Recently on Twitter, two hashtags were trending: #TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter and #TenThingsNotToSayToAGamer. The latter hashtag was not as popular as the former because #TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter was created by professional writers who have been beleaguered by some of the statements their readers gave them, such as, “You’re still doing that writing thing or are you working now?” “When will your next novel come out?” “Writer’s block doesn’t exist. Get on with it,” and “How’s that novel you’ve been working on?” The last quote came from Stewie in Family Guy, but you get the picture. I will write more about this in the foreseeable future.

Today, I want to emphasize on Twitter’s least popular hashtag #TenThingsNotToSayToAGamer. As a gamer and anime fan myself, I have heard derogatory statements about gaming and anime life from some people, including my family. Here is a list of ten things you should NEVER say to a gamer…EVER.


1. “Instead of wasting time playing video games, you should be applying for scholarships.”

~ My mom told me this last year, and I got pissed off to the point where I wanted to create a meme featuring some of my gamer friends that reads, “We don’t just play video games, but we also…” and place a word that best describes their other hobbies on their pictures. That meme has yet to come to fruition, and I hope I get to create it sometime.

2. “You look like you’re in elementary school instead of college wearing that (Sonic the Hedgehog, Kingdom Hearts, Black Butler, or My Little Pony) shirt.”

~ This one came from my stepdad towards the end of the Spring Semester, and I have to say straight up that that is complete bupkis. I understand that I have to wear only a suit and tie–actually, a blazer and a skirt–when I enter the corporate world after graduation, but to have a parent penalize me for practicing freedom of expression by wearing a T-shirt displaying the characters from Black Butler to a college campus is a great injustice. I have seen other college students don shirts with Mario, The Legend of Zelda, Kingdom Hearts, etc., designs printed on them, so why should my fashion choices accommodate to what my family wants? Just because I’m wearing a shirt that displays one of my favorite video game/cartoon/anime characters doesn’t stipulate that I’m an immature adult who doesn’t take any real world situation very seriously. I mean, Jesus Christ, I got a blue Classic Sonic top from the junior’s department at Macy’s; a pink Classic Sonic T-shirt from my aunt’s friend in Germany; and a checkered Classic Sonic shirt and Black Butler tank top from freakin’ Hot Topic! Did any of my teachers downgrade me for wearing such attire despite the fact that I pay attention to everything they say in class? No, because that’s discrimination. There may be Video Game Design majors who might also be offended by this. (See: Never Judge a Person By Their Shirt)

3. “Keep playing video games and you won’t be moving out of your parents’ house anytime soon.”

~ Oh, really? It just so happens that video games help gamers succeed in life by endowing them the following life skills: patience and perseverance; forward thinking and strategic planning; leadership and socialization; mental and creative prowess; and sympathy and empathy.
My mom sometimes tells me that I have no patience and that I give up very easily when she gives me certain tasks. Ironically, in Pokémon Alpha Sapphire, because Master Balls are so rare, I’ve had to throw at least twenty- to thirty-something Ultra Balls at every Legendary Pokémon I’ve encountered and attempted to weaken until they’re captured completely. I’ve been working on my first novel for over a year now, and I’m not entirely sure when I’ll be able to finish it. But I know that by being patient I’ll be able to persevere through the creative process as quickly as humanly possible. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and a novel certainly wasn’t written in a day either. Great things come with time.
Most gamers, like myself, enjoy video games that stimulate critical thinking and problem solving. When I played Angry Birds in high school, I always told myself and a select few people, “It’s more of a game of strategy,” because you can’t sling shoot every bird at your disposal at the same spot every time. You have to think about the most effective way to knock down the buildings that house the bad little piggies, where to hit them, and what power-ups to use in order to stamp out the pigs (if you’re willing to pay for power-ups at all). Games like Angry Birds stimulate the ability to conjure up plans in real-life situations, such as a two-week vacation itinerary, a career path, or a basketball game plan.
Broader society has always viewed gamers as antisocial man-children who are unable to hold down a job, get married and have kids of their own, and may have to be supported by their parents for the remainder of their lives. This is the most vicious stereotype in the history of the gaming industry because it’s a total lie. Before game developers even thought of massive-multiplayer online (MMO) games, gaming involved a large physical gathering of friends in front of a console and a TV as big and heavy as a walrus. Today, gamers communicate over voice and video chat. Hell, they even do Let’s Play livestreams of video games of their choosing for YouTube or Twitch, inadvertently giving their viewers tips on how to get through certain levels they’re struggling with in the same games they’re playing at the moment. Whether they’re playing MMOs or livestreaming console and handheld games, gamers are actually socializing with their peers. As far as leadership goes, that skill is picked up from clans and guilds in Dungeon Fighter Online and World of Warcraft to resolve interpersonal conflicts and inspire motivation towards goals in their jobs.
Games such as Brain Age and Tetris help you work on mental math, reading speed, and concentration, as well as developing pattern recognition skills. Other games also improve memory, hand-eye coordination, peripheral vision, visual acuity, and out-of-the-box thinking. I’ve played similar games on Lumosity, and I should probably get back to that.
Most games I’ve played are narrative–the Kingdom Hearts series and the Sonic the Hedgehog series, to name a few–and they do encourage sympathy and empathy. Anyone remember Sora’s reunion with Riku and Kairi in Kingdom Hearts II? That scene certainly played at my heartstrings, including my cousin’s.
Shame on you for saying that gamers never leave their parents’ houses to go after every opportunity life gives them.

