Sponsored By

The Positive Side of Gamers

We've all heard that gaming can make you fat and depressed, but what benefits can it have that extend into real life?

Enrique Dryere, Blogger

September 14, 2009

9 Min Read

Seems like every article you read about gamers is either calling them fat, depressed, and friendless or worried about their violent tendencies. But being a gamer is not all negative.

A recent CDC study that claimed that the average gamer was 35 years old, fat, and depressed has met with some controversy and criticism.

The study deals with correlation, not causality. Are subjects depressed and fat because they are gamers, or are they gamers because they are depressed and fat? The chicken-or-the-egg conundrum remains unanswered on this topic. But the relationship is quite possibly bidirectional.

The negative effects of games may be well documented, but what about the positives? Take the most sedentary of all gamers, the avid MMORPG player. What positive skills and traits do they gain or demonstrate by playing the game?

- Perseverance, Dedication, and Patience

It's easy to turn off a game at the first signs of frustration. Successful MMORPGers, however, have been trained to endure. They've been subjected to random acts of ganking, bugs upon bugs, and insufferable waits for spawn times and survived them all. In a era where many games go unfinished, achieving the highest level of an MMO speaks volumes of a person's dedication. Trends in current design have made this accomplishment far more about devotion and perseverance than skill.

- Learning Skills

The amount of information a player of MMORPGs has to learn to succeed in a game can be truly staggering. Just the history and geography of most MMOs is enough to fill an entire college course. Players are encouraged to develop strategies to deal with each of the challenges the game presents, from boss fights to dealing with various classes in PVP combat. This process can either take a good deal of thought and planning or tireless research on wiki sites such as Thottbot.com.

- Language Skills

Contrary to what you might presume, playing MMORPGs with all their brbs, lfgs, and omgs, can lead to improved language skills. But this trend does make some sense. How else is a kid supposed to learn what a pauldron or a sabaton is?

Paladins and Paper-Pushers

In truth the negative side-effects of extensive gaming may be no worse than that of office life. The real danger, particularly with MMOGs, comes from when players begin to derive their self-worth from immaterial achievements online. This focus bettering themselves in game can lead players to neglect the advancement of their offline pursuits.

Read more about:

Daily news, dev blogs, and stories from Game Developer straight to your inbox

You May Also Like