Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Gamers Giving Gifts to Needy

As a gamer (computer, role-playing, board/card games) I am constantly frustrated with the coverage of the effects of my various recreational hobbies. In the 80s, I was told by Tipper Gore, Pat Robertson, and Jack Chick (of Chick Tracts fame) that playing Dungeons and Dragons, or any roleplaying game, was devil worship. I can watch Mike Myers tell an audience not to applaud the fact that he played D&D during an episode of Inside the Actor's Studio. Lothar of the hill people was based on a character he played.

Continuing from the late 80s are Psychological study after psychological study linking playing violent video games to
violent behavior.
Thankfully the research is honest enough to mention that the relationship is correlative and not causal, not that the media notices that. Needless to say, playing games as a hobby is something that has a substantial social stigma, not always, but often enough to be annoying.

This is why events like the Child's Play program run by Penny-Arcade are so important. This year over $300,000 dollars was raised to give toys to needy children's hospitals. Gamers need more publicity like this. Of course, they will only get publicity like this if they do activities like this. Do you value your gaming hobby? Let Sean Fannon and crew at GAMA know and help them find ways to promote gamers as positive contributors to society, rather than as members of the Trenchcoat brigade.
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