How to Explain Your Passion for Gaming to a Non-Gamer
Gaming is a pastime that is still viewed with scepticism by many people and gamers per se still endure a lot of bad press from those who like to perpetuate lazy stereotypes. If you are a well-adjusted gamer who enjoys gainful employment and a healthy social life, you may find yourself at some point having to explain your passion. Furthermore it could be to people who find your hobby utterly alien. Like most things in life there is no easy solution and there are numerous approaches to tackling such a line of enquiry.
The most logical starting point may be to give any curious third party a verbal overview on the merits of gaming; to attempt to convey the very things that you find engaging about gaming. However fans often cannot see the woods for the trees, so there’s a good chance that this approach could result in a lengthy diatribe, which fails in its good intentions and leaves one of the two individuals involved with their eyes glazed over. Can you guess which one?
Another approach may be to try and introduce this fictitious friend who is curious about gaming to some of the professional games coverage that is provided by the wider press. Mind you, this also comes with its own set of problems, as some of it can be very esoteric and niche market. It may only further bewilder and confuse, rather than illuminate. Plus the games media itself can at times be extremely blinkered and unwelcoming.
Overall I think the best way is to show the benefits of gaming. By that I don’t mean just demonstrate one of your favourite titles but how you personally experience it. Highlight the positive aspects of gaming that are common to other hobbies and pastimes, such as the social interactions and the friendships. A great example is the associated blogging community that stems from gaming. Many other hobbies have similar support networks and social portals. Perhaps the most obvious parallel that can be invoked is that of sports fandom. Demonstrating the common ground between the two may well prove beneficial.
The key is to break the stereotype of the gamer being an antisocial person indulging in something that has negative connotations. This is where the growth in casual gaming can work as a stepping stone between those who habitually game and those who do not. I’m not saying that the above is a comprehensive guide. As ever with human interaction, you need to adjust your pitch according to the situation. Yet if each of us manages to change at least ones persons mind about gaming, perhaps we can finally dispel some of the myths that still linger.