. Dr. Mark wasn't interested in preaching to the choir by presenting the positives to us, the gamers. He was highlighting the side of the equation that we have almost unanimously failed to address.

I brought up the smoking because you talked about sweeping things under a rug. I'm only pointing out that we, as humans, do it regularly. Also a form of procrastination. It may not be relevant to the entire article but it was to our discussion at the moment.

No, it wasn't relevant at all. This is a basic facet of human nature. Why then would I bring it up unless there was a specific point to be made? Or did you really assume I was just that stupid?

I do want to talk about the points he brought up, and never have I said that I didn't, I only want a clearer view of the field which address both the problems in video games but also the potential positives.

So you do want to, you just don't.

You're still missing the point. The critics aren't interested in hearing you talk about the positives. They want us to address the concerns they have first. By insisting on crowbarring in the positives, you are failing to do that.

As I alluded to above, I fail to see why we cannot discuss both the positives and negatives at the same time. Why must the negatives be brought first before positives are even mentioned?

Because people came forward with a concern. They don't want to hear your feel-good stories. They want you to answer the questions they have.

If a serious discussion is to be made out of this topic, saying only the negatives for an extended period of time only flames the fire of the anti-video games group/lobby/movement. It's also a poor way to start an experiment or study. Saying you see the faults, and acknowledge them, while at the same time providing counter-arguments is much more efficient than focusing on the negatives alone.

I would take that more seriously if you or other gamers made any move to address the negatives. But you don't. You just complain about how unfair it is.

I'm not pulling this out of my ass. I speak from experience. When talking to non-gamers about their concerns, the most effective approach was always to address their concerns first and only then when they were less ambivalent about games did I have the opportunity to talk about the positives. Sorry, but you don't get to vote on the most effective way to do this. There is a right way and a wrong way.

I was only pointing out that negatives do not live in a vacuum.

Name three people who have said that they do.

Upon reflection, I haven't addressed anything Dr. Mark brought up either. Which puts me in a bit of a glass house. Obviously I'm not a doctor, but I'll be back this evening and relate what's worked for me in addressing some of these concerns so you can all see I'm not just blowing smoke.

I'm not necessarily averse to having these questions asked or explored (or at least, I try not to be.) But I find it both strange and frustrating that there doesn't seem to be much of a "in comparison to what" consideration when these issues are brought up outside of relatively limited circles of gaming media and fandom. Is your child really any more violent, aggressive, paranoid or afraid for playing Call of Duty than they are for watching a show like 24? Is it fair to point out shooters who play video games while cities that riot after major sports events slip out of the news scarce days later? Is obsessive video-game playing any worse for social skills than obsessive model-airplane making, or baseball card collecting, or, well, any obsessive pursuit? And should we perhaps be more aware of obsessive personalities than focusing what they fixate upon?

And, yes, some of these subjects have gone through their own trials-by-fire in the media and public eye, either in the past or cyclically. But the particular fixations we see focused on "our" medium can't help but make me wonder if it's really even a tiny bit as bad/dangerous/harmful as some would make it out to be, or if it doesn't just happen to be the jazz/comic books/movies/rock music/television/rap music of the current age.

BoneDaddy_SK:
The article is talking about the criticisms that we as gamers regularly fail to address and we need to start addressing them if we expect any progress to occur.

Actually, the article seems more about things Dr Mark thinks the gaming community should be asking itself, not as a response to criticism but as people who want the best for their hobby.

as per the article's last paragraph:

gamers should not be afraid to ask serious and thoughtful questions about their hobby.

also:

If we let them frame the debate, we can't be surprised if there is a narrow focus on violence.

Hell, if we discuss and study things that might be problems within gaming, we'll either get told "Nah, 'sall good" and we can keep on doing what we're doing or find out that there are problems, discuss them and discuss possible approaches to minimising their effects rather than ignoring everything and suddenly finding some elected fuckhead using one of these 'problems' as their new Issue and trying to enforce their own idiotic solutions on us by law.

These are all really interesting questions that you pose. I know for myself when I get done with a day of studying, I'm in medical school training to become a Physician as well, there are very few things quite as relaxing is opening a beer and loading up a video game. Sure, exercise or spending time with my significant other can also provide that outlet, but that's not what this forum is about.

However, as I was reading these questions, I couldn't help but ask myself, "are these not emotions and feelings others experience for their preferred hobby?" To me it would seem to be the point of having a hobby, a guilty pleasure, a release whether it be woodworking, knitting, reading, bird watching, etc...

