Poll Question 032 – Has Gaming Changed You?

25th May 2007

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half Life 1, 2 and 3

Many hobbies change a person’s life, some good, some bad. I want you to think carefully before voting this week. Take a day to really consider the question and its implications.

This week’s question:
Has Gaming Changed You?


This week’s poll question wasn’t consciously influenced by Goddess topic on the Forum entitled Good Vs Bad in Gaming but it may have sparked something and deserves to be noted.

My Turn

I normally write a short piece about the choices or my personal feelings for the poll questions but today I am stuck. I have thought briefly about the question but until I actually started to type it I didn’t Really think about it, if you know what I mean.

No Rush

I generally check to see how many people have voted for each question at least a few times a day but I really want you to think carefully about this one.


On a superficial level we all enjoy playing games but is there something deeper? Have we learnt anything about ourselves or society that makes us a better person? After reading a great book or seeing a great film I feel different inside. I feel that I have gained in some way, however small. That if I ever find myself in a similar situation I will have something to guide me. Can the same be said for gaming, especially FPS gaming?

I could probably turn this post into some long rant about life, society etc but I’m sure you don’t want to hear it, and I don’t blame you.

Your Turn

The poll choices are black and white on purpose. I didn’t want the Don’t Know option because you should know, and if, like me, you really don’t know, then you should ask yourself that question and expect a clear-cut answer.

Please share your thoughts, whether they be positive or negative, even if that means you have to logout and use an anonymous name.


  1. Should I say gaming or internet change me for sure since there some possibility to share you own creation, release your own mod look for comment make review make a site if computer gaming wouldn’t have exit I think I would perhaps be more televison or movie, before I was sometimes taking my bike at 8 O” clock PM this didn’t happens since I got a computer… so defenetly gaming and all what releated change me and you to phillip othereway this site wouldn’t exist

  2. Considering I have absolutely no idea what my life would be like without games “yes” is the only choice I can make.

  3. Considering I have absolutely no idea what my life would be like without games “yes” is the only choice I can make.

    This raises an interesting point. I wrote the question from my point of view, which of course means somebody who was really at the beginning of the computer/video game wave. When I was around 15 video console were just released. Playing tennis on your TV was the Ultimate Cool!

    However, many PP readers are much younger and as such have never known a children with computer games. In MMAN case, it’s not such much Changed him or her, but part of him or her (Sorry I don’t know your gender, although I suspect you are male).

  4. Ezequielhl

    Maybe this sound to you a lil’… fanboy? freak? whatever…

    When I look back to my first years of life… I don’t know how I can have fun with nothing like videogames. Needles to say, right now I don’t know.

    I waited so much to have a decent PC or an actual videogame console to play. Yes! I had to buy them working and working. Santa in my house was a fool, if you know what I’m trying to say.

    When everyone had the playstation 1 I had my Mega Drive… and when I had a PC that can runs Half Life… my perspective of videogames changed so much, and my objectives in life. (Basically, better studies? better work? more games!)

    I don’t need that shitty concept of “in a future you’ll have your own family” to motive me in life at the moment… XD… almost pathetic? Well, is how I see my life now.

    PD: Yes, I’m sick, but I have a good perspective, and bad English XD

  5. Luke L

    I’ve seen a few movies, and read a number of books that, upon completition, have left me feeling… almost humbled by their brilliance. The one thing games have never achieved in me is this level of influence. I see games as a one-way outlet, I relieve my stresses through them, but gain nothing in return except an eventual “Game Over” message. Would my life be any different without games? Sure, I love having Halo tournies and fragging mates. But would I myself be enriched for having played a particular game? I honestly don’t think so. Not in the same way a book can leave an impression.

    Ultimately I play games for fun. Sure the massive vistas in Far Cry awed me, and the depth of Half Life struck me, but not on the same level as certain novels. My life hasn’t changed for playing videogames, or at least for the past few years I’ve taken it up. But then again, maybe the changes are so subtle over such an extended period of time, none of us could tell.

    (BTW I really like this poll question, really forces readers to think before writing.)

  6. Not in the same way a book can leave an impression.

    Exactly, but that is perhaps game makers haven’t truly understoodHOW to do it yet. (That’s no disrespect for the excellent developers and games but as an art form it is still very new).

    My life hasn’t changed for playing videogames

    That’s what scares me the most. I’m not sure gaming has changed me and I feel that it should have. Otherwise I have wasted a lot of time, effort and money!

