Editorial: Are Shooter Fans Dunces And RPG Fans Einsteins?
This is one of those times when I'm not telling; I'm asking. Before the shooter fans freak out, please bear in mind that I'm not about to offer up my own opinion as a definitive answer.
It's a question that has a place in most any entertainment venue: is the type of entertainment in which you indulge indicative of your raw intelligence? Perhaps it stands to reason that those who listen to classical music, watch award-winning foreign films with subtitles, and read literary classics are smarter than those who listen to hip-hop or metal, list "Hot Tub Time Machine" as one of their favorite movies, and read Danielle Steele and believe it's actually a good novel. Of course, I just set myself up for plenty of repercussions because I implied certain groups of people aren't intelligent just 'cuz they like rap or chick lit or whatever, but I'm hoping the truly intelligent people can understand I'm merely trying to make a point. And in relation to gaming, can it be said that role-playing fans (or fans of artistic, story-driven games like Heavy Rain) are, in general, smarter than fans of shooters?
It's true that some games take more in the way of thought and brain-power, and there are quite a few kids and other not-so-bright individuals who really only play sports games and shooters. But maybe gaming is different. For the most part, hardcore gamers really enjoy playing many different genres; if it's fantastic, they probably want to experience it. Furthermore, some of the more in-depth games require bigger time commitments, and time is something some very intelligent people simply don't have. So just because they kick back with a fun shooter every now and then doesn't stop that person from being a chemist during the day. On top of which, we can never discount personal preferences. Some people just don't like RPGs or so-called "deeper" interactive adventures; they play to have fun, and their idea of fun is a simple, motion-driven, fully accessible Wii game.
In your experience, what do you find to be true? I mean, we shouldn't forget that complex and intricate video games didn't really exist when we were growing up, and as gaming was a "nerd's hobby" and nerds were - almost by definition - really smart, the intelligent people grew up playing simple, straightforward, shoot-'em-ups and beat-'em-ups. Now, maybe they've grown up since and, being intelligent, have graduated to deeper games. But then again, maybe they still love the easier, pick-up-and-play titles to this day. ...maybe it just isn't fair to think we can predict a person's base intelligence by the games they play.
7/21/2010 9:46:23 PM Ben Dutka