Nerd Talk: Gaming does not decrease character

Maine state senate candidate Colleen Lachowicz recently came under fire for playing World of Warcraft, Blizzard’s massively multiplayer online role-playing game.

A website created to attack her hobby argues that since she sometimes spends her spare time online, she is unfit to hold office.

This is not the first time gaming has come under fire. With more than a third of the western world playing games in some capacity, it is time for uptight citizens to pick up a controller and join in the fun.

One of the biggest complaints about gamers is that they are antisocial. Quite the contrary, most games, including WoW, encourage and even force players to interact with others, often working with 20 other players and coordinating complicated attacks and defenses.

In fact, gaming can offer a respite for people with social anxiety issues who cannot function in the physical presence of others. Rather than exiting their homes and risking anxiety attacks in a public setting, they can interact with other gamers from the safety of their desk.

Additionally, others argue playing video games diminishes a person’s intelligence.

Studies at the University of Illinois found that playing more than 20 hours of a “violent” strategy game increased the cognitive abilities of elderly subjects.

Likewise, many assisted living communities are incorporating motion controlled games into their activities, encouraging patients to remain active.

The practice of identifying an individual as a “nerd” is archaic.

Judging Lachowicz because she played WoW is no different than attacking someone for playing a Super Mario game in the past.

Business & Science