Gamers are horrible people - a response

by Ben Salter Featured 12 Comments 27 Votes 5031 Views 15/03/2012 Back to Articles

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

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Gamers are horrible people - a response Comments

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She doesn't have much of a clue, even admitting it in the article.
I don't want real friends though?? why do we HAVE to have friends????

M@ndyz said: I don't want real friends though?? why do we HAVE to have friends????



True that as well.

Real friends are good and I couldn't be one of those guys that never goes out, but I think it's nice to have a balance. There seem to be a lot of people, and since we're all stereotyping I'll say it's people who take these poses on Facebook, that cannot be alone. They can't handle their own company and need someone else to be with them all the time. I think that's just as bad.

I know these people on Facebook.. my god.. I know family members like it.. they have friends around them, all the time.. I have a best friend but I don't need to see her everyday nor do I talk to her everyday and she hates Facebook.. :P
The only two uses of friends I can think of is for a CV reference and a witness for a passport or police check.
My problem is that people that write this stuff automatically assume that video gaming, because it is a relatively new form of media consumption, is some sort of taboo 'we have to understand the possibilities of this' topic. It is not. It is just like anything else, it is different because it is driven by forward thinking people that have simply been able to incorporate more elaborate and risqué narrative and gameplay elements than other media do. Mainstream movies have spent the past 20-30 years still sitting on the basic 80s action flick... they have no progressed. Gaming has gone above and beyond that progression, in just 10 years. People like this Keener, just don't understand how you can sit there for a few hours a day with a controller in hand - because, quite simply, they are used to having their eyes drilled to affixed television programs, which are just as, if not more, detrimental to the mental health of a person (eg. The Biggest Loser, Today Tonight, The Simpsons, etc). It is the same thing.
Here's the thing: Dudes don't have friends in the way women have friends. Chicks do stuff together just because they can, but men need a context. You don't say to another man, "Dude, you wanna hang out tomorrow? Just do whatever?" Nope, you say, "Let's go to the footy," or "Let's play some Battlefield tonight."
What a nice lady. [MOG]

Desi said: Here's the thing: Dudes don't have friends in the way women have friends. Chicks do stuff together just because they can, but men need a context. You don't say to another man, "Dude, you wanna hang out tomorrow? Just do whatever?" Nope, you say, "Let's go to the footy," or "Let's play some Battlefield tonight."



That's a very true observation. Maybe an exception is teenagers, always loitering or 'hanging', but after 18/school, you definitely need a reason.
I thought gaming online was being social? Sure I'm not at a club not being able to talk to anyone because the music is so loud but so what?

Playing online with others, usually friends, that are either irl friends or online friends in my opinion counts as "Being social" I don't go out with my "Girl friends" simply because I don't have girl friends.

I have gamer friends that come over and vice versa and the first thing we do is load up a game? We game, we chat, we laugh.. Isn't that social?

Geez, personally I would rather sit in front of my computer and spend time with my online friends than stand around in a pub/club for hours speaking to no one, paying way too much for drinks and being bored out of my mind and wishing I was at home playing something amazing.

IAMColonel said:

Desi said: Here's the thing: Dudes don't have friends in the way women have friends. Chicks do stuff together just because they can, but men need a context. You don't say to another man, "Dude, you wanna hang out tomorrow? Just do whatever?" Nope, you say, "Let's go to the footy," or "Let's play some Battlefield tonight."


That's a very true observation. Maybe an exception is teenagers, always loitering or 'hanging', but after 18/school, you definitely need a reason.



Very good point. It's a bit different at school, because that's already your reason to be together, so hanging out afterwards is just an extension of that.

There is of course the let's get beer context, but this is still normally driven by a further reason, like you haven't seen each other for ages, want to watch the footy in a bar or frankly just get drunk.
The internet is my only friend

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