It's a question no gamer wants to ask another gamer, as he's often afraid of the answer. However, although we all recognize just how mainstream the hobby has become over the past few decades, the question is just as relevant as ever.

What would be interesting to know is if an avid gamer would be willing to sacrifice an evening out to play his new title. Over the years, I've realized that certain stereotypes simply don't die; even though most will acknowledge that gaming doesn't automatically translate to "geek-dom," they still think that gamers have out-of-whack priorities. They will freely accept your chosen hobby and won't make nearly as many assumptions as they used to back in the day, but why do so many people believe that only one thing matters in a gamer's life? Certain minorities don't make the situation any better, either: a buddy I know works with a girl who is married to an EverCrack addict, and for the most part, it's a non-existent marriage. Unfortunately, for the uninitiated, they don't see any difference between that dude and me (for example). Hell, I work as a video game journalist so I must be even worse , right?

I think that's the problem I'm running into more often than not. "All gamers are nerds" is almost extinct, but many still refuse to make any distinctions in the gaming crowd. I still don't start off conversations with my job because of this, and not surprisingly, when I do make it known to my discussion partner, they seem downright shocked. And it's not always because I don't fit the so-called "mold" – like I said, the nerd/gamer association is dying out, thankfully – but more so because I'm there, talking to them. Wouldn't I rather be home playing my favorite game? There's nothing wrong with that, they may add, but they just figured the big gamers did that. Now, I have been known to sacrifice time out-of-doors to play a game, but it's not often; it often revolves around the weather and the nature of the "out-of-doors." If it involves people I have no interest in, why torture myself just so I can say I was "out?" I'm too old to deal with adolescent priorities that put "appearance" at the top of the list.

Did I skip college parties to play Final Fantasy Tactics ? Yep. Did I avoid the club on a freezing, snowy night to play Prince of Persia ? Yes, I did. However, have I ever said "no" to doing something social I wanted to do so I could stay home and play? Nope. Perhaps that's the real question: is gaming keeping you from doing things you would otherwise do? Socially? And if you're older, has it changed? Did you do this at one point, but don't do it any longer? I'd be interested to see the responses.

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Morals
Morals
11 years ago

Luckily for me gaming has no so called social life to affect.

Jackyl
Jackyl
11 years ago

Now this is a generalization as each person may have outward affecting influences inhibiting their ability to have a social life.

But then again some people use it as a crutch. Thinking they don't have a social life so they might as well just play video games instead of trying to put themselves out there. Going to a bar, club, paintball, whatever might perk your interests.

I admittedly don't have much of a social life. For me it was enough to just interact with my fiance at home and play my video games when she's doing her own thing. But it is a funny coincidence (with this article) that lately I've been craving more social interactions.

Recently I went out to a nice local bar/grill and rather than sitting at a table, I saddled up at the bar to enjoy a beer and some really good food. I wasn't expecting to but before the night was through I was making jokes and having fun with a bunch of total strangers.

This week I'm looking at checking out this bar with, instead of a karaoke night, a Rock Band night. I think I'm bound to meet some fun people there.

shadowpal2
shadowpal2
11 years ago

I think it has a positive effect…since it allows many people to really communicate with others not just online or anything like that but with people at school or neighbors about this game that they have. My friends at schools usually know what I'm talking about and time to time come over to play some games.

But it really depends on the game. I know that when I get my hands on FF Versus XIII…I will talk about it with few people…but never play with another person since FF Versus XIII is more of a solo kind of game…most RPGs are.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

Ben you and I are pretty much sympatico, I have and will sacrifice out-of-doors time for gaming IF I have no real interest in the activity, would prefer to avoid something I don't much enjoy, and/or I am reasonably sure that playing the game will be more fun.

I will go out if it seems fun or I could meet girls, but like you said why torture yourself to say "oh I went out" Like I'm home tonight and it's friday, well there isn't anything to do ya know. But I'm going out tomorrow because I'm positive it will be a good time, and if I come away with a phone number yay for me.

As far was age goes, yeah the closer I get to 30 the more I appreciate a comfy chair, a big TV, and my free time when nobody needs me except my faithful canine companion, a coca cola, and maybe a sweet game.


Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 4/10/2009 10:38:06 PM

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
11 years ago

Yeah, age will do that. LOL

JofaMang
JofaMang
11 years ago

My wife and I met through EverCrack, a game that I was far too dedicated to for far too long, but I managed to stay hooked long enough to meet my wife (togther for 6 years now). I can't regret playing the game for almost 8 years, but perhaps I wish we could have met a few years earlier, heh.

