In this meeting, Andrew Wong happily proclaims his love for video games. At 23 in the military, with his own house and eccentric personality, he plays every weekend. He’s even into comic books and all the latest hit TV shows—he enjoys the witty humor and is enticed by the creativity. “Nevertheless,” he says, “my best memories lie with video games.” As his fellow co-workers claim, he’s the ultimate nerd.
Wong is conscious of those stereotypes. He knows it’s unpopular to be a nerd—described by Rachel Hartigan Shea of the Washington Post as, “Clad in too-short, too-tight pants, armed with a pocket protector, glasses firmly taped together and pimples unpopped” (1). Wong responds to these assumptions with proud confidence, “Everyone is different.” According to him, passion for playing video games isn’t a typecast. Gamers are not how the stereotype says they are.
In America, it’s a common thought that many gaming men and women have no time to mingle. In reality, video gaming is simply not a respected hobby, which makes way for exclusion and bullying. Wong’s coming up defies what it’s supposedly like to grow up as a nerd. He confesses, “I was never bullied, but I also didn’t have many friends.” Wong’s father was a First Sergeant of the U.S. Army, and in turn constantly had the family move from place to place. “Being a military brat, I wasn’t able to make many friends before moving,” Wong says. “But [video] games weren’t the reason for that. I wasn’t addicted.”
But video games do have a reputation of obsession. In the shooting at a Washington D.C. naval base, Aaron Alexis (the shooter) apparently spent his time playing Call of Duty. According to Nick Allen of The Telegraph, “He played up to 16 hours at a time” (1). Wong responds on the subject, “Some people play to the point they can’t tell reality from fantasy.”
He gives another example, “I’ve seen someone whose house looked like an episode from Hoarders. They live in their underwear, and eat Ramen all day. I couldn’t play that much.”
Perhaps those gamers didn’t have anyone that cared enough to talk to them. Wong’s parents cared about...