Why must punching a hole in your wall be a bad thing?
EarlyGame Talk: Video Games Make Me Angry and I Love It!
All of our lives, we've been told that anger is something we should avoid. 'You mustn't be angry, because it's bad'. That's the consensus. According to stereotypes, video games make you angry, so, by extension, they are also bad. Well... wrong! The truth actually lies somewhere in the middle: Yes, video games do make me angry, but I love it!
I don't want to make gamers sound like some oppressed minority or anything of the sort, but it cannot be denied that we've gone through some pretty ridiculous scrutiny over the few decades that video games have been a thing.
From a very early age, moms tell us to stay away from the computer and/or console and do something productive with our time. Well, guess what momma, I can be a productive human and play video games at the same time. How about that?
Another thing we're often told is how gaming makes one angry. Someone takes a clip of a gamer raging on camera and uses it as an example of "what games can do to you". As if one example speaks for all humans. I know people that flip the desk over a round of Counter-Strike and some that don't flinch for hours in a Call of Duty server. Those who've been in a CoD lobby once in their life know what sort of stoicism is needed to accomplish that feat.
People are different, you know? They react differently to different things.
I'm not even going to touch on some politicians trying to blame video games for mass shootings in schools: So a dude spent 10 hours in Halo and that's the sole reason for him becoming a mass-shooter? Not the fact that, in some countries – *cough* America *cough* – you can get a gun easier than a beer? Halo is the reason these countries have an insane number of high-school shootings per year?
Aaanyway. I slipped up a bit – let's go back to the tad bit more innocent theme of basic gaming-anger. As we established: People do be different, son. Our characters make us react to stuff in unique ways. I somehow find it hard to believe that a few hours of Call of Duty per week turn you into Jeffrey f@#$ing Dahmer.
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Your 14-year-old son is mad all the time? Oh yeah, it's definitely because he virtually skinned a virtual goat in the virtual cowboy simulation that is Read Dead Redemption 2 and not because, uhm, teenagers are edgy litle s@#$ by default. Teenage angst is the sole reason for the existence of basically every modern music genre. Try taking Lil Whatever's game away and see if he becomes any calmer. Do I need to spoil the outcome for you?
Which finally leads us to this article's author, who himself was an edgy s@#$ as a teenager. To be fair though, this author was and edgy s@#$ that actually wasn't that little. So before another dumb anti-gamer argument creeps in: I was tall, not fat, thank you very much! I am (hopefully) not that edgy anymore and I am certainly not that angry anymore. That's what getting your crap together does for ya. You don't have it together when you're young. That's why you seem angrier, not because you play video games.
You know what still gets me angry from time to time though? That's right - gaming! That might seem like a weird & contradictory flex right now, since I am trying to make a positive point about gaming after all. But that's the thing: I love that games still make me feel years and years after I started playing! Bloody marriages die out after a few years and here I am, still having that same love-hate relationship with my favorite games long after we got together.
That's what keeps my veins pumping and I wouldn't trade it for anything. It's not "making" me angry outside the virtual realm in any way either: I shut the PC down and I'm back to the calm reality of a global pandemic, people losing their jobs, my favorite celebrities dying and Manchester United sucking for yet another season.
Everything can be lethal in high doses and the same goes for anger, whether game-related or not. But many things can be very effective when applied correctly too. There's anger in all of us. Getting it out of your system via a FIFA match is much, much better than being an a%&hole in real life. If, however, you are said censored hole in real life anyway, then I hate to break it to you: Buddy, it's unlikely that gaming turned you into one.
For more content on anger-inducing games, such as League of Legends and DOTA 2, stick around EarlyGame. For videos of us talking about Angry Birds and other gaming species, check out our YouTube channel.