The Pew Internet and American Life Project must have been at least mildly startled when upon studying the habits of college gamers did not find them hooked intravenously to communal pools of Dr. Pepper, their lidless eyes wide in the dim caves of gaming enclaves as they muttered incomprehensible acronyms to one another. Instead, it turned out that most gamers are not only scientifically identical to other humans in a strictly physiological sense, but capable of social communication and occasionally able to reproduce.
Stuck with the mainstream adverb 'surprisingly', which is mildly insulting on its own, the findings of the Pew Internet and American Life Project - or [email protected] as it is pronounced in our native language - indicate that fully two-thirds of college age people play video games without any measurable detriment to their ability to function in society. In an effort to validate their findings as buzzword appropriate, they call us 'social multitaskers'. It's ok to hate that.Let's look at some of the results ...
According to CNN.com's report:
The survey, released Sunday, was compiled from questionnaires completed last year by 1,162 college students on 27 campuses nationwide. Its results have a margin of error of 3 percentage points.
Among other things, surveyors found that 65 percent of those who responded were regular or occasional game players. Most said they played in their rooms or parents' homes.
Nearly half said gaming keeps them from studying "some" or "a lot" -- though their study habits matched closely with those reported by college students in general, Jones said.
You know, I've always said to my wife, "sure, you got a raw deal marrying a gamer, but at least I'm not coked up at the sports bar slamming half-price Margaritas and ogling the waitresses." This never really makes her feel better. Anyway, that last paragraph should really be stressed, as I think gamers often suffer from a blended guilt/inferiority complex. We are very aware of how much time we waste, and often think it certainly must be a helluva a lot more than everyone else is wasting. Well guess what, kiddies, we're no more or less inefficient than everyone else. Now let's play Battlefield 1942 until the sun comes up!
And guess what else ...
The survey also found that, while gaming has a reputation as a male-dominated pastime, women are avid game players, too.
Of those surveyed, 60 percent of women said they played online and computer software-based games, compared with 40 percent of men. About the same number of men and women said they played video games on PlayStation, Xbox and other systems.
Sure, now that the Sims is out for every conceivable platform, I can believe that ... I kid because I love. While I contend that the ladies aren't playing the same games as the boys, it's good to see the numbers evening out a bit. The more grrl - it's grrl, right? That's what they like to be called now, right? - gamers on board, the better. Not because I have any great interest in 'hooking-up' online (I don't wish to die young), but because the first time we're at a party and one of my wife's girlfriends starts talking about fragging someone in Half-Life 2, I'm certain to feel a deep sense of validation about my gaming activities.
Anyway, in case you didn't know, you're not a blathering moron or pasty faced slacker just because you play video games. You may still be either of those things, or God forbid both, but don't come blaming us if that's the case. It's your own problem now.