PETALING JAYA - Gamers have come out to defend their community, saying that there are also bad apples in other sports and activities.
While the common perception of gamers is that of a socially awkward and violent individual, many are calling for the public not to just focus on the bad aspects.
"Gamers aren't just dropout kids who spend their life in cyber cafes. Some are managers, engineers and doctors," said Jeffery Chan, 25, a manager for a professional League of Legends (a game similar to Defence of the Ancients) team, Kuala Lumpur Hunters.
Chan, whose team has represented Malaysia in various tournaments since 2012, said his players had to cultivate leadership, communication and teamwork skills to perform on the world stage.
"I don't disagree that gaming addiction is bad and it causes a lot of problems to society but rather than focus on the negative part of it, we should look into what it brings to the community and society as well," he said in response to The Star's report on the gaming obsession that has led to violence and other social problems.
Events manager Wan Muhammad Abdullah, 28, who specialises in ACG (anime, comics and games) functions, called on parents to instil positive habits in their children by using gaming as a platform to teach good communication.
"You can even create gaming tournaments for children and enforce positive social skills like sportsmanship during matches. A proper way to educate them is to tap into their interests," said Wan Muhammad.
The public, he pointed out, had a tendency to focus only on the negative aspects of gaming, forgetting that other interests like sports had their own bad apples.
"Gaming is not a crime. Everything can be turned into a nuisance due to lack of common sense or social skills," he said.
Entrepreneur and father of two, 33-year-old Razman Yusof Sarit, said he had no problems with his children playing games as it was a great educational tool.
"When I was small, I learned about world flags through football video games. Games like Minecraft have taken my daughter's creativity to a new level. However, everything needs to be in moderation," he said.
Pilot Muhammad Syakirin Sabirin, 33, said gaming had taught him problem-solving and multi-tasking skills, which are important for his career.
"There's a lot of multi-tasking involved in flying a plane and I believe gaming has helped me there.
"Pilots also have to take psychomotor tests, which examine your hand-eye coordination and motor skills. The test itself is basically like a video game," said Muhammad Syakirin.
Legal consultant Aaron Chan, 33, said people should not make blanket assumptions about gamers.
"There are all kinds of individual personalities in every community. Many games encourage fellow gamers to reflect on their ethical and moral compass.
"For example, the Fallout series often puts the gamer in hard ethical situations with non-player characters," said Aaron.