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Articles > Gaming October, 05, 2015

Gaming Isn’t Something You Grow Out Of

Krishan Patel
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I’m a normal teenager, one who goes out with his friends, gets drunk, goes for meals and to the gym; standard 19 year old behaviour… But I’m a gamer too.

To the amusement of a couple of my friends I recently spent £50 on a brand new game and went to pick it up from the shop at 9am with another friend. “Metal Gear Solid V The Phantom Pain”, (if you’re curious). Although I like to think I don’t judge, some of the people waiting in line to pick up the game were caked in grease, wearing early 2000’s joggers and smelling of instant noodles, not to mention carrying arms like bread sticks. I didn’t really think much of this as gaming, in my eyes, is an excellent way to escape and challenge yourself in ways which conventional life doesn’t allow for, and I’m not the sort of arsehole to not speak to someone because of how they look.

“…I should grow out of gaming. I tried in vain to explain that gaming is not really something you grow of but a form of entertainment”

My dad was shocked to find out I waited until midnight to grab a PS4 on launch and spending my months wage on it when it came out didn’t impress him either, saying I should grow out of gaming. I tried in vain to explain that gaming is not really something you grow of but a form of entertainment no different to films or books.

When I told my friends that I got my PS4 some of the girls were like “really Krish you spend £350 on that?” whilst they spend £80 on a haircut that doesn’t even change anything.. but that’s a different story. The guys in the group chat weren’t overly excited either (probably because of their burning jealousy). However I noticed that when I saw the guys in person they were very enthusiastic about the playstation but never in public, which got me thinking about how gaming is viewed in general.

Some people take it too far playing World Of Warcraft for 12 hours straight, and you hear the odd story of a shooting happening and the shooter having stood next to a violent video game once so the media go bat-shit crazy. Scaring my innocent little mum into thinking I’m slowly becoming crazy as I slit another guards neck on Metal gear. Gaming is also as popular as ever, consoles are selling faster than ever before and the actual average gaming age is around 30 (according to Google anyway) yet my dad, mother and some of my less educated friends see it as a Man-Childs hobby, I’m not sure if this is because of the Nintendo adverts in the 90’s of games such as Super Mario or the fact that gaming is a new form of entertainment and people are afraid of things they don’t understand?

This is where you come in, people I don’t know from around the world, how do you view gaming?

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  1. Charlotte Ring

    (^It’s Alex, but I can’t change my name)

    Sometimes the media portrays gaming as a bad thing – “oh this shooter played this violent game therefore all violent games are bad!” If guns don’t kill people (the person kills people), then why do games get blamed so much? If the incentive is there for someone to go out on a mass shooting spree (ie. Oregon/Virginia Tech) then they will still go out and do it.

    Games, for me, are an escapism kind of thing. I have a big group of friends, we love to go drinking/partying/etc. but sometimes it’s nice to sit down and try and save a bunch of teens from a psycho killer/the supernatural or climb up to the top of buildings and jump into a hay stack.

    As a society, we need to stop saying “this inanimate object is the reason this person went out and shot a bunch of people!” (obviously not in those words). We need to start taking responsibility for our screw ups (although it’s another story when it comes to mental illness).

    TLDR: Gaming is not just for one gender, or one certain age. It’s an open thing, anyone can get into it and anyone can have fun with it :p

  2. Zara Ali

    I think gaming is fine, it’s fun and is a great stress reliever (especially black ops 3). However, many people who judge gamers are those who don’t play themselves, I am sure that if they expanded their horizons and actually played a game they would find that alongside the frustrations of gaming they would find that it can be enjoyable. Another problem I think is that people with little knowledge of gaming think that it’s all about shooting people, driving crazy, and prostitutes. Although in all fairness there is a lot of games with those qualities many other games have more depth to them especially in the storylines e.g. Heavy Rain. There are a lot of different genres and people just don’t realise it. The long hours you talk about is a good point, people find it a turnoff or a waste of time to spend so many hours playing a game, a good game but a game none the less and I think that ties in with the fact that they don’t play themselves.

  3. Ethan Schelts

    I am an avid gamer, one that is not too proud of it as when I get back from college or whatever I am doing I’d prefer to log onto Steam and play video games such as CSGO, GTA, ArmA etc. I am part of the darker end of the spectrum, an elitist, I would highly prefer to indulge in the amazing qualities of a PC rather than a console.
    Gaming for me is a way to escape reality, the light at the end of a dark and arduous tunnel. I genuinely believe that gaming has helped me become a better person. Playing games such as Counterstrike and ArmA have made me more able to communicate to people i know, and also those I don’t. I understand how gaming can negatively affect someones life as it has in one way or another to me. I currently am behind on my college work because I am easily distracted, In the last year or 2 I have played roughly over 2000 hours of csgo because it truly is a large part of my life. It has enabled me to meet truly amazing people, for example I currently have a few really good friends from Scandinavian regions, such as Norway and Sweden.
    Overall I view gaming to be a metaphorical gateway, an escape if you will. I do not share the views of the media making it out as a taboo thing, something that is not good for you.

