Poll: The social stigma of gaming - increasing, decreasing or staying the same?

Hi all,

I'm currently doing an article for a website I write for about whether the stigma of gaming nowadays is increasing, decreasing or staying the same and wanted some of your opinions on it. I was wondering if any of you could pose any arguments for either side?

Why do you think gaming in particular holds more of a stigma than other media texts?

Do you think the stigma will ever come down to a level (or disappear completely) of that of other media texts e.g. films?

Do try and keep it civil as well, otherwise, well...that doesn't help me (or anyone else) at all, does it?


Either that, or I care even less about what people think about my hobby than I did a few years ago.

That's an easy one: Decreasing

With the introduction of mass-friendly gaming like Apps and the Wii, gaming is slowly shifting away from "Eternal Virgin" to normal people.

Will the stigma ever be completely erased? I doubt it. Unlike other media formats, gaming does take a certain amount of commitment to get "serious" about it and there are always going to be people who look down on gamers because of it. Not to mention that there are always going to be gamers who perfectly fit that bill and want to keep it that way since they don't want "the cool kids" to come in and have what they have.

Daystar Clarion:

Either that, or I care even less about what people think about my hobby than I did a few years ago.

Nooo, Daystar is stealing my thoughts. *puts on tinfoil hat*

OT: Increasing or decreasing compared to what? Compared to last month? Last year? Ten years ago? In general, as the video game industry grows, it's getting harder and harder to point at "those guys" and laugh when you're one of them. The people who grew up with games now have families of their own and children, presumably gamers as well. There is a lot of talk about introducing more and more games around - on your phone, on your browser, on your tablet, on your TV, on your watch. The gaming singularity approaches, therefore yhe stigma should be decreasing.

I'd say decreasing. It's become a lot more accessible to everyone than it used to be. The plethora of games across the spectrum of genres provide a lot of options for just about anyone.

I think the stigma is decreasing but I doubt that it's what really matches most gamers that are not mere fanboys (or girls). We're getting a lot of flak about the Wii games and the many phone games and by extent the games on Facebook or other social media, the console or even PC gamers' stigma is less than what it used to be. I think being a gamer is now suddenly something everyone with a slightly better than old phone can do but is that really what it should be? That's the better question. Hopefully this helped ^^

Thanks for the input so far. Keep it coming!

Few more questions I hadn't thought of the first time:

Why do you think gaming in particular holds more of a stigma than other media texts?

Do you think the stigma will ever come down to a level (or disappear completely) of that of other media texts e.g. films?

Daystar Clarion:

Either that, or I care even less about what people think about my hobby than I did a few years ago.

Actually, I hadn't factored in that people might have become less self-conscious as they grew up instead of the stigma decreasing. Something to consider, I guess.

I say it's the same . It's just that people are more open about it . The gamers from yesteryear are maturig and don't care what people think . You see the stigmas from people who DON'T play games . These people still view gamers the same way they dis years ago . As a geeky/nerdy trend . Just more people are open about it and don't really care . That's my opinion about it anyways . Just because it's more acessable doesn't mean people view it differently . A guy that plays only angry birds still views the guy with 10 lvl 85s on wow as a no life loser that spends all their time playing games instead of doin something productive .

Why do you think gaming in particular holds more of a stigma than other media texts?

Easy - it's a new medium. And hasn't been held in high regard from the beginning either. All new technology held that stigma in the beginning. A long time ago, the railways were responsible for delivering the mail and such. Some block went to them and told them of this amazing new technology that allowed for transmission of messages even faster than trains. He called it the telegraph. The nerve he had! Why would people even want to transmit messages almost instantaneously across the country when a letter worked just fine? Yeah, that eventually got adopted[1] Some time later when telegraphs were common, another dude went to pitch his crazy idea to the railways. It was technology that allowed actual voice to be transmitted across the country, not just a series of beeps and bops. Of course, nobody took him seriously - why would people even want to hear their friends and relatives from afar? After all, a letter or a telegram would have worked just as well. Yeah, that got adopted, too. But transatlantic telephones? Surely, there is merit in phoning the UK from the USA and vice versa. But when it became known that the UK techie in charge of setting up the cable had set up a cable with sixteen connections (work with this, can't recall the actual number) he was fired and I think even sued for wasting money. After all, the UK didn't need much more than two phone connections. Maybe four.

As I said, all new technology suffers from similar stuff. Same goes for entertainment media. Look up how baffled some people were with, say movies, or colour films or even sound films (again, why is it necessary? it worked fine before). It the same story over and over again. If tomorrow somebody announced that they found a new entertainment medium a thousand times more enjoyable and fulfilling than movies, books and video games, there would still be people who'd look down on it and its fans.

Do you think the stigma will ever come down to a level (or disappear completely) of that of other media texts e.g. films?

I suppose yes, but not really soon. Gaming requires more time and more involvement than, say, watching movies. So while you can go and chat to people about movies, because all of you have seen lots of them, it's harder to do the same with games. It's a bit of a niche entertainment, compared to others so far. It will surely become more well known and accepted just not in a year or five.

