Is There Still Social Stigma Surrounding Gaming Online?
When looking into the gaming industry and the stigma surrounding it, it becomes evident that there is a generational issue, as many of the older generations failing to see the benefits of gaming on cognitive function and interpersonal skills. But this is slowly beginning to change as the industry makes its way into mainstream media as well as the Youtube space, but as this continues to grow, does the stigma still exist? In this article, we will be looking into the stigma surrounding gaming and how the industry has changed over the course of the last decade.
Media Coverage On the Gaming Industry
Despite gaming becoming a mainstream industry with over 2.5 million gamers worldwide, all too often we are seeing negative media coverage on the subject. But is this down to the need for higher clickthrough rates with online content? There is no denying that scaremongering titles around this specific topic have a high amount of traffic but the harmful way of gaining clicks is all helping to contribute to the negative stigma surrounding the industry.
The most noticeable cases of scaremongering have been surrounding popular titles such as Call of duty and most recently the Fortnite franchise, with many outlets claiming that this first-person shooter was harmful to children an encourage excessive game times.
In addition to this, there have also been a number of negative news stories surrounding gaming and particular characters such as the Slenderman and first-person shooters. Though these are often isolated cases, this has further solidified the stigma surrounding games and the regulations that have been placed on the industry, particularly with the older generation of adults who want what is best for their children.
When looking into people’s opinions on gaming, it is clear to see that there are still a large number of preconceived stereotypes surrounding gaming and those that love to play them. Some of these include:
- Lack Of Social Life
- Bad Behaviour In School
- Cannot Differentiate Between Fact and Fiction
Though these are still prevalent in everyday society, many of those who are growing up in the new age of media, are far more accepting of a wide genre of games and those that wish to play them. However, this is beginning to change as tech giants such as Microsoft, Google and Sony, all begin to make the transition into cross-platform gaming capabilities.
The Development Of Transferable Skills
Despite the differing opinions that come with gaming in traditional media and preconceived stereotypes there is no denying that gaming is beneficial for the brain as it leads to an improvement in attention and vigilance as well as cognitive development. This is based on a number of scientific studies that have indicated that gamers benefit from improved problem-solving skills as well as the ability to multi-task. With games such as Fornite, Doom and Battlefield all requiring a high level of vigilance when it comes to a successful in the game, it is not surprising that these skills are built upon in the game with demos as well as skill training opportunities. Not every online game, however, requires a lot of skill. A game like online roulette is usually thought to be relatively straightforward. The gameplay depends purely on luck, and the most complex decision you will have to make is actually to choose the type of wheel you want to play, as there are two roulette wheel variations: European and American.
In any case, whether you are playing to beat an intelligent Ai or you are working become the best of the best when compared to your friends, this can take particularly longer depending on the games that you are looking to play. With some games based entirely on a random algorithm such as online slots and others requiring a specific set of skills to complete a campaign such as Call of duty and other popular first-person shooters, some are better suited to aid in cognitive development and the enhancement of specific skills than others. Despite this positive scientific discovery, the traditional media are quick to associate first-person shooters with anti-social behaviour that can be damaging to children despite scientific research proving otherwise, which consequently plays into the stigma surrounding the industry as a whole.
The Next Wave Of Gaming
Though the media coverage of the gaming industry has been rather versatile at times, this has not stunted the growth of brand-new developments in both consoles and the games available to the masses. With new titles such as Cyberpunk 2077 and Legends of Zelda Breath Of The Wild 2 being announced at E3 this year.
In addition to these brand-new titles, there has also been an increased focus on cross-platform gaming with the Google Stadia and Xbox Game Pass bringing gaming to the masses both on console and PC. There are also further developments to be made with Xbox Project Scarlet and Sony’s PS5 project as they are set to perfectly merge both PC gaming and console gaming for the perfect all-round experience with seamless graphics and outstanding processing power.
The Power Of The Youtube Gamer
In addition to the latest technological developments, Youtube is a hub for online gaming personalities, providing creative content for those that love specific titles that helps to counteract the stigma surrounding gamers. With popular Twitch streamers/ YouTubers such as PewDiePie, Ninja and Vanoss Gaming all producing content for millions of subscribers every week, the idea of gaming has become much more popular for people of all ages.
One of the biggest successes to come out of the Youtube gaming community is Minecraft. Though this already had a large following since its release in 2009, however, it gained mainstream popularity through gameplay uploaded to the popular social media platform. Due to the sheer popularity surrounding this title, it has since made a resurgence 10 years on with a number of gamers creating Minecraft content regularly.
Gaming has also been bought to the main stage with the first-ever Fortnite world cup taking place in 2019 with a number of prizes being given to the best of the best in a number of categories. There have also been a number of other E-sports tournaments with the likes of popular YouTuber KEEMSTAR creating Fortnite Friday and Minecraft Monday where the best of the community go head to head to create outstanding content for their viewership.
With this being said, there is no denying that there is still a stigma surrounding gaming due to a generation gap currently present in the industry, however, times are changing. As popular faces begin to make their way into traditional media and e-sports tournaments continue to increase in popularity, only time will tell, whether the number of gamers will continue to increase in the near future.