Controller quote
Wallpaper Courtesy of: Marilla

4. “Violent video games can turn you into a vicious killer.”

~ Every time a mass shooting occurs–Newtown, Aurora, Columbine, the 2011 Norway killings, for example–the news media tends to blame violent video games, specifically first-person shooter (FPS) games, for those killings right off the bat. Even though studies have shown a correlation between violent games and violent deeds, correlation is not causation. Those findings are phrased the other way around: violent people have been attracted to violent games to begin with. Maybe people who feel the need to wring someone’s neck or literally knock their brains out turn to Call of Duty as an outlet instead. The only predictor’s to one’s violent tendencies are a hostile home environment and actually being bullied by one of their family members.

5. “Flunked your Algebra exam? You shouldn’t have stayed up playing Halo or whatever the hell you were playing the other night.”

~ If you’re a parent or psychologist, you should never assume that video games are the sole reason why your child or patient got a bad exam grade in one or more of their classes. Gamers are more than capable of balancing schoolwork and play, among other responsibilities. Consider this meme you’ve probably seen:
A high school or college student sits down at their desk to pour over their notes for an upcoming Biology exam. Believing that their teacher/professor is expecting too much from them for the exam, they pick up their loose-leaf notes and toss them in the air as they loudly declare in sing-song, “Fuck this shit!” Five seconds later, they bend down to pick up their notes, saying, “Just kidding, I need to pass [this test].” This proves that gamers are not the most irresponsible students most people deem them to be.

6. “Games are a waste of money. You should spend your time and money on important things.”

~ We understand that we should save our money other things like food, clothes, utilities, music, and trips to places we would love to visit, like Hawaii, England, or even Japan (since 90% of the games we play originate from there). But it’s blatantly unfair to say that video games and gaming consoles themselves are a bad investment. To discontinue our financial support for the gaming industry is to further damage the global economy.

7. “Aren’t you a little too old to be playing video games?”

~ The average gamer is 31 years old, but that doesn’t mean the expiry date for gaming life by law should be 31 years of age. Whether or not the person wants to continue playing video games is entirely up to them, NOBODY ELSE.

8. “Put your controller and hit the gym, you pig!”

~ Not every gamer is suffering from obesity, you know. And we do know that physical fitness is essential to our health, so we eat just as healthy and exercise just as much as the average person.

9. “Do you even have a job yet?”

~ Please refer to the third item on this list.

10. “Female characters in video games are often treated as sex objects.”

~ While that may have been true in the industry’s infancy, the current generation of male gamers don’t necessarily see the female characters, playable or otherwise, as sexual objectifications.


One thought on “#TenThingsNotToSayToAGamer

  1. In reply to a few:
    4: sort of ironic they jump on video games where the end goal in most fps games is to PROTECT humanity/the people in your country/whatever where rap “music” literally has phrases like “killin cops fuckin bitches I’m so rich can’t go to prison” or some ridiculous shit. But no that’s fine for a 4 year old to listen to on repeat.

