There’s plenty of myths and misconceptions about gaming as a whole. These can be things like “games are for boys only” or “games are easy to make,” and while there may be a sliver of truth within these statements, they’re nearly all myths.
Here are 5 common gaming myths, and why they aren’t true:
Video Games Aren’t For Girls
Right off the bat, one of the biggest myths in gaming that just isn’t true in the slightest. While the number of male gamers still remain the majority, the ratio is getting closer and closer to equal. In 2016, the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association found that around 47% of all the people playing video games in Australia were women, with similar trends worldwide.
Video Games Make You More Violent
It’s hard to argue that the most popular games aren’t violent. You see the most popular titles, like Fortnite, Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, and they’re all centred around violent combat, either against other players or in-game enemies. As fun as they may be, chances are your parents won’t be the biggest fans of the violence. They’ll start blaming your bad moods on the games, thinking that the aggressive games make for aggressive players. This is definitely not the case.
Whenever a violent tragedy involving youths happens, the media are quick to point out that the perpetrator played violent video games. What they don’t point out, however, is that nearly 90% of young boys and 40% of young girls play video games. If one young gamer commits a violent crime, there’s hundreds, if not thousands, who don’t. Various studies will show you that, while there may be a link between gaming and violence, it’s not the gaming that causes the violence, but other factors, like the person’s home life or mental instability.
It’s also worth noting that, in the USA, while video game sales are at an all-time high, youth crime is the lowest it’s been in 30 years.
Video Games Make You Dumber
Another one that parents will try and use against you. Everyone will assume that, because video games might not always be the most academic pastime, they’ll rot your brain until it shrivels up like a sultana. While video games might not teach you how to do Pythagoras’ Theorem, or help you analyse Shakespeare, they actually improve many of your skills that can help you in school and life.
Video games have been shown to improve things like your problem-solving skills, your memory, your attention span and your spatial awareness, even your hand-eye co-ordination! All of these skills are super useful in everyday life, something that your parents will often choose to ignore!
Video Games Make You Less Social
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word “gamer?” Chances are, it’s somebody sitting in their room, alone, staring at a screen. Everybody assumes that, because people play video games when they are physically alone, they must be alone in the game as well. What they are forgetting, however, is the massive rise in popularity of online gaming in recent years.
Games like World of Warcraft, Destiny and League of Legends have MASSIVE online communities, and because a lot of these games, and many others like them, rely heavily on team-based play, communication with your teammates is often necessary. It’s within these communities that many gamers like to spend their time, chatting and playing with like-minded people. Plus, with applications like Skype, Discord and others, it’s becoming easier and easier to connect with your mates, meaning that you don’t have to stop hanging out and having fun once you all part ways. The increasing amounts of social elements in gaming are amazing, improving your social skills whilst you enjoy yourself playing video games
Video Games Are For Children
Somewhere in your childhood, you probably played classics like Mario Kart or Mario Party. They were amazing party games to play in the lounge room with your mates when you had them all over for a sleepover. You go back to the games now, and you might think to yourself, “this is a game for kids.” The first thing you should tell yourself after that, is “no, it’s not.” While the games may be pretty simple to play, and have lots of bright, vibrant colours and graphics that make it more appealing to kids, this doesn’t take away from how fun they are.
In fact, in previous years, children were the dominant audience for video games, but in more recent years, older teenagers and adults were the leading audience for video games. You and your mates shouldn’t be afraid to pick up a controller and race each other down the infamous Rainbow Road.
What are some other common gaming myths that we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below!