I am a non-gamer. This means that I’m not into spending countless hours in front of my computer or console playing games. However, ALL of my friends are gamers.
Now, let me start by saying that all of my gamer friends have a career and are very successful in those careers. They all have college degrees and families of their own. This means that it takes a lot for us all to get together at the same time because of our crazy hectic schedules. I think a lot of people experience this and it has nothing to do with gaming. So, with that being said, there are some great perks to having gamer friends and then there are some down sides to having gamer friends.
Some of the awesome perks to having gamer friends are that all of my friends are great problem solvers. I like to write. That’s my thing. So, I spend a lot of time writing fictional short stories and novels. In doing this, I try to create different types of worlds and sometimes this can pose a problem for me, so I need to talk through it with other people. My gamer friends are great at this. I can say, “Hey, if I were to create a human settlement on Mars, what are some of the main professions I would need people to know?”, my friends will start answering right away with things they’ve seen in games they’ve played. This is only one example, but there have been so many instances of me needing help solving a problem and they are always the ones that help come up with the solution.
Another perk is that my friends have a growth mindset. This means that they believe intelligence is a learned skill. They continue to grow and learn in what they do. Now, you don’t have to be a gamer to have a growth mindset. In fact, many educators are teaching this in schools all over the U.S. However, video games have been proven to help develop this type of mentality because many of them focus on the fact that your failures are just a stepping stone to learning the correct way to overcome an obstacle. With my friends having this type of mindset, If I start feeling particularly down about receiving a rejection letter or finding a plot hole, they are always right there to let me know that failures are a good thing and that I should use my failures to motivate me. It’s pretty great.
Now, let’s get to the down sides of having gamer friends. As I mentioned before, it’s very difficult for my friends and I to find time where we are all free to get together. That by itself is a little frustrating. The thing that really irritates me is when everyone is free (no holidays, no work, can get a babysitter) one person has a scheduled raid or group event that they refuse to miss. …Really? You can’t miss one night of a raid to hang out with your friends? And don’t get me wrong, I understand that being a part of a raid group is a commitment. I just think that every once in a while you should take time away from the keyboard or controller and interact with people who are actually in the room with you.
Another issue I have with my gamer friends is that they are constantly on their phones. I know that this new generation carries an addiction to texting and social media, but that’s not the case with my friends. They aren’t texting or checking out social media. They are playing games. That’s right, folks. While they are out with friends (which by the way, we almost always play some sort of game when we hang out). That’s super annoying. I remember a few times where we were trying to playing Uno and this one guy just kept holding everyone up because he was trying to play a game on his phone as well as UNO. It just kind of took all the fun out of playing. I lost interest.
The last issue that I have with my gamer friends is that they are constantly referencing games or technological devices used for gaming that I just don’t get. It’s not a great feeling to be the only one in the group who doesn’t get the joke. That happens to me quite often with my friends. In any normal group, I get most of the jokes, but being a non-gamer, I’m just not familiar with some of the terms they use. So that sucks.
Overall, being a non-gamer with gamer friends has been an interesting adventure for my life. I’ve learned a lot from my gamer friends and I’d like to believe they learn a lot from me (as I try to force them to read more, even if it is just fan-fiction). They have encouraged me to try new games with them, and I’ve had some great experiences with some games and some truly horrible experiences with others. Doing that has really helped me learn a lot about myself and people who are gamers. For instance, I’m not a patient person, but my gamer friends are. They don’t get frustrated when wave after wave of mobs come charging at them. They adjust and problem solve until they come up with a solution to be victorious. I just yell profanities at the screen and say horrible things about the game makers for putting me through that type of nightmare. With all the good and the bad, being a non-gamer with gamer friends is extremely interesting. If you are that person in your group, I hope you take the time to try the games your friends like. Whether you like it or not, it’s a great way to bond with them and learn about something they are very passionate about. I would also encourage gamers to take a break from their games once in a while to spend time doing things their non-gamer friends like. Compromise with each other and your friendships will last a lifetime!