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The Filipino media’s hate for gaming, and why that’s wrong

The Filipino media’s hate for gaming, and why that’s wrong

| March 10, 2014

How do I begin to tell you how frustrated, sad, and angered I become when I see crime, murder, and violence being attributed to gaming? It’s frustrating, because there are gamers who don’t realize that a game is not enough reason to commit a crime let alone take a life. It’s saddening, because the damage has been done and lives are either ruined or taken because of something so trivial. And finally, it’s frustrating, because people always choose to blame everything on gaming.

Philippine media thinks negatively of gaming

In the Philippines, mainstream media often attribute violence and crime to games. It has not been a month since a 16-year-old allegedly killed an 11-year old over Dota when it was reported that a 17-year-old allegedly killed his grandmother over the same game. There’s even a video report on Dota addiction and betting games.


In spite of the objectivity and lack of bias that supposedly exists in journalism, none of the big media channels in the Philippines reported that team Mineski competed as the sole Philippine representative in The International 2011 for a $1,000,000 cash prize. Neither did they think it was a big deal when 13-year-old Alexandre ‘AK’ Laverez placed third at an international Tekken championship.

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The mainstream media seem to favor reporting only negative gaming news, and I fail to understand why. Is it because in the Philippines, this is how the general public perceives gamers and gaming? What are the consequences of telling the masses that there are positive sides to playing games, such as learning to work in teams, self-discipline, eye-hand coordination, and problem-solving skills?

The impression of gaming as built by gamers

In the Philippines, there are beliefs that video games make you stupid or dull; that it teaches people to be violent; or that it is the demon’s tool to make other people feel bad.
Do the reasons sound ridiculous to you? Well, defending gaming would be easier if gamers would be responsible enough to prove these beliefs otherwise.

Many Filipino gamers get so addicted to games that they don’t finish college. Some spend so much on betting games that they end up selling their gadgets and jewelry to fund their addictions. There are gamers who would rather stay home and play games instead of going to school or helping around the house.

Also Read: The Facebook video of a kid trash talking is not okay

Some become secluded and slowly draw themselves away from other people. What’s worse is that some people use their problems to justify their bad gaming habits. Some use the good old excuse that “nobody understands”, that their significant other broke up with them, or that ‘life is boring’.

What some Filipino gamers don’t understand (and sometimes don’t choose to understand) is that gaming is just like any other activity that needs to be treated in moderation. There is a fine line that turns a hobby into a vice. Unfortunately this is a line that many people cross.

They fail to understand that if the media doesn’t have any opportunities to report about negative gaming, they won’t be doing so any more.

Taking the easy way out


But that can only happen if people start to look at why others get addicted to gaming, and how to deal with it. When looking at gamers, most people fail to actually focus on their mental, social, or emotional root cause that is causing him or her to turn to gaming for solace. On other occasions, some people believe that it is better to not talk about it, perhaps because it’s easier that way.

This is all wrong.

Gaming is yet another form of leisure and entertainment. We bet on gaming the same way we bet on basketball games, and there is violence in it like there is violence in the movies. We yell at the screen during The International much like how others yell during the NBA grand finals. We get pissed when we get disturbed in the middle of the game the same way you get pissed when you’re in the middle of reading an interesting book. We get carried away with playing for hours much like how you tell yourself you’re just going to watch just one more episode of whatever series you’ve just downloaded.


As a student, I had gaming blamed for many things that went wrong in my life. No one stopped to wonder if I had turned to games for solace because I had been pressured into taking a college course I did not want, or because my parents were in the midst of separating from each other. They simply blamed the games. And that was just me deciding to stop schooling for a year to shift to a new course.

And yet despite football hooliganism, murders inspired by a TV series, and the so called My Way killings, no one has chosen to blame and ban sports, television, or songs for this. A book, a character, a TV show, or a game may be the trigger behind actions ranging from lashing out to murder, but it definitely isn’t the sole reason. But Philippine media choose not to see this.

The negative perception that local media has over gaming is not something that we can control, or change immediately. But if we reflect on ourselves as gamers, and on our own actions, it’s possible that we can change things for the long term.

It’s only when we stop skipping school, stop pawning gadgets and jewelry for more time on gambling sites, stop leaving immature comments on blog posts and stop being overly-sensitive to well-meaning constructive criticism from our friends and family that the media will finally stop looking at gamers as if they are a plague.

