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Games Entertainment

Gamers Aren't (Always) Geeks 338

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the gimme-my-pringles-and-mtn-dew-and-turn-of-the-lights dept.
wo1verin3 writes "CNN is reporting that not all gamers are the anti-social folk they are hyped to be by parents and the media. Roughly two-thirds of college students play video games, but the image of a nerdy guy who spends all day in a dimly lit room blowing up computer-generated bad guys is off base, according to a new study. Full story here."
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Gamers Aren't (Always) Geeks

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  • by Mirell (459881) <tryn@mirell.org> on Tuesday July 08, 2003 @08:32AM (#6390490) Homepage Journal
    No, they might not spend it alone, but they still only socialize with other gamers in a LAN gaming shop or whatnot. Not saying that all people in a LAN game are anti-social nerds, far from it. But still, just because they get out and socialize with other gamers is not saying much in it of itself.
    • by mjmalone (677326) on Tuesday July 08, 2003 @08:34AM (#6390513) Homepage
      Actually a lot of people I know are occasional gamers. They arent obsessed with them and associate with "normal" people... The problem is when you become addicted and sit in front of your computer all day.
      • by op51n (544058) on Tuesday July 08, 2003 @08:40AM (#6390604)
        New discovery: not all stereotypes are valid!
      • by notque (636838) on Tuesday July 08, 2003 @08:51AM (#6390723) Homepage Journal
        "Actually a lot of people I know are occasional gamers. They arent obsessed with them and associate with "normal" people... The problem is when you become addicted and sit in front of your computer all day."

        Every Lan party I've ever been to, an hour into the gaming, even the normal gamers are addicted.

        It is just fun to play a competitive game with friends. Especially when you don't have to run or jump to do so. It's pretend!

        Girls also have a realistic chance to be competitive. Stupid starfall.
      • by simong_oz (321118) on Tuesday July 08, 2003 @08:57AM (#6390779) Journal
        ... occasional gamers. They arent obsessed with them and associate with "normal" people...

        Those people are not what I call a "gamer" - they just happen to enjoy spending some time playing computer games, but computer games are not the dominant activity in their lives.

        The problem is when you become addicted and sit in front of your computer all day.

        I'm not sure if that alone is the problem - to me it's more the people who do this to the exclusion of going out and seeing people (non-gamers!) face-to-face in the real world (and I don't mean at LAN parties). I suppose it's like anything that has the potential to be addictive.

        The real difference (and danger I guess) is that it is entirely possible to create another world and not have to interact with anyone through gaming, effectively withdrawing themselves from society - most other activities don't have this "potential".
        • by notque (636838) on Tuesday July 08, 2003 @09:04AM (#6390844) Homepage Journal
          I'm not sure if that alone is the problem - to me it's more the people who do this to the exclusion of going out and seeing people (non-gamers!) face-to-face in the real world (and I don't mean at LAN parties).

          What is wrong with meeting people at lan parties?!

          Or BBS gatherings. Or Chess clubs. or any other perceived geek gathering place?

          There is nothing wrong with it. You just dismiss it because it isn't the way that you would meet people.

          Science Fiction conventions, and model airplanes, tis the life for I!
          • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Tuesday July 08, 2003 @12:20PM (#6393087) Homepage Journal
            People seem to think that there is something sick and/or sad because you met someone via the computer. They also seem to think it's pathetic when you meet someone because of the computer, IE you meet them online and then after a short time to go see them in person and get to know them in meatspace, not cyberspace.

            I have a number of friends who I occasionally see in the really real world who I talk to online all the time, and who I got to know online before I ever met them. Their behavior online is well-representative of how they act in meatspace, as is mine.

            I met my girlfriend, who is not a computer geek (though she is fairly competent in the use of computers and the internet) through an instant messenger. I love her, and we are very happy together. If that's pathetic, then you can stick your whole social scene up your mainstream ass, America. What am I supposed to be doing, going to church meetin's? Picking up chicks in the produce section, making eyes at her over the broccoli? (I know that's hard to do because the broccoli is usually off against the wall, but please, grant me a measure of suspension of disbelief.)

            One nice thing about the internet is that it's inexpensive. I get enjoyment out of my high-speed internet access every day. I am exposed to people and media that I would otherwise never have had a chance to experience, and it only costs me $720 a year. That's not enough even to take a serious vacation. It doesn't stop me from doing things outside, either, we go camping more or less year round and go on walks and drives and so on, but even if we didn't, what's wrong with that? Some people are simply more comfortable behind their computer, and there's nothing wrong with those people. Well, not all of them, anyway.

