(Lack of header image, again, from slow day at work. Sundays are a total waste of time when in pursuit of paycheck.)
This isn't a response blog in any sense at all, but it is directly inspired by a comment that I made on kauza's cblog about DToid changing his mom's opinion of gaming.
That's not to say that I inspire myself, as that's about the most potentially-pompous thing that could roll off of someone's tongue. That's Kanye-caliber pompous, straight up ego at work. All I did is re-read what I said, and took time to reflect on what I had actually written, and decided to elaborate on the concept.
I made comment #47:
Sorry I'm late to the party.
My parents have yet to understand why I do what I do in the 23-out-of-27 years that I've been doing it. The fact that your mother took a look at the kind of people who play the games rather than the games themselves took a lot of quiet, focused insight. My parents may never be so lucky, and I, sir, may never be as lucky as you.
You shouldn't get your mom to post, that's like saying that you want Brett Favre's mom to play QB for a game. It probably won't work out too well. However, your mom should totally keep reading up on your exploits, and all of our exploits along with it, if she finds the time. All it would take is to have DToid at least 50% mother-approved - and we'd have just that much more ground gained against the "overweight man-children who live in a cave lit only by the glow of monitors and haven't heard of the concept of a shower in months" stereotype.
You and your mother have done the world more good than I may ever be able to achieve.
This is what caused my to reflect on what I had said, without thinking before I said it.
Is this the stereotype that has pervaded the view of our "kind" in the public eye, or is this just a viewpoint that still stands because it's true to a certain degree? I hate to bring up the theme of racism, but I believe Dave Chapelle illustrated it best when he made the joke during his "Killin' 'Em Softly" routine about being nervous to eat chicken in public as it fulfilled a stereotype that has been pervasive and long-standing, the original reasons why long forgotten and yet the stereotypical viewpoint still upheld to this very day. From the arcades' boom in the early 80's were born the "arcade rats," a group of identifiable people that hung out all day in the glow of monitors, the only sources of light in an electronically powered cave. The D&D kids who came before them, hanging out in basements for hours at a time pursuing an adventure that "wasn't real" to the uninformed bystander/observer had much the same stigma leveled against them. To this very day, the WOW "addicts" that raid for the better part of 2/3 of a day, sometimes more, carry the new old torch.
Could it be that we have actually done this to ourselves, or have the minority (relative, of course) been so flamboyantly antisocial that the entire label has been thrown over us as an umbrella statement? If I choose to go play SoulCalibur or Street Fighter with my 15-year-old nephew (I am determined to pass down my part of the holy fighting game arts to a new generation, any way possible) during a holiday gathering, my wife will come to "rescue" both of us if more than an hour or two elapses because she fears that we will not emerge from the "cave." She does know better than to fully label us, or else she wouldn't have eventually married a guy whose greatest videogame-related conquest was receiving a flirtatious shoulder massage from said hot chick while showing a stunned group of folks how you speedrun Megaman 2 while at a keg party (and I was very social, I might add - I was downing mass quantities of cheap brew and laughing it up during the "weapon get" screens). But she fears that anyone who plays games must do so in moderation or risk becoming "one of those guys," a viewpoint which I actually support wholeheartedly, but if we don't feel like watching "A Christmas Story" for the 47th time that day we should be allowed to "cave in" for a while, don't you think?
It's no different than going outside and playing football - you're building a skill, one way or another.
What's coolest about that Xmas tradition is this, however - my 72-year-old football coach father-in-law loves nothing more than unwinding by royally raping the competition online in Battlefield 1942, and when the going gets boring, the bored get to playing. Even he knows where we're coming from.
So, what do you think? Is the stereotype real, and if so, are we perpetuating it?
LOOK WHO CAME: