7 Ways Being a Gamer Makes My Children Better People via @ThoughtCatalog

23 Oct

New piece at Thought Catalog about how gaming is good for kids and good for us all.


They get knocked down. A lot. And they get up again and play another day and every day they get a little better. It’s interesting to watch them act protectively to obviously new players who need a little time to bring their skills up to the level the game demands. Losing teaches compassion.



12 Responses to “7 Ways Being a Gamer Makes My Children Better People via @ThoughtCatalog”

  1. acethepug October 23, 2014 at 15:48 #

    And it’s also why the Left and the Social Justice Warriors (but I repeat myself) want to co-opt it like they have so many other aspects of life. Winners and losers? Perseverance? Anathema to the Left.

    And so they must slowly warp and mutilate it as they have education, sports, cinema, and television …

    It’s a great article, and at least for now, it holds true.

    Thanks for linking to it!


  2. alcockell October 23, 2014 at 19:50 #

    Which is why the gamergate lot are being as tenacious at holding the line…


  3. That_Susan October 23, 2014 at 20:19 #

    Another non-gaming mom here with a gamer husband and gamer children. You’re absolutely right about all the ways that computer games help our kids grow, and get into the habit of persevering to develop skills, and of developing (safe) online relationships with all kinds of people.

    I feel sad that I initially felt a need to limit the time my first child spent gaming and watching TV and movies, because not being a gamer myself, I didn’t see the value in it, and because I was/am also into natural parenting, and there is a subset of natural parents who are very technophobic, and their ideas kind of lined up with and reinforced my own natural preference for reading books in my hand, and talking with people face-to-face, rather than spending time on the computer.

    On the positive side, there is also a subset of natural parents that is very much into philosophies like Radical Unschooling and Taking Children Seriously, and delving into that territory helped me see that I was trying to impose my own preferences on my loved ones. So by the time my older daughter was about 7, she was free to spend as much time gaming as she liked, and it’s been like that for my younger daughter since she was a baby.

    As to Gamergate, I don’t have much knowledge of it. I do agree with those who don’t like the idea of games getting a good rating simply because the developers had sex with the ratings people — but actually, I think the primary focus should be on the ratings people who are willing to do this. It’s similar to the idea of a student getting a good grade by screwing the teacher. Yeah, the student should be expelled, but even more importantly, the teacher NEEDS TO be fired.

    But then, in any cases like this, what kind of proof do we need before we just start expelling and firing? A fellow student has just recently accused my daughter of telling lies about her. This wasn’t related to academics or school rules, so it’s not like my daughter’s at risk of getting expelled — but the fact is that my daughter is an honest girl and WASN’T telling lies, and yet there’s this big rumor going around about her, and she’s just basically having to get on with her life and try to ignore the malicious people.

    So, as someone who’s occasionally been the victim of malicious gossip myself, as well as seeing my own dear child in that position right now, I think the burden of proof needs to be pretty high before we start listening to rumors and punishing people based on those rumors.


  4. slacker October 24, 2014 at 03:00 #

    As someone that played survival horror games at a young age (probably too young but whatever) I would argue that it made me more conservative with money. The survival horror genre more than any other style of game stresses the judicious use of resources and that conservative mindset stayed with me. Try to find another debt free millennial in the U.S I dare you. I realize that it has more to do with the nightmare than tuition fees and student loans are here, but still there are no shortage of idiots that will spend themselves into debt.

    Another benefit that I was surprised you didn’t mention is learning how to be part of team. A lot of games have a built in class system that lets you pick a certain job or role to fulfill for you team. For example the Battlefield series lets the player choose to play as a medic and rewards them more for healing their allies then it would if that player simply went for kills.

    As for #GamerGate, the media is trying its best to portray it as a conservative backlash that was sparked by the Zoe Quinn scandal but that’s simply not true. For the record Zoe is a disgusting human being, but this consumer revolt was simmering for years before it finally boiled over. Besides the readily observable fact that the journalism end of the industry is more of a social circle than a community of professional journalists and that you basically have to be a liberal progressive just to get a job there in the first place, its obvious that most game “journalists” have a laughably small amount of experience with games.