Philippine media might be wrong in their impression of us, but we’re no saints, either.

(Image source)

  • Jie Nics

    dota pa

  • John Arlou Palomo
  • Phil Seiji Soldivillo

    this is really irritating that every media blames games as soul purpose of being violent. I’m a gamer, but i only play, that has the story, i only play online games, if i have time and i don’t really “rage out” out of nothing. Some games may have content that is not good for young players, but it is also the responsibility of the parents give them a game that is appropriate for them to play.

  • Heart Gico

    video games dont make us violent, lag does

    • Francis Cerio

      true :)

  • Vince Abas

    it’s because lots of pinoy dota players that are playing in cafes aren’t responsible gamers

  • Winlour Mon Enrile Ombao

    DOTA boys huh ^_^…

  • Aaron Cyril Nuisa

    I hear you Phil Seiji Soldivillo!
    My family always getting angry at me and blaming the games but they don’t know what they’re doing to me

  • Kitriley Sagusay

    have fun while you are still young.. enjoy playing games

  • Ängëlø Ḿèljớrƺy Båtån Šåntøš

    oo nga gaming is not crime

  • Ängëlø Ḿèljớrƺy Båtån Šåntøš

    lalong lalo na sa DOTA

  • Matt Brix

    Games are not for weak minded people.

    • Mikashita

      Japanese>embraces gamers> successful
      Korean>embraces gamers> successful
      America>embraces gamers> successful
      Philippines> thinks gamers are a treat>?

      • Kyleopard

        in japan korea and china, gamers are more popular than artist

        in philippines people discriminate gamers

  • JoLo Nataño

    vgames teach multi tasking, strategic analysis, and vocabulary

  • Jayson Wan

    Probably written by sore losers who still can’t clear Super Mario on stage 1-1.

  • Chester Zapanta

    Sad truth. The only time I got exposed to games was when I was already earning my own money. Heck my first playstation was even given to me by a friend! It’s coz my folks thought that playing computer games were
    making me dull. I mean. Seriously? Computer games taught me english better than any english teacher ever did in my life! LoL

  • Ram XD

    isa lng mamsasabi ko sa media ‘ VERY STUPID…..’ e2 sila ,,i,,

  • Gouken Gassenarl

    Sayang, nakalimutan ko yung source.

  • Glenn Monjardin

    bawal na pla maging masaya? ganun?

  • Jaret

    Us Filipinos have the tendency not to take the responsibility for things. It’s not like the media hates gaming, it’s just our culture really. Most parents/adults will view games as just games and are for young people only. Most people will try to downplay anything that isn’t in their personal norm and will be quick to judge and talk smack about anything without really understanding it. There’s a whole damn lot of things us Filipinos need to get educated about but only a few can actually see or admit those things.

  • Jaret Nikolai

    Mentality kelangan baguhin sa society natin para di mangyari yung ganito. Kung mababago lang pagiisip, paguugali, at pakikitungo sa ibang tao ng karamihan ng Pinoy, andaming bagay maiiwasan katulad ng ganito.

  • thefanboyseo

    The same thing with comics before. Parents thought that this and video games will ‘rot the youth’s mind’. Pssssh. Great article

  • Vincent Borras


  • Alex Xander

    Os paoyyo :)

  • John Danielle Erero Gan

    anu bang masama kung ganyan kame ? ayan nanaman ung epal na mga media buti nga iwas sa bisyo yan lang bisyo namen eh -_-

  • Rommel Sakdalan

    It’s the whole stereotype that’s being downplayed by the media that gives Gamers a bad rap. Even though conducted by a ‘Certain’ local Famous New Documentary Show that is Hosted by International Award-winning News Journalist— The Documentary they did is One-Sided and clearly Biased, they only took in their Perspective of the Gaming Industry, and Never Even Considered to consult/talk with real people. A Lot of Gamers are in the Working-class Category with Actual Jobs and are Responsible. They only look to what they can only see and find easily by their ‘Suppose’ Professional and Intelligent group of Researchers— kids that are nine yrs old to teeanagers in High School. And who is to blame for kids wasting their time not doing their Studies— Parents that don’t monitor their kids and leave them be. I used to work for a Internet Cafe that my fiend was running, often we get mothers that simply pay for like 3-6hours worth of net/pc rental and dump their six-to-nine yr old and go to whatever-Beauty shop/Mahjong session/or whatever. as if we are a day care center. Most, but Not All Net Cafe Owners are to blame as well, They don’t really care if he kid is suppose to be at all— they only care is the money they pay them. And some of these Cheap internet Cafes are being left by the owner to be handled by the House Maid. Then Again this Same News Doc’t Show Stereotype ‘Anime’, ‘Comics’, and All other forms of Entertainment or Pop Culture that it deems as Malicious and the Blame for today’s problems with kids— although the root care, and no adult/parent would admit, is the lack of understanding and the willing to accept the diff of their generation to the next generation, Purely Basing on Pre-conceived standards of what is socially-acceptable without ever thinking about it— coz it is Convenient.