    5: I slept through marine science for the most part, because I stayed up playing games. I never made less than a B on any test, moreso I didn’t have 2 prerequisite classes to even take marine science. Part of the knowledge I already had comes from things like researching mario enemies, megaman/X bosses, and metal gear flavor texts. Along with the animal crossing museum fish exhibit. That was helpful. Wait… did I just say I PASSED a class because of video games? Blasphemy! That can’t be possible… but wait. It is true and snobby fuckers can go eat a bag of… something unpleasant…. I lost my train of thought there…

    6: buy experiences, not things. Need I say more? Well I’m going to. Games are an experience not a thing, it’s exploring the deep depths of that cave, it’s running on walls, it’s flying through the air with a magical friggin hat, it’s a kart race with your buddies when you’re sick as a dog in bed, it’s saving the universe from a complete psycho after a bad day at work, it’s stabbing a god wannabe in the face with a sword the size of his entire frickin body after you were bullied in class, it’s a one on one showdown with a literal god that throws BUILDINGS at you after the guy/girl you liked shot you down in front of everyone, it’s fighting a giant evil blimp with laser eyes while grinding on rails in the sky using a bowling ball cannon named “the dude” WHAT PART OF THAT SENTENCE ISN’T AWESOME. That. That is why we play. That is what we see. We get an experience that crosses the line between reality and fiction.

    7: aren’t you a little too old to be worrying about what I’m too old to be doing dipshit? That’s what I thought. [Not directed at you, directed at people who ask this, and yes I HAVE responded with this, it’s awesome when it shuts them up]

    8: … … … … ARE YOU SERIOUS?!

    9: yes actually, I do have a job, not only do I have a job, I work in the public, specifically at a hotel. Funny how I learned the art of bullshit from years of sarcastic game characters and ambiguous moral dilemmas, none of that comes from school… but hell if I didn’t use it in school.

    10: -sigh- let’s go through the list to shut anyone up.
    blaze fielding[streets of rage] does about 34% damage of axel per hit hits 3/4 times in the same amount of timr it takes axel to wheel back, punch, and recover ONCE, mathmatacally she does 103%-115% of axel’s damage in the same time oh what was that about eye candy? Also her super hits the entire screen, axel’s only hits the far side and the other guy only hits the close side. Yep not like she’s overall better.

    morrigan anesland [darkstalkers] she is the ONLY character in the darkstalkers series with an infinite unbreakable combo. Infinite meaning you can juggle indefinitely even after the opponent is reduced to 0hp. [Some combos require the opponent to hit the ground before you can continue anakaris, demetri maximoff… I’m lookin at you….

    felicia [darkstalkers] it’s not so much a gameplay thing for her but a story thing. Yes, she’s a stripperific catgirl, but here’s the thing: she was raised by nuns. “The divine sister rose” look it up. In her downtime she runs and takes care of an ORPHANAGE that get this SHE FUNDED AND BUILT, you see her goal in the first darkstalkers was to become a famous idol singer, which in canon she was infact successful at. But the reason she wanted to do so was so she could have the crazy amounts of money to help people at will. “Oh, the retirement home is starting to get a little run down? I’ll pay for repairs” “oh these children have nowhere to go? BAM ORPHANAGE” yea. Felicia is awesome, plus one of her attacks is sonic’s spindash, so points for her.

    rouge the bat [sonic] stripperific, slutacular, tight outfit wearing, cleavage showing ,whore of a bat with the added bonus of JIGGLE PHYSICS, only interested in jewels, how in the hell am I going to show she isn’t just eye candy? Meteor herd. That’s how. In the “boss fight” with her, she has knuckles basically at her mercy when he saves her, SHE can fly, he can only glide, she could have VERY easily pulled him over the ledge, flip kicked him in the head and let him fall in the lava, taking the master shards for herself without an issue. No witnesses, no survivors, and a whole lot of jewels. But, she didn’t do that, infact she did the opposite of that thing I said, knux helps her up, and SHE GIVES HIM ALL THE SHARDS SHE’S COLLECTED. A similar event happens in sonic battle where she gives up a gem. To help the world/someone in need. There’s more examples of her doing this, but… I do’t feel like listing them all.

    4 perfect “older” examples of women in gaming that kick total ass.


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