The Negative Stereotypes of Online Gamers and Their Communication Consequences
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Stereotypes allow us to quickly process information and assign meaning. The perception process, leveling and sharpening, and labeling confirm our perceptions whether accurate or inaccurate. Socializing agents such as media perpetuate the stereotype of a video gamer as a teenage boy who sits in the dark alone playing his game all day long. However, despite high social consensus, this stereotype may no longer be accurate. Research is beginning to empirically demonstrate that video gamers no longer fit the social stereotype. Understanding how inaccurate stereotypes influence our interactions is critical because negative stereotypes of gamers may lead to prejudice and inhibit communication between gamers and other groups in our society. Keywords: stereotype; video gamer; self-fulfilling prophecy.