By Carson Rose-Szabo
Many people seem to get the term "gamer" very, very wrong. When it comes to gamers, of course, there are three distinct types: the casual gamers, who "hit the sticks" occasionally; the committed gamer, who spends a reasonable amount of time gaming; and the hardcore gamer, who literally lives in the game. Regardless of the gaming species, they tend to all get bunched into one group and stereotyped.
These stereotypes are sometimes extremely exaggerated, yet some are true to an extent. They include: the typical gamer is an overweight male in his 30s, who lives in his parents' basement and it extremely antisocial. Due to his dedication to online gaming, he doesn't see the light of day very often, thus, not having many friends and making him a very violent person.
Clearly, this is not true for most gamers.
"I definitely think that those stereotypes were formed by people that don't play video games," said Andrew Eames, sophomore at Niagara University. "I know plenty of people that do play video games and many of them are very driven, fit and do well in social environments like bars or parties. One's personality traits are not solely dependent on whether or not they play video games, and it doesn't take a psychology degree to figure that out."
The following is a typical day in my life. I consider myself to be a casual gamer, who commits about 20 hours a week to gaming, with the weekends having more game time. I defy many of the stereotypes associated with gamers and I intend to keep in that way.
Brrinnggg! Brrinnggg! "Goddamn it," I mumble to myself, straining my eyes at the red digital numbers sitting before me. "It cannot be morning already." Brrinnggg! Brr- I smack the snooze button and roll over.
Brrinnggg! Brr- I hit the snooze button once again. This time, without opening my eyes and my back to it. Nice, I think. Next time it rings, I'll be awake. I just need a few more minutes.
Brr- I shut my alarm off and begin my day. With my eyes still mostly shut, I wander to my bathroom. I turn the lights on and nearly blind myself. After acquainting myself to the brightness of the room, I put my contacts in, walk upstairs, mix my caffeinated pre-workout with some water and down it in a few gulps. This stuff really gets my day going, especially if I didn't sleep well. I force a granola bar down and head down to my car.
I hop in my car, turn on the heat, and plug the auxiliary cord into my phone. "Hmmm, what do I want to listen to?" I wonder as I scroll through my music library, passing by many different artists and genres. I settle on Travis Scott's "OK Alright," turning the volume up and hyping myself up as I drive to the gym.
I arrive at the gym, which is a small, private gym downtown from my house. It's in a busy part of the city, so it's always hard to find a parking spot. I go inside, stretch, and look over my workout plan. Today's focus is on chest and triceps: bench press, dips, tricep extensions, incline and decline presses. I've been going to the gym for a little over a year now and it's one of my favorite things ever. You really relieve some stress lifting heavy things and pushing your body to its physical limits. Plus, you feel great after working out! Almost forgot about core ... get your plank on! Don't forget some crunches and Russian twists, too.
Time for a half-hour of cardio. Running a good pace on the treadmill can get monotonous and exhausting, so I throw in intervals where I sprint and others where I walk. Let's face it: Cardio is hardio. That's what I always tell myself, but there is one thing that gets me through it every single time: music. Very upbeat music, like EDM, sets a good pace to my steps. Wolfgang Gartner seems like the choice of the day.
By this time, I'm sweatier than a polar bear in Africa, so I jump into the shower, and you know ... clean myself. I hop out, pop some deodorant on, put my clothes on, and pray that I don't make any awkward eye contact the other men in the locker room. I lather in mousse for my curly hair and head out to my car.
I get into my car and immediately plug the aux cord into my phone. I'm in the mood for something very laid back. I turn on some Nas and drive home, thinking about how I'd rather stay at the gym than go to class today.
Life isn't fair.
I get home, empty my gym bag, and head upstairs to prepare my breakfast. I'm no sous-chef by any means, but I know my way around a kitchen. I prepare a seasoned egg, place it on a toasted English muffin, and top it with some grilled turkey sausage. Next, I cook down some spinach and mix it with some egg whites. Finally, I make a simple protein shake and head to my living room. I catch up on some of the news around the gaming community by watching Twitch
, a live streaming application.
In combination with consuming both my breakfast and a livestream or two, I complete any homework that I haven't yet done for today. There's not much, so I can enjoy these gameplays of "Call of Duty: WWII."
"A lot of people play video games as a hobby and are still able to be active and live successful lives," Steve Lyman, sophomore at NCCC
Gathering my notes and laptop, I pack everything into my backpack and head to my car. With a half-hour drive to college, I throw on some classic rock, because it's just good to vibe to. Today's pick is "Rubber Soul" by The Beatles.
My least favorite part of the day: class. I grudgingly make my way to my classes and power though them. There's no excuse to skip, unless I am quite literally on my deathbed. Paying attention in class and focusing is no big deal. The true problem is staying awake, which isn't always fulfilled. Today is no different as I find myself dozing off during a lecture about Reagan's proposed tax cuts of the 1980s.
I leave class and drive to work, a Mexican restaurant that is close to my college. I grab some lunch and catch up on social media. I check my Twitter feed for any information on gaming patches and reply to my plethora of texts that I haven't looked at yet today from my friends.
By this time, I take my place behind the counter and start rolling burritos. It's very systematic and repetitive, which I excel at. Rice. Chicken. Black beans. Lettuce. Cheese. Tomato. Sour cream. Then just wrap it up. Boom, done. It's easy work, plus I make tips.
When I'm not rolling, I'm concentrating on keeping up with readings for class. Also, I manage to keep my phone close by, streaming Twitch. Later in the night, it tends to slow down, which allows me to eat dinner. This also allows me to help clean the restaurant, do more homework, and watch more gameplays, to study strategy and tactics to apply to my own style of gameplay.
This is when I drive home and, once again, blare music in my car. But this time is a little different. I tend to do a lot of thinking in this time. I make a lot of mental notes about the things I've learned today, whether it be from class, video or music. How important this detail was or how useless that one was. This self-reflection takes up most of my drive home.
I arrive home and spend a few minutes with my father before he heads to bed. We talk about our day and complain about this and that. I soon turn my PS4
on, text some of my friends and begin gaming.
Tonight, my focus is "Fortnite,
" a PvP game with destructible environments and a survival premise. This is where I use all the knowledge gained from the livestreams to help aid my own gameplay.
During the breaks (before and after) each game, I have my laptop beside me and I fiddle with FL Studios
, a music generating software for producers (or, in my case, amateurs). Multitasking has always been a talent of mine, so I try to use it to the best of my advantage.
By this time, I'm mentally and physically drained from the frustrations of class and gaming. I call it quits for the night and bid my friends farewell.
I decide to watch an episode or two on Netflix before I go to bed.
With whatever little energy I have left in my body, I shut off all my devices and head downstairs. I brush my teeth, take my contacts out and crawl into bed, knowing I'll only get about five hours of sleep. But that's what caffeine is for, right?
Clearly, there's more to myself than the eye can see. That goes for many other casual gamers alike. We don't live to game; we use use gaming as an outlet for expression and stress relief.
Gaming doesn't consume lives, unless you let it do so. A balance along with physical activity, social events, and a good diet all attribute to a healthy lifestyle.