        • by Ian Wolf (171633) on Tuesday July 08, 2003 @10:44AM (#6392087) Homepage
          If I enjoy playing golf, am I not a golfer even if I don't play every weekend? Likewise, am I not a paintballer if I don't play every weekend.
          If I am not mistaken this is what adjectives were made for. "Avid Gamer" "Obsessed Gamer" IMHO, the fringe should not define the majority. The CNN story simple states that not all people who play games are anti-social geeks who do not interact with the greater society outside of LAN parties and online chat.

          My clan has an architect who surfs, a storm chaser, a cop who is an angler, a psychiatrist, mothers, fathers, and even a grandfather in addition to the programmers and sysadmins. You don't have to be a full time hermit to be a gamer.
    • So... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TamMan2000 (578899) on Tuesday July 08, 2003 @08:45AM (#6390655) Journal
      they still only socialize with other gamers

      Excuse me, but what is your point? Golfers hang out with other golfers, quilters hang out with other quilters, runners hang out with other runners...

      Anyone with a hobby, likely socializes with others who have the same hobby.
    • BS. Of the engineers I went to school with, most of them gamed until it was time to go out the bars, and a little when they came back reaking of vodka and loose women.

      Okay, the women might be stretching it.
      • Uh yeah, especially if they went to a school known for engineering.
      • Was quite proud of the fact that she could go to her sorority's formal, get completely trashed, and STILL kick the asses of the guys in her dorm after she returned at 2 AM.

        Drunken gaming was VERY common at school. :)
        • Was quite proud of the fact that she could go to her sorority's formal, get completely trashed, and STILL kick the asses of the guys in her dorm after she returned at 2 AM.

          Drunken gaming was VERY common at school.


          Only to prove how good you really were. Getting stoned and playing a mind numbing game like golf with friends, yes.

          But not drinking.
    • That's complete bullshit. Most of my friends at university played computer games (both on the PC and on the console) and none of them were unbalanced in any way socially. Hell, one of the main social focal points at the college bar was the game arcades, eg Tekken 2, Puzzle Bubble, The Lost World, Point Blanc, etc.

      Of course, you might say that since almost everyone was a "gamer" (even people without computers), they socialised mostly with gamers, but that would still make your point rather moot. I guess in
    • Hey let's socialize

      A/S/L?
    • If 65% of people play games, those who don't are anything but normal. :) So to hang out with "normal" people you need to hang out with gamers.
    • Is this some kind of perverse Onion article gone legit? Maybe CNN could do a "Not All Old People are Angry Can-Wielding Geezers" article and see how well that goes over with the mass audience. Grr.
  • by Randolpho (628485) on Tuesday July 08, 2003 @08:33AM (#6390501) Homepage Journal
    ... are jocks. It's true. Or at least it was 5 years ago. Not a single one of the guys on the football team didn't have a Playstation or N64.
    • exactly. College football games and NFL were played CONSTANTLY by the members of the football team. I hung out with a few in college and there was always a house full of guys playing PS2 and N64 games.

      I was a Quaker at the time but quickly picked up on Madden. Quake was great but too much garbage was beginning (botting, 12 year olds spamming the messsages, etc). Consoles brought a group of guys together in one location and was quite a bit more fun than sitting in my dorm room huddled over my computer w
    • by Transient0 (175617) on Tuesday July 08, 2003 @08:38AM (#6390580) Homepage
      It's true. And when I was in university, all my friends who were ravers, punk rockers and football players were seriously into games like starcraft and quake.

      The difference is that, although they played them heavily, none of them would have dreamed of subscribing to a gaming magazine or going to a LAN party or gaming event.

      Point being, the gamers that we tend to call "hard-core" are the ones who look to video games to provide them with a social life or community of friends through things such as mailing lists, on-line forums and even live events. These are the gamers who are almost inevitably "geeks".

      The gamers who are the "cool kids" see gaming as something that they do for fun but which isn't really an important part of their life. They see it this way because they get their social life and sense of community from other things such as sports, fraternities or concerts.
    • by notque (636838) on Tuesday July 08, 2003 @08:57AM (#6390774) Homepage Journal
      Quite a few gamers in college are jocks. It's true.

