The Average Gamer

Blog Banter: Biggest Stereotype About Gamers

Welcome to the 4rd instalment of Blog Banter, the monthly blogging extravaganza headed by bs angel. Blog Banter involves a cosy community of enthusiastic gaming bloggers, a common topic, and a week to post articles pertaining to said topic. The results are quite entertaining and can range from deep insight to ROFLMAO. If you are interested in participating, contact bs angel for more information. Check out other Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post.

We thought it was a phase that you’d grow out of.” Sound familiar? Well, these are the words spoken to me by my parents when discussing the topic of videogames. Grow out of what exactly? What’s wrong with playing videogames for the rest of my life, they aren’t just for kids you know?

When Christmas 1984 came around my parents bought a BBC Model B Microcomputer for my older brother. Didn’t make much difference whose it was as I took to it like a fish to water. Little did they know what they had started. My journey into the world of videogames had begun. Yay for parents.

Now fast forward 23 Christmases (yuk, I feel old now). There I was sitting in my parent’s living room playing Sonic and Mario at the Olympic Games on the Nintendo Wii with my girlfriend. The rest of my family were sitting on the adjacent sofa looking distinctly disinterested in my rabid wiimote flailing and even turned their collective noses up at Wii Sports (but it was made for old people). The overriding feeling was that adults should be playing with children’s toys at their age, unless it’s with another child. Then it’s all ok, as you’re playing WITH the child and not acting AS a child.
Old people playing Wii

Even in 2007, when the games industry officially overtook the music industry in terms of overall revenue, the sight of an adult playing videogames is still viewed as fairly childish behaviour by a large section of society. Sure there are plenty of children playing videogames. You only have to spend some time on-line using Xbox LIVE to witness many, many teenagers communicating via a mixture of swear words and grunting. However, these teenagers only account for 28.2% of gamers. 47.6% of gamers are aged 18-49 with the remaining 24.2% aged 50+ according to a recent report by Entertainment Software Association (ESA).
Xbox 360 Teenager
Now that I’ve been playing videogames for 23 years now, I’m the average gamer (33 years old). From Elite on the BBC Model B to Army of Two on the Xbox 360 (mmm, not a great game but the most recent one I’ve played) I’ve enjoyed every minute. So that makes me a gamer and an adult. I must be very childish then? Err no, in fact for many aspects of my professional life playing videogames has actually helped me in performing medical procedures (e.g. endoscopy or colonoscopy) as they have developed my hand to eye coordination.

We need to get over the fact that videogames aren’t just for children. Now more than ever they are played by adults, like me, who aren’t your stereotypical gamer (long hair, poor social skills and personal hygiene). If only the rest of society, in particular politicians, would start behaving like adults towards the games industry and the gamers themselves, we could start making some progress. Or maybe I should give up on that idea and go binge drinking down the pub and start smoking in order to be treated like a “grown up” adult in today’s screwed up society.

Check out these other Blog Banter articles: The Average Gamer, Silvercublogger, shinybento, Unfettered Blather, Boom Stick Brigade, Gamer Unit, Zath!, Man Bytes Blog, Game Couch, Video Game Sandwich, Delayed Responsibility, thoughts and rants, Hawty McBloggy