  • Corrales Ivan

    Di nila tayo kilala that’s why they are judging us like that. We live as gamer wala tayong ginagawang masama. Nag sasaya lang tayo.

  • Mark Andrew Valderrama Gerona

    thats right dude ! tara 5v5 hahaha

  • JheJhebz Ferrera


  • Janjan Tae

    no LOL

  • Jerome Vergara Luansing


  • Nosaj Jason

    old school

  • Ace Atanacio

    wala eh ayaw ng magulang eh

  • Dexter Ancheta

    Hi Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho (One at Heart, Jessica Soho) and Rated K staff.

    • Ish Adolfo

      hi, dex :))

  • watchfreelivetv

    playing is good when u managed ur time properly

  • Ish Adolfo

    Re: I’m a breadwinner, gaming is my passion, and i consider eSports as my life.
    and because of gaming, i met a lot of people and these people became my friends. and i learned a lot of GOOD things from it (gaming) that i can apply in life. and you don’t want me to start pointing it out because it’ll take a decade.

  • Ejan

    I’m a programmer, college grad and I help my family all the time.
    Games doesn’t ruined my life.
    But I can absolutely say I’m a GAMER. I play games daily.. about 2-5 hrs /day..

    I can’t blame the media of what they think about the gaming/gamers here in the Philippines, but I can blame the childish adults/teenagers attitudes of the gamers here.
    Not only adults/teens even a 12 yr old or below gamers are very violent and bad mouthed persons..

    Yeah it’s fun to trash talk sometimes but it’s really annoying for others.
    They have to be sensitive when playing outside or in public places.

    If we Filipino Gamers wanted to change the perceptive of the community about the gaming industry, we must first change our attitudes. Show to other people that we are responsible enough to study/work and play games at the same time.(read between the lines please)

    • Nyomaki

      In short, most pinoys are basically noobs (sorry for the word).

      • axelq123

        they are noobs and big idiots who ruin SEA server they cant be responsible and keep ruining gaming reputation btw i blame the parents for not providing their children internet access and a laptop instead of wasting so much money on internet cafe

  • Stutter Gaming

    i don’t care if my comment is one sided!!


  • Proud Aperture Science test subject

    I’ve played Portal and Portal 2. Both are video games. Puzzle video games. Those two video games contributed to my analysis skills and cognitive abilities. Those two are already excellent counter-examples to the wrong perception of gaming here in this country.

    • Nyomaki

      The cake is a lie!!!

  • Xiee

    The media is doing a “FOX NEWS” on gaming. Kudos to those who get this.

  • TheALVINtaker

    This coming from a gamer:

    You nailed it, and you nailed it hard.

  • nico

    It’s not just gaming, the Philippine media in general only likes reporting all the negative stuff because that’s what they think pulls in the viewers. In our journalism class, it is a known fact that “bad news is good news.”

  • meh

    nico made a valid point on how journalism prefers stories that breed negativity. it’s what captures the reader’s attention. it’s easy to blame the psychotic rage of the DOTA player on one value – dota, BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT THE MEDIA ALREADY NAMED HIM. A DOTA player. If they omitted that description to “11-year old kills grandma”, it doesn’t make the news worthy enough to spark buzz.. but one must also take into account how often such a news happens?? i have a feeling it gets blown out of proportion simply because it doesn’t happen often enough to make it sound like a norm..

    another thought. i consider myself one of the fortunate ones to have parents who understood my being a gamer. and i played everyday, even on school days and it was really a great way to escape the realities of life (parents separating, constantly compared to siblings who excelled at everything, financial issues among others). they understood the allure of playing video games because they took the time to play it themselves..