  4. Benedict Chambers

    Aren’t we all slightly tired of debating which hobbies are culturally valid and which aren’t?

    Some people like things. Some people like other things. I don’t understand why this is such a big deal. Why is spending a whole day playing games less valid than spending a whole day reading? Or, why is spending a whole day doing X less valid than spending a whole day doing Y?

    People are always going to find things to be critical of in others. Sometimes it happens to be playing games a lot; I think it would be easier to just accept that and go about doing what you want without paying attention to cultural opinions.

  5. Douglas Sinclair

    Personally I’ve been a gamer since 2005. playing Fifa 06 on my PS2 and still play games to this day and to be honest I don’t think I’ll stop anytime soon. But Gaming sometimes gets a bad rep for when the rare occasion a gamer may spend too much time playing games rather than going to work, education or meeting friends etc.. (sometimes this is the reason for why its called a ‘child’s hobby’) But gaming is still relatively new compared to things like the car (as an example) such as when the car was first invented many people were sceptics and it was seen for the rich only, but nowadays most people own one… and I think many people are still sceptics of gaming as a whole thinking it just for children… But nowadays many people from different backgrounds and ages play games…

  6. Connal Drayton-Harrold

    In my opinion, everyone’s view on games nowadays is very negative, and that it never helps us in life. Gaming has been a huge part of my life since I was about 7 or 8 (I’m a PC gamer, but I play console every so often). Despite how strict my parents are, gaming is every day life for me whenever I have free time. Gaming doesn’t make us violent, it doesn’t cause us to become extremely aggressive, it helps us. It is much better at improving our health, and playing games gets your brain working more than when you’re not playing games. Why else do most games cause us to become good at co-operation and planning what to do, it’s what a game was made for; to entertain, but also increase our brain productivity (and make money).

  7. Rushi

    I think… GAMING is a great way to relax and be social with your friends at you’re own comfort. Playing triple A titles like FIFA where the graphics are amazing and having the time to also speak to your friends whilst you’re playing is great.
    Gaming in my words is a electronic reading book with amazing graphics and solid stories which should be converted into movies for example the uncharted series.

  8. Matthew Bryce

    As a 30 year old father of 1 and avid gamer I can vouch for the fact you don’t grow out of gaming. I still play Pokemon, often with looks of bewilderment followed by mocking. I would rather sit in with a bottle of wine and play the PS4 than go out to a pub where someone suffering from wee man syndrome would try and challenge me (I’m 5ft 11, broad shouldered). It’s more socially acceptable to be a functioning alcoholic and general nuisance, than be an older gamer. Least my partner doesn’t mind.

  9. Joseph Cooper

    An entertainment media is the perfect way to describe video games. Video games are another form of creative outlet for many developers, even though triple A studios saturate the market with the same shooter and sports games each year, we still see amazing pieces of artwork and cool game mechanics coming through the indie community. Nowadays anyone can make a video game, similar to how anyone can write a book, article, blog and publish their own films and videos. The advancement of technology has made films a very common item in all households, why not video games. It looks like in a few years the same will be happening with video games when society starts accepting them fully as an equivalent to other entertainment.

  10. Mark Rawcliffe

    I think…Gaming can be a good thing, as long as it isn’t taken too far (such as playing for 12 hours straight) or used to justify ridiculous things. If a person enjoys gaming, they should be able to do so without people treating them differently or with disdain because they do not think that gaming is acceptable. Its now part of society and allows people around the world to speak to people they wouldn’t speak to if gaming didn’t exist.

  11. Radu Traian Gherman

    I don’t view gaming as just entertainment.

    Video games are art. They are culture, and what is more, they are the most prevalent and influential type of culture in today’s day (judging by the net worth, which has superclassed every other entertainment medium up to date).

    As a game developer I see games as educational means, and forces for political and policy change.
    I see games as a means of sharing world views and political views by showing others those views implemented in a world, that, but for the phsyical, actual reasons, IS alive.

    I see games as methods of spreading ideas, not just giving out indiscriminate laughs, or kill time.

  12. Lewis Kinloch

    Im a huge gamer and hate the way the media portrays us a huge nerds that play computer games non stop. I must admit i love to dabble into loar intensive games and get so drawn in that i know almost everything about the games set universe but what gamer wouldnt in the elder scrolls games, anyway back to the media, they do nothing but show us in a negative light. They even say we’re all just young children and teenagers, however thats not true. we all know someone in our families that are senior citizens or in their 30-40’s that love to play video games. its just not right to fit us all into one stereotype and this crap with “video games are making our children violent” its nothing but a scheme thought up by the media to scare parents into stop buying consoles for their children as they can see a very very small amount of cases showing that children or teens have murdered or severely murdered someone and also see that they were a big call of duty fan or a GTA fan. then these games and their creators are blamed. this often leads to large scandals and the game franchises losing a lot of money. The media need to stop with the lies just because they can see that the current and future generations are moving online and TV is almost dying.