[1] A bit of a funny story - the telegraph was installed just to see how it goes. Shortly after a robber hopped on a train to another city. Sure enough, until then, the only way to contact the police in the other city to apprehend the bad guy, would be to send a letter...with the next train. Thanks to the telegraph, though, the dude was arrested as he was leaving the train. That marked a HUGE success for the technology.

if brevik had committed his crime 5 years ago and blamed it on call of duty 4 every soccer mum watching fox news would lose their shit and throw up a massive shit storm, but he did it this year, pointed his finger at mw3 and wow and almost everyone's reaction was eh, what a nutter its ludicrous that he seriously used mw3 as part of his training or that wow turned him evil.

so yes we have seen big improvements as more people play games, they become more accepted

It's both.

The category of gamer is more widely noticed as a significant percentage of mankind.

But the people that represent that category display a lot of tard and derp mentality.

I skimmed through past comments and I will read them in a moment, but I don't want to be affected by everyone's opinion yet. That way, my response will be sincere and maybe more helpful. Or not. *Shrugs*

Why do you think gaming in particular holds more of a stigma than other media texts?
It seems to me that people see gaming as a waste of time. Think about it; you grab a controller, stare at the TV for hours and hours and there goes your entire day. Watching TV would be almost the same, except that has been accepted as an American tradition, so to speak, by now.
Also, I see this at work everyday: Moms walk into my store (GameStop) complaining about the price of games and how their son beats said games in a week. They're absolutely right, though. Gaming is a pricey hobby. It would seem like a waste of money to other people who would rather play sports or read books or...watch TV.
So basically, it seems like a selfish, immature and pricey hobby to most people.

Do you think the stigma will ever come down to a level (or disappear completely) of that of other media texts e.g. films?
Yes, with time it will. Again, I see this at work a lot: Families are embracing videogames more and more each day. With stuff like the Kinect and the Wii, parents are actually taking a huge leap of faith by buying these systems and, mind you, they buy them so that they, too, can play with their kids. Back when I was a kid, only "nerds and rich people" had videogame systems. Just watch a movie from the 80s and compare how gamers are portrayed back them vs. how they're portrayed nowadays. (Hint: Geeks vs. cool guys).
Not only that, but developers are also embracing newcomers. With such games about dancing and sports and even cooking, more people are getting interested in gaming. I've seen families walk into my store and each family member chooses a different game. Mom picks Zumba, dad picks Battlefield, son picks Mass Effect and daughter picks Mini Ninjas. When the whole family is part of the gaming community, they don't mind as much because they're spending time together. I've even heard people say they prefer to have their kids inside playing games than to be outside where they're vulnerable. But I don't know about that.

So yeah, I think that stigma is decreasing. It all goes down to publishers and developers getting smart about their audience. When you pack a PS3 with a Blu ray player, Cd player, DVD player and it allows you to browse the web, store music and videos and chat with someone, you know people are gonna consider buying one at some point, especially families. And when you hear people complain about how videogames make people fat, you know developers are gonna come up with exercise games so mommy will be happy. And she can even join the fun!

But you know, leave it to the media to make videogames look dumb and primal and compare it to a brainwashing machine. If you ask me, that's the only reason why that stigma is not decreasing as fast as we would like it to. We hear more negative feedback about gaming that positive. The worst part is that:
a) People usually remember the negative stuff. It's a fact: People can shower you with compliments but you will always remember that one time that person called you fat.
b) People who throw dirt at gaming don't even bother to do their research.
c) People who READ the articles are easily persuaded and also don't bother to do some research before shunning gaming.

It's a weird thing. I'd say it's going down, but not in the way people think.

I know plenty of people who would scoff at the idea of them being 'gamers', while they sink another hour into Angry Birds or Farmville. What I mean is a lot of people are gamers who either don't realise it or don't want to admit it. They don't think what gaming they do counts as 'gaming'.

In that respect, I'd say the stigma isn't surrounding the games themselves anymore, because nearly everyone games now, but there's still the stigma of being identified as a 'gamer'. To these people, being a 'gamer' means spending entire days with the blinds drawn, hunched in front of a computer or console and surrounded by empty pizza boxes and mountain dew bottles.

Eventually the masses will realise playing games doesn't make you a basement dwelling loser, and that will be that. What needs to either improve or be disproved is what a 'stereotypical gamer' actually is.

I think it's still the same as before.

Casual gamers and non-gamers will still think you're weird if you sink 80 hours into Fallout or Dark Souls, but see nothing wrong in buying crap for Facebook games or The Sims articles of clothing. They also will never hold in high regard some living room 'tard who screams at the TV when he gets sniped.

non-gamers: gamers waste time; are immature
casual gamers: I only play on the subway; while waiting for someone
gamer: i luv ma gaems; they're best

It is in a flux of sorts, certain genres are now more socially acceptable while others will have you not being able to hold a job for a LONG LONG TIME.


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