I turn 30 in about 2 weeks, and I have noticed a shift in my priorities, though to be fair, getting married was the biggest of those. We are both gamers, which works well, but we both lost interest in the MMO style game not long after getting married. Console gaming gives the right range of fix depending on what I am looking for.

Now it is more about playing a game I can fit into my schedule, instead of finding a schedule I could fit around my gaming (being a regular raider in EQ required a lot of social sacrifice). It seems console developers have gotten good at designing their titles for a range of playtimes and styles, and most new AAA titles find use in my entertainment centre, whether it be for 15mins or 3 hours.

Banky A
Banky A
11 years ago

@ JofaMang

Isn't it fascinating how life unfolds?

=D

JofaMang
JofaMang
11 years ago

To be fair, I made many friends from around the world because of my years playing EQ, and new friends even in my own back yard. Even though I don't play the game anymore, I still regularly talk with many of the people that I played with back in the day, and have had RL experiences with people I might never have otherwise known at all.

To say that MMOs are anti-social is a bit of a conundrum, since thriving in an MMO environment is a VERY social thing. On a daily basis, I would interact with dozens of acquaintances, not coworkers or neighbours, but people I had gotten to know fairly well through the game.

I guess my point is that the definition of being a "social person" has, and still is changing with technology and each generations interpretations of how to use it.

MadKatBebop
MadKatBebop
11 years ago

Gaming has never effected my social life.

Oyashiro
Oyashiro
11 years ago

Social Life? What is this "Social Life" you speak of? Does it taste good?


Last edited by Oyashiro on 4/10/2009 11:36:12 PM

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

It's sometimes good with a big ol side of "This sucks" 😛

Alienange
Alienange
11 years ago

It's kinda like mashed potatoes. It's only good if there's gravy.

darthLegion
darthLegion
11 years ago

lmfao! my thoughts exactly.

BikerSaint
BikerSaint
11 years ago

'Taste's like chicken"

JasperLoons
JasperLoons
11 years ago

Meh, it goes in phases. Some years I will party hardy and play very few games. This year I'm burnt out on partying, so I'm catching up on everything I missed.

sunspider13
sunspider13
11 years ago

The older I got the less I cared what people thought. The friends that matter knew if I wanted to go out and do stuff, then all they had to do was ask. More often than not I would go and do something.

But if there's nothing to do and if a game just came out I want to play, then hey, cold water, a cancer stick, and my joystick and we're good to go.

ThugNificent101
ThugNificent101
11 years ago

I would say im very similar to you as well ben. I wont be in all day gaming unless there is something to do that im interested in.
Like tonight for instance, I went out with some friends instead of playing games simply because i was interested in associating with some people and having a bit of fun in the process (good hearted fun ;)) and it was well worth it.

a1_
a1_
11 years ago

Gaming is my social life!!!!

darthLegion
darthLegion
11 years ago

likewise.

twenty8nine
twenty8nine
11 years ago

I don't like to go out much, so gaming hasn't gotten in my way. That isn't to say that I haven't left my system on for a long time at a moment's notice to go an have some fun.

Common Cence
Common Cence
11 years ago

Yes and No

Back when I was a younger games used to be my social life in my elementary days I was so used to being a manipulative little kid that I rarely received any form of rejection not from friends not from adults, as I grew older I started becoming more and more afraid of rejection and to some extent I still am somewhat afraid. I played games back then day and night and I felt the more I played the more I lost the chance to actually learn how to socialize. Gaming was the only way I felt "safe" so yes I used to skip any outings with a game even if it seemed interesting to me at the time.

No because after my sophomore year I look at myself in the mirror and I promised myself I would change, I wanted the name calling to stop so by my Junior year I found myself a group of gamers/musicians and although I wasn't a musician 2 of the 5 used to be some of my elementary friends so it was an easy transition, eventually I grew more and more confident and now I have quite an amount of friends.

Now if I buy a new game I would play it the moment I get a chance but anytime my group or my other friends have an outing that is what I'll go to first I enjoy the changes I have made with myself and eventually I believe the fear of rejection would diminish between little to none

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

I should mention that once you get out of college and most of your friends either marry and their wife yanks them away from you, or they just fall off the map; gaming is a nice safe haven of fun that will never leave you. When I had a posse that was much more important but only 1 of those guys is left now and well what can ya do? Sooner or later everybody bails.