      And the only reason we let them play is because we kick their asses.
    • by lvdrproject (626577) on Tuesday July 08, 2003 @08:57AM (#6390777) Homepage
      Er... that may be so, but how many of those jocks had their N64s and PlayStations almost solely for playing racing, sports, and the occasional shooting game? I don't know what the article's talking about, but when i think of "gamer", i think of somebody who plays A LOT of games, and very involving, generally time-consuming games. Like RPG- and CounterStrike-players. Those are the people that "parents" and "the media" are talking about, i think. Not the 3-or-4-hours-a-week kind of gamer. :/
  • Yay! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    but the image of a nerdy guy who spends all day in a dimly lit room blowing up computer-generated bad guys is off base

    Take THAT, mom! *goes back to GTA:VC in my darkened room

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 08, 2003 @08:33AM (#6390506)
    Garland, TX

    Looks like middle age hasn't been kind to action hero Duke Nukem. In a prerelease press preview, presented by Joe Siegler, the studly hero is bald with a huge beer-gut. "We wanted to flesh out the character of Duke", Siegler said, "we want to make him more a character that his fans can directly relate to".

    In the new title, Duke is in a custody dispute with his ex-wife. Apparently, since he lost his job, he's in arrears on his child-support payments. When his (alien) wife kidnaps their kids and leaves for her mothers on Vega VII, it's butt-kicking time!

  • Ouch... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BobRooney (602821) on Tuesday July 08, 2003 @08:34AM (#6390510) Homepage
    It pains me that this is news 2X over on slashdot in 2 days. Although it points out that while not all gamers are geeks, many of them ARE or this wouldnt be news. BTW, I'm both a gamer and a geek and proud of being both.
    • Re:Ouch... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by muffen (321442) on Tuesday July 08, 2003 @09:00AM (#6390799)
      BTW, I'm both a gamer and a geek and proud of being both.

      Dude, seriously, there is a limit to everything.
      I like playing games, probably spend an hour a day in average (I sometimes play an entire weekend, bringing up the average quite a bit). However, I am not the least proud of it, nor does it bother me. I do it because I think its fun, and I don't let it become my identity, which it appears is what you have done.

      My opinions anyways...
    • It pains me that this is news 2X over on slashdot in 2 days. Although it points out that while not all gamers are geeks, many of them ARE or this wouldnt be news. BTW, I'm both a gamer and a geek and proud of being both.

      This is the only news story I want duped on a daily basis.

      Also send a copy to several of my ex-girlfriends.

      "Hell hath no fury like a woman's scorn for Sega." - Brodie
  • Newsflash (Score:5, Funny)

    by pubjames (468013) on Tuesday July 08, 2003 @08:34AM (#6390521)
    Newsflash: Not all users of pornography are losers who can't get girlfriends!

    Not that I look at porn. I'm not suggesting that. Oh no.

    Even some girls like porn. A girl told me. Well, a friend who knows a girl told me.
  • whatever (Score:3, Interesting)

    by claude_juan (582361) on Tuesday July 08, 2003 @08:34AM (#6390523)
    bullcaca!

    yes there are lots of non geeks who play video games. but all the people who i know who are "gamers" do spend their days in dimly lit rooms, not showering, and eating crap all day.

    the non geeks play gran turismo for an hour or so while chilling with a few friends on a lazy day. don't deny the existance of geeky gamers. they created the stereotype because of the truth.
    • yes there are lots of non geeks who play video games. but all the people who i know who are "gamers" do spend their days in dimly lit rooms, not showering, and eating crap all day.

      We shower between 8 hour sittings, thank you very much.
  • Comparison study... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I'd like to see a comparison study of gamers vs. non gamers from the same demographic. Included would be what thier GPA is/was, how far their career has progressed, amount of income, etc... My experience is anedoctal, but in virtually all cases, non-gamers seem to do better then gamers.
    • I disagree. (Score:3, Informative)

      by pecosdave (536896)
      In my findings, at least in the tech field, hardcore gamers tend to fair better than non gamers. Hardcore gamers tend to know something about hardware and how to get the most out of it. Even when it's not strictly hardware, the hardcore gamers I've known have known enough to fix a multitude of network and other issues. You can't overclock and case mod sucessfully if you don't know your hardware.

      That was the tech field. In other fields I find that casual gamers fair better in many cases than non-gamers
      • > I don't think I've worked with a single person on a job simular basis who wasn't at least a casual gamer since I've been in the tech field.

        I would agree with that, except that it is the YOUNG people in tech who are the gamers. All of the people over 30 in tech that I have worked with are totally non-gamers. I, OTOH, am under 30 (25) and haven't played a video game for more than 1 hour (maybe once a week, usually less) in years.

        I've never been into games, I find them to be a waste of my time(*) -- m
  • Hmmm (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Matey-O (518004) <michaeljohnmiller@mSPAMsSPAMnSPAM.com> on Tuesday July 08, 2003 @08:35AM (#6390541) Homepage Journal
    So Pale Nerdy folks _aren't_ responsible for all the NHL, NFL, Baseball, and NBA games sold each year? (Which HAS to be a racket bigger than Quicken [current year]/TurboTax [current year])

    And here I thought they were just playing out their latent desire to be coordinated.

