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#1 Posted by Tilghan (19 posts) -

So I was just bumming around the house and I came to a realization.. I've been single my entire life. I wish I could blame this on being an outcast because I'm a "nerd" or something, but I fear it's probably just because I'm a shitty shitty human being. Nevertheless, it led me to a decent subject for us to examine. Has being a "nerd" changed over the course of the last couple decades? Are nerds the new jocks? And has being a gamer, or being heavily into games ever had an effect on your social life? (whether it be socially damning or you just not spending time with real people because you are too busy playing Skyrim/Diablo/whathaveyou...)

#2 Edited by xyzygy (9899 posts) -

Nah. I've had quite a few partners (relationships, not hook ups) and I have 3-4 circles of close friends with between 3-6 people in each one. I usually see one or two said circles each weekend. If anything it has helped me create more friends because I have more interests to share, relate to and talk about.

Your'e not a shitty human being, you just happen to have an amazing hobby and past time that has a lot of stigma and ignorance attached to it.

And I don't think nerds are the new jocks... I think that the phenomenon you're referring to is more like an increased self-awareness in regards to being a "nerd" as a result from the Internet. In the 90's and early 2000's nerds were isolated, but nowadays mostly everyone has the internet and you can find countless sites and forums (GB is one of them) where nerds can gather and talk about what they love. Basically I think it's just more self-awareness and identification, resulting in some people seeking that identification. If that makes any sense.

#3 Posted by NlGHTCRAWLER (1215 posts) -

I'm probably not as social as I use to be, but I don't blame it on gaming. Work/school and everything else takes up all of my time. If I have some time to kill and i'm tired, I would rather play some MK9 or some Madden rather than hang out with friends or try to pick up girls so maybe it does.

BTW I have been single since the middle of 2011 and I haven't been happier.

#4 Posted by Origina1Penguin (3500 posts) -

Technically, anytime you do any solitary activity, it is hindering your social life. Nothing about it makes you "a shitty shitty human being." People found solitary activities to do before video games were around.

I don't understand what you mean with the jocks and nerds talk. By their accepted definitions, I don't think their makeup has changed any.

#5 Posted by mandude (2669 posts) -

Gaming has become a lot more socially acceptable now. Even my extremely athletic friends play games, and PC games no less. I'd put my social isolation down to not drinking (and generally disliking people).

#6 Edited by gamefreak9 (2345 posts) -

I can confirm that since I started being a nerd/geek over a jock my social life has spiralled downwards.

#7 Posted by TobbRobb (4581 posts) -

Probably. I'm pretty happy about it though, being "Social" around where I live really isn't anything I want to do... I'll try and get out more when I move out to place with more cafe's.

#8 Posted by TheDudeOfGaming (6078 posts) -

Nope, but my hindered social life has led me to games.

#9 Posted by allworkandlowpay (874 posts) -

Nope. If anything it's helped. Many of my friends share common interests in games. Hell I've made long lasting friendships because of games. Also I'm basically practically all but married, and it's never been an issue in my past or current relationships.

#10 Posted by Village_Guy (2509 posts) -

Nope, autism has though.

#11 Posted by Marz (5646 posts) -

yes maybe.... most friends i talk to are from online games... any people i've met IRl have moved on with their lives, got married have kids... so i just don't have anything in common with them anymore.

#12 Posted by Redhotchilimist (197 posts) -

I suppose every time I sit down to play an evening of Just Cause 2 or Amalur or something, that´s an evening I could have spent out on the town in stead. Flatmates who are also into games sort of mitigate the problem, though.

#13 Posted by Bell_End (1208 posts) -

no, being a cronic masturbator has been worse for me. my poor wrist

#14 Posted by I_smell (3925 posts) -

No, I play games BECAUSE nobody calls me, not the other way around.

