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 Declaring Gaming as a hobby

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ZeroJones
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PostSubject: Declaring Gaming as a hobby   Declaring Gaming as a hobby EmptyThu 4 Aug 2016 - 9:50

I have real issues with saying 'playing video games' is my main hobby. I normally say 'cinema' instead, but isn't gaming better? You're taking a far more active part in gaming, as well as solving problems and a host of other thinking skills. So why do I struggle to declare that it's the main thing I do on my down time? Bloody social stigma. No

How about y'all? What's your relationship with declaring yourself a gamer like?
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The Cappuccino Kid
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PostSubject: Re: Declaring Gaming as a hobby   Declaring Gaming as a hobby EmptyThu 4 Aug 2016 - 10:21

No, I try to hide it like Elton John hides behind an injunction - my oldest pals know and I stick the odd gaming thing on Twitter, but would I buggery tell anybody at work that I import Japanese Game Boy Colour games, or that I post here, or any bollocks like that. That said, in the past I've shown the odd person some photos of my collection if they've mentioned that they've got an interest in gaming too. I was pals with a guy at uni for over a year before we both realised that we were both retro gamers. An interest has got to come from them though - I wouldn't mention it otherwise.

There's definitely a social stigma about it, and there always has been. I remember quite liking a girl at school, but then finding out that she thought I was a trekkie because she saw me go into Electronics Boutique once. Even today, over a decade on, people who know I'm into gaming think I'm some sort of technical software engineering genius; in reality, I barely know how to turn a computer on.

Pokémon Go seems to have made gaming a bit more acceptable in my social and professional circle though. There's been a few folk asking me for 3DS advice lately, and there's been a lot more gaming conversations at work in the last month or so. I remember just sitting quietly and politely in the office while everyone else was talking about Red and Blue, all the while remembering that I completed one of them in a weekend for about the tenth time just a few months ago.

You're taking a far more active part in gaming, as well as solving problems and a host of other thinking skills. wrote:

On a side note, I was helping somebody with their CV recently and they asked if they could put gaming in their Hobbies & Interests section, for reasons just like you've noted there. I told him to wrap that pish and just stick down football like the rest of us. Thumbs Up!
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Balladeer
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PostSubject: Re: Declaring Gaming as a hobby   Declaring Gaming as a hobby EmptyThu 4 Aug 2016 - 10:37

Great thread idea Dr. Jones. Thumbs Up!


I'm less shy of being seen as "a bit different" than your average person.  Most of my friends and colleagues know I'm a bit weird.  I'm fairly open about my dislike of (club) football, and my meagre TV and film knowledge.

Having said that, it depends on the group, doesn't it?  I work with a bunch of actuaries, and many of my friends are nerdy writer types or other nerds.  I'm less likely to talk gaming with my choir mates, for example.  And I rarely bring it up as a conversation topic unless I'm talking to a known gamer.  

I guess the acid test is meeting a new person, isn't it?  And while I will mention that I game, it'll be a throwaway comment among a list of other, "more respectable" ( Sick ) hobbies.  "I write, I play piano, I sing, I play videogames, I'm a big cricket fan..."  To make a sweeping generalisation, men will follow up about writing or cricket, while women will choose writing or music.  (Or more often, it's "What about you?" and I'll work with what they say.)


It is getting more acceptable, I think.  The Wii helped, the ubiquity of smartphones helps, Go! is helping...  And from experience, so long as you don't shove the topic down other people's throats, most young men (sorry but outside nerd circles it is largely men) have at least played FIFA or Halo or something nowadays.  I wonder how much of that stigma is in our heads, actually, from when we were growing up?  When it was definitely seen as a "trekkie's" hobby.  (I have never watched a complete episode of Star Trek.)

But there's still a way to go.  Following the cricket's much more nerdy than gaming, yet isn't tarred with anywhere near the same brush.  Madness.
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masofdas
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PostSubject: Re: Declaring Gaming as a hobby   Declaring Gaming as a hobby EmptyThu 4 Aug 2016 - 11:43

Time has changed yeah for people like my grandparents age would think it's weird but I think most people now see nerd culture things like all the Marvel films as an acceptable thing and gaming lands in that as well.

Like when E3 happened people at work asked me, if anything interesting happened and that was 40 year old mangers as they heard about Pele that one year ans stuff like that.
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Crumpy Andy
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PostSubject: Re: Declaring Gaming as a hobby   Declaring Gaming as a hobby EmptyThu 4 Aug 2016 - 12:14

I don't do enough things outside of gaming these days to mention as interests, but I also don't care if anyone would judge me for it, if it's that big a deal to them, screw 'em. It's something I'm passionate about, they don't have to talk about it with me, but I'm not going to hide it.
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OrangeRakoon
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PostSubject: Re: Declaring Gaming as a hobby   Declaring Gaming as a hobby EmptyThu 4 Aug 2016 - 12:46

I will happily claim gaming as my biggest hobby. Most of my friends play games, most of my workmates play games (I'm a software dev after all), my brother plays games, I play wiiu with my housemates, and my girlfriend plays games more than me.

