Why has the term “gamer” been turned into such a strong (sometimes negative) label? It has taken on a life beyond that of “movie-viewer”, “music-listener”, or “book-reader”, yet I see them on the same level. A movie-viewer is one who experiences movies. A music-listener is one who experiences music. A “book-reader” is one who experiences books. And so a gamer is one who experiences games. Yet, the label “gamer” has become a negative connotation, while the others lead more admirable lives.
Maybe it leads back to some of the extreme “World of Warcraft” players, who dedicate insane amounts of time to building their character. I personally don’t play WoW, but what makes these WoW players any different than someone who sits in front of the TV for hours on end? They are both engrossing themselves in out-of-body stimulations. We’ll get into the reasoning for partaking in such activities in a minute, but what really is the difference in spending hours playing a game, and hours watching television; or movies, or listening to music or reading a book…?
Nothing. They can all be considered “out-of-body stimulations”. You could say that music only requires your ears; books only require your eyes; or television and movies only require your ears and eyes; but games require your ears, eyes, AND hands… Well, you’d be right! Games require way more from the user. Games require hand-eye coordination. Games are not the passive experiences that television, movies, music, and books are. Games require a direct input. (some may say talent, or skill) However, regardless of this need for direct input, they provide a similar experience…
Games provide an out. Our modern world can be a rough place to live in. We all need ways to escape it. Whether it be music, books, television, movies, games, or something else — we all find our “out” — A way to re-balance ourselves, before re-spawning back into the world. What is the difference between a person who spends his/her free-time watching multiple television shows every night, versus a person who spends the same amount of time, playing some game… Nothing. As long as they both show up the next day, to whatever they are responsible for, more power to em both.
Games are just another medium; along side television, movies, music, and books. Some may say it takes more attention to take part in games — and that’s true — some of us just require more stimulation than others. ;)