The video game industry has been growing for the past few years; both in size and popularity. Gamers of all ages gather in the virtual world and in the “real world” however even without realizing, do companies stereotype their consumers?
In my case as a 21 year old gamer who has grown up with a fellow gamer in the form of her older brother and a dad who actually introduced me to gaming; I have developed a taste for various gaming genres. I tend to favor Nintendo consoles myself; not for a hatred of Sony or Microsoft or any other third party company; but for a simple love of games such as Animal Crossing, Professor Layton, Pokemon, Final Fantasy and so much more.
What does annoy me though, is how I get “recommendations” for video games sent to me by Nintendo every month, but it is always the same. “Fashion, animals and life sims”. Never taking into account what games I do actually buy.
To me, I feel that gaming is a past time that can be enjoyed by anyone, regardless of taste or gender. I really hate the looks I get sometimes when I go into a video games store to check out some of the video games on offer and get those looks, which increase in their intensity the few times I actually buy something that is not, ladies and gentleman, Style Boutique.
Please don’t misunderstand me, if you are a fan of Style Boutique, then of course that’s fine, and wouldn’t judge someone for buying it, but I hate how certain people look at you and think “you are a girl, so why would you want to buy Super Smash Brothers or Metroid?” I personally believe that they are missing out on potential customers.
Thanks to media and over cultural influences, many girls have not experienced the joy that is a good video game; in some cases, price aside; it’s like immersing yourself in a whole other world which can cause a whole array of feelings; surprise, frustration, and also sheer joy when you have finally triumphed over a particular segment that you may have been stuck on for months.
At college especially, I know I got judged; as someone who is firmly their own person, I was more than happy to curl up on a study break with my 3DS and play a video game of my choosing; and would go absolutely hyper at the thought of seeing a new trailer or video game magazine. On Christmas morning, I love nothing more than the smell of a new video game.
Why not accept people for who they are? So what if you don’t want to spend hours trawling around clothes shops or couldn’t care less who was sleeping with who on Big Brother; the girl or guy in the corner with the video game or manga in hand may actually be really nice; and not a loner; weirdo or obsessive nerd with no social skills. To me, regardless of what ever we are interested in, we are our own person, not someone to be judged for it.
So next time you see someone you know playing a video game and you have never played a video game; why not ask to have a go; you never know, you may just find yourself enjoying it.
Either way, contrary to what the media say, letting a child or for that matter anyone; play a video game will not automatically make them a killer. If so, then I am clearly at risk of killing people by playing my copy of Animal Crossing: New Leaf. I really need to stop that. At the end of the day, we are all humans, capable of our own choices and knowing right from wrong. We do not need to hide behind excuses.