There are two reasons, in my mind, for our preferred hobby to be so criticized. One, we isolate ourselves from mainstream culture. Yes, videogames are becoming much more mainstream, but look at the titles that sit on top: CoD, Gears of War, Halo, etc.. Games that are so easily misinterpreted, maybe, as violence-simulators by those who doesn't participate in this medium. This niche, clicky, pigeon-hole we put ourselves in, as "gamers," does such a disservice to ourselves. It cheapens the medium, and it marginalizes us. The second reason is the 1st-person aspect. Yes, books and movies have been depicting much more violent and more difficult material (rape, incest, etc.) for a much longer time, but they do so in a more passive manner. I believe this is what can make videogames a much more powerful storytelling-medium: Who doesn't remember the Airport-Level? But, as part of being a 'marginalized' group of people participating in a 'cheapened' medium how is it hard to see how this can be misconstrued as nothing more than mind-numbing violence-training?

So, what do I think we should do? For one, I don't thing stereotyping yourself as a gamer does any good. Yes, I understand that it's a sub-culture and there are others one can point to such as knitting circles, book-clubs, marathoners, but when was the last time you had someone self-identify as a Knitting circler? Sure it's part of their life, but it's exactly that part. I never understood why we had to wear it as a badge of honor. The more normal we make it to come home and relax playing a videogame, not as a 5-16 year-old boy, but as an successful adult/young adult/parent/grandparent the more we'll expand our medium and move away from this marginalized-group of people we find ourselves as now. Of course there will still be controversy, but I'd venture to say we'd see our medium start tackling even more interesting, difficult, fun, material in the way that books, movies, & TV do at the moment (I realize there is a cost difference, but let a man be optimistic).

Can you blame gamers for being immediately defensive?
For decades their hobby has been mostly ignored by mainstream media/culture and when it has been touched on it has been constantly criticised and made fun of for being immature, a waste of time, nerdy, unsociable etc.
Now suddenly it's one of the most popular forms of entertainment in the world and the media doesn't have the option to ignore it, so what do they do?
Well they start using video games as their new scapegoat. All the stuff they used to blame on television and the movies, well it was all blatantly bullshit but video gaming is just about obscure enough that vocal idiots can be convinced.
"Actually it's not movies and TV that are making our kids violent, it's video games."
"Actually it's not movies and TV that are making our kids fat, it's video games."
"Actually it's not movies and TV that are (insert inevitability here), it's video games."
Of course gamers will be defensive. Perhaps when people stop looking down on their hobby, and video gaming is seen as an equivalent to movies and TV, video gamers will be able to stop the fervent, knee-jerk, defending of their hobby that at the moment, is necessary.

Also surely it would be more productive to encourage gamers to ask the questions then read the literature. Asking questions is all well and good if all you want to do is show you're interested. But shouldn't educating themselves be the main emphasis? After all it is the uneducated masses that seem to screw everything up.

I don't have a problem discussing the impact of gaming regarding any of the points that Dr. Mark has brought up. Most of them are typical characteristics of an obsessive personality disorder, and that can come about from any number of hobbies. Anyone who is or has ever been a gamer is well aware of the ease in which you can get sucked into spending hours and hours with a favorite title, to the exclusion of all else, and most of what Dr. Mark references is related to that. Humans love wasting time and they love easy mental stimulation, and computer gaming has that in spades. But just like most people (if not all) can enjoy ice cream and booze without becoming obese alcoholics, most people are capable of gaming responsibly.

It's also, ultimately, the person and not the product that makes the bad choices. A six pack doesn't make you drink it all in one sitting, you decide to. The big new gaming release doesn't make you take a week off work, blow off social engagements and ignore your family, you decide that. Are there people who are incapable of resisting behavioral addictions and compulsions? Yes, there are, and I hope they can get the treatment they need. I'll talk about that all day long.

At no point does any of this equate to 'video games make you prone to acts of mass murder', so when these self-aggrandizing politicians and knee-jerk moralists get up there and start blaming video games in the aftermath of a child massacre, excuse me if I get a little concerned. But I don't let it get to me too much, since I know the coin of public discourse these days is perpetual outrage. So all you can do is state your facts as calmly and cleanly as possible, and hope for the best.

