While I don’t think there will ever be a definition of what a “hardcore” gamer is that everyone can agree upon, there are certainly unfair stereotypes that surround the term. These negative images often portray us as anti-social homebodies that only think about playing. The vast majority of people who consider themselves hardcore gamers have a life outside of their virtual ones. Here’s just a few of the worst gamer stereotypes.
We Have Violent Tendencies
Some studies have shown that hardcore gamers who play violent games are more violent. Other studies show the opposite. The fact is crimes rates among teens have gone down for 30 years, right as video games were finding their way into American households. The most important factor when it comes to violent tendencies is a stable home life, not exposure to video games. If games truly did cause real life violence, crime rates would be rising, not declining.
We’re Overweight and Out of Shape
The image of empty pizza boxes and Code Red Mountain Dew littering a gamer’s den is a popular one. While I won’t claim that I never shoved pizza down my throat while gaming, it certainly isn’t a daily or even weekly occurrence. Just like with any other group, gamers come in many shapes and sizes. Playing video games is a sedentary activity for the most part, but that doesn’t mean gamers don’t go outside or get exercise. As motion control becomes a bigger part of the experience, gamers are moving around more then ever. While I don’t want motion control to take over every genre, the option to play exercise type games is still available.
We’re Either a Teenage Boy or Loser Adult Male
This is one of the most pervasive stereotypes out there. Responsible adults with careers and families, or any female can’t be hardcore gamers. This attitude is outdated and just silly. According to studies, about 40% of gamers are female and 33% are women over 18. While these numbers include games that are typically seen as “casual,” there’s no denying women are becoming a force in the industry. There are websites, professional gaming leagues, and special interest groups that focus solely on women and gaming.
All We Do is Play Video Games
This stereotype is sort of a catch all for the ones above. People who play a lot a video games can’t be healthy, have a job, or even pursue other interests because all we want to do is play. This is not true, of course. Gaming for most people is not an addiction. While it’s not uncommon to spend a lot of time playing, gamers will put down the controller and do something else.
While some hardcore gamers might seem to fall into one or more of the categories, these stereotypes are unfair and untrue for the vast majority of us. We aren’t violent, lazy, or anti-social. Just because we are passionate about video games, it doesn’t mean it has taken over our entire lives.