Is being a gamer a sign of immaturity?


Gamers, Gaming and Anime Otakus (anime enthusiasts) are being misunderstood by thousands of parents in third-world countries like the Philippines.

This morning, while preparing to go to work, I was thinking about what I posted yesterday — Gamers Will Soon Be War-Freak Adults and I thought that there really is a need for a dialogue between gamers, the gaming industry as well as anime otakus (who are also being misunderstood) and the parents — our parents.

Just like what a member of my guild (Holy Order of the Light) Keeper Rensaku (or parliament in political terminology) shared with us (original post),

I heard some people talking about gamers on their way home in the shuttle that I ride everyday. They were saying that their “kids” are already in their 20s to mid 20s and they still play games… one mentioned Ragnarok, and the other one mentioned “Dark Lord” so I was thinking MU [online].

They said that their “kids” were excelling at work and the like but have a quiet social life. They rarely go out, and they spend more time in front of the PC than what they were used to when they were that age. Then one person popped a statement: “Ang immature nga e. Lampas 20 na naglalaro pa rin ng games. Natandaan ko nung mga 22 na ako seryoso na ako sa trabaho.” (“Really immature. Still playing games beyond 20 [years old]. I remember when I was about 22, I am serious with my work already.”)

Then the other one followed up and agreed to the former’s statement. It went on and on… them talking about how immature it was for their kids to keep on playing games at their age then at the end one of them said, “Yung anak ko nga e. Valedictorian ngayon pero puro laro naman. Kelan kaya sila magmamature?” (“My child, [graduated a] Valedictorian but now [s/he] only play games. When are they going to mature?”) and he stepped off.

The guy who was left saw me carrying a pROSE mousepad and he looked at me. I said “Yes, I’m a gamer. I’m 25, I have a healthy social life, and I’m a supervisor(slash)manager at work. I play games because that’s my past time. No offense po, pero siguro kelangan nyo rin intindihin mga anak nyo.” (“… No offense, but maybe you need to understand your children also.”)

He just replied “Hindi ko lang kasi maintindihan kung bakit hanggang ngayon naglalaro pa rin kayo sa edad nyong yan.” (“[What] I just do not understand is why up to now you {plural sense} are still playing [games] at your age.”)

I was about to get off but I left him a statement “If you play sports, that’s your hobby; you enjoy it. We play games, that’s our hobby; we enjoy it. I have to get off. Good evening po.” {note: ‘po’ is a Filipino word for showing respect to an elder, a stranger, someone in a higher position, or just being respectful to a fellow human being}

I got off and I just smiled. I hope he understood.

What about you guys? Have you ever asked yourself if gaming is a sign of immaturity?

So are gamers really immature? I do not have statistics to show regarding this matter, I don’t even know if it is possible to measure a person’s ‘maturity’ or ‘immaturity’. In this aspect, it is obvious that there is a collision of two different views, of two worlds separated by years and even generations. The view and world of our parents who lived in the days where there are still no console and desktop games, and a view and world where gaming is almost in every corner of society.

True, being a gamer isn’t a sign of being immature. I am a gamer, I am proud of it. I founded a guild that’s enjoying a family-closeness of 100 members with zero turn-overs, which have been around since the 30th of January, 2003. I am an Analyst & Researcher, formerly a Community Manager, own different online communities, and a professional gamer with a healthy offline and online social life. If those achievements and successes I’ve enjoyed in my life in this world for 24 years now (I’m only 24) is immaturity, then I don’t know what “maturity” really is.

There’s a need for a dialogue

With these in mind, there really is a need for a dialogue, a fruitful dialogue that is, not a debate. A dialogue where two different worlds can talk and have a fruitful discussion about “gaming” and what are the advantages and disadvantages as well as to separate facts from fiction (like gaming and/or violent games resulting to a violent individual or contributing violence in the society). I think this will be a good start instead of the two POVs (Point-of-Views) constantly banging each other everywhere – online or offline. Just go search the internet and you’ll see endless posts and reports about this topic. Understanding, that’s what both parties must have with/to each other.

It is also true that there are people, specifically students, who are wasting their lives because of gaming. They skip classes and instead of spending their money to eat, they will save it, to later spend in playing games. I for one is against it, but can we blame gaming for the acts of these students? I think not. These students are still young and do not know what the real-world really is. These students are still living in a fictional real-world paradise, these students are students of life. We’re supposed to teach them and let them experience life, why are they studying in schools in the first place? Just to learn mathematics, science, and history? Or to also learn values and the value of life? How about to learn and experience what the real-world really is?

Them being at that stage is enough of a proof that we – the adults, be that you’re a gamer or not, a parent or not, it is our social responsibility to guide and teach them as well as to let them experience what we ourselves experienced when we were at their age. There’s no better example than myself, I once spent 2-weeks of my life playing an online game called Ansalon MUD 2-weeks straight, non-stop. My parents never ceased to remind me about the consequences of what I was doing then, and how important studies and life is. I then realized that I love to play games, specially online games. If I want to continue playing online games, I need to have an internet connection. To have one, I need to have money. I can’t rely on my parents forever, and so I must work. To get a job, I need to finish school. That is exactly what I did. Now here I am, paying for my own server and even hosting other sites and communities, with a good high-paying job, and still playing games. Today, I buy game boxes and pay a monthly subscription for these games, other than paying for the internet connection as well as electricity bills, food, and all other life essentials.

Let’s understand the factors involved

Student-gamers, they’re really getting out-of-hand lately. But instead of blaming them, instead of blaming internet cafes (iCafe), instead of blaming operators or more appropriately publishers, instead of pointing fingers left and right, and especially instead of blaming ourselves, let’s understand the factors involved, the advantages and disadvantages, the good and the bad of the things that are happening today, to our children, to our students (schools take notice), to our constituents (politicians!). No one developed a game to destroy people’s lives (maybe today there are), and no one had any intention of getting these students to spend the rest of their lives playing games.

Games are there to give us entertainment not otherwise, if these students are into gaming too much, then there must be something wrong. Maybe they don’t like their professors? Maybe their parents are ignoring them? Maybe their social environment isolates them? Anything “too much” or excessive is bad, there’s no denying it, and any type of addiction is a symptom or a signal that there is something wrong. That’s what researchers, politicians, the Department of Education, psychologists must concentrate on.

Even if you stop gaming in general, these students will continue doing the same thing — skipping classes for example. Who knows? These students may have been deep into illegal drugs or drug-addiction if not for gaming? If past studies showed that people who are into illegal drugs have problems, then could it be the same case with those who are addicted to gaming?

Again and again, a dialogue, especially in third-world countries.

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Is being a gamer a sign of immaturity?
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Is being a gamer a sign of immaturity?
We heard it all, "you're old and you're still playing games? Such immaturity." Are gamers really immature? Are games only for kids?

CC BY-SA 4.0 Is being a gamer a sign of immaturity? by gameshogun™ 🎲 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at Legal Notice.

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