Tuesday, February 20, 2007

A Stigma

One more night of work to go, then I'll be off to sleep my head off. It's been tiring and busier than what I would've liked.

Anyway, here is today's post.

I was reading some stuff on Wiki the last few nights and I recall some conversations I had with my friends about games, computers and gamers.

There is a bit of a stigma attached to someone who likes to use the computer isn't there? That someone would be labeled a nerd or a geek, wouldn't he/she? Even worse when the computer is used for gaming and even worse than that, if the gamer isn't a child.

From what I can observe, this stigma is particularly strong in conservative societies and amongst older people.

Why is it apparently ok for someone to sit on a couch and watch TV for 10 hours but not ok if the same person uses the computer for 10 hours?

What's the difference?

Why is watching TV for a long time more "normal" than using the computer for the same period of time?

This is an interesting bunch of questions no?

Anyway, when I think about it the answers are legion. Perhaps it's the natural inclination for people to fear stuff that they don't understand, considering the fact that most people who think computer usage is not "normal" are older people. Perhaps it's that lack of empathy for people who like different things. Perhaps it's anti-intellectualism, because the most stick computer users get tend to be from dumb jocks who are technologically illiterate.

It could be all of that and more, I guess. What do you think? Would you think it's strange for someone to prefer surfing for news and other info, reading blogs and playing games on the computer/internet to spending time watching telly?

Another thing that came to mind was that stereotype of gamers being "kids" or "childish" or shit like that.

Well, I disagree obviously and according to what I found out in the US the average age of a gamer is 29 and the average age for people who spend money to buy gaming software is 36.

As can be proven all the time, stereotypes are always wrong.

Anyway, how is playing a computer game more "immature" than getting smashed on cheap, smuggled beer on a Saturday night?

I would like to know, what is the average age of a gamer in Malaysia? Is it still kid's stuff here? Do yuppies and blue collar people play games too?

In my own circle of friends, I can tell you that they do in fact play games.

Does anyone have any stats? I'd like to see.

PS. Case in point is this thread from the World of Warcraft forums where older gamers introduce themselves. Also, this is probably the best thread ever to appear on the WoW forums in terms of spelling and grammar...

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