Thanks for all your comments and reactions. I wanted to focus on issues with gaming beyond the violence thing, and in response to a very thoughtful question, encourage Escapist readers to get through their defensiveness and denial, although I really do understand why some gamers are this way. Most feel a strong urge to defend an activity that means a lot to them but is constantly criticized and misunderstood by outsiders. I do think there is something unique about the way video games can create some of the effects I noted that is different than what might happen if you developed, for example, a vigorous coin-collecting hobby. I've written before on the positive aspects of gaming and the gaming community and I'm glad to do so again at any point--by writing this column, I did not mean to ignore or devalue these.

I think research may eventually help us understand these effects, though its easy to be leery of those findings when they are funded and carried out by institutions with agendas. What's really most important is that we all try to be honest with ourselves about how gaming affects us, for better and for worse, and factor this into our choices and priorities.

redknightalex:
I find it interesting that this article mainly points out specific problems within the gaming culture and not the positives.

But that's the point of the article. Gamers will overcome the stigma against gaming by knowing their medium better than anyone else. We will not know that medium until we're ready to ask the hard questions. This forum is filled with people talking about what's good in games, but the moment someone even asks if any aspect of games can ever be bad, the community lashes against them and tries to shut them down. We have to be willing to look for the truth about gaming or else someone with an anti-gaming agenda will supply a "truth" for us. And so making ourselves feel good by telling ourselves what's good about gaming isn't going to move us forward.

Dr. Mark has asked some excellent questions. I hope that gamers don't reflexively reject them.

How many people decided to learn a new language to be able to understand and play a game they imported form another country?

Good question. How many? Are you ready to do the research on that?

Do games promote bilingualism?

Actually, I'm going to be doing some research on that soon. I'll be sure to let you know if I come across anything interesting.

How many people have better reading and comprehension skills from reading all those lines of text in a mass RPG?

Good question. How do you make an experiment to test that?

How many have learned the value of math while trying to min/max their characters in WoW?

Same question.

If games are to be taken seriously by the nattering nay-bobs, you have to stop just asking the question and assuming the answer is what you want it to be- you have to follow through with doing the research. And if you're going to then respond to the next step by saying, "It's too hard to isolate and study," then you're not part of the solution. And by trying to distract conversations away from taking an honest look at parts of gaming that might be bad... you're part of the problem.

Smilomaniac:
That is a typical, non-commited parent comment, based on a cursery glance at the gaming community and mostly at the medias depiction of it, especially online articles such as those found here on the Escapist.

Funny, I make similar comments on here routinely. I'm not a parent, not interested in becoming one, but I'm deeply committed to teaching young people. I'm also a frequent player of games, and have been immersed in the gaming community for decades.

So your description doesn't fit me at all. Tell me, isn't it pretty knee-jerk to just invent a dismissable persona for people who ask questions you don't want to answer? Especially when you don't know anything about the person who asks the question?

And do you see how this insistence by many gamers on dismissing every attempt to study their medium enables critics hostile to the medium?

Katatori-kun:

Smilomaniac:
That is a typical, non-commited parent comment, based on a cursery glance at the gaming community and mostly at the medias depiction of it, especially online articles such as those found here on the Escapist.

Funny, I make similar comments on here routinely.

I'll put my hand up now and say that I was the one who sent the question into Dr Mark , and yep, you've had some very interesting things to say on your own observations of the gaming community, especially the radical change in attitudes toward science if it so much as looks like it might think about studying something game related.

Tell me, isn't it pretty knee-jerk to just invent a dismissable persona for people who ask questions you don't want to answer? Especially when you don't know anything about the person who asks the question?

I was surprised to learn I had children even more than I was to learn my past 35 or so years of gaming were all imaginary. I wonder what the hell I was really doing with all that time?

And do you see how this insistence by many gamers on dismissing every attempt to study their medium enables critics hostile to the medium?

Don't beat around the bush now, say it outright - unwillingness to engage in study and discourse makes it look like the gaming community is trying to hide something. Combine that with the classic addict bevahiours of denial and agression towards things that impinges on that denial and it's not hard to see why the non-gaming public has a lot of questions it would like answered.

Plus, without further (and better) study of the medium, the only 'research' will be done by anti-gaming chuckleheads like Andersen, Bushman and their ilk.

[gets up on soapbox]
And this is one of the areas that I feel the Industry has let us gamers down. This is a multi-billion dollar global industry and yet they have shown little to no interest in studying their own medium, no proactive steps to find, identify and study any possible negative (or positive, for that matter) effects their own products may have. Would it really kill a few of the big publishers to take a few million out of their ad budgets and turn that cash into research grants?

