Great article, Brenda.
I will say that my experiences with my non-gaming acquaintances has been almost entirely positive. Curiosity is the dominant response to the fact that I am a game reviewer. How does my graduate school training connect to my tastes in games? Can you explain World of Warcraft to me? Are they the new comic book/Saturday morning cartoon culture? At a faculty event last month, I sat by someone who had heard the GTA Causes Crime argument, and was happy to get a counterpoint from me.
I'm sure it helps that some of these people do related media studies. History of technology, film history...or are my age or younger. But even my senior citizen neighbors think games are at least valid subjects of inquiry.
But there is a demographic shift coming. When I taught high school a few years ago, gaming was so accepted by the students and young faculty that there wasn't even the social nerd stigma that it might have had ten years ago. And in the mainstream news, the GTA4 coverage was more "fair" than coverage of earlier versions.
The only way to hasten this mind shift among our adult peers, of course, is to be out of the gaming closet. To not evangelize for the industry or the pastime, but for adult gamers to at least be open about who we are. There's still a sense of shame about gaming that, let's face it, the gaming media indulges in with constant jokes about gamers living in basements or being sexless trolls.
- Troy Goodfellow
Very nice read :)
Personally I think it's the medias fault for perpetuating this, they may not be the underlying reason. However they are the people that get it to mainstream, and it's their responsibility to make sure it's not bias. And it's scary how often the media misrepresent video games, and this does lead you to think, how often do they misrepresent other things to? It's obvious to us, the gamers, wherever the media makes a mistake. For example blaming Grand theft auto when a man robbed a video game store of 30+ titles, it's obvious to us that the media has it wrong, he simply wanted the games and didn't want to pay for them like any other thief. However the media's interpretation was to use GTA in every other sentence and put a spin on it that made it seem like the thief had said 'Yeah it's all GTA's fault'.