If you are an avid video gamer, then you have most likely made a lot of acquaintances and friends while playing video games. And perhaps a few of you even met the love of your life while playing video games online. Through personal connections like these, I have been able to support fellow gamer’s. Or have been supported by other in the community. I have personally seen acts of kindness that would make any grown man cry, such as gamer’s coming together to help pay for operations and medication for live threatening illnesses, or holding online vigils for friends lost. Acts of friendship, charity, and overall humanism, all fostered through one thing:
The mutual love and interest in video games. And mind you, these aren’t just anecdotes and stories I have heard or read about online, many of these are things I have personally witnessed. Nowhere else in my entire life have I ever been part of a community or a hobby that was so ready to give of its own time and energy to help others, often people they don’t know or haven’t met but played games with online. And that is saying a lot as the internet can feel like a cold and unfeeling place at times. Yet, the media especially the video games media who are supposed to represent us are so quick to highlight the negatives aspects of gaming and its culture.
It is extremely rare these days that gaming is celebrated on how it benefits society, and how healthy it can be, not to mention the kindness it is capable of as a hobby. If you enter the video game community with a large overly inflated ego while waving your persecution complex around like a flag hoping to find some pity, then you are going to have a bad time. And going into any community with the above mindset then it almost guarantees an increased chance of having a negative experience. If you seek to have a positive experience in the gaming community or any other community for that matter, then it is wise to approach it with good and honest intentions.
And having preconceived notions of a community will likely leave you with little chance to really connect to gamers, as you will only see the flaws that you were looking for when coming into the community. No matter your culture, your income, or even what you look like. All that the video game community requires from you is a mutual love for the medium. I have seen so many agenda based groups approach gaming like it is some super toxic community that is a boys only club, which cannot be further from the truth. Leaving myself and people who have been playing these games for decades scratching our heads as to why our hobby and community has suddenly and magically become problematic…
If you are simply using the gaming community as a means to an end or to further some agenda, and don’t share our genuine love for the medium, you will definitely stand out like a sore thumb. While I have no sympathy for video game journalists I do feel sorry for those journalists who repeatedly and endlessly comment on how unhappy they are when playing games or when they take part in said community. Myself as a gamer would find it very difficult to have as bad of a time as they are when playing or talking about my favourite past time. When it comes down to it I love video games and the community that surrounds it. That’s where the real magic of the gaming community comes in. Its people and their passion for the hobby and the medium.