JasperLoons
JasperLoons
11 years ago

So true World. I'm just now getting age where suddenly all of my friends are getting married (what are they thinking?!). Not to mention that my close friends and I have all moved off to different parts of the country.

Oyashiro
Oyashiro
11 years ago

Same here! 2D girls are better anyway!

Scarecrow
Scarecrow
11 years ago

Nah, gaming's awesome

On the other hand, have made many cool friends through gaming!

slackernz
slackernz
11 years ago

I'm a doctor so naturally, I HAVE to savour every second of free time I can find. I would always prefer socialising with mates, whether it'd be food related, drinks at the pub or hitting the clubs over playing any game. My ps3 is usually reserved for days when I'm just too exchausted to do much else (these days are sadly happening a lot more tho)


Last edited by slackernz on 4/11/2009 2:07:05 AM

Alienange
Alienange
11 years ago

Gaming does not keep me from doing things I would otherwise do, socially or not. However, I do choose to play video games over a great many other things. Gaming is what I love to do. The social scene is way over rated, but that only becomes obvious as you get older.

Belazor
Belazor
11 years ago

I've avoided social situations to spend time on the computer in the past, but that's mainly because every social event here involve mass amounts of alcohol, and that's just not my idea of fun.

And the fact that if I came back home from spending a night out with mates, the dragon (A.K.A. "mom") would give me the Gestapo 3rd degree :p

I swore to myself when I started playing WoW (been clean ever since Jan 2009 and have no abstinences) that I'd never let it or any other game affect any form of relationship, and I intend to keep that promise for the future.

Banky A
Banky A
11 years ago

No.

Only my attitude and personality can affect 'my' social life.
Which is kinda' bad because my personality is a bit too unique for the 'cool' crowd that I recently was (still am) a part of.

>=]

Banky A
Banky A
11 years ago

Got a thumbs down, very mature.

=D

Banky A
Banky A
11 years ago

And besides.
Gaming has done too much for me, Final Fantasy VII taught me how to speak/read English when I came to NZ 😉

I shan't let it go =D

Now it's giving me the pleasure to listen to some of the most refreshing and beautiful music that no pop song on TV can ever pleasure me to hear (did that make sense?). As inspiration for my music career.

Random_Steve
Random_Steve
11 years ago

only once when i was invited to into town, but neither me nor my friend had money so he came back to my house to go on the ps3. We still met up so i dont think it really made a difference

Skatejimmy5
Skatejimmy5
11 years ago

I'm out skateboarding most every evening, so no I don't stay in every night to play games. I don't go to too many parties though, but that's because they're no fun. Alcohol gives me a bad behavior, so to speak, so I always end up somewhere I don't want to. Therefor, most Friday nights I'm either out skating, inside playing videogames or watching a movie.

darthLegion
darthLegion
11 years ago

Makes me remember a few years ago when I would put in 30 hours of playtime into KotOR in a school week and wonder where all the time went. That was my social life. [:

dveisalive
dveisalive
11 years ago

The WorldEndsWithMe is right I am not even near 30 but my early 20's and when all of your friends have girlfriends, you cant hang out no more like the college and high school days. Thankfully for gaming plus online you can keep in touch and game like the good all days. Anyways I remember reading a study that was really weird, and it was talking about how adolescents and up are more likely to have a non social approach to life if they didn't game online. So gaming is good and bad in ways. I mean its easy to go outside and have some fun. But dont you get tired of going out and partying, going shopping, or whatever you do? Cause your a gamer or if you like to play games like crazy like myself doesn't mean you don't have a social life. In my opinion if you play a game like a MMORPG like Warcraft? I believe you meet new people everyday, or should I say online all the time you meet someone new.

rjmacready
rjmacready
11 years ago

Now that I'm in my mid thirties with a wife and 10 year old daughter (who loves to play games with me too), after working all week, I find myself staying in with them more of the time than going out.
If there's something social to do with my friends, or if the wife and I go out, of course I'll go do that, and I'll have a good time. More times than not though, I love staying home, spending time with them, watching sports, and playing the Playstation. Fun fun!

dante_zero
dante_zero
11 years ago

hi all. been following this site for a couple of years now but never got round to posting anything. lol. once again another interesting article to get people involved with discussion, i must say this is something this website does very well so keep up the good work.