  7. I’m certain the answer is yes. Its a matter of to what degree, and how reflective and aware of this a person wants to be/is mentally capable of being.

    Now to make it more complex, has it changed me for the better or worse? That’s a tough one!

  8. @dougjp: That leads on to the whole argument of are videogames bad for the youth of today. I had a big debate in my Guidance class arguing that a lot of games can teach useful skills such as problem solving, team work and hand-eye co-ordination, yet all most people seem to think is that games tell you to go into a school wielding an Uzi. I don’t think a game can implant malicious thoughts in a youngsters head, any more than it teaches them how to reload a weapon (you can’t hit R in real life).

  9. Are essays welcome in the comments section? Just teasing. I’ll try to keep it short if I can but probably not as this is a very deep question. If you are here and reading anything on this site let alone posting, then the answer should be very clear for you.

    I’m surprised that every answer isn’t yes.

    If you really think about it, there was a point and time for everyone here when gaming changed you. Maybe it was the first one you ever played, maybe not, but somewhere along the line you played something that left you feeling quite different than before and subsequently hooked you. That’s a change in your life which changes you personally.

    Maybe for some people the changes are more subconscious and not easily realized while for others it’s more physical or more mental. Most games are for entertainment value, but I agree they can have beneficial physical properties.

    I’ve noticed that my vision away from the computer has altered since I started playing games. My ability to focus, target, and pinpoint objects has greatly increased. My reflexes are more in tune both in dexterity and mentality. Being a ballerina for 23 years, you learn a lot about reflexes and coordination but mine have improved more as far as eye-hand coordination. Even my stealth and observation abilities have improved the way I size up a situation or how I would approach it (minus artillery). it’s just the thought process.

    I would like to say that I’m a sharp shooter extraordinaire after practicing so many kills, but I can’t make that claim. In fact, I’ve never even picked up a gun let alone fire it. I’m sure I would be terrible but there’s that little part of me that likes to think my aim wouldn’t be so bad. Guns really make me nervous.

    Have I had any miraculous life altering epiphanies from gaming? I wish I could say yes, but have to answer no. I don’t think I could really say what separates it from the more overwhelming experiences you get from a book or a movie. Books are more powerful than movies because words free your mind completely with no constraints allowing you to be fully submersed in your own imagination. Movies can be limiting to the mind as can be video games. Games would probably have to be on a more virtual and personal level for any great life altering changes to take place. By this, I mean being fully submerged into a 360 degree, 3D virtual world where you are completely interactive with it. I know someone, somewhere is trying to make that happen; it’s just a matter of time.

    Phillip, for you, all you have to do is look at all the story ideas, editorials, poll questions, etc. that you come up with to know that gaming has changed you. While I can’t comment on any physical changes since I don’t personally know, it certainly has been more mind expanding and has fused with your creative abilities. That’s a change.

  10. If you really think about it, there was a point and time for everyone here when gaming changed you.

    There were many points where I was affected, yes, but actually changed, I don’t think so.

    I’ve noticed that my vision away from the computer has altered since I started playing games. My ability to focus, target, and pinpoint objects has greatly increased.

    That’s not the kind of change I was thinking about. That’s a physical change. I’m really asking if you are a different person.

    Phillip, for you, all you have to do is look at all the story ideas, editorials, poll questions, etc. that you come up with to know that gaming has changed you.

    Sorry, but again I have to disagree. Gaming has given me an outlet for my creativity, imagination and motivation. If it wasn’t gaming it would be something else. Even before gaming I was looking for ways to create things, mostly stories. For me games are interactive stories, or will be eventually.

  11. Ryan "Quakis" Rouse

    Not exactly gaming, but modding them has made me more creative and hard working as a person. Except the latter has been ruined due to being around a really lazy “friend” for 3 years which “passed” onto me. Hopefully I can get back into those hard working days. Being within modding communities also matured me a lot quicker being around older members too.

    Gaming itself hasn’t really changed me, except I’m getting bored with modern games. So I’m currently going back in time.

