Published on October 20th, 2011 | by Tatterr
Community Beat #7: Gaming Belongs to Everyone
Just the other night I was online playing some Call of Duty: Black Ops with my wife and some friends. We jump into a lobby and my wife asks our one friend how he’s been. Promptly we hear some kids voice say, “Get off Xbox and go make me a sammich you whore!” Now I know what you’re thinking. I freaked out and got into a yelling match with him, right? Nah, not me, that’s not how Tatterr rolls. I told this young individual how his comments were unappreciated, unsolicited and that maybe he needs to rethink how he talks to strangers let alone females. We then proceeded to literally obliterate him and his team to the point that they left mid-match. Guess who was MVP? That’s right, my wife. Gaming doesn’t belong to just a select few anymore, it belongs to everyone.
I never have or do I think I will ever understand the mentality of a person who goes online just to harass people that dare play the same game as they do. I mean, honestly where is the logic in that thought process? This game is for me and my friends only. Everyone else is gay and should go kill themselves. Now unless you and your friends are billionaires and can afford to pay them to keep the servers open I don’t see you and your friends being able to enjoy this game much longer. In fact the reality of the situation is female gamers now account for 42% of all gamers according to the Electronic Software Association (.pdf file). Which I think is awesome because honestly, why not introduce more girls to our passion, then we may not feel like such dorks when we game it up with our buds.
Now for many people video games are a luxury that is not always looked on favorably, or considered important. For people with disabilities though, video games have been an effective way for some people to deal with their disability as well as an important social outlet for them. For many with disabilities it’s not a simple matter of just going out to meet friends. For some a trip outside means hours of packing and preparation, a nurses aid, a special adaptive van, etc. So you see where the social aspect of video games becomes important for them. To be able to talk with friends, and family in the comfort of their bed or chair. One big deterrent for a LOT of disabled gamers on consoles is adaptive technology. Simply put, game designers and game accessory designers simply do not keep the disabled person in mind when making thier product. That is where groups like the AbleGamers come in.
The AbleGamers advocate to spread awareness of a disabled gamers needs, as well as run accessibility reviews on games and hardware. Unfortunately a lot of times these amazing individuals run into the same ignorant people that bash female players. That’s why one of the things I try to accomplish with the AbleGamers is to create a friendly game environment by introducing them to groups of players who will game with them, and just have a good time.
Another growing demographic in the video game industry is people over the age of 25. In fact according to the same study the average age of gamers is now 37. I know several in the 45-55 age range. Yes the reflexes are a bit slower at that age, but what matters is they are on having a good time. Laughing, sharing amazing stories and a lot of times bonding with grandchildren. I know it seems weird to bond with your grandpa on a video game, but nothing brings a family together like RPG’s and napalm strikes. As a parent in my 30’s I game with my son and I think it is a great way for us to get a little father & son time in. Except for when he camps, then I want to rage quit and make him do dishes.
While the average age of gamers is going up, unfortunately the behavior of some of these individuals is not. I’m not saying I’m a perfect little angel when I play. I get mad, I swear from time to time, I may even talk a little smack, but usually only when provoked or when someone decides to play DJ as soon as they join the room, blasting their techno in the mic, everyone knows that is never appreciated. One thing that I will never do is say hateful, racial, or sexist remarks for any reasons. I do not discriminate in life, nor in gaming. Gaming belongs to everyone and no one should be made to feel like they are not welcome.