What Do You Say To, "That's In A Video Game?"
In the past, I've written about how the mainstream public sees the video game industry and those who partake of the hobby. I've often spoken about encounters I've had with the confused, the surprised, the skeptical, and of course, the ignorant. I've also been quick to defend some of the ignorant; they're often only dazed and confused because the media never helps, and the advancement of this industry has been more than a little rapid. I don't get mad at everyone who still thinks it's 1995; hell, as far as I'm concerned, it's still 2005.
But I would be very interested to know how you guys answer the question, "wait, that's in a video game?" You know, when a discussion concerning the latest greatest game falls on unknowing ears and the person in question still thinks all video games include Mario. As we get older, we relate to people differently and above all else, we become used to people who are entirely clueless about our favorite hobby. Obviously, this scenario can include absolutely anyone; I'm certain all of you have run into the aforementioned "dazed and confused" before, and I'm wondering how you responded. What did you say? Were you offended and angry? Were you sympathetic and understanding? Were you sarcastic and all like, "jesus, welcome to 2009?" Have you adapted; i.e., have you changed how you reply?
For my part, I always believed the most intelligent and mature response is to be sympathetic and understanding. Most of the time, it's just not that person's fault. They were never exposed to it so how could they remain up to speed? On the other hand, I absolutely cannot abide those who believe they're experts on a subject they know nothing about and I despise them even more if they choose to accept every last stereotype as irrefutable fact. ...sometimes, it just seems illogical when I'm standing directly in front of them and don't fit a single solitary stereotype normally associated with gamers. So I freely admit to becoming a little irritated when there's talk about sexual content in a game and someone goes, "who cares about drawings or blocks having sex?" If they say it with a certain level of know-it-all scorn, I have difficulty being polite.
Thankfully, I have noticed that younger people are a little more open-minded about this kind of thing. The middle-aged are about as close-minded as they can possibly be; if they don't know something, it doesn't exist. Not sure how this superiority complex came out of the goddamn drug-riddled '60s generation, but whatever. Cute chicks can be bitchy at first but they're often quite malleable - in a variety of ways - and I'm easily swayed by a nice smile...so maybe I'm all talk about standing up for one's beliefs and being polite and all that. Maybe all I need is a specific "something" in front of me and I'll crumble...ah, but I don't think so. I'd like to think that by the age of 31, I have other things going for me these days.
So, let's hear it. How about you? How do you deal with this whole thing? It'll be interesting to read the responses; I bet all of you have had very unique experiences, especially if you're a little older like me.
10/30/2009 Ben Dutka