  12. Take the fifth! Oh, alright then… Has it changed me? Well, after donkies of muttering to myself that I should really get into the business, I decided to get off my bum and do something about it. I enrolled at Leeds Met (birthplace of the Kaiser Chiefs, no less) and after fighting off marauding drug dealers and emotionally stunted enrollees (to call them students would be against stereotype… Jeez, I could go on… Imagine the “kudos” of completing Silent Scope, including downing the jump jet with one shot or, completing Star Wars Trilogy Arcade or, filling my personal garage in San Fransisco Rush on the machines in the Union block) I graduated with a Degree in Multi-Media Technology. What happened then? I was invited to appear on a TV pilot. It was based around an interview for a creative post with a games company. Woohooh! You might say. Well, it didn’t really go that well. For a start, I was the only one there with any relevant qualification… A fact the interviewers completely missed. Apparently, they thought I wasn’t the right type of person their client was looking for… (Quick picture, pony-tail, earrings, Gundam T-shirt…) While waiting for my turn I was entertained by a 70 year old bloke with a face tighter than a gnat’s sphincter (I mean face lift) and a Chinaman (I mention his race because he was indeed, Chinese) who was so incensed by his treatment that he proceeded to attempt to break out using the steel chair he had been sat on). I have been waiting for some time now for notification of their intention to air the sorry episode. I have done little since and am now a Quality Inspector of aerospace parts. Has it changed Me? Have you read this?

  13. Oh well, what is life without disagreements? I disagree with your disagreements! Ha.

    Honestly, I was taking your question as a whole and not just as a part. Also, I’m a bit stupefied as trying to understand if you have a gaming site and devote your life away from life to it, how gaming has not changed you in some way that’s noticable to you. (???)

  14. dufferx

    Brilliant question and equally so the answers. I particularly liked Luke’s a Goddess’.

  15. zeroth404

    I had to vote “no’.

    the only things I can think of that games have changed about me are related to games (like how I play them).

  16. My answer, and it didn’t take a day to come up with it: Absolutely.

    Why? Because the earliest video games (I *am* an olde farte, after all) captured my imagination, the computers used did so, and all of it fed right into my absolute interest/obsession with science fiction/fantasy genres. I’ve been reading since I can remember (yes, one of my earliest memories is of reading a book), and sci-fi/fantasy has always been my bumber one choice; so video games, esp. those that fall into the sci-fi/fantasy genres (are there anything else, other than the few citybuilders or RPG-based dramas?), run right up my imagination’s alley.

    The items Goddess mentioned are valid as well: a good video game is very mentally stimulating, and can engage a person’s total attention and hype-up said person’s metabolism and mental speed–which is why the military will use deathmatch type games to help triain squads in the basics of squad tactics and strategy, which is faster and safer than live-ammo exercises.

    Plus, stories like Half-Life and HL2 (not to mention the fact that Gordon Freeman bears a VERY uncanny resemblance to my late father) drive my imagination even further, because they are actual stories to be told, with YOU as the protagonist. The software developers could go further with these stories, but that takes us demanding them to go further; however, look for that to happen in the near future, with the increases in computing power and demands for even more immersive experiences from our games.

    So, yes: gaming changed me, some for the better, some for the worse, but definitely changed from previously. And it will continue to influence me and therefore change me as time goes on, ’til I either stop owning gaming devices, or I die.

  17. el_espaniol

    Mmmh…What to say and don’t be rude or hurting someone….?

    ….If 86% of persons they could be changed by games – or its implications like a lot of money in hardware, time asleep, etc is REALLY SICK…-;….if is for good…is equally sick too…!!!…IMHO, sorry.

    BUT is a social phenomenon…,…You could see in all web a lot of ” brain wash ” destined to this matters… I say that games Is only a nice part of things that I like but far to change my usual habits or ideas about what I think of the world and things…

    I like games, A LOT, but no-one could change me: — ( for bad or for good.:D…,…Yet )…

    Anyway I bookmarked this FINE gaming site – as I told a lot of times – because the site has the whole concept that all the serious gamers we want to find: friendly people and site, good games and resources, nice ideas and chat…

    Very-very good question….Yes sir…

  18. I’ve been gaming as long as I can remember. One of my earliest memories consists of me pretending to play Legend of Zelda IRL. I had these PVC pipe kits that you could build structures out of, but I used them to make the ladder that Link used to cross gaps, and my Tball stand got converted so the base(homeplate) got used as a shield, and I slid the ball support of the tball stand itself down to the base to make a very impressive pretend sword.

    So I don’t really know how gaming changed me, cause I don’t remember what I was like before it.

  19. No, it’s the same old me…Anyone that has known me for decades will tell you that. gaming is just a release..distraction when there is nothing else to do..

    I still do all the other things I always have..make tater cannons, made a trebeche that launched a bar of soap an entire block and other things.. working on a rat rod off and on…. I didn’t expect that one…my cheeks were clinched lemme tell ya..lol

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