It’s Just A Video Game

Have you ever tried to talk to someone about your favorite video game, only for your excitement or frustration to be dismissed as something childish. “It’s just a video game,” you could be told. “Grow up.” “It’s not like it’s important.” “It’s just a game.” It’s the stigma that’s attached to video games. They are inherently viewed as childish and unworthy of “adult attention.” Video games are seen as a waste of time… something completely non-productive.

VideoGames

An extreme view, but one that I’ve seen and experienced

Passion for a game is also dismissed by people inside the video game industry. Video game developers tend to LOVE it when people are passionate for their games and talk about it for years (see Super Mario Brothers 3, Mass Effect 1 and 2, Call of Duty, etc). But if gamers see there’s a problem in the game, the gamer is viewed as somehow immature and childish because they are focusing too much on the game. It’s strange. The video game developers/distributors love to see their games linger in people’s minds, but only if it is positive. If it is negative, the gamers are losers for not moving on. Heck, Chris Priestly (let go from BioWare a few months ago) still trolls people online if they still express strong feelings about Mass Effect 3.

Priestly

Trolling because he has nothing else to do

These stances only work if people truly believed video games don’t matter. That they are nothing more than a distraction from what is truly important in life. For the people who just flat out criticizes gamers for being passionate about video games (why don’t you care about something that matters? Think of the children in Somefuckastain being eaten by dragons you selfish blah, blah, blah!), it’s just a video game that the gamer is passionate about.

Just a video game.

Just.

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I don’t think I really have to go into that much detail over the first part. We’ve all experienced something like it. Maybe it was a pointless argument with your parents. Or maybe someone made a flippant comment about how you could be gaining “valuable life skills” or something.

As a side note, I hate the way people use “just.” You can attach it to anything to make it seem less important. It’s just a car. It’s just money. It’s just a house. It was just a kiss. It’s just … blah, blah, blah. Try it yourself. You can instantly demean almost anything you want to. Yay!

More to the point. Is it really just a video game?

No. No it’s not.

An entire sub-culture sprung up around video games. We have cosplayers. We have recognizable music which damn near everyone knows. We have our own slang. We have our own fashion. We have our own fields of academic study. We have our own celebrities. We have our own icons. Hell, we have holidays (November 7th = N7 Day, for example).

Would I say video games are important? You know, I don’t know. The idea of importance is so relative that what I think is important, someone else would think it is a waste of time. I view things that help me have fun as important. So to me, video games can be considered important. Doesn’t mean it is important for someone else. What I do know is this.

We’ve hit a point where we can’t look at a video game and just see a video game. It is so much more than that.

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3 comments on “It’s Just A Video Game

  1. What about… If I were to say it’s NOT just a video game? There’s a “just” in that sentence! Lol. J/k

    People say that because of the stigma that it isn’t important to them, not their first priority, not their passion, list goes on. It doesn’t just comes from non-gamers like parents or my bf’s girl friends who think games makes a guy seem childish, but also even casual gamers.

    It’s just their POV and different choice in taste and what’s way more important. I’ve grown so used to it that I barely give a reply to those comments/jokes made on this. The more you rage, the more irritated you’d get by them. If I let it slide and let them rant while ignoring them aka not listening to their “rubbish” mumblings, the faster you can get on with things and go back to playing your game. Unless your parent or partner go aggro on you and your console/internet/pc/etc, you’d eventually get to play peacefully once they get tired of blabbering. >_>

    • I’ve found this stigma really goes beyond video games… and I find it so annoying. Last time I went to GenCon, so many cab drivers and people in general were criticizing people for just having fun. It’s almost as if there’s something wrong with wanting to enjoy life!

  2. “It’s just a ______”
    has been a cop out for people who aren’t a part of that community for years it’s not just about Video Games.
    Most companies want positive views to linger on and bad ones to go away. In fact most people do about their own lives. This isn’t really Video Game specific in any way.
    People aren’t just dismissive of games but of anything that doesn’t directly affect them.
    To be honest just saying a whole culture sprang up around something doesn’t give it validity. I am really surprised you didn’t bring up any more substantial evidence in your arguments.
    For example all the studies that have proven improved hand eye coordination. The studies that prove a lack of correlation between real life and video game violence. The educational role video games play in the lives of children.
    Not sure “Yeah Huh cause we all like it” actually proves relevance but I do like your position on the over all issue.

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