I was running around in Dalaran, basically doing nothing, when a discussion came up in guild chat. One guy was saying that no lifers are basically stupid people who waste their time, playing games, instead of living their lives. According to him, you either play casually, when you have some free time and the fancy strikes you, or you are a nolifer, a loser. Some people argued against that, some agreed, and I had to put my two cents in. I propose that both approaches to gaming are equally viable.
It is a fact that when you achieve something ingame, the hormones released into your body are the same as the ones which are released when you achieve something in real life. When you play a game you enjoy, you feel just as good as when you spend time with friends. This is obviously one of the more prevalent reasons why people play games, however, it’s also one of the most important reasons why people do ANYTHING. Who are you to tell someone how to live his or her life?
One of the arguments mentioned in the discussion was that the people who don’t game a lot have real life obligations like family, work, and similar things, implying that those who nolife don’t, making them somehow inferior. This argument fails to consider several things, first of which is that the gamer might not WANT a family at that point, is too young for a career, or his gaming might BE his career. Let’s discuss all three point in order.
Family is universally accepted to be something you either have or are considered a loser. Older relatives keep asking younger people when they’re going to get married and have kids. This probably comes from centuries-long trend of people reaching their teens, getting married off for political alliances or a couple of sheep, and dying at 40-50 years old. We now live in a different world.
People marry later, have kids later, it’s rare for people to marry for anything other than love. If you don’t want to, you should not have to feel pressured to create a family. When you are ready, the same hormonal system which makes you happy when you achieve something in a game will also make you want a family. It’s how humans have been functioning for thousands of years. We’re slaves of our hormones.
Next up, we have to tackle the age issue. Most nolifers are in their twenties or teens. By today’s standards, they are too young to have a family or a career. They are students in High School or University. Admittedly, they should spend more time studying instead of gaming, however, it is their life, they have to make the decision themselves and nobody has the right to judge them because it’s the person themselves who will have to live with the consequences of their actions. Furthermore, while the young person games a lot know, there will come a time when he will either have to find a job or turn their gaming into a job.
That touches upon the people who play games for most of their day, get good at them and find opportunities to make a living by playing them or find another way to become a part of the gaming industry. That is a hard path, full of struggle and strife; however, it IS possible. eSports athletes, streamers, YouTube content creators, writers, casters, presenters, game designers, programmers, graphics designers and many many more make a living by playing or having something to do with gaming, dedicating their life to this medium. It’s a billion dollar industry. Who are you to judge these people? What have you done in your life? I suspect that a minimum wage plumber would be thought of better than a gamer who makes average wage by streaming, creating YouTube content or something else, because gaming is “nolifing”. That is bullshit, excuse me for my language.
It’s not about the amount of money you make. I propose that the measure of someone’s worth is how much he loves what he does. You could be the best paid lawyer or doctor in the world, but if you hate what you do, what is the point? Life is too short to be spent doing something you do not love. It might be a naive belief, but I propose this: if you love something, if you are passionate about something, you can always find a way to make a career out of it. If you love plumbing, finding satisfaction in making something broken work again, more power to you. If you love gaming, more power to you. If you like selling drugs to little kids, fuck you. That’s the only thing that should not be tolerated, ever. If what you love hurts others, you should not be allowed to do it. Gaming doesn’t hurt anyone.
Looking down on someone because they put more effort than you in gaming and justifying it by saying that you have a family and a job and that makes you somehow better is not okay. You don’t know what situation the nolifer is in, you don’t know their dreams and goals. You don’t know anything about them. Putting down others for anything doesn’t make you better, it makes you a close-minded little person, who can see no other point of view but his own. I can see where such a person is coming from, however. Society is on his side, after all. If only it adapted with the times instead of staying a decade behind. The world would be a more beautiful place.