  13. Tommy

    I like how the author makes the difference between addiction and a hobby, the media, and people that are not related to the gaming community usually have a bad stereotype of gamers, many think that the majority of gamers are people that waste their entire salary on games and don’t have social life, and this is false, most gamers from the ages of 16-30 have a stable life and do activities like going out with friends or working out, they do all of that and are gamers. one point that i want to state is that some people will not value the worth in something as you do, a PS4 for 350 dollars can be a bargain and a great investment, but to many people it is considered like a waste of money and prefer to used that money on things like cloths and cosmetics, but to gamers they know that they will spent many hours playing games and entertaining themselves, so it is worth the money.

  14. ettore guido

    I think that gaming is only a kinda of entertainment. but there are some parents that let their sons ( 10 years old ) play gta 5 , and i think that is a mistake

  15. adam

    was an alright read

  16. Daniel

    Listen man, if gaming is what you love to do then who are other people to tell you its a good or bad thing. Decisions are made by ourselves at the end of the day and if gaming is what you choose to spend your time and money on then so be it because if it makes you happy,that’s all that should matter. If it doesn’t and is causing you some distress at the moment then maybe take a step back and look at the bigger picture, especially where your life is heading at the moment. If you think that your gaming will interfere with how you want your life to pan out in the near future, then i believe it may be time to sign off and concentrate on the things that will allow you to achieve what you desire. However, that isnt to say you cannot go back on from time to time as “reward time” so to speak, but make sure that if you want to take a break from it that this time is strictly regulated by yourself so that you don’t get carried away. Good luck to you man in your ventures and i hope this has helped 🙂

  17. Nathan Stead

    I think… It’s a great way anyone can unwind and socialise. If you were in going out as a group instead some may not appear after a day at work because they’re either tired or ill but if you were playing games as a group everyone can join in

  18. Leon De Keyser

    Sometimes the media thinks that everything about the whole gaming community is just bad… but i can assure you that it’s not 🙂 i’m a gamer to and i play almost everyday with friends who also game. Gaming is just not something that you can stop whenever you’d like it to stop

  19. Yahaya Maaji Mohammed

    I think…gaming is fine as far as you do not over do it. It is a great way of reducing stress, i am a gamer myself and after a day of hour long classes i usually play games on my ps4. It is a fun way to interact with people from around the globe, I’ve made friends from different ethnicities and have learned about some of their cultures and even languages.

  20. sophie hazell

    I believe every individual has a different way of releasing themselves from their everyday lives. Everything between taking nature trail walks and singing in a band or even writing creative pieces. For me, my release is video gaming. When I turn my PC on and log into Steam, and see the list of games in my library, I feel like I’m deciding which part of my personality I would like to escape into for the next few hours.
    I could chose to be a heroic warrior battling against Alduin to save the people of Skyrim, or a survivor, savaging essential supplies and weapons from Chernarus to survive and defend myself during a zombie appocalypse.
    I enjoy escaping from reality and forgetting about my worries and struggles, and delving into a world where my only problems are chosing which weapon to use or deciding which magic spell is most effective.
    I believe that once a person comes of an age where they are at university and has a job to juggle that prioritising and managing time is important, but gaming isn’t something to necessarily ‘grow out of’. Once you find something you love, and become good at it, I don’t think any individual should have to let it go.

  21. Jaineet Singh

    Like you even Im addicted to gaming on my ps4. Everyone plays games in one way or the other we just play it on a console and they play with their lives I totally agree that gaming is not something that you can grow out from. There will be a new game related every month thatll change your mind from getting rid of your playstation. anyways My point is ignore other people’s thinking and do what you want.

  22. Eghosa

    I am an avid gamer and have played a lot of games from an early age, but currently starting uni, I know I will not necessarily have to grow out of it but cut down on gaming time. Therefore, i believe it’s not about growing out of gaming but prioritising the time you spend on gaming.

  23. Harry Llewellyn

    I bought the new 3DS XL when it came out and love all things Nintendo, but I also like a kick about down the field and swim laps round the local health centre. As you say, it’s just another form of entertainment that is great in a balanced life.

  24. Jack Tucker

    Really well said, it isn’t anything you can grow out of. Plus if you don’t over do it, there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s like alot of people binge watching Netflix for hours on end.

  25. wanjala

    You are right….games can cause someone to be mentally active especially through playing complex games like super Mario that require more time to think and analyse in order to finish one step to other. But the worst thing about being addicted to gaming is that it makes you become more fatigued due not finding more time to exercise….games can influence someone’s behaviour for example if you are playing one whih involves crime aspect such as grand theft auto. You should not relay most of time on gaming because it has both negative and positive effects . What you have to do is weigh up both the good and bad sides of gaming.

  26. Max Vinycomb

    I’m in a very similar situation, and share your exact views.

  27. Jamal Douglas


  28. Lidia Bell

    I think you’ve got it spot on actually with the idea that gaming is pretty much viewed as ’12 hours of WoW a day’. I don’t game personally, but I do have friends who take the hobby too far, and some who don’t. A bit like some people will sit and not move from the telly for hours on end – it’s the same principle. You don’t see society ‘declining’ from watching horror films which in essence are the same as playing the majority of violent games. People need to understand that gaming is just like anything else: okay in moderation.