RhombusHatesYou:
I'll put my hand up now and say that I was the one who sent the question into Dr Mark , and yep, you've had some very interesting things to say on your own observations of the gaming community, especially the radical change in attitudes toward science if it so much as looks like it might think about studying something game related.

Well thank you!

[gets up on soapbox]
And this is one of the areas that I feel the Industry has let us gamers down. This is a multi-billion dollar global industry and yet they have shown little to no interest in studying their own medium, no proactive steps to find, identify and study any possible negative (or positive, for that matter) effects their own products may have. Would it really kill a few of the big publishers to take a few million out of their ad budgets and turn that cash into research grants?

[/quote]

Ooh. Shiny.

I agreed with your post, but the above bit I think really hits the way forward squarely on the head. Honestly, as much as I'd like to inspire an interest in science on the part of young gamers, I think we have to accept that a certain segment of the population doesn't want to be part of the solution. They just want to play their games as entertainment and not devote their life to learning. And really, I can respect that. After all it was only after 5 years of changing my career path that I began discovering that I like certain kinds of research.

And besides, even if people do look into the effects of games, gamers aren't necessarily qualified to do the research anyway. Just look at how many people in these threads throw out what they think to be true without having done a bit of research to discover if it actually is true? And even if people want to study it, they may not have the background knowledge to be able to. Like I said above, I'm actually in a position I could do some research on the impact of games on language acquisition. But I'm completely unqualified to study something involving general psychology or physical health.

What we need is an NGO, non-profit group, or think-tank that collects donations from big players in the video game industry (as well as those interested in psychology in order to not be biased), and then funnels that money into research on games. And then promotes that research. Such a group could coordinate researchers. And such a group would be the perfect venue for promoting the positive aspects of games when such aspects can be found to have supporting evidence.

The more I think about this, the more I think it is exactly what gaming needs.

Katatori-kun:
I agreed with your post, but the above bit I think really hits the way forward squarely on the head. Honestly, as much as I'd like to inspire an interest in science on the part of young gamers, I think we have to accept that a certain segment of the population doesn't want to be part of the solution. They just want to play their games as entertainment and not devote their life to learning. And really, I can respect that. After all it was only after 5 years of changing my career path that I began discovering that I like certain kinds of research.

More young people should be interested in science... of course education is a huge psycho-social issue when it comes to motivating/engaging young people.

As for the segment(s) of the gaming community that have no desire to be 'part of the solution', not respecting their choice would be counterproductive and unnecessarily antagonistic. No one likes feeling put upon during their 'entertainment and relaxation' time.

And besides, even if people do look into the effects of games, gamers aren't necessarily qualified to do the research anyway. Just look at how many people in these threads throw out what they think to be true without having done a bit of research to discover if it actually is true? And even if people want to study it, they may not have the background knowledge to be able to. Like I said above, I'm actually in a position I could do some research on the impact of games on language acquisition. But I'm completely unqualified to study something involving general psychology or physical health.

Exactly. My formal training is in Visual Arts and International Relations so for the time being I couldn't really bring anything to the table... (but in 3 weeks time I start my Bachelor of Psychological Science)

Then again, it's not like there shouldn't be enough people from a variety of disciplines in the gaming community, which has a large and somewhat diverse population, to get the ball rolling. If there are hundreds of millions of gamers worldwide and their average age in several countries is now mid-30s, we should be able to shake loose a dozen psychologists and a bevvy of statisticians.

What we need is an NGO, non-profit group, or think-tank that collects donations from big players in the video game industry (as well as those interested in psychology in order to not be biased), and then funnels that money into research on games. And then promotes that research. Such a group could coordinate researchers. And such a group would be the perfect venue for promoting the positive aspects of games when such aspects can be found to have supporting evidence.

The more I think about this, the more I think it is exactly what gaming needs.

I like to think that's where I was leading to... or would have eventually, anyway.

Plus, beside the fact that knowing more is always a good thing (okay, Cthonic horrors excluded), knowing more about our hobby is the best defence there is against the predations of Moral Outrage.

Katatori-kun:

Funny, I make similar comments on here routinely. I'm not a parent, not interested in becoming one, but I'm deeply committed to teaching young people. I'm also a frequent player of games, and have been immersed in the gaming community for decades.

So your description doesn't fit me at all. Tell me, isn't it pretty knee-jerk to just invent a dismissable persona for people who ask questions you don't want to answer? Especially when you don't know anything about the person who asks the question?