    This can be observed in the disturbingly large number of reviews where the author complains that a game is too hard or that the “controls are too clunky.” Those complaints are rarely true because video games are arguably easier today than they have ever been. Anything with a significant learning curve or unusual game play mechanics is also complained about because these people are too busy socializing with each other to do their job or do what your average gamer would; get better at the game. Sometimes it’s not even a low key problem that would require some knowledge of games to spot, sometimes they will just come out and admit they have no clue. I have actually read a review from Destructiod (the same site that fired and blacklisted one of their writers for exposing someone that was defrauding a charity) where the author of the piece actually admitted that he was too busy to play games at the moment and that he had very limited play time with the game that was tasked with reviewing.

    Like you said the media is tying its best to paint all of gamergate as white men but they are conveniently ignoring things like #notyourshield or the interview that the huffington post did with three different women that were all pro GamerGate. Hell this is just my anecdotal example but the most hardcore pro GamerGate blog I follow is ran by a lesbian. I guess she must be overflowing with self internalized misogyny.


  5. Mark October 25, 2014 at 02:58 #

    Ironically, by characterizing gamers as right wing nerds, the media may well turn this into a self-fulfilling prophecy. This was a huge contingent of the American youth that, historically, has been more sympathetic to the left than to the right, but by battering them with insults and equating such modest reformism as, God help us… opposition to undisclosed conflict of interests in journalism, and also to the rampant politicization of enternainment, makes us misogynists and fascists… this sort of attack on an enture demographic – which strikes me as positively surreal in nature – may well turn a large number young people (especially males) off of progressivism. These social justice types showing themselves to be so hateful and totalitarian that they make Christian reconstructionists look like tame in that respect is a dire way to scare off a lot of the youth.

    It’s also amusing that, much as these game “journalists” try to co-opt gaming for the purpose of their pitifulattempts at social commentary, the best social commentary tends to come from the games themselves that are least politically correct, and the most apolitical, and usually the most hated by feminists and progressives. For example, no gaming franchise (certainly no ‘journalist’) makes more incisive and amusing social commentary on American society than the Grand Theft Auto franchise, in the form of unremitting satire. Feminists hate GTA (the makers of which are by no means conservative) though because they have the audacity to include rape jokes in their games, and because women and feminine culture (and feminists themselves) are not spared from the satire included in those games any more than men or masculinity. One reason I like games like GTA even beyond the gameplay is because the equal opportunity satire is more fun, more honest, and probably more insightful than anything you’ll find in conventional media, especially from, say, any of the propagandist bullshit coming out of Jon Stewart’s mouth.


  6. Spaniard October 25, 2014 at 18:48 #

    I am leftwinger (moderate, very moderate) and when I was a teenager I used to play a lot with the Atari. 🙂

    I do not understand what has to do videogames with political options.

    I agree that videogames (and traditional games like chess) helps to manage different scenarios in your mind. It is very useful for work and private life.

    For instance: my Belarusan mail order girlfriend (not bride), 24, nurse, half my age, she is gorgeous, we have sex like rabbits, and she cooks very well, cleans, irons, takes the trash out, and bring me my slippers when I arrive home every evening with a big smile. She gives fantastic massages as well (she has skills in phisiotherapy) But I know her hypergamy alerts are on, once she is living in a Western European country and working in a hospital, surrounded by handsome, 30something, single doctors.

    In case she does the hypergamy jump, she won´t take a single cent from me. Cuz we are not married and no children (not now and never).
    With some female friends of her she went for a “grrrrrls weekend” in Paris (this weekend) and I guess, as a beautiful and young woman she is, she will cuckold me with one Frenchie she will know in the City of Love, which is especially to die for in October.
    No problem, cuz since she is in the plane, I have been already with a couple of hookers. So, everything is balanced. The problem is not cuckolding, the problem is an unbalanced situation.

    This is a macho pig dream came true. And I have to thanks my ability to manage all kind of scenarios (regarding to women) and my ability. comes, probably, from the teen days of the Atari.

    Thanks videogames!!! 🙂


  7. Wallace Black October 27, 2014 at 12:14 #

    I think the whole Zoe Quinn issue is really just a distraction from the larger culture war that we’re facing. I don’t think gamers really give a shit about Quinn’s sex life. It’s just that the trade press, and the media in general have been increasingly pushing the feminist agenda on every sphere of life. A whole lot of gamers are kids and teens, little balls of pure id. Teens have the unenviable task of figuring out their place in the world while getting little sympathy for the issues they struggle with, especially not from the left-wing feminist brigade, who seem to hate boys in particular.