#15 Edited by PenguinDust (12455 posts) -

It's hard to say these days, but in my youth it was quite the opposite. I was deep into paper-and-pencil RPGs as well as tabletop games, so I sought out other real-life players to game with. Today, a lot of that can be done online and that removes the necessity for face-to-face interaction. In the broad sense of being a geek, I'd say it helped my social life by providing common ground on which to associate with others including those of the opposite sex. Conventions for games, comics and anime provide an excellent stage to meet others with similar tastes.

#16 Posted by allworkandlowpay (874 posts) -

@PenguinDust said:

It's hard to say these days, but in my youth it was quite the opposite. I was deep into paper-and-pencil RPGs as well as tabletop games, so I sought out other real-life players to game with. Today, a lot of that can be done online and that removes the necessity for face-to-face interaction. In the broad sense of being a geek, I'd say it helped my social life by providing common ground on which to associate with others including those of the opposite sex. Conventions for games, comics and anime provide an excellent stage to meet others with similar tastes.

They are also a breeding ground of disease. Shit the amount of nearly anonymous sex that goes on at nerd interest-related conventions is astounding.

#17 Posted by Tilghan (19 posts) -

@allworkandlowpay said:

@PenguinDust said:

It's hard to say these days, but in my youth it was quite the opposite. I was deep into paper-and-pencil RPGs as well as tabletop games, so I sought out other real-life players to game with. Today, a lot of that can be done online and that removes the necessity for face-to-face interaction. In the broad sense of being a geek, I'd say it helped my social life by providing common ground on which to associate with others including those of the opposite sex. Conventions for games, comics and anime provide an excellent stage to meet others with similar tastes.

They are also a breeding ground of disease. Shit the amount of nearly anonymous sex that goes on at nerd interest-related conventions is astounding.

Nearly anonymous sex at nerd interest-related conventions? I was unaware of this... I may start going to conventions..

#18 Posted by WilltheMagicAsian (1544 posts) -

I've canceled a couple meet ups to play counter-strike matches in High School, but that was about it.

#19 Posted by BraveToaster (12590 posts) -

After reading the OP, I realize that my social life isn't as bad as I make it out to be. If you look in the mirror you will find your scapegoat. Don't blame it on video games or anything else. Go outside and meet people. It won't be easy at first and you may not succeed in your initial attempts, but at least you're trying. Don't sit on your ass, sulking, and waiting for something to change on its on.

#20 Posted by BoG (5186 posts) -

Yes, but it's my own fault. I've come to a point in life where social interaction is absolutely more important than a game. This wasn't the case in middle school. I play games just as much as I ever have, but I've learned to balance everything in my life.

#21 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19308 posts) -

No, without video games I'd be in the same friendless situation I am now. Part of the reason I came to like video games in the first place is that it was something that made me happy and made me come to feel a bit less lonely, I guess, through forums and multiplayer games and such.

#22 Posted by allworkandlowpay (874 posts) -

@Tilghan said:

@allworkandlowpay said:

Nearly anonymous sex at nerd interest-related conventions? I was unaware of this... I may start going to conventions..

I hate to be the asshole who brings up stories without links, but I can't really find it right now. In 2008 or 2009 there was a pew poll that determined that "nerd culture" related conventions such as comic book, board game, ccg and video game conventions have the highest reported instances of anonymous sexual encounters than any other type of convention. As a person who has gone to quite a few conventions (Otakon, Origin, Gen-Con, Dragon-con etc) I can attest to that accuracy. (not first hand, but by living vicariously through friends and roommates.)

It makes sense though. You have a bunch of people who may possibly be in isolated groups in the real world. Not everybody wants to play Magic: The Gahtering, and depending on where you live, you may have a higher percentage of male vs female population of that interest. All of a sudden you are thrust into a convention where all your interests are the focal point, and you are no longer in an isolated environment, and there are women, many of whom are also single and in their own isolated home environments, who now share and enjoy the same interests.

Add alcohol.

#23 Edited by Intro (1206 posts) -

No, I've too been single my whole life though (I'm only 18). Every time there's a friend that wants to hang out or a party I'm invited to, I always do that over video games.