And do you see how this insistence by many gamers on dismissing every attempt to study their medium enables critics hostile to the medium?

I never reffered to you. Any similarities you might feel between the kind of person I know that "routinely make similar comments", is your own judgement, not mine and certainly not my problem if you took any offense.

I can only encourage you to read the rest of the post and get an idea of what I'm talking about, instead of dismissing my entire post for the sake of bickering about a prejudice that you imagined.

I hope you realize the irony.

RhombusHatesYou:

Don't beat around the bush now, say it outright - unwillingness to engage in study and discourse makes it look like the gaming community is trying to hide something. Combine that with the classic addict bevahiours of denial and agression towards things that impinges on that denial and it's not hard to see why the non-gaming public has a lot of questions it would like answered.

Since this is in relation to a person annoyed with me, I'll just address this.

I have written the longest post on this thread and whatever I have to say is often dismissed because the most vocal part of the community gets the attention, such as threatening Anita Sarkeesian with death threats, so they get all the attention and the media focuses on those.

The reality of the situation is that there are a lot of people willing to engage in discussion and have a mature talk about it, but a large portion of the community is much younger than you or I and have no idea how to approach the subject or the necessary experience to distinguish actual sexism, racism, minority prejudice or hate from what are the small things in life.

Often, we see a community outrage directed at either the wrong things or issues that are simply not worth the time discussing it(which is not to say that ALL issues are irrelevant or unimportant).

Let's take Anita Sarkeesian's example with Tropes Vs. Women in videogames.
The premise is that the game companies heavily direct their games at a male audience; This is true. There is no dispute here, there's no sane person in the world who has the slightest idea of how the market is, that would disagree.

Now, she wants to do a study and make a videoseries about it, so she sets up an introduction explaining the premise. As I write this, I just saw it again to be sure why this raised a few red flags for me back when it was a hot topic.
She is heavily biased, she takes no time at all to explain the extreme descriptions of the tropes, she has a few flashbacks of older work where her arguments are flawed and out of context and she uses the term feminism a few times to validate her experiment.
Anyone who knows what true feminism is about, should be a bit concerned at this point - not outraged or necessarily disagree, but I stress the word concerned, because feminism is often used as a buzzword for getting more than you have on the perceived expense of your gender.

Every single article, video and podcast was directed at the people who threatened this woman and the major vocal outcry against what she was trying to do. These obnoxious people are the worst part of our community and they obviously overreact or are unaware of what she's doing.
However, every valid comment against her, everyone who questioned her motives and the way she was doing this, was summarily dismissed as part of the defensive and overreacting stereotypical male audience.
The irony is staggering. The people who tried taking this up were shot down as quickly as the people who blindly supported Anita and it ended in a total clusterfuck where nobody was heard.

So when I say that the original comment, that you wrote to Dr. Mark, is a typical non-commited parent comment, it's because you chose to overlook the people who wanted to debate along with the media.
There is unwillingness, sure, but that's because you're focusing on a negative, immature part of the gaming community. Even if they were willing to debate issues, how would you convince a 12 year old through the internet that by playing games he's reinforcing bad preconceptions, sexism, racism and so on? The bigger question is, WHY would you even try outside of the classroom, school or home as things are now? And why would you dismiss everyone else who does want to debate it, but doesn't necessarily agree that these things are legitimate issues?

Smilomaniac:
I hope you realize the irony.

I realize you're trying to sting me with a dissmissal that vaguely sounds like the rebuttals I give when people don't read my posts and go on the warpath against me, but unfortunately it's rather undermined by the fact that you really did say:

Smilomaniac:
That is a typical, non-commited parent comment, based on a cursery glance at the gaming community and mostly at the medias depiction of it, especially online articles such as those found here on the Escapist.

You said a comment was typical of a certain group. And yet here there have been multiple people who hold the sentiment you're trying to dismiss in this very thread who don't fit the description you've given. So you're playing games to avoid discussing the fact that you made a knee-jerk reaction to the thread topic in order to avoid discussing it.

So really there's no irony at all. There's just someone wasting our time, trying to distract us from discussing Mark's article.

While it does bring up good questions, it all depends on the individual. I've suffered from manic depression for 15 odd years and I've always used games & film as a way of escapsim. When I do get depressed I barely want to do anything. I don't pay attention to the films I'm watching, the conversations im having, the book I', reading. Alot of the time I'm not really engaged to the game im playing. What stops me from reaching for a bottle of wien is my Megadrive. I play alot of retro games when im depressed. It's their simplicity and their charm that help get me through.

