Common Misconceptions About Videogames

As an individual who plays video games I find that there is a lot of negativity towards gaming and gamers. We’re seen as pale, fat, and nerdy and we don’t like the outdoors. I’m only two of these things, pale and nerdy, and yes, I’m pale because I don’t go in the sun because it’s too hot. But not all gamers look like that, especially nowadays. Yet people still believe that video games are evil. If you are one such person, I’m here to tell you you’re wrong and this is why.

1. Playing too many video games makes you square-eyed!

Square Eyes

What is square-eyed? Who in this world has eyes that are square? Nobody. Goats have squareish pupils, but no one has square eyes. In fact it’s been proven that video games actually improve eyesight. I wear glasses and, if my Dad is anything to go by, I should be so short sighted I’d have to put the paper into my eyes just to read it, but I’m not. My eyesight hasn’t changed at all over the past four years, something I would accredit to all the video games I’ve played in that time, especially Skyrim.

2. Video games promote violence and make kids kill people

Bullshit! I play Assassin’s Creed, a game about assassinating people, but I don’t wander the streets of Hull air assassinating people and hiding in haystacks. Why’s that? Because I’m not insane. The fact of the matter is that when people actually do replicate violence they’ve seen in games or films, the people are so horrified that they deny that another human being is mentally capable of such an act, so they blame the game/film. In reality, even if these people hadn’t had the game influence they would probably have murdered someone anyway. By denying this, you are insulting the human ability to know fantasy from reality. In fact, violent video games are good. Having a bad day? Feel superior by taking out armies in Dynasty Warriors. Hate your boss? Murder all the guards on Assassin’s Creed. Need cheering up? Kick some chickens on Fable. Violent video games are an anger outlet rather than a suggestion of how to behave in decent society.

3. I played Skyrim/Halo/Other Popular Video Game. I’m such a nerd.

Check out my glasses. I'm such a nerd.

The words nerd and geek are bandied around way too much nowadays and it kind of annoys me. Being a geek or a nerd is about having a passion for something like gaming or reading or film or rpgs and not being afraid to show it. It’s about being able to be silly and taking a childish enjoyment out of things without caring what everyone else thinks. Putting on a pair of massive glasses does not make you a geek/nerd. Wearing a t-shirt that says GEEK does not make you a geek/nerd. Playing a game like Skyrim or Halo does not make you a geek/nerd unless you put a huge amount of hours into it (say over 200). Gaming has spread to so many different kinds people since the PS2 and Xbox, but playing games doesn’t necessarily make you a geek/nerd. When I hear girls saying “Oh my God, look at these glasses I’m such a geek” I just think get out! Stop trying to make it cool or chic or whatever, it was cool before you came along.

4. It’s all just shooting and killing people

Only if it’s Call of Duty. A lot of video games have deep stories, the like of which is usually only seen in books. A lot of the time there has to be some fighting somewhere because every story has conflict and killing enemies feels very casual but that’s because they’re trying to kill you. But there have been time when I’ve been playing a game, usually rpgs (althought Metal Gear Solid 2 had an engaging story as well) and I’ve had to stop and go, oh my god. Whether it’s a shocking revelation, a plot twist, or the villain showing just how evil he is by murdering innocents for no discernible reason, video games can have just as a good a stories as books.

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