I’ve gotta get on that internet. I’m late on everything. Jerry Seinfeld was spot on in the ‘90s, but apparently working for an online publication hasn’t helped at all, as I totally missed the “gamers are horrible” rant by Fairfax journalist Katherine Feeney yesterday.
It’s spawned a number of responses, including some great commentary from the likes of Dan Golding on Crikey, Trog on AusGamers and Kotaku reader CookingMama, who is a 32-year-old woman, which alone pretty much counters all the arguments in the original blog post. There’s plenty out there already, but why pass up a chance to yell loudly on Twitter?
First of all, I feel for Katherine. Blog writing to fund beer and pants isn’t as easy as it appears (Mum, I’m serious, okay?), and eventually you have to write about something without all the facts. That happens in video games media, a niche industry in which we know what our day will consist of before getting to work, so I hate to think about how often it must happen in mainstream newsrooms (where I have also spent some time). At least she admitted she isn’t an expert, but then I wouldn’t consider myself one either.
You couldn't possibly play games with someone else socially. Cannot be done.
We know that gaming isn’t primarily a male domain and isn’t dominated by adolescents anymore. Wave goodbye to 1987. However, she isn’t entirely wrong. The article means to focus on gamers who choose to play games over socialising with the other humans in the real world. Those are most likely to be male, but only because the female equivalents have something else to do. I have no idea what that is, but it must exist.
I know this type of person, and there’s nothing wrong with him. Preferring to play Call of Duty on a Saturday rather than spending all of your savings to waste most of the night standing in the “I’m not with three hot chicks” line at a club is hard to challenge. In fact, I’ve even made this social.
Believe it or not, I’ve played games on a Saturday night in the same room as other gamers. Why would these relationships be more meaningful if games weren’t involved? It’s a common ground, like any other hobby, and it’s what brought us together in the first place.
However, they have been mostly male dominated events, and the article is talking about adult romantic relationships being ruined by games. So from that standpoint, maybe it’s true, since we weren’t out that night trying to find a woman to
see naked marry. The again, who spends more time having crazy monkey sex than engaging in a hobby? Apparently that’s what we should be doing. Well done, Hank Moody.
Do you have at least two vaginas with that penis? Get out.
Singling out the gamers, specifically male gamers, is unfair. There must be a female equivalent with this “socially counter-productive” lifestyle or else the gender ratio is royally screwed. Clubs and bars would be overflowing with socially productive (is that the alternative?) women as millions of the male population would be locked up in their mother's basement, avoiding society because of video games, without a female counterpart. In the history of bars, pubs and clubs, there has never been a dude shortage. Those figures don’t add up.
Furthermore, why is time not spent gaming time that could be spent socialising? I play a majority of games on weeknights or lazy Sunday afternoons and even at work (but it’s totally allowed). If not gaming, I wouldn’t be out of the house, and I’d suggest non-gamers aren’t either. They’d spend this same “down time” watching TV or living vicariously through Facebook. But apparently watching Jersey Shore is a much better use of your time than playing Mass Effect 3. Incorrect.
The other responses have refuted the remaining strange claims, but it still really irks me that the mainstream media reports of gaming when they don’t have a clue about it. Play games for a month and get back to me. Outside perspectives are always interesting, but when it comes to games, they’re invariably wrong. I joke about teen girls secretly revealing their lesbianism on Facebook and old men with beards ruining the world because they don’t understand YouFace and BookTube, but it’s simply that: a joke. I don’t know anything about the culture behind 17-year-old girls' Facebook habits and the beardies got into positions of power doing something right.
Judging gamers without having played an XGameStationBox is like going to a remote village and telling them they’re doing life all wrong and that they need to speak English with iPods and designer condoms. You have no idea what you’re talking about and will only succeed in insulting the subject and yourself.
By Ben Salter