This won't work for everyone. for some people, shutting themselves off in a virtual world is the worst thing for them as it may make their condition worse.

These are issues that do get mulled over because of the "violence" controversy, but they do need to ve addressed. However, they can't be dismissed and put into groups. People are different and while along gaming session could be detrimental, a couple of intervalled hours a day could be better.

Video games do do alot of good things, but like with everything. Its all in the moderation.

Katatori-kun:

I realize you're trying to sting me with a dissmissal that vaguely sounds like the rebuttals I give when people don't read my posts and go on the warpath against me, but unfortunately it's rather undermined by the fact that you really did say:

You said a comment was typical of a certain group. And yet here there have been multiple people who hold the sentiment you're trying to dismiss in this very thread who don't fit the description you've given. So you're playing games to avoid discussing the fact that you made a knee-jerk reaction to the thread topic in order to avoid discussing it.

So really there's no irony at all. There's just someone wasting our time, trying to distract us from discussing Mark's article.

There's loads of irony, you just dismissed it like you did my original post.
I did not dismiss the person who asked the question, although I did catagorize them; As I said, I have so far written the longest reply in this thread and contributed to the discussion. I have also explained why the direction of the article and the question asked is taking an approach in the wrong direction. Twice.

The easiest way to describe that type of person is what I wrote. It's relatable, people get it. You just decided to infer your own insecurities and take it as an offense, and apparently you still do even after I specifically told you to read my post. This implies that maybe there's more to my initial statement than what you're reacting to.

You are the one having a knee-jerk reaction to what you took as an offense and are acting like the very people who aren't able to discuss anything without resorting to quoting out of context, while being unable to listen to others.

Again, if you had bothered reading my post you'd very clearly see that I do not appreciate people doing that, meaning you're going out of your way to either annoy me or have a need to flaunt your opinion.
All in all, you're no better than the people who dismiss issues in gaming.

Here's why I didn't have a kneejerk reaction: I spent the better part of an evening writing what I did, reviewed it, had a break, came back to it later and revised it. This is by definition the opposite of a knee-jerk reaction.

Saying that I'm on the warpath is a bit of an overstatement. If I sound annoyed with you, it's because you don't seem at all informed or interested in what others have to say. As for distracting from the discussion, remind me again which one of us lashed out against the other first?

Smilomaniac:
As I said, I have so far written the longest reply in this thread

The length off a post has nothing whatsoever to do with the contribution of the post.

You just decided to infer your own insecurities and take it as an offense,

I never said or implied it was offense. My objection is that your categorization was incorrect. And you're trying to defend that by parroting things I say apparently without understanding the meaning of the words.

Now howsabout you quit having a go at me and instead discuss Mark's article?

Katatori-kun:
The length off a post has nothing whatsoever to do with the contribution of the post.

Of course, how would you know when you haven't reffered to any of it. I just see more and more evidence that you're not reading what I'm writing.

Katatori-kun:

I never said or implied it was offense. My objection is that your categorization was incorrect. And you're trying to defend that by parroting things I say apparently without understanding the meaning of the words.

Nah, my categorization was spot on. It's a typical bullshit question that pops up from the uninformed and usually from inept parents who just blame games and says the community sucks instead of doing one iota of research and actually talk to people instead of just complaining. Exactly like you're doing.

Of course you're offended and that's alright, we all get offended sometimes when others judge us.
You wrote a poor out of context response to something you misunderstood.
If someone does that without emotion they're either closed-minded or stupid.

You're right about one thing, instead of "infer", I should've written that you're projecting your insecurities. Shit happens when you're multi-lingual and English isn't your first, second or third language.

By now, the irony is quite staggering and I'm amazed that you haven't realized it at all. Probably because you're smug and out to tell me just how wrong I am, without supporting your opinion.

Katatori-kun:
Now howsabout you quit having a go at me and instead discuss Mark's article?

I did. You didn't read it. You lashed out at me. I explained it. You dismissed it. You have the power to stop this at any time and it's really easy; Do nothing.

Smilomaniac:

Katatori-kun:

I never said or implied it was offense. My objection is that your categorization was incorrect. And you're trying to defend that by parroting things I say apparently without understanding the meaning of the words.

Nah, my categorization was spot on.

Then I'm going to call on you to defend that claim with evidence. Prove with objective measurements that the most common people to suggest gamers need to study their own medium are the people you described.