    If you read Jezebel (the pain one endures to understand culture), you’ll find insults like neckbeard or basement-dweller casually thrown about towards boys and men (and in particular, socially awkward young boys and men who typically love video games), and no one bats an eyelid. This is because Social Justice Warriors divide society into a false dichotomy of Victims (women) and Oppressors (men), and if you fall into Camp Oppressor by no fault of your own but by accident of birth, you should just bear whatever insults the Feminists throw at you, and if you fight back you’re clearly a horrible misogynist on the wrong side of history. Gamergate is a backlash against that.

    Granted, a huge collective like that is bound to have assholes amongst its midst – the targeted threats against individuals is unacceptable, but the SJWs have latched on to the trolls as representative of the entire gaming community to discredit them. Does feminism not have its own assholes (*cough*Andrea Dworkin*cough*) and an ugly underbelly too (radfem forums – they’re horrifying)? Mention that to feminists and they go all No True Scotsman on you.

    It’s a fact of life that boys play together, and have common interests, and build and enjoy things like video games together, and more often than not the video games will reflect Stuff Boys Like. The Feminist Media loves to demonize this. Of _course_ the video games will look like male fantasies of jacked-up marine dudes exploding aliens to rescue hot girl – IT’S A FANTASY. Harlequinn romance heroes don’t exist in real life either, but no one demonizes women for indulging in their fantasies. The Feminist Media claims they want games that resemble X,Y and Z, which they prefer, but instead of creating them, they prefer to bully others into changing to suit them. A nice write up of this culture war is written up at Popehat -> http://www.popehat.com/2014/10/21/gamer-gate-three-stages-to-obit/

    The Feminist attacks have nothing to do with “wanting more progressive games”, but instead of policing thoughts. If you want it, make it. That’s how real men and women do things. Why can’t the feminists?


  8. Jim October 27, 2014 at 14:58 #

    “this sort of attack on an enture demographic – which strikes me as positively surreal in nature – may well turn a large number young people (especially males) off of progressivism”

    I sure hope so.


  9. Mark October 28, 2014 at 05:29 #

    Indeed. In fact, if there is anything dishonest about the gamergate folks, it is that they used the Zoe Quinn situation scandal as a catalyst to criticize the actual problems with with game ‘journalism’, and most are really only angry at the ‘journalists’ like the guys who fucked her; about Quinn, who gives a shit. It’s feminists who keeping trying to bring things back to her, because it’s easier to defend a female as the quintessential victim than it would be to defend the mostly male ‘journalists’ who are the actual cause of the problems.

    You also touch on a good point that seems like a theme: feminists causing the very problems they complain about. As long as a woman who wants more ‘women-oriented’ games can get them by basically politically blackmailing male game developers to do it for them, there’s less of an incentive for women to enter the industry. If everyone told all the activists to fuck off and let it be a market economy, then women would have no choice but to enter the industry to get what they want. By providing many of them with an easier (but in the long run less fruitful) method of getting what they want – by bitching and moaning about it and mass political or legal action – then many will choose that easier route over developing the skills necessary to become a developer. People virtually always take the easiest route to get what they want.

    This probably applies to running for office too. A woman can obtain as much power as a politician by becoming a high profile ‘activist’ or advocate than by going through all the shit and stress and scrutiny one has to go through to become an actual public official. The alternative low-hanging fruit offered by the the influential ‘Women’s lobby’ has effectively deterred women from pursuing actual public office, in my opinion, because only without the lobby would it be truly necessary for them to win elections to actually hold power.


  10. that1susan April 1, 2015 at 23:02 #

    I know this is an old thread, but I just read this article about British teachers calling CPS if they find out that students are playing over-18 video games. It would be interesting to hear everyone’s thoughts about this.




  1. 7 Ways Being a Gamer Makes My Children Better People via @ThoughtCatalog | Manosphere.com - October 23, 2014

    […] 7 Ways Being a Gamer Makes My Children Better People via @ThoughtCatalog […]


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