Opinion: Gaming Makes the World Better

Some of the best friends I’ve ever made are people I met because of gaming. I never understood why there is so much hostility during online play and in comment sections over the internet. We are all gamers, why do we have to yell at each other about whether 360 is better than PS3, or why Call of Duty is better than Battlefield? As you may know, I’m a huge Halo fan. I used to verbally lash at Call of Duty (It was more about my hate for Activision with Call of Duty in the crossfire), but recently I’ve made it a point to NOT publicly do so. I respect a lot of Call of Duty gamers because they’re as passionate about it as I am Halo. When you’re online with someone you might get into a very loud and inappropriate conversation with this person, but why do so? What are you doing? We’re all gamers, and if we stood united, we could overcome almost anything.

Why am I talking about this? Well, it’s annoying when someone tries to tell me gaming brings nothing to the world, when I know from a life-long experience that is incorrect. In the 1990’s, violent crimes in the youth’s populations steadily dropped while the gaming population steadily increased. The U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Surgeon General have both studied research and come to the conclusion that there is no causal link between violent programming and violent behavior. So gaming doesn’t make you violent, according to research. So why is gaming used as a scapegoat so often in politics and discussions? Probably because it’s still new, and people are afraid of it. Look at rock and roll, the adults of that generation thought that dancing to rock and roll would send the nation downwards into an abyssal hell.

Continuing from my first point, I’ve never met friendlier people anywhere but at gaming conventions. You can literally start a conversation with almost anybody and they are completely comfortable with talking to you. Gaming brings people together. I am twenty years old. I have a few fifteen year old friends, a few thirty year old friends, and everything in between. When I say friends, I’m not talking about online friends either; I mean I willingly spend time with these people usually at least once a week. We all share a bond that many other people are sharing nowadays, our love for gaming.

Gamers are typically very charitable people. Gaming Kickstarters have made more money than any other category on the website. With Child’s Play, Gamers For Giving, GamesAid, and more, gamers are able to donate to not only help people in need, but help fellow gamers in need. People who play Cooperative video games are statistically more generous and more caring in on the spot situations than people who don’t. In a new social game called WeMonster, when you purchase premium level ups or in game objects, the developers use that money to fund planting of trees around the world. In Humble Indie Bundles, you can get a selection of great games for any price you want to pay. You also get to decide who gets what percentage of money between the developers, charities, and humble indie bundle itself. There are also many tournaments that are for charity in some way. FLAG, or Fight Like a Girl, Halo tournaments are charity tournaments to help breast cancer patients. There are many ways our culture gives to make this world a better place.

What I’m trying to say is this. Gaming brings people together, and when people come together, the world becomes a better place to live. The best way you can help is to simply do one thing. All you have to do is be civil to your fellow gamer. You don’t have to agree. You don’t have to even like them, but show them respect. If they aren’t showing you any, your best bet is to just ignore them. You may think it’s no big deal, but if gamers stopped arguing about stupid unimportant differences between each other, we could really make a good difference in this world more than we already have.

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