What to tell people when they think you’re just wasting time
How can “playing games” contribute to society? Almost everyone who has played video games has heard at least one person say that it’s a waste of time. Some say that it’s a bane of civilisation, that it dumbs down a generation, and even that it’s a social vice that should be banned.
Have you ever heard people say things like:
These ‘YouTubers’ just play video games. What use are they to society?
-Maybe your parents
What a waste of time. Streamers should go do something meaningful with their lives.
-Maybe your friends
Why don’t you grow up and get a real job?
-Maybe just some stranger on social media that really got on your nerves that one time
Now, I’m NOT saying that other career paths don’t have value, just that becoming a content creator or video game streamer has its own value. There is a large number of people out there who don’t understand the concept of ‘content creation’ and are unable to see the value in it – not just for the person doing it, like making money, but also in the bigger picture of the society, economy, and industry in general. Content creation is a big segment of Industry 4.0 and the rise of the Gig Economy, but it’s also one of the most misunderstood jobs out there. In this article, I’m going to share some of my thoughts and realisations I’ve discovered over the years so that the next time you’re confronted with a naysayer, you’ll have something to respond with that might change their minds.
1. It’s Good for the Economy
Here’s something that’s pretty big if you think about it. If you make videos online and people from all over the world watch it, you’re making money from all over the world. That means the money coming into your account isn’t only money you earned from within your own country but also money from outside, almost like tourism. It’s what can be called ‘new money’.
When someone in another country sees an advertisement or buys anything from you, that’s foreign money being converted into local currency, which when you spend it locally you’re boosting the businesses around you and injecting new money into the economy. Even if it’s just you going to buy some roadside hawker food with the money, it’s great for the local economy!
It basically has the same effect of a tourist coming from overseas to spend money and buy things, just without anyone actually travelling to your country.
2. Gives You Hours & Improves Your Happiness
Did you know that in Kuala Lumpur, the average Malaysian spends 53 minutes a day stuck in traffic jams? That’s 233 hours a year! (Source) Did you also know, adding just 20 minutes to your daily work commute can have serious negative effects when it comes to your job satisfaction, pay cuts, and overall happiness? (Source) When you work from home as a gaming content creator, you’re not part of the 9-to-5 daily migration of the workforce. That means you’re happier, you get to spend more time maintaining personal relationships, and it’s one less vehicle on the road twice a day and that actually frees up the strain on our struggling transportation systems. Instagram stars, Etsy creators, Soundcloud musicians, and of course YouTubers along with gaming streamers are staying off the roads at peak times and are at home using those hours for more important things.
Stay-at-home content creators are also not wasting money on tolls, car maintenance, and fuel that can have a massive effect on your budget if you’re going through a jam twice a day. Imagine spending those 233 hours on growing your side business, working on projects, learning a new skill, or spending time with family. Not to mention that fuel you’re saving is good for the environment.
3. You Can Spread Positive Messages
When you start out, no one is going to be listening to you. However, if you work seriously you’re going to get an audience. Hundreds if not thousands of people who will hear, read, and see the things you say, write, and do. There’s a reason why the word ‘influencer’ became a thing. Now, not every content creator considers themselves an ‘influencer’ but when you have an audience, you by default, have some effect on the people consuming your content. This gives you a platform to spread messages, ideas, and thoughts, which you can use for good.
Even when you play games, you can teach people to think critically. Maybe you can help people learn how to deal with social media hate and cyberbullying, which you would be getting all the time. Shouting out charities or positive businesses is a great thing to do. You can even encourage people to take a more positive approach to their struggles. Whether it’s one person or a thousand, you can have a massive positive effect on someone’s life.
Basically, It’s Good if you Make it Good
There are of course a lot of bad eggs out there. Content creators who promote ‘not so positive’ behaviour and attitudes, but there’s an infinite number of ways to be positive and successful. So if you’re thinking of becoming an online content creator, a YouTuber, a streamer, or anything of the sort and people say that it’s not only a waste of time but also that you’re not contributing to society or just wasting space, you now know that it’s way more than that. It’s a job like any other and it contributes to society in many ways if you try to do good things, so don’t let people who don’t understand the job convince you that you’re going to be a no good loser, because you aren’t and you won’t be.