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.
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.
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.
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.