Having previous been a hardcore gamer myself playing for up 12 hours a day and for competition money in some well-known various online games for a good portion of my life, I found myself toward the end of it asking, has my social life taken a beaten from years of hard-core gaming?.
The Social Life of a Hardcore Gamer
I often found myself waking up and instantly turning on the PC thinking about how I am going outsmart rank 1 pvp teams on World of Warcraft (or other massively played online multiplayer games).
The last thing on my mind was breakfast, brushing my teeth or going out on a Friday night for a few drinks with friends.
Definition of a Hardcore Gamer
The stereotypical hardcore gamer is out of shape, and has poor hygiene. They spend a lot of their disposable income on video games, consoles, or PC upgrades, and a large percentage of their free time either playing video games or discussing them, online and off.Source
Over the years this way of life has taken its toll not only on my ability to socialize, have ‘other interests’ but also with my people skills as well. While all my friends were out socializing in the middle of summer I was locked away in indoors gaming my heart out for rank one, so this comes as no surprise.
Has Gaming Improved my Life at all?
On the surface it may be safe to assume that gaming has had a negative effect on my life but I strongly disagree, but only because I was able to rediscover my social side.
“While social skills lacked at the time and my ability to have a genuine interest in other people s hobbies twindled, gaming has helped me in a few other areas of my life such as my analytical skills, attention to detail in day-to-day work, my physical reactions, spacial awareness and ability to deal with online trolls”.
With gaming having improved my analytical skills and attention detail I feel that my job as a web developer and designer a has benefited immensely allowing me to push pixels not only faster but deliver an end result that not only performs and gives my customers the best possible return on investment but also looks good as well, without my skills gained from gaming in my earlier years I don’t feel I would be as good at my job as I am.
Can you be a hardcore gamer and have a social life as well
As with all things in life its important to strike a balance between what we love and what we have. For some people, myself included it can be hard to stop doing what we love, but is it possible to have a social life at all while being a hardcore gamer?
Balancing gaming and a social life
Depending on what you play, many hardcore games such as World of Warcraft, call of Duty and Counter Strike:GO have a high skill cap and do require you to play often to keep reactions, muscle memory and finesse up to scratch its very possible to juggle school, gaming and a social life.
You don’t need to play for 12 hours a day to improve your game play, I found it was more beneficial to just play a few hours a day. Having the spare time to go and socialize with my friends not only helped improve my ability to socialize and interact with my peers but it helped me release the stress built up from hours of gameplay with little to no progression at all.
But I want to be a professional gamer!
One of the major things a professional gamer has over someone gaming in his bedroom is the ability to keep a level head even in the most stressful of games.
Making sure you are stress and worry free while gaming will make room for your brain to work at maximum capacity, allowing for speedier reactions and better performance from your fingers when it really matters which is why its important to get away from the computer from time to time and interact with humanity.
Some of the best players I have played with in my gaming career have juggled gaming, school and a social life as well, refusing to play games on weekends in an effort to get good grades and socialize with friends and it really showed in his game play.
Compared to other online friends who gamed all day he was calmer in his approach to the game, there was less rage quits and we made genuine progression on the ladder making it to rank one and taking the Relentless gladiator title in season 7, on one of the most competitive World of Warcraft PvP servers in the game…. al’akir-eu.
This was only made possible by having level-headed team mates that left their stresses and worries at the door.
While gaming all day will increase your chances at becoming pro at a particular game for a short-lived period, it will not teach u essential life skills.
As with a professional career its important to take some time to unwind and socialize when things get hard and the stress levels begin to rise with hardcore gaming feeling much like a full-time job from time-to-time its important to take some time out, socialize with friends and experience life outside of your bedroom, you will meet more girls and your gameplay *should* improve as well due to lower stress levels and ability to think clearer.
What are your experiences with hardcore gaming? – Did you manage to juggle gaming either professional or non-professional and have a social life as well? I’d love to hear how you tackled the problem in the comments.