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Gamers are Awesome

Georgina Young / November 6, 2014 at 8:00 AM / Archive

Updated Editor’s Note 11/7/2017 – While we certainly agree that gamers ARE awesome, in an effort to further commit to our editorial vision of quality content about nothing but games or the industry, we are leaving this note here to let you know that this article does not meet the standards of that vision as it exists today. This article may be poorly written, or it may be well-written but with charged political content, which we have stepped away from. It’s not the ideas we have a problem with, as we do not discourage any viewpoint, we are just moving away from this sort of content. This article no longer represents TechRaptor’s editorial vision today and into the future. You can read more about why we are doing this here.

 

2 months ago when the Zoe Post was published, I wasn’t reading a huge amount of gaming media as I suckled almost exclusively from the breast of Nintendo. Once the Quinnspiracy was over, I and many others believed that would be the end of it. Then recently, I saw my partner reading a GamerGate forum and thought “Is that not over yet?” I was soon to realise how NOT over it was when GamerGate articles and coverage exploded into the mainstream media everywhere from The Guardian to MSNBC. I was wracked with curiosity as to why this thing just wouldn’t die like everyone predicted it would. Why has GamerGate controversy continued when so many other similar campaigns faded into nothing? And then I remembered it’s because everyone involved is a gamer.

For those of you who haven’t seen Jane McGonigal’s talk on why gamers are such special, amazing people I urge you to watch below.

You may have already heard of the notion that 10,000 hours of thoughtful study in any area makes you  an expert in that field. This can be anything from speaking a language, to playing the guitar, and even video games. Now, I know I’m not the only one who spent more than 10,000 hours in just Sonic 2’s Death Egg Zone alone in my life, and McGonigal’s research suggests that playing video games like it’s a part-time job, lends you at being a expert in more than just kicking Robotnik’s ass. Playing World of Warcraft more than you care about your real life job not only teaches you how to slay a dragon, but several other key skills that make you an amazing person in real life too.

Most games, level challenges with your current skill level. While missions may be challenging and right at the edge of what is achievable, we are aware that if the task has been set of us, it is feasible.  Gamers take this extreme self-motivation and belief that any task comes with a reasonable chance of success with them into real life, and so attempt and therefore succeed at more difficult problems. McGonigal labels this skill “Urgent Optimism”.

Gaming is often painted to be a solitary hobby but research indicates it is quite the opposite. When playing co-op or multiplayer and in particular in strategy games such as Diplomacy, it is important to delegate a level of trust into your fellow players with shared values. Gaming with others actually strengthens social fabrics beyond that of other collective or group activities.

People are happiest when they can visualise achievements. Studies suggest that people in fact are happier when they are put to work than when they are at rest, as long as they can see positive results. Gamers are experts at this kind of blissful productivity, and when given a task they enjoy will put endless hours into tackling it.

epic win face

Much like the previously mentioned dragon slaying, Gamers love tasks with an epic meaning. Basically the bigger and more super human the task the more likely a gamer is to set their sights on it. This obviously has huge real life impact, and those who have this skill are more likely to go after problems that others find unsolvable, whether this is world peace, feeding the hungry or taking down the mainstream media.

On top of this I would like to point to something I have seen in the gaming community: Inclusivity. Gamers tend to be the most inclusive group of people I have ever met, due to the fact that we were all outsiders ourselves. While I may seem self-confident now, I was that awkward, chubby girl in high school who everyone thought was funny but ultimately a bit weird. I dropped out of school three times, I became anorexic, I was desperate to fit in, but I did not. Everyone thought I didn’t care what others thought, but really I was desperate for their approval.

I know I’m not the only one. Just how semi-professional Smash player MilkTea felt excluded by many others for her race, or YouTuber Boogie for his weight, we all found solace in video games, and the gaming community. The gaming community is a rare one in that anyone can join, as long as you share a singular hobby.

In conclusion, Gamers believe they can succeed, Gamers trust, Gamers are happiest when they achieve, Gamers love tackling epic tasks, and Gamers will allow anyone who wishes to, join them on their crusade. In other words, Gamers are experts at being awesome, and we can solve the world’s problems, if you just give us time.


Georgina Young

Contributor

British girl, currently in Japan. Surviving on a diet of retro games. Worshiping the god that is the Sega Megadrive. I like Nintendo.



  • Kelly Maxwell

    We’ve come a long way baby.

  • Alex

    Great article! Truly a interesting perspective.

  • Thanks for a good article, very nice read.

