Tired of old uncles and aunties harassing you for ‘wasting time playing games again’? Or perhaps your peers think you’re childish and immature for not ‘outgrowing’ games yet? Well, here’s a handy list of the top video gaming myths debunked, so you have ammunition the next time you get unnecessarily harassed about your hobby.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post in partnership with Yoodo
Myth #1: Video games are just for kids
Some of you may be familiar with ‘grow up, video games are just for kids’. This is probably because play is often associated with children, and video games are considered an act of play. People may tell you you’re wasting your time because video games are not inherently productive, but do we really need to be productive every moment of the day? Haven’t you heard that ‘all work and no play’ makes Jack a dull boy - or Jill a dull girl?
It is understood that leisure helps to relieve stress and helps one wind down especially at the end of the day. In fact, you can equate it to other hobbies like watching TV - except video games can have the added benefit of being social! So no, video games are not just meant for kids, in fact, it can be a good stress reliever and social tool - as long as you’re playing in moderation, that is.
Myth #2: Video gaming is not a sport
Well okay, technically it isn’t. A sport is defined as “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.” Unless you’re exerting physically by flipping tables every time you lose, then one could argue that video games are technically not a sport...and that’s why we have a special label for them - esports!
Okay, the average gamer like you and I are probably not esports athletes in any shape or form, but professional gamers who compete at the highest level for money and prestige undergo just as much training and effort as your average athlete - minus the physical aspect. Gen.G’s manager revealed that players trained for 12-15 hours a day during the season, and 8 hours per day during the off-season, which is definitely nothing to sneeze at. As for the entertainment aspect, League of Legends pulled in an astounding US$3.8million during their 2020 Worlds Championship, so you can be the judge of that.
Myth #3: Video games promote social isolation
Unless you’re the type who locks yourself in your room 24/7 and only plays single-player games, this is highly unlikely. If you ask any gamer around you, you’d find that most gamers have forged long-lasting and deep friendships - or even relationships! - with their fellow gamers whom they’ve met online.
Granted, this is anecdotal evidence, but a huge part of my social circle consists of friends met through online gaming. In fact, apart from schoolmates and colleagues, pretty much everyone else I know is a gamer. Time spent hanging out online eventually progressed to real-life hangouts. Unlike traditional friendships, those forged online are even more limitless, unbound by time and distance. Thanks to the global nature of online gaming, friendships forged over the internet can cross international borders and bridge the gaps between people across all walks of life.
Myth #4: Video games cause violence
Ah, the age-old argument that video games promote violence. Multiple mass shootings, such as the Columbine High School massacre and the 2019 El Paso shootings, have been blamed on video games, among other things. There are some who believe that people will be influenced by the aggression portrayed in certain video games and gradually act upon it in the real world.
However, numerous studies have shown that this theory is tenuous at best. There are many other factors that lead to aggression and violence, including upbringing, social environments, and certain psychiatric disorders. It is disingenuous at best to pin video games as the sole source of violence in some individuals, when there is no way to determine the other factors that contributed to their behaviour.
After all, if watching Saw and listening to death metal doesn’t turn one into a deranged criminal, why should video games be blamed?
Myth #5: Gaming negatively affects studies
This is an interesting one. There is a common misconception that avid video gamers are poorer students overall. However, studies have actually suggested the contrary - an Australian study indicated that students who played video games almost every day scored above average in maths, reading tests, and science. Though it doesn’t prove that video games were the actual cause of improvement, the correlation between good academic scores and gaming seems to indicate that gaming isn’t a harmful factor in a child’s studies after all.
On the other hand, gaming addiction is definitely a problem, but that’s a whole other can of worms altogether. As always, everything in moderation!
Myth #6: Esports is not a ‘proper’ career
What defines a ‘career’? Money-making potential? Personal growth? Development of skills over time? Well, with esports’ emergence into the mainstream, it ticks all of the boxes above. Take the world’s top-earning esports athlete for example: Johan Sundstein, also known as ‘N0tail’ in the Dota 2 scene - in terms of money, he has earned nearly US$7million through his 9-year career as a professional esports player, largely through tournament winnings. Granted, the top earners are outliers, but even so, players under professional esports organisations also earn a salary and may even enjoy other benefits such as housing, coaches, and even a dedicated chef!
As for personal growth and skill development, I think it goes without saying that in such a young and competitive industry, there’s no space for stagnation - growth and upskilling is a given if players plan to stay relevant in the long run.
Myth #7: Mobile games are not real esports
Okay, let’s be real. Esports is already facing discrimination from other communities claiming that it isn’t a real sport, and now we have to deal with internal elitism claiming that mobile gaming is somehow lesser than PC gaming due to the platform used? Come on!
Just like in the previous point, mobile esports has proven to be a winner, with skyrocketing viewership numbers boding well for sponsorships, as well as massive prize pools drawing in more and more aspiring esports athletes by the day. According to Forbes, the Mobile Legends MPL Invitational 4 Nation Cup pulled in a whopping million peak viewers last July, with no other tournament even coming close to that number. In fact, the only non-mobile title in the Top 5 most-watched esports tournaments is League of Legends’ Korean LCK League, which brought in 584,000 viewers.
If you want to look at it from the prize money angle, the Honor of Kings World Champion Cup offered a whopping prize pool of US$4,533,660. While it doesn’t come close to Dota 2’s crowdfunded prize pool for The International 10, which came in at over US$40 million, it definitely is a formidable figure for a competition with such low barriers to entry (all you need is a mobile phone and decent internet, which are ubiquitous nowadays).
Myth #8: Mobile data plans are inadequate for gaming
‘Aiya, don’t harap data la, better use Wi-Fi.’ For gamers on the go, a strong internet connection is even more vital than ever, and that’s why it’s necessary to choose the best plan to suit your needs.
Enter Yoodo, a telco who has invested heavily in the local esports scene. Apart from offering a steady internet connection, they have also introduced a slew of mobile plans that you can customise to your individual gaming habits. For example, the PUBG Mobile add-on gives you 20GB of quota to play to your heart's content!
So there you have it. The next time someone harangues you about cutting down or quitting gaming, show them this list and hopefully they’ll get off your back!
You can also watch the video in Chinese here (English subs included):