In response to the question you pose, i found in previos console generations it has been more of a solo experience and found my self not going out as much because i to wasent interested in doing certain activitys and would gareentee more fun was to be had with the final fantasy series. However this generation i find myself wanting to play games online more and more as it seems to have become a social activity. Alot of my friends who live a distance away from me now use there PS3s to catch up with me and do social gaming things.

Robochic
Robochic
11 years ago

Social life HA, haven't had one of those since i had my kids LOL. I was getting one back when my son turned 4 then i had a suprise which is now my 4 month old daughter LOL.
The older i get the more i just want to sit back relax and enjoy a good game or movie.
I do go out a lot with my son to the park and stuff like that but once he's in bed and my daughter is too it's me time and i don't feel like going out. When it comes to family activities I NEVER say No even when i really don't want too, family is forever.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
11 years ago

So obviously, things change over time. 😉

It seems a lot of people will say, "well, yeah, I did avoid social things to play games when I was younger, but now…"

I think the bottom line is that…well, we all have to grow up at some point. Heh. Not like that's going to stop me from playing games; I'm just saying.


Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 4/11/2009 10:32:35 AM

dante_zero
dante_zero
11 years ago

i think getting older and going out more might have something to do with discovering beer. lol

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
11 years ago

Not in my case. I don't drink and I tend to hang out with people who have a similar mindset. 😉

www
www
11 years ago

Yes,though i might drink once in a while,am not really into drinking,so when ma buddies call me up and say,we're going to drink the F out this holiday,am like "errr…….i don't know,i might be there".I'd rather stay home.
All my dudes drink.

I remember one time i was late to the drinking party,my friends asked "what will you take" and am like "bottled water",they were astonished,the next minute i saw others ordering the same bottled water,how influential i can be.

TheUglyBassist
TheUglyBassist
11 years ago

I know a guy who owns a PS3 that rarely plays it. He also rarely leaves the confines of his bedroom. So I really cant figure out why people believe if you're a gamer you have to be antisocial.

tlpn99
tlpn99
11 years ago

I am currently 34 soon to be 35 in just over a weeks time. Tonight I should have been going to a 40th birthday party. The girl in question asked me herself, she is the girlfriend of one of my old work colleagues.

Anyhow I would have gone tonight but with the exception of a few things

1) I have no money to get there and back via taxi, I spent todays money while watching the footy (soccer) in the pub.

2) The new epsiode of Dr Who and Red Dwarf are on tonight and I cannot trust our recorder to record them as they are both broken but work fine manually. There is no one else in the house to use the recorder so I said sod it im staying it, money plus 2 of my fave shows are on tv. Good enough reason for me to stay in.

If I had the money I may have gone later.
Sometimes money can be a factor. Plus I wouldnt drive anyway if I had a car as then I wouldnt be able to drink. So driving there is a none option too.

As a kid I grew up on my games I hardly ever went out but as I got older I did go drinking with mates etc and to a few parties etc so for me the answer is as you get older you get comfortable with being at home in your nice comfy chair, few drinks in the fridge be it alcohol or soft drinks and some nibbles. I go out when I can but after a few hours I start thinking about heading home.

I still game. The majority of my spare time is spent on gaming unless I am watching a tv show or a film. I do go out but always return to my gaming.

A few of my friends too have fallen off the radar/map as they are married and some have kids too. We still get together when we can but it's not like when your single you can see your mates every night. 🙂

Vivi_Gamer
Vivi_Gamer
11 years ago

…… No comment

LightShow
LightShow
11 years ago

i game when nobody can/will hang out. It's my backup plan.

caddillac
caddillac
11 years ago

I have no problem going out every now and then with people that I like hanging out with; but I would rather stay in and set my body to chill mode and play some games. I've never been a big fan of the "party" scene; and personally think its overrated.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

It is, I never went to parties in highschool and then afterward I did and I was all "This is the big party scene I missed out on in highschool? This totally sucks; people barfing and falling down and acting like slimeballs, no thanks" It's definitely overrated.

Gregory Freeman
Gregory Freeman
11 years ago

i like 2 party, i also like alcohol, so thats my excuse:P

Anonymous
Anonymous
11 years ago

Gaming doesn't affect mine, I usually do my heavy gaming in the winter when the snow and ice of Ottawa make it unbearable for driving at times. The next several months will see me gaming very little as it's more important for me to get out much more now.

BTW, those guys who play on that other console, it doesn't affect theirs, either. Spending all day online talking on their mics IS their social life.