Monday, April 7, 2008

Is It Too Loud, or Are You Too Old? Video Games In The Eyes of Non-Gamers

"Inevitably, after I finish speaking, the strong opinions come. It happens the same way every time: People listen and then they say what they've been feeling. 'Videogames are not good for you'. 'Videogames are a waste of time. They isolate children. Kids never go outside to play. They just sit there and stare at the TV all day'."

This choice is from an enlightening, and at times, sobering look at what prominent game designer Brenda Brathwaite has written for The Escapist.
After a dinner table discussion of what she did for a living lead to an exchange like th one quoted above, she was inspired to ask 40 people over the age of 30 (who were not gamers) what they thought about video games as a whole.

The answers wre surprising: most of them were completely negative, and seemed grounded in second or third hand media reports, or buried resentments.

From later in the article:

More and more, Edison sees a split between two extremes. "I see popular thought divided starkly between those who play, enjoy or appreciate interactive media and those whose feelings fall somewhere along the lines of 'I hate videogames,' 'Videogames are for kids' and 'There is no redeeming value to be found in gaming.' If you take the latter group, you hear two contradictory beliefs: that videogames are a child's medium, and that videogames are too violent and explicit for children. Just those two conflicting biases alone would be enough, I think, for a person unfamiliar with videogames to throw up their hands and be done with the subject until someone more invested works it all out."

The article's entitled "The Myth of the Media Myth", and is worth a read.

How about you, dear readers? What do your parents, friends or other relatives who are non-gamers? What do they think? Any readers over 30 who'd care to chime in?

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