You do occasionally come across people who act with a social stigma around gaming and playing games, but it's easy enough to fight the corner for it being a large and accepted media. Almost everyone plays a game of some kind, a lot just don't even think of it as gaming. But I think the best comeback to someone trying to dismiss the medium as childish or without value is to segway the discussion into an analysis of postmodernism in MGS2. They'll quickly concede defeat Razz
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gjones
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PostSubject: Re: Declaring Gaming as a hobby   Declaring Gaming as a hobby EmptyThu 4 Aug 2016 - 15:55

Great topic.

I've just updated my CV and it's not something I'd mention when applying for a job. Mostly because many managers are likely to be older than me (I'm 29) and will have grown up when gaming was still the thing that the socially inept would partake in. Hell, I worked at GAME a couple of years ago, and many gamers ARE socially inept. I would sooner put that I go to watch football matches a couple of times a year, rather than the fact I play video games MOST NIGHTS.

I guess it's because most people who play video games are casually playing them - Call of Duty and FIFA are games you can play alone, but are also games you play whilst drinking with your mates. It's viewed as messing about, rather than the same way you'd "play" a sport. Plus sports tend to be physical, outdoors and involve some degree of face-to-face social interaction.

What I tend to say to people I work with (which is ten women and I'm the only bloke - no I'm not a pimp) is that I play retro video games, and then mention Nintendo. I think if I said I play 3DS, then there's that stigma of Nintendo games being for children because some of my colleagues have children who own a 3DS. Saying that, my wife who is in to sports and going to the gym and not what I'd consider a gamer; she will turn her nose up at certain parts of "gaming as a hobby". So if I am playing a Mario game, it's fine. If I have ordered a stack of 90s game magazines from ebay, it's "sad". If I'm showing her Life is Strange or a detective game, or something that interests her like Pocket Card Jockey, it's "cool". If I'm sharing a good game podcast I like on social media, it's "sad". So I think many people are like her, in that they secretly enjoy playing games, but some of the culture surrounding gaming is looked at negatively because it's a passing interest to many, more casual "gamers".

I used to really be in to wrestling, but a similar stigma exists for that. Thank God I love Hip Hop music, although that again, has a stigma. Does every hobby have a stigma???
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Athrun888
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PostSubject: Re: Declaring Gaming as a hobby   Declaring Gaming as a hobby EmptyThu 4 Aug 2016 - 15:59

Honestly the only nerd hobby with genuine stigma nowadays is anime anyway, even comics are losing their hatedom thanks to the movies making the franchises more mainstream.  The remainder of the stigma that is thrown gamings way is typically from the generational gap, which isn't really an issue for me as I don't interact with those beyond the gap unless they themselves are interested in the hobby.  

The only time I've had issues with stigma towards my hobbies was back in high school.  Ah the old days of being a teenager and a fan of Nintendo, how I miss the constant jeers and insults both directed at me as a person and the things I enjoyed!  

As far as "coming out" about my hobbies and interests is concerned, the only people I tend to chat casually with, incredibly small pool of people that that is, are the type not to judge or care either way.  As for anime, offline I keep my powerlevel strictly to myself! Heck believe it or not I still usually keep my full power hidden even here!
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Balladeer
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PostSubject: Re: Declaring Gaming as a hobby   Declaring Gaming as a hobby EmptyThu 4 Aug 2016 - 16:38

@gjones wrote:
Saying that, my wife who is in to sports and going to the gym and not what I'd consider a gamer; she will turn her nose up at certain parts of "gaming as a hobby". So if I am playing a Mario game, it's fine. If I have ordered a stack of 90s game magazines from ebay, it's "sad". If I'm showing her Life is Strange or a detective game, or something that interests her like Pocket Card Jockey, it's "cool". If I'm sharing a good game podcast I like on social media, it's "sad".

I think there's an awful lot of counter-arguments that can be aimed at your wife's hobbies, and indeed most others. In particular going to the gym (I don't know enough about which sports they are to make any comments) seems to me to be one of the dullest activities anybody can partake in. Thing is, anybody with a passion for anything can be considered "sad" by anybody without that passion if you do it on your own, but the sadder thing is when you don't have a passion for anything.

