The Gamer’s Lifestyle

Last week in class we watched a documentary on Gamers and the community that is surrounding this lifestyle. For lack of better words it blew my mind. Never have I ever been more fascinated and confused about type of social networking community. It may be because I lack the experience in gaming but I was so confused by how people could truly form relationships over a computer game. I know an earlier post I did was about second life and I was somewhat empathetic towards members of the community… but this documentary got me thinking. How and when did our society feel that this subculture could exist and become more and more acceptable. If these people were just playing the game for a games sake I could understand it because trends come and go… but as a way to meet people socially confuses me. I realize that this is not outwardly an ethical dilemma and merely just me stating my opinion but I felt a need to blog about this.
The biggest issue I saw in this documentary with gaming is how people lose their sense of the real world. One man in particular almost lost everything because of his gaming addiction. Another story involved a man with a pregnant wife that he practically neglected most of the time to hang with his buddies and play World of Warcraft.
When did it become acceptable in our society to play games to this extreme? I understand that this gaming community has a stigma attached to it especially seeing this documentary but how is it growing at such a rapid speed? Will this be the new way for people to meet other and form relationships? These games online seem to be the new eharmony.com or the new facebook.com for meeting people online.
I realize that this is all opinion and coming from a position of lack of experience with these role-playing games online but it concerns me that society is turning to these means in order to meet people. Human interactions are becoming something of the past as technology increases in our lives.

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3 thoughts on “The Gamer’s Lifestyle

  1. This also makes me wonder if the gaming community has in a sense (knowingly or unknowingly) pushed society in the direction of digital social networking. I mean, lately, people choose to maintain and to establish their social lives online, which saddens me for one because if you remove these individuals from their livingroom, basement, bedroom, etc… and throw them into a real-life social environment, not only would they be socially awkward, but they would not know what to do. My brother is a lot like this, although he has gotten a lot better. He prefers, though, to socialize online via programs like mIRC or Ventrilo. Although I’m happy that he at least converses with people that are real, I feel as if he could get more out of life by actually physically being around people. My mother and I find it difficult just to coax him out of the house. Sometimes,I go to the great lengths of bribing him with money or food just to get him out of his room. This makes me fear the future at times. I picture homes with simulators for everything and no reason to leave the house at all. I would be very, very sad if that is where we end up many, many, years from now. We need a little sun every now and then, not the glow of the computer screen.

  2. This subculture is hardly new– the internet just makes the connections world wide, as opposed to friends drinking Jolt Cola in their basement playing Dungeons and Dragons in 1975.

    The internet gives these people a platform to be who they really are and make friends with similar interests. Is it terrible when they abandon all sense of reality because of a game? Of course. But it’s not much different than an alcoholic losing all of their friends because of a drinking problem or a drug addict losing their home to have money for drugs.

    The documentary showed an extreme subculture of gamers with obsessive disorders and addictions. It’s easy for us to say, “Why don’t you just play video games for 30 minutes a night, why does it have to be for 10 hours?” the same way it might be easy for us to say to an alcoholic “Why don’t you just have one drink, why do you need to have 15?” It’s impossible for us to understand because we exist outside of that addiction. In my opinion.

  3. Carla you bring up and excellent point about addictions. Clearly this is the reason why I am confused and not completely sure about this online community. After watching this documentary I have obviously began to worry about the social implications of people going to these sites. Can they interact in real life? Does their social behavior stop once off the computer? After seeing that documentary, it showed these people can have real life social experiences. I don’t know if I can say they are my ideal way of interacting but it’s better then no face to face interactions.

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