An Open Letter To Professionals Who Game

I was completing an interest survey for a local professional organization awhile back and I was asked to list my hobbies, so I did…

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Hiking
  • Camping

As I jotted-down the list of activities I love most, I was struck by an interesting thought: where is my favorite hobby on this list?  “Gaming” skipped my mind and yet I think about it all the time.  When I’m not playing games I usually find myself listening to gaming podcasts, reading gaming-related articles, watching gaming-related videos, thinking about what I’m going to play when I am able to play, and thinking about what games are coming up.

But, like so many professional forms that I’ve filled out before, I left “Gaming” off of the list.  Why?

It’s a difficult thing to explain why gaming is such an ostracized and “niche” hobby when so many of the people in this country partake in it.  According to the ESRB’s website, 67% of US households play video games.  (Play is a crucial word in that sentence.  They aren’t talking about households that own gaming devices; they are referencing the number of households that actively participate in gaming.)  The average gamer is 34 years of age.  34, people, not 12!  Although 12 happens to be the average number of years that adult gamers have been playing video/computer games.  That’s a little under half of their lives.

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And yet, how many of you have publicly and professionally announced that you are a gamer?

There are people in my life who don’t understand the appeal of video games, and that’s okay.  However, non-gamers: inform yourselves.  If over half of the population of the US plays video games and the average age of that population is 34, do not act surprised when you hear that I am able to work in a professional field, be happily married for over three years, be the father of a beautiful baby girl, and be a gamer.  Gamers have infiltrated the workforce and we look, dress, and talk just like you.

Kenney GWW

I wear a suit and tie in the day, but I’m a gamer by night!

The next time that you apply for a job and your interviewer asks for your hobbies, are you going proudly inform them that you’re a gamer?  Or are you going to continue to hide your favorite pastime so that the ignorant masses who believe gamers are a niche community of pre-pubescent, zit-faced, teenage boys who aren’t capable of having social lives can continue to hold their prejudices?

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3 Comments

  1. Your a self hating gamer. LOL
    It’s no secret to my family, friends or co-workers that Comics and Video Games two of my greatest loves. In fact I have become the one all the parents come to when asking advice about games or comics for their kids or relatives. Be proud of your geek-dom, you should have some statues or posters in your office.

    • I suppose, if anything, I was subconsciously hiding my passion. That being said: you work IT, correct? It would seem a little silly for a peer of yours to critique your love of digital media in any form. Still, my coworkers know that I play video games now, I just wasn’t forthright with it originally.

      • I don’t work in IT I just do it as a part of my job, I am more of an office manager. And don’t get me wrong they do raze me a little about my love for comics and video games but when it comes time for them to get me a gift or anything nice it’s always comic related.

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