  • Uh oh... (Score:2, Funny)

    by chrisgeleven (514645)
    ...guess I should go outside for the first time in my 21 years of life
  • Obvious (Score:5, Funny)

    by Timesprout (579035) on Tuesday July 08, 2003 @08:36AM (#6390550)
    but the image of a nerdy guy who spends all day in a dimly lit room blowing up computer-generated bad guys is off base

    We all know daytime is for posting on /. and downloading pr0n and the odd bit of coding. All night should be spent in a dimly it room blowing up computer-generated bad guys
    • We all know daytime is for posting on /. and downloading pr0n and the odd bit of coding. All night should be spent in a dimly it room blowing up computer-generated bad guys

      and the afternoon is for 4 hours trying to lan everyone's frickin machine together.

      guh!
  • by Lieutenant_Dan (583843) on Tuesday July 08, 2003 @08:36AM (#6390554) Homepage Journal
    Articles such as these, just make me mad. Why do people have to conform in society in order to be accepted? Why can't we leverage from richness in variety within our organizational fabric in order to attain greater heights intellectually?

    Different points of view are important for progress in technology and science. It's absolutely vital that we continue to nourish the development of the nerdy kid in the dimly lit basement playing Star Wars galaxies. It's more valuable to have him focus on this activity than to obtain social skills that will just hamper him in the pursuit of his research once he completes his post-graduate degree.

    I say, bring back the pale geek! Cherish him! Protect him! Buy him the latest Everquest expansion pack! But do not send him out in the wild where he, God forbid, has to interact with other people. They're are a precious resource and should be treated as such.

    • More anti-social geeks means more tech jobs for us social geeks.

      Who is IBM going to hire? The smelly, snorting, pale guy who can't relate to anyone, or the equally qualified, good-looking (or at least clean/not fat), sociable, interesting guy? (Or girl.. Diction arguments will make me laugh at you.)

      IT or coding skill isn't the primary factor in employment. The big fat gamer guy will smell up the office and scare vendors with his creepy rants on the art of maxing-out stats in Final Fantasy XX-II-1.4.

      S
    • Articles such as these, just make me mad. Why do people have to conform in society in order to be accepted? Why can't we leverage from richness in variety within our organizational fabric in order to attain greater heights intellectually?

      This utterance is way out of spec for a class-C biped. Please re-structure your comment for an elementary grade-4 level reader so that it may be more easily assimilated by the masses. Thank you.

  • And this is news? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PincheGab (640283) on Tuesday July 08, 2003 @08:36AM (#6390557)
    Wouldn't you think this is the case if there are waaaay more games sold than there are nerds?

    Yes people: Even beautiful girls play Wolfenstein!

  • crazy (Score:2, Insightful)

    What exactly is the point of this story? Not all alcoholics beat their wives, but that doesn't mean we should give people cart blanch to get drunk.

    It's obvious and scientifically verified that those who play video games are far more likely than their non-gaming piers to avoid social interaction, do poorly in school, resort to violent behavior, and lead unhealthy lifestyles (leading to problems like obesity and depression later in life).

    This study shows that there exists a glimmer of hope for chronic gamer
    • by EllF (205050)
      I'd say, "Nice troll!", but it isn't. No matter -- regardless of whether or not you meant to be trolling, there do seem to be a good number of people who agree with what you've posted. It deserves a response.

      "[...]spinning it as if it makes gaming healthy is irresponsible[...]"

      What's so unhealthy about gaming? You mention poor school performance, violent behavior, etc. -- can you back any of those up with studies?

      So long as we're going on shaky claims, here's mine: I've been gaming since I was 5 or 6

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 08, 2003 @08:38AM (#6390576)
    could actually be a 100% real female in real life?!

    groovy.
  • More Info (Score:5, Informative)

    by fobbman (131816) on Tuesday July 08, 2003 @08:38AM (#6390583) Homepage
    More info on this topic can be seen here [slashdot.org].

    In other news, it has been determined that not all of the editors at Slashdot post dupes.

  • The point is that most are MALE... It's still anti-social if all you do is hang around guys...
    • Unless, of course, they are gay. Always a possibility.
    • Re:Missed the point. (Score:3, Informative)

      by urbazewski (554143)
      most interesting point of the article, IMHO:

      Of those surveyed, 60 percent of women said they played online and computer software-based games, compared with 40 percent of men. About the same number of men and women said they played video games on PlayStation, Xbox and other systems.

  • by thoolihan (611712) on Tuesday July 08, 2003 @08:40AM (#6390602) Homepage
    I think it still depends on how you do your gaming. Non-geeks are way more likely to be into console games than PC.