#24 Posted by Jrinswand (1696 posts) -

I doubt it. I would usually rather hang around the house and play video games than go to parties or social gatherings on most occasions, but I'm also not really the sort of person who needs to be around a lot of people all the time. If I have one or two people (really, just my wife), I'm fine. I don't have a lot of close friends otherwise, but it's not because of video games. If I didn't have gaming, I'd probably just do something else instead.

#25 Posted by GODWASP (41 posts) -

I did start blabbering about Skyrim once in a club which drove my friends insane as I was also apparently 'FUS RO DAH'ing random strangers (yes I was drunk of my tits). The funniest part was that all my white mates thought I was abusing people in my native language. Hahaha

#26 Posted by Toxeia (729 posts) -

I don't know if I'd call nerds the "new jocks." I've yet to see a swirly performed by a man with a game boy in his back pocket (and a Pokemon cart sticking out of the game boy).

As far as social interactions being hindered by video games - total opposite for me. I've met a lot of people playing WoW that I keep in touch with on a regular basis. Some of them even in my area. Also have friends that got me into WoW in the first place, and that's how I've kept in touch with them. Used to set off mortars in a field and start fires, but now we just kill dragons and shit. It's probably safer for all involved too.

If you're saying that you've walled yourself off from humanity because you're too busy staying inside and playing video games though... Get yourself a different hobby and give it a try. When I was younger and played way too many video games my parents wanted to start a garden (totally unrelated to my situation). I got into that, and it broke me from having to play a game at all hours. I even got some sunlight. Since then I've actually preferred working outside because shit gets done and you can see a result when you look out the window. Then you start to get in shape and get a tan - then when you're just farting around town or running errands you run into women... and they totally flirt with you.

#27 Posted by Franstone (1103 posts) -

Nah, only disappointing people have hindered my social life.

If I want to stay in and play a game that is my choice, it's not like there are no other options.

Oh, and this shit economy...

#28 Posted by mercutio123 (468 posts) -

Nah, for some reason its always been an advantage for me, and girls like that I like stupid stuff, so I lean into it, and it's actually done me pretty well socially in general, even if everyone does think I'm an encyclopedia of everything comic/game related

#29 Posted by Turambar (6678 posts) -

I'm with my girlfriend largely because of video games, so it's done pretty well for me.

#30 Edited by wjb (1645 posts) -

No, because I never made games a huge part of my life. That doesn't mean I don't spend hours a week playing them (during free time when I'm bored), but I have a ton of other stuff going on in my life to balance things out. No offense to anyone in particular: it's one thing to be yourself and do what you want to do, but sometimes being yourself is just one thing (like video games), and you can't really complain if other people find you uninteresting. It's like dudes who only like American football -- some of the most boring people to talk to, in my opinion, and I like American football.

I've done my best never to become one of those "games are my life" type of people. I can classify myself as a nerd, I guess, but since becoming an adult, you cannot be a nerd all the time. I just don't want to be "that guy" -- not when I was 12, and especially not at 30. I always thought it was a little sad when people focus their entire lives on one thing, like Star Wars or LARPing or comic books. It's cool if you like those things -- especially when it helps identify with like-minded people -- but I don't think it needs to be incorporated in everything you do. Not to put the spotlight on that one dude because his request was fairly reasonable, but the e-mail in this week's Bombcast about including video game soundtracks in his wedding: it's cool if you share similar interests with your wife, but you don't have to constantly find excuses to integrate video games into your other activities.

You don't need to write your thesis on Luigi's Mansion or whatever, either. I'd totally read it, though.

#31 Posted by matthias2437 (985 posts) -

It does very rarely happen to me. Like when Skyrim came out I might as well have not been a person for the first week it was out. Played 75 hours in 7 days.......... I was not proud of that but also after that week I never played Skyrim again so oh well. Outside of that it has only happened when I picked up the Dragon Age: Origins complete edition where I played like 65 hours in a week. But besides those two if I am playing a game and someone calls me to do something I will pretty much always go out.

