I know I should do a reblog, but a question has been bugging me lately, and yesterday it became even more of an aggravation. And that’s because I read yet another article in the local newspaper about the best binge-worthy TV shows. These articles are pretty commonplace these days, and it seems that binge-watching is here to stay. If fact, it’s practically something to brag about – how one’s weekend was spent on the couch, engrossed in whatever show of whatever genre, out of the sunlight, away from socialness, stopped only for takeout, texts, and bathroom breaks…maybe. This is alright. This is cool. This is acceptable. And though the newspaper didn’t have a comment section, I’m certain that the corresponding article in the paper’s digital version probably got lots of supportive comments and thumbs up.
Now, take that exact same article, and replace “TV shows” with “video games,” and suddenly, OH SNAP! Something cool and acceptable has turned into something childish and lazy. What uncouth fiends spending a weekend alone (or not) playing those worthless video games! What a terrible, awful way to spend a weekend! You should go outside, talk to people, BE A REAL GODDAMN PERSON! Damn those games and damn the very souls who turn to them for respite!!!
Okay, that’s a little exaggerated…but, honestly not by much. I have been in conversations where people have been met with cheers and excitement in saying “I spent all weekend binging Game of Thrones!” and other people within the same circle have been meet by jeers and confusion in saying “I spent all weekend playing Persona 5!” Is the matter here simply that TV is relatable to the masses while video games aren’t? We’re near the culmination of four generations of people being around/aware of video games…isn’t it about time for the “video game stigma” to end?
Yeesh. That was a really long intro to my question, which is:
Will it ever be culturally acceptable to binge-play video games (which we know gamers do anyway), in the same manner that it is okay from the masses to binge-watch TV?
Bonus: Do we as players really want gaming to become as truly accepted as TV? There is something to be said for remaining on the societal outskirts.
Bonus bonus: Remember when TV was a thing that would “rot your brain?” And now, apparently, video games are a thing that will “rot one’s very soul?” (No citation, just the sense that I get from my own social circles, which are apparently full of terrible people, haha.) How did we even get here? Binging entertaining is still binging entertainment, whether it happens via a remote control or a game controller.
Well, that’s more food for thought than I thought I had to offer. But there you have it. My brain, for one, feels much better.