    Also, the genres of games being made show that it's not just for geeks anymore. A lot more sports games, GTA3, etc.

    I think the tendency for FPS and RolePlaying games to be online first, still shows the PC is home of the geek gamers (leading tech edge).
    -t
    • Also, the genres of games being made show that it's not just for geeks anymore. A lot more sports games, GTA3, etc.
      I don't think I ever met someone who played more Kick-Off than my buddy Yoan and me.

      Could not stand any other football game, but still, please, don't ditch every sport-related as being jocks games. Have you ever tried controlling that damn ball in KickOff ? Just playing that game makes you a geek !
  • A recent study found that not all jocks are mental midgets. Recent findings also indicate that cheerleaders may not actually tend towards sexual promiscuity!
    But seriously... it took them this long to figure that out?
  • by Tackhead (54550) on Tuesday July 08, 2003 @08:40AM (#6390610)
    > [...] not all gamers are the anti-social folk they are hyped to be by parents and the media. [ ... ] the image of a nerdy guy who spends all day in a dimly lit room blowing up computer-generated bad guys is off base, according to a new study.

    But there's still hope! And you - yes, YOU - can make a difference!

    Clearly, we've been slacking off. This article is a clarion call for all us nerdy guys who do spend all day in dimly lit rooms blowing up computer-generated bad guys, to stop reading this and get the hell back to those pimp gaming rigs we spent hours casemodding, and get back to what's important in life: fragging n00b azz!

    We've got an image to uphold, dammit!

  • r/gamer/stoner/gi
  • "Not all gamers are the anti-social folk they are hyped to be by parents and the media"


    As reported by wo1verin3

  • Whatever. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by notque (636838) on Tuesday July 08, 2003 @08:47AM (#6390684) Homepage Journal
    wo1verin3 writes "CNN is reporting that not all Slashdot readers are the anti-social folk they are hyped to be by parents and the media. Roughly two-thirds of college students play video games, but the image of a nerdy guy who spends all day in a dimly lit room blowing up computer-generated bad guys is off base, according to a new study. Full story here."

    Every lan party I have ever been to has been anti-social folk. That is why we are at a lan party, and not out drinking, and sleeping with the opposite sex.

    Nerdy guys, and Nerdy girls shooting each other, and vying for mines.

    Since we've grown up, we are more attractive, hold better jobs, drive nicer cars, etc.

    But we are still all a mangled verison of that.

  • With the realism that is coming to many of the console games as well as the ubiquity of the PS2 and other consoles, it stands to reason that more and more of the mainstream will join the ranks of the gamers. The sports titles (which are marketed out the ass) seem to attract the biggest following of non-geeks.

    However, the draw to computer science (and thus geekdom) is largely steeped in gaming. For example, a few years ago I returned to my high school for "career day". I was the guy who gave the talk on

  • by chia_monkey (593501) on Tuesday July 08, 2003 @08:49AM (#6390696) Journal
    Oh come on...this better not come as a surprise. Has the media really warped everyone's minds enough to have us all believe the only people that play games are geeks? Since the dawn of time, games were fun. My parents used to play the Atari 2600 (Mmm...remember Yar's Revenge?) with me all the time. And they are far from being geeks. And my grandmother was addicted to Burger Time on Intellivision.

    I think the perception is that when you walk by the computer cluster at school, you see the kids playing Netrek and go "games are for geeks" and then you step outside and see the "jocks" playing football. What you DON'T see is everyone grabbing a beer and blowing each other up at Halo or Twisted Metal. In fact, I can think of more metal-heads and punks playing games than geeks...
  • CNN has "Surprising findings about video game players"

    Well, if you are a 40+ year old person who uses the computer only to play Solitaire and solve spreadsheets, yes, that could be surprising (the fact that most computer players are NOT geeks or recluses).
    This should however come as a natural for everybody who maybe learned to type sooner than (s)he could handwrite...

    The "game world" is just an extension of the real world, with several advantages (interaction possibilities, a huge potential community, somebody "available" to talk to at any given time) and disadvantages (Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna' get (F.Gump) - never know who will be or how will be the next person you encounter and interact with).
    I hope I don't need to remind anybody that information can be both a curse or a blessing, and that's what you get when you're "on-line-gaming" - sometimes too much information... It's up to you to deal with it.

    In conclusion: everybody's playing, has played or will be playing...something... sooner or later. There are no limits to the categories that will play computer games.
    So, stop acting surprised :)
    On-line games are all about interaction and socual aspects, how do you expect to find somebody else playing it?
    I mean, you wouldn't expect to find nuns playing American football, but you would definetely expect mathematicians playing chess...
    • No kidding - a few months ago, the Economist had an article (premium content, can't find it right now) about how the videogame industry had surpassed Hollywood in terms of annual sales. Somebody other than the pencil-necked geeks (RIP, Fred Blassie) has to be buying, then!

