I’m an intelligent, (fairly) mature adult, without an aggressive streak, and I have no problems with social situation. That out of the way, I’m a gamer, and quite happy with it. As far as leisure activities go, it beats watching TV, and is just about on par with reading books, in my opinion. It has the advantage of needing a different way of thinking to books, as books are fairly passive for the most part. It can also be a learning experience.
Most gamers I know are quite technically proficient too, which requires a fair amount of intelligence. I hate the pre-conceptions people have about gaming, yes, you will get idiots who have been hit a little too hard with the idiot stick. But then, name me a group of people where that isn’t the case?
The people I most often hear talking about gamers in a negative way have no problem whatsoever with watching TV, but if you were to say to them that due to them watching TV sometimes they must automatically be the kind of lazy, couch potato type with no social skills they wouldn’t agree. Obviously. But they have no problem applying the same stupid stereotypes to others.
This is my personal point of view, as a female gamer looking at other women who are not into games but are into other popular culture;
What would you say is more helpful? Taking part in an activity which forces you to think of solutions to a variety of problems, that gives you a chance to refine your reflexes and which (in some cases) gives you an opportunity to work with others, taking into account their strengths and weaknesses.. or learning about the lives of some non-existent people.
And yet this feeling of smug superiority rears it’s ugly head for some people when they encounter someone who plays games.
But do you know what is more annoying? Idiots within the gaming community who deliberately try to put across a negative image of gamers aa mindlessly violent. I’m not going to name or link, because I believe very strongly in not feeding trolls. And if some absolute fuckwit thinks creating a morally repugnant game is in any way clever, he needs to seriously think about better uses for his pea-sized brain.