  • Wonderkarp

    this made me smile

  • Cole Pram

    Well said Georgina. Gaming was my outlet when I was young. I was bullied and physically abused for being “different”. Playing Warcraft, Starcraft and Diabol on Battle Net with friends and my father (parents were divorced) was one of the few outlets I had. I played WoW with my older sister, cousins, friends and strangers for years.

    I was included in the gaming community, where I was tortured and excluded in reality.

    I’m not going to let “Gamers are scum” be the narrative the press pushes anymore. Gamers are my friends, but above all they’re my family.

    We are gamers, we are alive.

  • Viredae

    It’s been 20 years now since the original Warcraft, if I didn’t know any better, I’d say this whole Gamergate situation IS the big world-changing event.

    Think about it, mainstream media’s getting into this now, we win this? That means that these supposedly unproductive bunch of losers who live in their parents’ basement, they’re the ones who did the impossible feat of fixing the country’s problems.

    How’s that for crazy?

  • Reptile

    Awesome! Both the video and the article.
    I was and am very lonely and I had a lot of problems related to make group works at school, it was only after the advent of internet and online games that I started to play team based games and began to really know how teamwork works. There is a magical thing about team-based games, the most iconic game for me is Battlefield 2142, where I began to play on the squad-based system. When you go to a squad to play “serious” the synergy happens.

    I Rarely chat at online games, I know communication is crucial for this team environment but I ralely needed to. I always knew that I only had to follow my Squad leader and support him at any shit that he was trying to do, always selecting my role (medic, support, etc) according to what the squad or situation lacked, sometimes of course that I needed to chat and say “that will not work” or “there are too much enemies there, let’s go sideways”. Of course this synergy only happens when you get a squad dedicated as you are, and this is how you win the game.

    This is something that I always took it with me, in college and work, I know that I must follow my manager instructions and I know that he may not be right always, and when he does I need to be there to help him, to tell him another way to solve a problem, because we as a company are like a squad in Battlefield, and I know that one time I will fail too and I will need someone to point me the “right way”. That is how you win in work.

    Besides that there is a lot of things that I learnt in gaming that I use in my day-to-day work and I think it can’t fit in a single comment. (Ps: games taught me not to jump on lava or spikes too)

  • jeebusmcchrist

    Tech Raptor confirmed for woman-hating shitlords misogynerds for thinking gaming isn’t the worst thing in the entire world.

    Kidding, of course. Keep up the good work, Georgina. We love you.

  • Cakemagic

    I can’t say it’s a well researched article, but still, thank you very much for spending your time talking about #GamerGate.

  • Saturnrules

    Glad to have Tech Raptor in my daily cycle (with no adblock) in the place of Eurogamer, Giantbomb, IGN, Kotaku and the rest of the shitlords.

  • Adam Astles

    Wow, an article on gaming that doesn’t assume that gamers are a piece of shit

  • Invin

    The beauty of gaming is you make friends not even knowing what their race, gender, or social status are. I have all these friends now from different walks of life that I never would have met except through playing games together. One is a male doctor, one is a female programmer studying Korean, I’m a musician and digital artist, and we’ve all learned from eachother because we met just helping eachother in a video game. There was never an, “okay, but I’ll need to see your picture and resume first”, we just played together. The “racist misogynist shitlord” cliche is so opposite of reality it’s actually funny, albeit frustrating to be accused of.

  • David Gray

    Ouch!
    You did critical damage to my feels <3
    Thanks for the pep!
    Gaming pretty much got me to adulthood and introduced me to (and keeps me in touch with) my best friends.

    Identity politics are meaningless for gamers, because we all choose our identity.
    Those focused on faux progressive hipsters fail to see a genuinely inclusive and diverse community, and then blame their failing on the community they attack.

    #gamergate has vindicated my love of gaming and gamers.
    We aint perfect, but we are pretty great.

  • Thomas Fährmann

    I´m just a dude who loves gaming and nothing the media says can crush my love for gaming. They can bark and yell and throw mud at me but my love for it cant be destroyed. It´s realy that simple. What has this so called media givin me ? right… nothing! with games i have a long relationship so in the words of Leigh A. these shitslinging media idiots can die in their sad mental state i dont care… and games never cared either… lets ask some game what it thinks about these people… it tells you… please press enter to start gaming 😀

  • Fenrir007

    Articles like this, that feel like a celebration of gaming instead of demonizing it, are a breath of fresh air in the current vidya witch hunt climate. Thanks, Georgina!