GamesBeat The gaming community and age discrimination. December 17, 2012 6:30 PM Jesse Meixsell and VentureBeat This post has not been edited by the GamesBeat staff. Opinions by GamesBeat community writers do not necessarily reflect those of the staff. How many times have you been told something along the lines of: “Oh, you’re younger than me? You must be a total noob with no knowledge of video game history. Gaming was much better back in my day, you wouldn’t even know”. Chances are, someone, somewhere has said something of this nature to you, with your only fault being that you are of a younger age. Is it right to debunk a gamer for his or her age? Of course it isn’t. As human beings, we can’t simply choose when to be born. Elitist views like these are one of many dilemmas dividing the gaming community and sparking up countless arguments and debates. Let me fill you on a personal perspective of mine. I was born in 1992. I’m 20 years old. The original PlayStation, released in 1995, was my first console and my closest friend for six years. I can’t remember when exactly the first time was, when a “superior gamer” looked down on me, assuming that I was of inferior knowledge and ability, simply because I wasn’t around for the initial Nintendo era that ignited the video game revolution. But it’s certainly happened enough for it to have a significant impact on me. Though the original occurrence escapes me, it still irks me whenever the subject arises, and it irks me even more to witness it being done to another. The fact that I had missed out on much of what made the early years of gaming as revolutionary as they were, never once held me back from doing what I love. Yes, I missed a lot, not just back then, but to this day I, along with countless others, can never quite manage to keep up with every single hot topic in gaming. So what do we do? We go back, we read up, we research; we take the time to retreat a few years back in order to experience these industry-changing titles for ourselves. In cases like these, our age has not held us back, not for a second. Of course, those of us in our early twenties are only one generation that has been subjected to discrimination. Nowadays, the cycle continues as the victims become the victimizers The age group in question starts at about 10 years old, and goes right up until 14, or 16 for some. Let’s face it, most of the time these gamers play Halo, Call of Duty and the like. Despite our varying opinions on the games, is it really right to admonish these kids for genuinely enjoying them? We may not like these titles on a personal level, but in this generation, they just happen to be the most dominant and popular franchises in gaming. Yes, it is unfortunate, the fact that they generate so much bias that the industry gives little to no way for a more diverse collection of titles, in other genres, but can we blame these young gamers for not realizing the bigger picture? No, teenagers are not stupid, but unless every one of them are hardcore gamers, they will probably not take the time to delve further into the medium and decide for themselves what their favorite type of gaming experience is. As much as it pains some of us to see, they will most likely be influenced by the gratuitous advertisements and reviews, without even being aware of what kind of judgment goes into the verdicts of these reviewers in the first place. This is the fault of the gaming media, not the viewers, regardless of their age. And so what if this is due to their ignorance? People do grow up, and many of these young gamers have a chance of eventually catching on to the issue, and following a similar path as those who choose to look back on gaming history and learn from it. Currently, there are countless forms of discrimination in the gaming community. Sexism for one, is already a major factor in what divides us as gamers (and has been gathering quite the amount of attention recently, as it very well should). Age discrimination is arrogant, irrelevant, and above all, just another obstacle holding video games back from earning the respect they deserve. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the mainstream media does not take video games seriously. How can video games ever overcome this if we, the gamers, can’t even take each other seriously? It’s time we learned to get over the little things and show each other some respect.