There's a documentary out there on MMO gaming called Second Skin.
As it so happens, one of the producers, the Peter Brauer being interviewed here, is a guy I went to high school with. Facebook brought us back in touch and revealed this common interest.
One of the things Peter said in the interview actually really resonated with me:
As for personal reactions, we have encountered just about every response. Gamers have approached us to thank us for portraying them so honestly. Other gamers have railed against us for showing too much addictive play. Parents of gamers have thanked me profusely for helping them understand their children. The diversity of responses to our film is one of the things I am proudest of.
This is kind of what happens any time any serious discussion about gaming shows up: some people shout "just a hobby," others shout, "waste of time," then you start hearing "addiction" and "violence" and "art" and it gets really messy.
But it's consistently amazing to me how deep and how visceral the opinions go. How does this one choice of hobby end up creating a whole world of people and "other?" Parents have been complaining about their kids' taste in music and fashion since the invention of recording and of clothes, respectively, but this "I don't live in their world" thing is such a disconnect...
Just more various musing about the nature of "the gamer."