[Editorial Tuesday] How Gaming Can Erase Cultural Stereotypes

There’s a true beauty to the cultural impacts found from the video game world. Despite how divided the world is—and not just by race or religion, but also by distance—video games are something many of us can find common grounds with. In playing video games online or even with friends/family, people forget their differences and play together regardless of the divides found in the world. That’s why believe it or not games can actually do something incredible and we here at Honey’s Anime wish to explore what we discovered. We truly believe that gaming can erase cultural stereotypes.

With that being said, welcome all of you readers out there on the web to our article titled How Gaming Can Erase Cultural Stereotypes. We know that many of you out there reading this won’t just take this comment lightly and will want proof and/or some form of an explanation to prove our thoughts are true and just. That’s why down below we have thrown our thoughts on what we feel works at erasing cultural issues via the gaming landscape. We know this will be an article filled with theories more than proven facts, but we also do have our share of accurate statements below. All we ask is that you read on, folks, to see why we believe what we do here at Honey’s Anime. Now, with that being said let us begin.

Show the world via video games

Video games have always been able to do something pretty special and most people don’t even notice. Similarly to books and/or movies, video games can take the audience away from their current worlds and bring them to entirely new ones. Whether this be in a fictional sense with stories of dragons, saving the heroine or by having a character explore a distant past, video games are able to show us so much more than just action and violence. Video games literally can broaden your horizons beyond what most textbooks can do.

Now, we don’t mean education isn’t as powerful as video games. In fact, education in any form should always trump video games first and foremost. However, in an age where more and more young people are playing games, there has to be an expectation to most wanting to spend hours in front of a TV rather than reading. Now, that may sound horrible to a parent who has no idea how this will benefit their son or daughter, but think about this for a brief moment. Games like the Total War series or Civilization series allow players to explore accurate historical time periods but with the ability to manipulate these worlds and change the stories presented. Regardless of that fact though, these games are still tools that can be used for enjoyment and for education to show children, teens or even young adults the world via their gaming platform of choice. Now, gamers can see a culture beyond just text and images all while existing in that culture and trying to understand what fundamentals worked during that time period. Next time you buy your child a game, maybe look for titles like those mentioned—as long as they fit the ESRB recommend ages—to make learning fun and help them understand a culture they are unfamiliar with.

Bring us closer together

A lot of us here at Honey’s Anime are friends with people online on numerous gaming platforms. Though here’s the interesting thing. The friends we have made online aren’t all from the same countries we come from. We have friends that come from places like Australia, Japan, China, Indonesia, Africa, Europe and the list goes on. That right there is one of the coolest elements to the gaming scene, making friends from all over the world right from your sofa at home. If you’re not convinced, let us talk in more detail with what we mean exactly.

Currently, there are tons of online games that we here at Honey’s Anime are playing on nearly a daily basis. Games like Destiny 2, Call of Duty: WWII, Overwatch and League of Legends are just a handful of titles where we’ve been online and have met people from numerous locations worldwide. While we might be competing against each other sometimes or trying to work cooperatively, there are times where we are all just relaxing and chatting with each other about our daily lives while we for the next game to load. During these moments, we tend to ask our fellow men and women what currently is going on in their neck of the woods and with their information we get to see through their eyes for just a brief moment. The days of both peace and heartache are shared with us and we see how their cultures work in both the best ways and the worst ways. Imagine if the current world leaders and big wigs were able to see the world in this venue? Rather than having yelling matches at a summit, they can just relax and play games all while seeing how a life across the ocean is no different at times than our everyday lives wherever we hail from.

Physically bring us closer

Now, some of you readers might be saying that while games do indeed let us communicate via headsets and keyboards online that doesn’t technically make us closer to our fellow humans. Here at Honey’s Anime, we do agree with that. In many ways, communication via online chat parties and forums isn’t the same as face to face discussions. Though video games at times do actually bring us face to face and many people forget this happens. How you might ask? Simple folks, through the power of e-sports and tournaments!

Recently, Overwatch—one of our personal favorite first-person titles—had an Overwatch competition called Overwatch League. Various teams from across the world gathered together in the same rooms and began duking it out to see who the best of the best was. While the west had a lot of teams—New York, Los Angeles and Philadelphia were just a few of them—there were teams also from places like Seoul, South Korea and Shanghai, China! Regardless of the current issues with the world, these players came together and talked with one another as they battled in a safe environment for fun competition. To top that off, there were millions of viewers who watched these players battle and many were cheering for teams that weren’t part of their country. That to us shows that games can erase cultural stereotypes by making people only see the skills of each other and not the culture they hail from.

Work together with other countries

Now, we’ve spoken of gamers playing games together from all over the world regardless of their cultures but we also wanted to point out something pretty missed by most. Games aren’t always from one countries development team and quite often are joint works. Don’t believe us? Well folks, sit down and be prepared for an eye-opening statement. We’re about to show you some examples of games made by multiple studios across the world.

Many gamers have played the well-known Assassin’s Creed series—the most recent being Assassin’s Creed: Origins—but did you know that many of the games from this well-known franchise are created with multiple cultures working together in unison? As we mentioned, Assassin’s Creed: Origins was actually made by Ubisoft Montreal but relied on people from Egypt to share historical data for realism purposes and even had Ubisoft Kiev work to help with the PC version of Assassin’s Creed: Origins. Then you have JRPGs like Persona 5 which have teams from Japan working alongside English based teams to make sure localization is even possible. Needless to say, game developers don’t care about the cultures stereotypes because they erase them and just work together with other nations and groups to produce quality video games for people all over the world to enjoy. That right there proves that gaming can erase cultural stereotypes on a business level thanks to the power of video games as a whole.


Final Thoughts

Video games have been around for decades now and people forget the power they bring with them. Sure, video games are forms of entertainment and can consume hundreds of hours of our lives while playing to beat the next dungeon or level grind, but they are so much more than that. Games can show the world to a gamer in a way no other medium can and by doing so it can change the lives of the gamer as they explore lands they are unfamiliar with. By accomplishing this, the stereotypes we see of the world become a moot point as we then learn the reality behind some of the cultures we thought we knew all about. With all that being said though, this is just our opinion here at Honey’s Anime and we’re certain many of you out there have different thoughts or wish to agree with us. Comment down below to let us hear what you’re thinking—please be respectful though as we were in our article—and if you loved this article be sure to stick around to our beautiful diverse hive here at Honey’s Anime.

Aaron

Writer

Author: Aaron

Hey everyone I’m Aaron Curbelo or Blade as I’m called by my YouTube Subscribers. I’ve been an anime/manga fan since I was a young kid. In terms of anime I have watched nearly a thousand shows and have read hundreds of manga series. I love writing and honestly was so happy to join Honey’s Anime to get a shot to write articles for such a wonderful site. I’m a firm believer in respect in the anime community being the most important embodiment we should all have. We all love anime and we have varying opinions of series but we should respect one another for those differences! Life is too precious to spend it making needless arguments in a community that should be the shining example of loving an amazing medium. I hope as a writer for Honey’s Anime I can bring you folks some amazing articles to read and enjoy!

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