It's a typical bullshit question that pops up from the uninformed and usually from inept parents who just blame games and says the community sucks instead of doing one iota of research and actually talk to people instead of just complaining. Exactly like you're doing.

Now you're lying.

Of course you're offended

Lie number 2

Probably because you're smug

Reported for personal attack.

You lashed out at me.

Lie number 3. We're done. Have a nice day.

Katatori-kun:

Smilomaniac:

I never said or implied it was offense. My objection is that your categorization was incorrect. And you're trying to defend that by parroting things I say apparently without understanding the meaning of the words.

Katatori-kun:
We're done. Have a nice day.

Do I prove my case or are we done?
It's allowed to think for yourself instead of asking for proof that you obviously don't expect to see.
If your report goes through it will likely hit you in the butt for starting it.

All I'm saying is that maybe you should move past the very kind of people this article is about, instead of just lashing out against others you should take a look at what people are saying. That you say I'm lying is just your inability to read it for what it is. That you've gone as far as reporting me (lol) just proves you're offended and that you're using a technicality to get back at me.

From where I'm sitting, you're a prime example of what's wrong with the gaming community today.

thejackyl:

Gaming and Intimacy

As far as I know my libido is pretty healthy. I'm not the kind of guy who goes out every night and tries to get laid, but I would still enjoy it. Hell, if I was in a relationship and my partner was willing, and she came up to me why playing a game (any game), and told me she wanted to have sex (I hope she'd be a little more subtle than that ;) )I would drop whatever I was doing, quickly say bye to friends I was talking to, and hop to it.

Out of all the points made, this is actually the one that really made me think.

I'm a female gamer. My boyfriend games as well, but I almost always go to bed later than he does (often a lot later). My boyfriend isn't the sort of guy who likes to pester his girlfriend for sex (and will only very rarely interrupt me gaming). Instead he waits until I finally do make it to bed before he starts the suggestive snuggling, by which point I'm far too tired for anything.

I wonder how many people in relationships this is true for. In any case, going to bed earlier would probably be good for my general health as well!

redknightalex:
I find it interesting that this article mainly points out specific problems within the gaming culture and not the positives.

That's the topic of the article. The key question was: "Are there issues related to videogames and their usage that we should be thinking about that we aren't?"

the only mental problem i have is a very annoying life career limiting learning disability but if i didnt have games to play when i was sad or pissed off, i'd prolly be in jail right now. i play games for fun all of the time, but when im pissed off, stressed or sad i go play video games so i can concentrate on that while calmly thinking over my life situations. it doesnt even have to be a violent game either, i was so pissed off once and i went and played Harvest Moon and hugged all my cows and chickens and stuff. as long as its a game it'll chill me out.

This is a nicely timed post because I've recently been searching for information regarding gaming addiction, ocd, compulusive behaviour etc. I'm trying to understand my particular problem more.

I occasionally go on these binges where I tend to play the same games for a few months straight and clock around 30+ hours a week until I get to the point where I'm fed up and exhausted. I end up uninstalling these games and at that point I feel productive and happy. When I think I've kicked my habit for good I end up returning, having fun, getting despressed, quit and repeat.

When I'm gaming there's a noticeable impact on my personality. I become short tempered, I struggle to concentrate, especially reading. I neglect friends and family. And high priority tasks are usually left until the last minute. My sleeping pattern changes and I tend to stay up until the early hours of the morning. My eating habits also change, fast food is the way to go when I game. Whenever I'm with family and friends I occasionally catch myself thinking thoughts such as "I could be playing X right now instead of listening to their trivial bs".

All this starts off slowly. For example I'll play a few hours a week, then a couple of weeks in my gaming time has quadrupled, until it gets to the point where it's my main focus in life. Only when I realise I'm putting insane hours in is when I quit, uninstall etc.

Perhaps I'm suffering with depression or using gaming as a way to run away from my responsbilities. I know when I'm in the game all I think about is the game and nothing else.

This pattern has been a big part of my life for the last decade.

Maybe I should see a psychologist. But I know deep down this is something I'd never really do and I'd like to think I can solve this issue myself.

Well First off,
About the opening observations, It's interesting how relentlessly defensive about anything Gamers are.
This does not only apply to games but also, genres within games, paricular franchises, brands and any slight difference that could generate preference. Anything can seemingly turn into a life or death personal crusade.

Maybe this is a social situation, not only a gamer thing. I've come across way too many people defending and attacking theories, ideas and beliefs, that dont even directly affect them with an impressive grudge. There seems to be a tendency to a very entitled, outgoing vocal behavior, tied in with the current media exposure available to everyone.