      Bottom line, this is just another slow media day filler - why else would an article like this get posted? I'm sure the next story will be something insightful like, "economic status found to correlate with computer use/internet access."
  • by halivar (535827) <bfelgerNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday July 08, 2003 @08:57AM (#6390773) Homepage
    ...now I'm not even cool compared to other gamers.

    Thanks Slashdot, you ruined my day.
  • Creeping Doom (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mobileskimo (461008) on Tuesday July 08, 2003 @08:57AM (#6390775) Journal
    IMHO I believe everyone is attacking the wrong side of the problem. Social issues are just budding only recently. Why is this? Gamings been around for a while. It hasn't been common widespread until the last 5 years. And now its about to explode. What is going on here? Much of it has to do with the fact that these games are now Internet Multiplayer.

    [1] Internet has made the gaming activity less non-social over conventional games from past. I guess this is good atleast people are interacting with others instead of just "the machine"
    [2] It has also made gaming more anti-social by reducing accountability through anonymous screen names and providing a means to act out fantasy irresponsibilities. ie. killing, stealing, maiming, torturing among other players. This is bad. Even if we understand this is fantasy, are we letting the dark side enjoy too much time out of its box? Nobody would call you deranged if you pulled the wings off a fly. Do it all day and I'd say its getting to you.
    [2] It has made the activity more addicting due to the unpredictable nature of other player interactions, almost replacing social real life interaction.

    So now they are spending the time socializing in virtual environments, when they could be with their next door neighboor in the vacinity of moms, dads, other kids, older, younger, shop owners, policemen, firefighters, accounts, doctors, garbage collectors, and any other people that might be wandering as they ride on their bike down their street.

    My point being our children are growing up spending a good chunk of time in an environment where consequences are not real. And please nothing about "They know the difference between real and games". Judgement be what it is, behavior is learned. Especially when its repetitive. Everyday. For 3-5 hours a day.
  • Anti-social is bad? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Austerity Empowers (669817) on Tuesday July 08, 2003 @09:02AM (#6390819)
    There are a few meanings of the word "anti-social", everything from mass murdering rapists and software pirates, to people who prefer their own company. I will accept that the mass murdering rapist type definition of anti-social as being bad, but this does not appear to be the topic of the article. For the purpose of this post, consider anti-social to mean someone who prefers their own company.

    What I do not understand is why people who prefer their own company are considered somehow "broken". I do not know of any facet of human physiology which REQUIRES other human contact beyond a base desire to procreate. Why is there such a bad connotation to being anti-social?

    Society itself does not need a hive mind. In fact, I would argue just as strongly that it is dangerous, irresponsible and something we all should actively try to prevent in our children. The world needs independent thinkers, people who think outside the box and come up with original solutions. People who don't let the hive mind dictate their response. Somehow I see from high school that civics classes about the glory of democracy has led people to a very wrong conclusion: that the majority is always right. That's such a horribly incorrect thought that is so pervasive (esp in MTV pop-culture) that it makes me want to lock myself in a room and slay myself with a BFG-10k.

    I am hard pressed to come up with any thing the hive MIND has produced that has either been correct or somehow useful. The hive mind has historically resulted in: slavery, bigotry, religion (in the "belief in unfounded/unproven philosophy in the face of contrary evidence" sense), senseless wars, mass murder, and most horribly reality television. Let's face it, "society" is valuable only as a workforce commodity. When it comes to thinking, we're better off with Forrest Gump than any 10 people.

    Why is it that those who choose to not "join in" are persecuted? I contribute to the whole, and I make it possible for us all to walk forward. I do so just as much as the next guy. I am not taking anything away by not talking to you. Even if I firmly believe that you are all incredibly stupid and not worth my time, I'm not really hurting you am I? As long as I do my job & earn my keep, I have fulfilled my obligation to others. Leave us alone.

    • by dtfarmer (548183)
      I think you have hit the nail on the head - and I agree with you in so many ways. I keep wondering why everyone makes this association between games causing people to be anti-social, when that isn't it at all - in fact, I think it's exactly the opposite. Games are an outlet and are chosen by people who are inherently anti-social. Games are also played by social people as well, just as reading, watching tv and many other activities are enjoyed by social and anti-social people alike.

