The image of the average video gamer has been virtually irreversibly tarnished. Thanks to movies, TV shows, and commercials, gamers are portrayed as either nerds or socially irresponsible losers that ignore their girlfriends. So bad is the image of the gamer in the non-gamer's mind that I'm embarrassed to tell people I play video games for a living. That is until I realize they work at a factory or on an oilrig—then I just throw it in their faces.
I'm not blaming the media entirely, as obviously there are some elements of truth to this reprehensible image. The Big Bang Theory is absolutely no help at all.
Movie stars, rock stars, plastic surgeons, bikers, and scientists all play video games. Many of them religiously. But they're also embarrassed to admit their predilection for gaming, so as not to tarnish their cred. So what we end up seeing portrayed in the media are the clichéd, hairstyle-challenged nerds, and sociopath teenagers sitting in front of the TV with a glaze over their eyes like cannibals watching The Biggest Loser.
Of course the media circus is going to focus on these clowns. The old guard, (basically anyone over 45 or anyone that hosts a show on CNN) are afraid of everything that video games represent. Why do we care what these people think? Because these are the people that can make life miserable for us if they buy into the image of the loser gamer. Judges, CEOs, rednecks, cops, bankers, insurance adjusters, probation officers, and the clerk at liquor store will all hate you if they know you're a gamer.
These are dark times. And I'm sure you've helped contribute to this conundrum, whether you're one of the socially maladjusted or perhaps a cool cat who just didn't speak out.
So what can we do about it? Easy. Get cool. In a hurry, and tell everyone you're a gamer. But make sure you get cool first. That's the important part. Here's what to do: fix your hair. Lose some weight. Get rid of all clothing with sports logos and any reference to AC/CD; you may think that stuff's cool, but it's actually a cry for help. Learn how to have a conversation by making eye contact with the other person. Drop "dude" from your list of proper nouns. Don't sit too close to your buds on the sofa, even if you're in a beer commercial. If you are over 18 and you have a mom in your house, it had better be your own house, and she'd better have moved in with you. If gaming is causing you to neglect your girlfriend, she'd better be ugly. Don't get high when you play; save that for school or work.
Do your part to make gaming respectable. Be responsible. Image is everything.
By Cole Smith
CCC Senior Contributing Writer
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central.*