A strong dislike or even hatred towards video games comes mostly from the lack of knowledge or a bad experience. Some people are not interested in playing video games and that’s absolutely fine!

Lack Of Video Game Knowledge

Unfortunately a lot of people base their opinions on clickbait news article headings and don’t usually bother digging deeper into the topic. So when a video game gets a bad rap (for example due to violence), some people make up their mind about the entirety of the industry.

And it doesn’t matter if there are plenty of wholesome games, games with strong impactful stories or family-friendly games, they have formed an opinion and they’re sticking with it.

Generational Gap

Older folks alive today didn’t grow up with technology or video games, so they spent their free time differently than youth today. They wonder why you would spend time indoors playing a video game when you could be doing xyz or going outside.

The fact is, the times have changed and while we may share some hobbies with our grandparents and parents, the new technologies allow us to find new hobbies, which the older generations don’t necessarily understand.

However, some seniors love to play video games and video games can be actually good for them!

Kids playing video games

They Consider Video Games A Children’s Pastime

For the longest time video games have been thought of as something that only children do in their spare time. I was born in the 80s and didn’t know a single adult who played any sort of game on a regular basis back then.

They did play very occasionally readily available games like Solitaire or Tetris, but they didn’t get out of the way to look for new games. My generation of millenials (born between 1981 and 1996) grew up with video games and we have seen the biggest technology boom happen in our lifetimes. Technology has made a huge leap since we were kids and we’ve taken our love of video games into adulthood. According to the research done by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the average age of a gamer in the US in 2021 was 31 years.

Early widely commercial video games targeted young children as their primary audience. Companies like Nintendo created colorful characters in their family-friendly games that are recognized by almost everyone, even people who don’t play video games.

These types of games are only a portion what is out there today and video games are no longer just for kids.

If you’d like to learn about the earliest video games, I wrote about 25 oldest games here!

They Consider It A Waste Of Time & Money

People who dislike video games consider them a waste of time. To them it’s not a real hobby and they don’t understand why people would watch gamers streaming when they could be playing the game themselves.

You could ask the same question to someone who likes to watch sports on TV – why are you watching football when you could be out there playing? Watching sports on TV is a more widely accepted hobby than watching gaming streams.

You could argue that any hobby is a waste of time and money if it doesn’t have purpose or real life application. Video games are entertainment, an escape from real life, a way to wind down after a busy day. Everyone has their own way of escaping.

They Consider Video Games Asocial

Many people think that being a gamer is a lonely hobby, while nothing can be further from the truth. Parents want their kids to go outside, spend time and have fun with their peers rather than people on the internet.

The fact is, through the invention of the internet and later of online multiplayer games, gamers are now exposed to people from all over the world and all walks of life. These “internet people” are very real people that we wouldn’t be able to meet without technology.

gaming laptop

And being friends with someone on the other side of the world through the internet isn’t any less of a friendship than a “real life” one. Because the other person exists in real life, you’re just separated by mileage.

In the past people also had pen pals and sent letters to each other but this is more efficient. Plus with online video games you get to spend time with your friends and indulge in a common interest.

I met some of my friends through video games and have been friends with them for 8-10 years. We even send each other Christmas cards and birthday gifts and we also met each other in real life a few times. My friend Ian wrote a post on my blog about “internet friends” here.

Friendships made through online video games are very much real.

They Consider Video Games Unhealthy

We’ve heard it all before – gamers are lazy, fat, unemployed and sitting in their mom’s basement all day playing video games. While I’m sure people like that exist, it’s not the norm.

Prolonged sitting isn’t good for humans but there are many types of games that can make you get up and start moving. VR games can be a great way to burn some calories. I’ve compiled a list of the best VR exercise games here and a list of the best consoles for exercise here. Adjustable desks are also great to prevent sitting too long.

Video games don’t damage your eyes but staring into a screen intently for hours can cause eye strain. And it doesn’t matter what type of screen it is and what you’re doing. I wrote an article about video games and eyesight here.

There are many reasons why video games are good for you, I wrote an entire list of 17 reasons here!

Video Game & Violence Stigma

A lot of people think that violent games make the person violent and aggressive. While that may be true for a susceptible minority of people, majority of gamers playing violent games are not more likely to commit violent crimes.

The susceptible minority of people are more prone to violent or aggressive behavior consuming any type of violent media, not just video games. Before video games there were violent action movies. Mental health is so important and if you’re a parent, make sure not to dismiss your child’s concerns if they come to you.

Funnily enough once some older people played video games, they were less worried about the violence content and more about the addictive aspect.

They Had A Bad Experience

Perhaps they may have had a bad experience with a loved one who played video games, ruining a relationship. Perhaps they felt neglected in a relationship and second to video games. Perhaps they got a severe video game addiction. Perhaps their kid(s) spent time video games rather than studying and later failing in school.

All of these reasons are valid but bear in mind a ruined relationship is not the video games’ fault. It’s the gamer’s habits and lack of communication that can quickly turn relationship sour. Perhaps they are an addictive personality and if it weren’t video games, it could’ve been other media or even substances.

Rather than just taking away video games, try to find the root cause – addictive personalities often suffer from anxiety and depression and have poor impulse control and use video games (or substances) to escape.

I wrote an article about video game addiction and video game-induced anxiety on my blog.

Can video games cause anxiety

Toxic Video Game Community

Unfortunately some game communities are known to be toxic but that doesn’t mean every gamer is toxic. After all, there are toxic non-gamers as well on the other side.

A run-in with some of these toxic gamers can put people off playing video games or even ruin their favorite game. But it’s not good to develop hatred for all games and the entire gaming industry just because of some bad apples.

If this happened to you, find games that you enjoy that are not multiplayer or play only with your friends.

They Haven’t Found a Game They Liked

Maybe they’ve tried gaming but haven’t found the best game for them. Maybe they just keep being “bad” at video games and as such get discouraged from ever playing any other ones.

Conclusion

Disliking video games doesn’t make a person bad. They may have their own reasons or they simply don’t have enough knowledge about the subject. While video games might not be everyone’s cup of tea, educating others on various types of games and the benefits will go a long way.


Sources:

  • Entertainment Software Association, “2021 Essential Facts About The Video Game Industry” (link)
  • Drummond A., Sauer J. D., Ferguson C. J. (2020) “Do longitudinal studies support long-term relationships between aggressive game play and youth aggressive behaviour? A meta-analytic examination” (link)
  • City University London. (2021) “Just a game? Study shows no evidence that violent video games lead to real-life violence.” (link)
  • Krystina Murray. “Addiction And Addictive Personality” (link)
  • Nielsen, Rune & Maguire, Ryan. (2017). “Do Older Adults Hate Video Games until they Play them? A Proof-of-Concept Study” (link)



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