I mean, to be honest I wouldn't be writing this if I didin't think in some level that my opinion matters, and that I have something special and different to say. And we all have that very individualistic rather post-modern Disney induced illusion and hope of self importance.

The immediacy of information and the comfortable protection of non-personal interaction in modern communication also enable this perception further. We can have very extreme opinions and express them with little fear because, chances are someone else will agree, and anyway, it wouldnt really affect your "real life".

I guess this is all beside the point, but it does explore the type of reactions and actions we are seing when anyone or anything challenges our own status-quo (which is obviously TRUTH because I'm me, Right?).

Anyway, about the issues that games bring, I suppose we have to go back to the same old as time question, what came first?
Let's consider today that almost every teenager has some amount of contact with videogames. Videogames are not exclusive at all, and they are becoming less and less so. Completely "mainstream normal" people today get together and play games, as a totally acceptable activity. Of course this players are considered less "Hardcore", and I'm assuming we consider the possible negative effects on them negligible.

So I suppose the problem comes with players that would rather play games than experience other types of interaction. And end up denying and avoiding "real life experiences" in favor of fiction.
Thing is, introverts have existed throughout all human history. People have used Books, Movies, Comics and really any form of fiction as escapism. And to be honest, all those problems you list CAN exist extending from an addiction to any of those mediums.
Can games be more immersive, addictive and consuming? Possibly, since they are a lot more inviting and simple to get into than other formats. But the potential still exist in of the formentioned mediums. Many people in one way or another use all sorts of fiction as a "mental paralytic" and avoid intimate or community experiences, allowing them to experience a more controled (albeit "fake") situation.
I am an introvert, personally, And WAY BEFORE I had any contact with videogames, I used drawing and reading to distance myself from a lot of social contact. Today I play a lot of games, and I am very aware that I'm not an overly social person, even though I don't have any particular issues with people, I am just more reserved, but I would not directly blame videogames for that.

Of course I think that the easy accessibility to the medium enable more people that may be prone to an "antisocial" behaviour to actually approach games (and get stuck on them if not supervised). But once again, Schizophrenics will be schizophrenics, Obsessive compulsive people will behave obsessive compulsively. And in any situation these unchecked disorders will find ways to express themselves, and ultimately hurt the person.
I'm not denying the responsibility of games though, a lot of them don't help expanding the range of interaction options that a player has. But also as far as my experience goes, I have observed that there is a definite effort going into spreading the range of intelectual, emotional and inter-personal engagement through games.

Even the existance of the nintendo wii, with it's profoundly "social" approach, or the how popular the casual mobile market has become show that games are no longer such a defined and enclosed activity.

Experiences such as Journey shine a very different light on what we can expect of games, actually involving the player and asking extremely interesting questions about storytelling, about how our emotional predisposition and our behaviour can be modified through the range of options available to us, about violence, and about what companionship actually means today.

MetalMagpie:

Out of all the points made, this is actually the one that really made me think.

I'm a female gamer. My boyfriend games as well, but I almost always go to bed later than he does (often a lot later). My boyfriend isn't the sort of guy who likes to pester his girlfriend for sex (and will only very rarely interrupt me gaming). Instead he waits until I finally do make it to bed before he starts the suggestive snuggling, by which point I'm far too tired for anything.

I wonder how many people in relationships this is true for. In any case, going to bed earlier would probably be good for my general health as well!

Thing is, it could be anything and everything.
Could the gaming just be an excuse not to go to bed and is there any other underlying issue that is causing you to avoid going to bed?
This is where people against gaming in general scream "NO!" and say that gaming is so addictive that this should be the main cause. Not to say that it's not addicting or that it's so tempting to farm that item, gain that level or beat that stage that it keeps you from your real life, but all in all it really is a coping mechanism.

I know from personal experience that it took a while to understand that I really didn't love or have any interest in a previous girlfriend of mine and I had excuses to avoid her and avoid spending time with her. Games were an escaperoute, as well as others things. Sometimes relationships just go sour and it wasn't that games were so addicting that I neglected her, I just played games because I didn't want to be burdened by my guilt.

I'm not saying this is your case or asking for an answer to my question, it's hypothetical and my point is that while my example perfectly defends gaming, I am not against the idea that games can be a temptation that makes us forget our duties and responsibilities.

GAminG IS COLA CyBORG OUt

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