Computer gaming (as in playing online games, rather than putting the contents of one’s bank account, plus your shirt, on 13 Black in online roulette) is one of the worlds most popular pastimes. People often tag gamers as geeks but we need to look beyond the stereotype and challenge this.
The Oxford English dictionary definition of geek is an unfashionable or socially awkward person.
Yes , these are what we expect and portray…teenagers ensconced in darkened bedrooms who list their best friend on Facebook as their x box controller and consider the best weekend ever in their lives as a games convention in Birmingham rather than a clubbing weekend in Ibiza.
But hang on, as hobbies go, or indeed as attributes of hobbyists go, give me the gamer anytime. These people unlike some (albeit , a tiny minority of ) soccer fans who think racist chanting, aggressive intimidation or just general loutish behaviour is ok. Equally I am not aware of gamers being drawn into the world of street crime and anti social behaviour fuelled by drink or postcode wars.
But it’s actually better than that. Gamers are now very actively involved in using their critical mass in charitable fundraising. And this goes beyond the gaming itself but the YouTube video channels that are immensely popular in this genre. The most well known of these the Yogscast Jingle jam. But if you think that is big , just look at this.
BBC News – How ‘charity speedrunning’ made gaming the new telethon
So gaming…it may not be my world or yours, but it is actually a very giving world.