      I am fairly anti-social,
  • Far from it. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mantera (685223) on Tuesday July 08, 2003 @09:02AM (#6390823)
    Ironically, I introduced my senior at work, who is more than twice my age and approaching retirement, to PDAs and he reintroduced me to video games. After less than six months working together he bought a handheld and i bought a PS2. Erik Erikson, the Einstein of psychosocial stuff, had a book with the title of "Play". In that book he mentions a follow-up to a study of some children, whom when interviewed decades later were found that those of them who managed to retain a playful attitude to the world had the most satisfying lives.
  • While I'm a huge nerd, and only partially a gamer, this is retardedly obvious. At least for my age/status bracket, 20something college student. I know plenty of people who aren't nerds who love video games- jockish type folks, lots of stoners, girl/boyfriends of these people... Hell, I've known plenty of 30 year old un-married women who were totally into gaming, but in a non-nerd and non-obsessive way.

    old news... next!
  • by Rahga (13479) on Tuesday July 08, 2003 @09:04AM (#6390836) Homepage Journal
    Yeah, CS _was_ a rather addictive fad. I wish I could regret the fact that I dedicated at least an hour per day (for several months) playing it.

    However, something good did come from it. Once you decide to stop playing CS, you honestly don't miss the crappy game, and it makes it so much easier to swear off video game addictions completely, and simply feel content with gaming only in moderation.

    I just feel sorry for those of ya'll still addicted to Everquest. Unlike Half-Life (cs), that game really is junk.
  • from the horses mouth
    http://www.pewinternet.org/reports/reports . asp?Rep ort=93&Section=ReportLevel1&Field=Level1ID&ID= 400

    70% of respondants reported playing games 'at least once in a while'

    yeah, so everyone who picks up a controller for a quick try at nfl blitz or GTA or DOOM -OR- solitaire or a flash web game once every couple weeks is a 'gamer'.

    trust me, there are still all sorts of stereotypical superdorks over here in computer gaming land. but sure, if you include casual gamers, you ge
  • by adzoox (615327) * on Tuesday July 08, 2003 @09:13AM (#6390917) Journal
    I played Intellivision a lot as kid. I also played Tetris on my gameboy in high school. However, I didn't have a budget for games. I never bought them. I depended on my parents to buy them or exchange games with friends.

    The next door neighbor boy spends his average summer day inside about 4 hours playing video games. He also spends a substantial amount of his allowance and money I give him to wash my car on video games. To top it off, he spends a good portion of his time thinking about video games, talking about video games, and buying/trying out video games.

    In my day, we would blow an allowance in an arcade, but it just seems kids spend a lot more money and invest a lot more time into them nowadays.

    In part, I think it accounts for the decline in event sales. (Termed Arena events) Kids just aren't interested as much in live action / interaction anymore. This contrasts to my childhood where going to play a video game was just that, GOING to play. Video arcades at least allowed interactions, walking, standing, and well... an event. What is eventfull about sitting on your bed?

  • Duh... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by m0nkeyb0y (80581)
    Being a college student, and having spent two years in dorm life, I can tell you it's a rarity not to see a came console in most people's rooms, be they jock, geek, or otherwise. The most commonly played titles are sports games, mostly Madden 200X and NBA games. Bond and Mario Kart were the N64 games. Fighters are popular, but you only really saw various iterations of Mortal Kombat. I never really saw any of the female population playing console games, but quite a few enjoyed PC games like The Sims, Rollerc
  • Living Proof (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 08, 2003 @09:20AM (#6390974)
    If you walk into my room you'll find monitors, cases and parts all over. I don't know a single person at my school who knows half as much about video games as I do.

    Meanwhile, I was the president of my junior class, and during my relationship with a very *hot* and certainly not geeky girlfriend, I had to be pretty damn careful because other girls seemed to be trying to ruin our relationship (but don't we all *think* that). All this, and the only nights I spend out are with my girlfriend and with my silicon friends. And yes, I have plenty of other friends, otherwise I wouldn't have gotten where I am now.

    I've seen plenty of people balance these out. And I'm not including the people with an xbox and an n64, I'm talking about the kids who brag about their graphics cards. I admit the two conflict. During my relationship I came to a point where I decided, "You know what, I haven't been playing enough video games" and so I would stay up a couple of hours later after spending the night with her. Certainly there are the couple that feel awkward away from the flickering screen, but I've known that's a horrible generality for years
  • by Seft (659449)
    Almost everyone at my college plays counterstrike. I suppose that as soon as it reaches a certain penetration, it becomes a social norm.
  • I play video games as often as I can, as do most of my friends, and I wouldn't call (all of) them nerds. We're college kids who like to challenge ourselves in ways that don't involve homework and responsibility. Do you have a better idea?

