Gamer Guys: the stigma against gaming

In the modern age, students at LZHS find entertainment through spending hours gaming, however people have their judgements.

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In the modern age, students at LZHS find entertainment through spending hours gaming, however people have their judgements.

Parul Pari, Magazine Editor-in-Chief

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The video game industry is now worth over 90 billion U.S. dollars by 2020, an increase from nearly 78.61 billion in 2017. In an era where most communication is through emojis on a little handheld device, the forms of entertainment that kids our age enjoy have changed as well. Students now lean more towards virtual entertainment, on games such as Apex Legend, Undertale, and Fortnite rather than more traditional forms of entertainment like board games. Yet, the stigma against gaming from other generations has caused some students to feel as if their passion is not accepted by others.

“A lot of parents don’t like it and I don’t know why. They just think it’s bad because they see all these bad games that people make and bad people online, but mostly it’s not that. Mostly it’s just kids trying to have a good time,” Nathan Recktenwald, junior who games 70-80 hours a week, said.

With so much time indoors, the automatic reaction leads people to believe that gaming can lead to ruining social lives, yet Recktenwald argues against the misconception stating that the virtual world helps build more friendships and provides an alternate form of experiencing.

“It’s helped me build more friendships with other people because I play with them online and we talk for like more than two hours straight so we build friendships,” Recktenwald said. “I like being able to play through a story and everything, instead of reading it. It’s like an interactive story.”

One of his friends Nathan Kransberger,  junior who plays an hour a day on weekdays and 5-6 hours on weekends, agrees with Rectenwald on the negative stigma towards gamers.

“The oppression of gamers in our society is unfair [because] gaming has been proven to improve cognitive ability. You are constantly communicating with people, too, as you are gaming,” Kransberger said. “Also, there definitely are careers in gaming, like competitions, because gaming is becoming more popular. [A career in gaming is sustainable] if you are good enough.”

“A lot of adults consider gaming to be unnecessary. In my own experience, my parents have often told me that it is a waste of time and I could be spending my time doing something else like reading,” Kransberger said. “Society is quick to blame its problem on new forms of media and acts like an outlet for their frustrations, even the World Health Organization considers a gaming addiction to be a mental disorder but various studies have proven that gaming develops cognitive ability.”

Research shows that individuals playing action videos increased their cognition more than those playing the control games with the difference in cognitive abilities between these two training groups being of one-third of a standard deviation. Over several years all over the world, proves the real effects of action video games on the brain and paves the way for using action video games to expand cognitive abilities. As for the critics, Recktenwald called out the hypocritical nature of parents who criticize teenagers who game.

“It’s not really harmful, it’s like how parents watch TV, I guess. We can say that is bad for them but we are just watching TV and hanging out with people but it’s not in real life, it’s online,” Recktenwald said.

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