#32 Posted by Video_Game_King (36124 posts) -

Hell no. Video games have done quite a bit for my social life. If you're having trouble with it, play Persona 4 or something.

#33 Posted by Dagbiker (6939 posts) -

No, but my social life being hinderd effected my gaming.

#34 Posted by Tilghan (19 posts) -

Just to clarify, I wasn't claiming that games have ruined my life or anything in my original post. I have my own problems that aren't related. I was just curious as to if anyone had ever been cast out of a group of people for being "too nerdy".

#35 Posted by Brunchies (2484 posts) -

Can this type of thread please stop. Playing video games does not make you socially awkward what so ever, if people really don't like you because you play games then they are friends you don't want.

#36 Posted by AlisterCat (5489 posts) -

I have totally chosen games over going out many times but... I don't see that as a problem. Sometimes I have raspberry jam.

#37 Posted by hershelgeorgelives (78 posts) -

Not really. But judging from the amount of losers on this site, I'd say it does.

#38 Posted by the_OFFICIAL_jAPanese_teaBAG (4308 posts) -

Yes it has.  Ive declined hanging out with people because I wanted to play a game.  And theres always a first for everything. 

#39 Posted by Jrinswand (1696 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

Hell no. Video games have done quite a bit for my social life. If you're having trouble with it, play Persona 4 or something.

Is that to learn how to manage social links or to learn how to be a weird, obsessive otaku?

#40 Posted by Video_Game_King (36124 posts) -

@Jrinswand said:

@Video_Game_King said:

Hell no. Video games have done quite a bit for my social life. If you're having trouble with it, play Persona 4 or something.

Is that to learn how to manage social links or to learn how to be a weird, obsessive otaku?

Since when could that describe Narukami-san?

#41 Posted by TheUnsavedHero (1255 posts) -

Nah. A lot of my friends play games and we still go out and have a good time. Some of them are even married with kids now. The key thing preventing me from being more social with other people has been my job. Working almost all the time really snuffs the life out of going out. :-(

#42 Posted by 71Ranchero (2682 posts) -

Not really, no. My social life has more impact on my social life then gaming does.

#43 Posted by Jrinswand (1696 posts) -
@Video_Game_King said:

@Jrinswand said:

@Video_Game_King said:

Hell no. Video games have done quite a bit for my social life. If you're having trouble with it, play Persona 4 or something.

Is that to learn how to manage social links or to learn how to be a weird, obsessive otaku?

Since when could that describe Narukami-san?

I wasn't talking about Narukami. I was talking about Persona fans. LOL.
 
It was obviously a joke though. I like the Persona series and I'm not an otaku by any stretch of the imagination.
#44 Posted by Video_Game_King (36124 posts) -

@Jrinswand:

That post was a joke, the joke being that I did not get that you were calling me an otaku.

#45 Posted by benspyda (2030 posts) -

I think my dislike of social events is why I like gaming not the other way round. I still go to a party from time to time, but mainly just to confirm I still exist.

#46 Posted by TehJedicake (879 posts) -

What social life?

#47 Posted by hoossy (932 posts) -

Yes, in the sense that I was in a BF clan for a little while in high school, and my grades suffered/wasn't trying to make friends locally. I have an addictive personality, so I can get easily distracted by the vgs.

#48 Posted by Canteu (2821 posts) -

Gaming is a form of social life. As long as you're sociable.

I see no problem with this.

#49 Posted by SuperfluousMoniker (2907 posts) -

Sort of. I grew up when games were still nerdy and obscure (much more so than they are today anyhow), so my obsession with them left me with few friends. I often wonder if I would have been more popular if Xbox Live and MMOs and stuff had been around when I was in high school.

#50 Posted by Ghost_Cat (1397 posts) -

It depends. Sometimes people are just knee-deep into gaming, where they ignore everything and everyone else around them. Sometimes people play games, or partake in other activities, in order to get away and not face their problems/fears. I remember the later being my problem for some time, but if you know you don't want to be stuck a certain way forever, conquering your fears is the only option.