    Sidenote: Clarissa says it has nothing to do with any desire to challenge ourselves. They're games and they're fun, damnit.

  • This may be off-topic. But I think it's interesting to know what games the gamers prefer. My list is limited to console titles to keep it fair...

    1. Grand Theft Auto 3 + Vice City (PS2/PC)
    2. Super Mario All-Stars + Super Mario World (SNES)
    3. Perfect Dark (N64)
    4. Goldeneye (N64)
    5. Gran Turismo 3 (2, 1) (PS2/PS1)

    Okay, you may disagree with me. I like Halo, but I don't like it more than these games. These are just my all-time favorites that I still pick up fairly regularly.
  • by D_Fresh (90926) <slashdot@dougale ... r.com minus city> on Tuesday July 08, 2003 @10:17AM (#6391713) Journal
    I wrote my entire Masters thesis (for an IT degree) based on a comment my professor made in class one day. He's about my age (30-ish) and an avid gamer, and one day he sheepishly admitted to the class that he still played computer and video games. Of course, so do I - but neither of us truly fit the stereotype of the socially maladept high-school or college loser male (both married, successful careers, homeowners, active social lives, etc.). I got to thinking about how outdated the gamer stereotype is, and how my prof shouldn't have to feel silly or immature when he plays games. Eventually, I wrote a broader thesis about the cultural of digital gaming and how it's evolved from a niche culture to something that pervades nearly every medium, but the core impulse was based on my intuition that the public perception of the gamer was not only an overgeneralization (to be expected from most stereotypes) but also outdated and quite harmful.

    Which is why it (mildly) bugged me that the headlines for this study's results said something like "Surprising Facts About Gamers." Why should this be surprising? It's only those who never lost their narrow view of what these games are about and who plays them who are surprised - anyone who plays the games, reads about them, or looks at the people in EB could tell you that there's no one subculture surrounding them. Yes, perhaps the hardcore gamer still mostly fits the picture, but why should the extreme examples define the majority? With games moving into the mainstream in a huge way, it's damaging to the industry's and the individual gamer's image to allow these ignorant stereotypes to be perpetuated.

    Just my $.02 + karma bonus. Now I'll be thinking about Jedi Knight II all day until I can get home and play it...

  • by carambola5 (456983) on Tuesday July 08, 2003 @11:18AM (#6392471) Homepage
    She hopes to become a character designer for a video game company and is convinced that even more women would play video games if there were more characters geared toward them.


    This is something that has bothered me...well, barely bothered me, but bothered nonetheless. Why is it that almost every female video game character is, in some way, a sex object? I'd be perfectly content with playing a game that had, as a main character, a female that didn't have a rack bigger than her head. Tomb Raider immediately comes to mind.

    OK, maybe a sorceress in Diablo qualifies, but you hardly get a good view of the character... Blizzard can afford to make the character unattractive because she's too small to matter. Seriously, when was the last time you played a game that had a male main character that, in another situation (ie: not shooting at bad guys), would be a sex object?
  • I have seen... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by UrGeek (577204) on Tuesday July 08, 2003 @11:27AM (#6392558)
    ...two anime ("Serial Experiment Lain" and "Legend of Black Heaven") that have scenes were a mother is sitting down and playing a Playstation with her young son. We need more parents actually playing video games with their children, sharing in the experience with them, and offering their point of view. This needs to be done the very first day that a game console is brought into the home. It needs to be done at least once a week or so. You must engage yourself in your child's life in order to know them.

    I have seen far too many people using a game console as a surrogate babysitter and never, ever playing with their children. These people are irresponsible parents. There are far too many.
  • I thought... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by peterprior (319967) on Tuesday July 08, 2003 @12:21PM (#6393089)
    but the image of a nerdy guy who spends all day in a dimly lit room blowing up computer-generated bad guys is off base

    I heard the Oval Office is very well lit, and the computer-generated "bad guys" are now so realistic its hard to tell the difference between them and real people.

    *rimshot*
  • by Magus311X (5823) on Tuesday July 08, 2003 @06:16PM (#6396356)
    I've played a MUD (GemStone III [gemstone.net]) for about 8 years.

    About two years in a met a girl and hung around with her in game, and after 4 or so years, she decided that we should meet and hang out for the week, despite about a 1500-mile distance issue. She was a pretty hardcore player. Definitely consumed 15-20 hours a week of her time (I played about 10-15 in comparison).

    Well, went to T.F. Green in Providence to pick her up. Just waiting around... holding up a sign with her last name on it. Then all of a sudden some attractive, blonde, Britney Spears lookalike comes up to me and hugs me shouting "Rob" quite happily.

    Yeah, I'd say that the stereotype is pretty off-base! ;)

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