It was twenty eight years ago from when I first saw a television light up with a copy of “The Legend of Zelda” when my dad came home from work one night. It was the first time I also would ever find myself also sitting side by side with my dad hammering out some Super Mario Bros. and eventually some Duck Hunt. Well that’s not to say other games such as Battletoads, Double Dragon, and more didn’t play a role into that, but the point is? They changed the way I would cooperate with other people when it comes to communication, gaming, and learning when good manners would tie into sportsmanship. So how did games and becoming a extremely large geek make me a better person?
/-/ Communication Skills /-/
Lets face it, we all at some point suck at communicating with other people, it’s inevitable, but through video games? We may just have that ability to discuss, call out specific targets, or even just chat about the current game we are online playing; it’s because of these things that people begin to open up for conversation, but also open discussion about the events that are taking place. Lets take my days of playing World of Warcraft before I retired from it for example. When playing World of Warcraft it’s almost inevitable that players are going to raid; why? Because raiding is the endgame content for some while others prefer to PVP, both of which require a specific thing – communication via ingame chat, but preferably through VoIP clients such as Ventrillo, Mumble, and or even just the in-game voice servers since it allows for direct communication, but also discussion among players to figure out the best tactics for the situation they are undergoing.
But why does this help people communicate better than before? Unlike before, many gamers now have access to the internet, headsets, chat servers, VoIP’s, but also the capability to connect with hundreds if not thousands of gamers from around the world depending on the game they are playing. This allows for them to discuss their shared interests, but also discussions about ingame content, bug fixes, general discussions, but also suggestions for future patches. This allows gamers to not just discuss among themselves, but once in public, they are capable of communicating with other people better, but also discussing among each other with open minds, but also the capability to respond positively as needed. This is something that itself is quite important when it comes to being a part of society. Whether it’s about discussing simple things such as day to day aspects of life or even a thoughtful discussion, it won’t be a surprise to see that many gamers are quite knowledgeable about many topics, but also good conversationalists.
Let alone do those who play online games good at communication, they are also good at solving problems, innovating, and even being excellent collaborators. This is in part attributed to those who raid lead, lead guilds, and or even lead online clans on games such as Battlefield, Counterstrike, Call of Duty, and even games such as Rainbow Six; all of these titles have heavy communication and leadership requirements to assure that clans win their matches. Let alone do they communicate well, these gamers, according to John Seely Brown and Douglas Thomas; gamers and geeks love to be tested through evaluation, provoking them to think, problem solve, but also work on individual improvement, but also group work improvement.
On the downside? Let alone can they communicate with other ‘geeks’ or ‘fans’, but they do suffer something rather troublesome when it comes to basic conversations. As someone who games, loves to talk, and even gets easily excited by other fans being around, conversation outside of work, games, or something of interest is truly hard to do, it leads to awkward silence, but also the trouble of knowing when to quiet down for others to take their turn talking or the queue that someone is not done talking. This can lead to moments of awkward conversations or even silences when they feel they’ve interrupted.
How can this be mostly noted? The best part of it is noted by a speech therapist by the name of Karyn Ashburn, her article can be found here. Unlike most people, Karyn Ashburn explains that geeks, gamers, or just in general, hobbyists, tend to have trouble speaking like most people, instead they are more likely to pronounce words rather carefully versus the typical generalized pronunciations that the general public will use, but also they tend to pronounce things such as their punctuations such as commas, periods, and or their spacing with verbal pauses. But are these people rude when it comes to general conversations? According to Ashburn they aren’t, instead their conversation skills, unlike most, vary from the general publics and that can be seen when you get a cluster of gamers or geeks in large groups. Why? When we are in large groups we are used to the typical behaviors we see, we are good at using conversational habits that most don’t have, but instead, gamers and geeks alike carry a speech pattern that will be recognized by other geeks and gamers.
Want to spot a WoW player? Just watch for how they talk, how extravagantly they do it, and you’ll see that these folks are well mannered, very detail oriented, but they also tend to use a lot of body language in order to carry a conversation.
/-/ They Love to Learn /-/
If you never thought gamers loved to learn, you are very mistaken; gamers absolutely love to learn. When purchasing a new game or playing games multiple times, gamers like to press the boundary of the games mechanics whether it’s in regards to heightened difficulty or simply because gamers want to take on a new game to master; they love to learn and this drives them to do that. This is especially common in gamers who play games such as MMO’s (Massive Multiplayer Online) titles which can include World of Warcraft, Rift, and even MOBA titles such as DOTA 2 as well as Heroes of the Storm. Each of these titles require several things: Knowledge of the characters, rotations, tactical advantages of the maps, and even uses for the equipment as well as abilities that can be equipped and or used. For raiders? Optimization for their specific classes stats (based on spec), this means that gamers thrive on knowledge and learning how to do the things they do, and do better at it as they progress in the methods that have learned.
When applying gamers into scenarios and interests they have, these people are some of the brightest men and women you will find, they thrive on new knowledge regarding anything that peaks their interest. Many of these gamers are good with technology, but also very sharp when it comes to anything related to PC’s, gaming, and even the peripherals that accompany their hobby.