Anime still has a chuffing massive stigma though.
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gjones
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PostSubject: Re: Declaring Gaming as a hobby   Declaring Gaming as a hobby EmptyThu 4 Aug 2016 - 16:52

@Balladeer wrote:
@gjones wrote:
Saying that, my wife who is in to sports and going to the gym and not what I'd consider a gamer; she will turn her nose up at certain parts of "gaming as a hobby". So if I am playing a Mario game, it's fine. If I have ordered a stack of 90s game magazines from ebay, it's "sad". If I'm showing her Life is Strange or a detective game, or something that interests her like Pocket Card Jockey, it's "cool". If I'm sharing a good game podcast I like on social media, it's "sad".

I think there's an awful lot of counter-arguments that can be aimed at your wife's hobbies, and indeed most others.  In particular going to the gym (I don't know enough about which sports they are to make any comments) seems to me to be one of the dullest activities anybody can partake in.  Thing is, anybody with a passion for anything can be considered "sad" by anybody without that passion if you do it on your own, but the sadder thing is when you don't have a passion for anything.
 

Of course. Some of her hobbies are atrocious (watching reality TV and soaps) and she accepts when I lampoon her for watching them. I can't stand the gym myself although I understand its appeal, particularly for weight loss and health reasons. I don't think any sane person enjoys running on the spot for half an hour, but it's the feeling afterwards and knowing it's good for your body.
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Balladeer
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PostSubject: Re: Declaring Gaming as a hobby   Declaring Gaming as a hobby EmptyThu 4 Aug 2016 - 17:07

If it's both of you mocking each other's then fair enough, she's got to have something to get you back with!
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Buskalilly
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PostSubject: Re: Declaring Gaming as a hobby   Declaring Gaming as a hobby EmptyThu 4 Aug 2016 - 21:03

I wear all my geekiness on my sleeve; people know me as a gamer, a trekkie, a comic reader, a transformer collector and a wrestling fan.

The thing is, I'm also sociable, generally considered a funny guy and very capable of talking about other things if someone isn't into the same geeky things as me, so I think people can accept that I'm like I am without letting it define me. Maybe it still holds more stigma elsewhere?
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JayMoyles
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PostSubject: Re: Declaring Gaming as a hobby   Declaring Gaming as a hobby EmptyThu 4 Aug 2016 - 22:24

If someone asks me, I'll not shy away from it - I spend a lot of time playing videogames and I like chatting about them too. But like a few of you have said, it's not information I'll readily offer when getting to know someone. It'll be a passing comment like "don't get a lot of time after work to do anything besides make dinner and maybe pop the Playstation on for an hour"... I'll neglect to mention that I'll end up spending hours and hours playing stuff like Fire Emblem and Monster Hunter on my days off. Laughing
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OrangeRakoon
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PostSubject: Re: Declaring Gaming as a hobby   Declaring Gaming as a hobby EmptyFri 5 Aug 2016 - 10:18

To be fair, 95% of anime is terrible

But then a small percentage of it is some of the best TV and animation you will ever watch. So it's pretty much like most other things.

The thing with liking anime is that being a part of the anime sub-culture and watching anime are not the same things. Gaming has much less of an insular, defined subculture so its not as comparable.
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The_Jaster
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PostSubject: Re: Declaring Gaming as a hobby   Declaring Gaming as a hobby EmptyFri 5 Aug 2016 - 13:07

I've never let things like this bother me at all, took many pelters for liking wrestling growing up but never let it change my mind on the things I like & the same goes for games. If folk are going to be really judgemental about it then they aren't worth my time.
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Buskalilly
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PostSubject: Re: Declaring Gaming as a hobby   Declaring Gaming as a hobby EmptyFri 5 Aug 2016 - 14:07

@The_Jaster wrote:
If folk are going to be really judgemental about it then they aren't worth my time.

Jas speaks the truthbombs.
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Jimbob
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PostSubject: Re: Declaring Gaming as a hobby   Declaring Gaming as a hobby EmptySun 7 Aug 2016 - 9:35

I'm still nervous about talking about being a gamer. I'm lucky in that I work for an IT company and my colleagues in my department are all my age or slightly younger, and therefore all tend to be gamers anyway. But I still don't like talking to "new people", and older people, about it, or - gulp - a woman. My next hobby down is musician, which is more interesting to would-be-partners, but
(a) I don't have the output to back that claim up, and
(b) as a pie-chart of time spent on hobbies, is a teeny teeny slice.
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Balladeer
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PostSubject: Re: Declaring Gaming as a hobby   Declaring Gaming as a hobby EmptySun 7 Aug 2016 - 9:37

Same for me as pianist. Does playing Nintendo tunes by ear for (on average) five minutes a week count? Wink
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Buskalilly
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PostSubject: Re: Declaring Gaming as a hobby   Declaring Gaming as a hobby EmptySun 7 Aug 2016 - 9:38

I often try to pass myself off as primarily a reader / writer but then it turns out I'm reading a Mass Effect Novel and most of my writing output just now is about games.
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