So how exactly can you tell when you have a gamer around or even a geeky person at that? Listen to what they talk about, listen to their speech patterns, and just for the sake of it, pay attention to the things they discuss with those around them, but another way is how fast they learn, how quickly they get bored with stuff, and even the rate at which they learn, something that can sometimes be attributed to disorders such as ADD, ADHD or even a heightened IQ. So what makes them easy to spot out of the crowd? They are always looking for that next big project, something that will require them to go online, go to stores, jump onto forums, and even go on a learning spree like any other. These people crave the finest of details in order to find out what they want, but also how to do what they already did, and make it even better. This means they are also extremely detail oriented since the smallest detail could ruin their entire project they have been working on.
What’s an example I can use? Let us take a look at the Geeks that truly drive on detail: Cosplayers. When it comes to cosplay, for example, their accuracy isn’t based just upon how ‘close’ they can get to the costumes they are designing, but how photorealistic they can be for that personality on the comic book page or even the T.V. screen depending on the character they are seeking to portray. Due to most of them wanting to get it as close to reality as possible, they aren’t going to just alter, sew, and stitch costumes; instead they are going to tailor them over time, perfect them, but also seek any form of personal modification they can due in regards to hairstyles, contact lenses, wigs, clothing, or even as far as to physical health to obtain that appearance they want. This can be noted on cosplayers such as Lonstersmash, ThorTV, and even Loki Hates You can verify when perfecting their outfits for upcoming conventions they can be spotted at (if you haven’t checked these guys out, definitely do).
This is something that can also be attributed to any form of geek since they absolutely crave learning and the detail that comes with perfecting what they learned.
/-/ They’re Innovative and Radical Thinkers /-/
If there’s anything you have to remember about geeks as well as gamers, it’s that they are radical when it comes to searching for alternatives to solutions that may seem useless and not perfect, which means they will seek more innovative strategies for completing a task at hand. This means whether they are doing a quest in an MMO or a challenge in any game that they are working on. This means they will find shortcuts if possible that won’t come with negative impact, but instead come with a more positive conclusion on how to complete two tasks at once if there is any form of doing so, but they are also capable at reconstructing past projects in order to make their past accomplishments even more profound than before. This means they are highly creative and will go to outrageous lengths in order to complete what they are wanting to do. Wanting to know how far they will go? Take a look at cosplayers and gamers alike; these two forms of “Geekdom” are not much different. Instead these two are almost identical since they will seek out insane was to reconstruct their characters they are highly passionate about, but they will also seek ways to improve upon the characters they enjoy, and even recreate them in new and more creative ways than before.
Thanks to this hunger for creativity, gamers, geeks, and writers all like to see just how far they can go in order to become better at what they do. This means they are flexible, resourceful, they will improvise, they believe in completing their task or quest at hand, they do believe in meritocracy and well, they absolutely despise bureaucracy since they believe their skills can exceed many of those whom are around them, which is why they are rather perceptive of what others are doing and how they can do it better than them before. This means let alone do they become more creative than those around them, they will take what those around them have done, and aim to do it even better in order to show that things can always be done better than before. Just don’t expect them to be able to walk you through how they completed their tasks at hand, instead watch them, observe how they do it, and ask them if they can take notes so that they can repeat what they did at a later date.
So how are these people radical thinkers? Because they seek to learn, they crave it, but they also love to work on things that seem out of hands, far fetched, and almost impossible to do, but instead, they make it happen and look to make the impossible, possible.
/-/ They’re Resourceful /-/
When it comes to resources as these people work on tasks or are given objectives, Geeks and Gamers are extremely resourceful when they are trying to complete tasks that would almost seem impossible to some. These people will go to the internet, go to others within their social groups, and even pick at all the things they need in order to find out just what they are looking for. Since we’ve used cosplayers as a few reference points, take a look at gamers. When it comes to games such as World of Warcraft, DOTA 2, Warframe, Destiny, or even online cooperative titles such as Borderlands, these people are extremely creative and seek to find the best tactics possible and how to accomplish their tasks at hand whether it’s finding an item, completing a mission, or simply how to find a better path through where they are stuck if they are stuck.
This means let alone do gamers along with geeks go to every resource they can find whether it’s other gamers, forums, guides, YouTube, action figures/statues, cartoons, anime, mangas, and even things such as comic books. This is what makes them resourceful. They are willing to adapt in order to find the information they want in order to achieve their goals and to accomplish their tasks at hand.
/-/ Closing Thoughts /-/
When it comes to real world scenarios, gamers, geeks, nerds, whatever you would like to call them; they are extremely intelligent, organized, and resourceful. With being as driven as they are, they do what they must in order to complete their goals. Overall being a geek or gamer has had proven upsides and ones that are not as everyone would have you think. Heck, it’s even proven that FPS titles can improve your eyesight! So next time your kids ask for a game or to let them do something geeky? It’s got a positive side to it.
About the Writer:
Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him on Twitter @GamingAnomaly,Google+ or you can find him on PSN with RaivynLyken.