    • axelq123

      in these age u either become a gamer(from a little to everyday)a pervert(from normal level to high horniness) and a geek. for parents. u might not want to make him become a pervert or it could ruin his social life and his mentallity u dont want him to become a geek or he would have no true friends (btw i classify gaming with watching tv,animes and those kind of categories). well it would be better to become a stable gamer that knows how to manage time or he is a natural genius. many people just want their kids to be ultra geeks because in philipines nothing famou come out there except the pinoy dota that annoys and ruins peoples lives so according to my theory this is the cause . pls reply if u have any objections. :D

  • rhysia

    You forget that bad news brings in more money and is somewhat more interesting to viewers. That is the sad thing about journalism. There’s more money in bad news

  • Rc Nikko

    It is true about the situation in gaming here in the Philippines. But the hated people by this stereotyping is not mostly the home grown gamer. Its those who often spent playing games in cafes. They bet money in playing games from a decade ago (i.e Dota), and some even do drugs, or smoke to keep themselves awake. Its quite easy to spot a false gamer here, when they blabber about games they always talk about online games (which have crappy physics), outdated games, but you will never hear any sort of appreciation in graphics. I mean, there are games out there with triple A graphics that are distributed for free.The gamers that the media hate is those people with shitty build PCs and low level people who feel big about themselves. Maybe to not steer any internal problem among those who play games frequently, they rather not publish any news about it so those aren’t appreciated wouldn’t strike back in real gamers which will possible end into cyber bullying and much more…
    //Well, possibility…

  • Silvre

    I think they should stop blaming the games for the persons action who’s playing the game. I mean do they even blame those soap operas on TV when their husband or wife starts an affair due to a lot of those dramas that has an affair plot recently? we all know that those things can create an influence within us but in the end, it all drops down to our actions and decisions. also, I want to point out how the media (GMA, ABSCBN, etc…) manipulate the masses with their broadcasting telling only what people needs to know and what they should know. now I removed the antenna on our TV and just plugs in the console instead of watching those piece of crap news that are already sugar coated. who needs them anyway, almost all have an access to the internet where we can make our own research to know the truth.

  • Ranko Kanzaki Gaming

    Dahil pala sa gaming, nakilala ko ang maraming kaibigan and funny momments kasama sila, and dahil dyan, natuto ako mag simpleng trouble shoot at gumawa ng simpleng applications dahil sa paglalaro

    instead ifocus sila dito, bakit hindi nila mafocus kung ano nangyayari sa pilipinas ngayon? ay oo nga pala maski isang magandang balita nga wala pa ako nanirig e

    Best Example?
    Networking, Pinipilit pati ang mga magagaling nating Government at media na Pyramiding scam ika but tell me, bakit nga ba ang mga bagong business nagiging sucessful.

    tama nga ang mga sabi ng mga millionaryo ngayon, puno ng mga negative feedbacks ang Balita sa pilipinas

  • Anon

    and gamers are a threat?
    how bout the alcoholics and smokers?
    there are more deaths from those than games

  • Anon

    For me as an Only child
    gaming was my gateway of killing time
    and for one I learned a lot more English and grammar than when I was still at grade school.

    Comparing myself and other gamers from my class now
    we have a bigger range of vocabulary and are easier to teach since we do know how to follow directions since back in the mid 90s the games always just give a few tutorials unlike today’s games

    all in all it still depends on the person and not all “Gamers”. Different people have different tendencies to get aggravated and become violent. Its not violent games that makes them violent, It’s their psychological personality that invokes them to become violent when disturbed or taunted

  • Toby

    Hi! I did a piece of gaming history in the Philippines which may interest you. The current attitude of Filipinos toward gaming stems from the Martial Law era. In the 80′s during the infancy of the industry in the Philippines, it was totally banned, outlawed and shelved on the same level as slot machines and other gambling devices. Eventually our elders carried on the same attitudes toward gaming despite the ban having been lifted.

    If you want to see my story on it, you can see it here:

  • Nyomaki

    I completely agree with this article, I am a proud gamer and I learn new things from all the different games that I play. For example: Yggdra Union, Fire Emblem, Gungnir, Riviera, Knights of the Nightmare and other strategy games has teached me how to plan my actions before doing and it also enhances my vocabulary (especially fire emblem and dept. Heaven episodes). Pinoy gamers lack disipline and respect. They don’t understand that games are made for us to be entertained and for us to have easier goals to accomplish (that is why most of the games have goals i.e. level, quests, ranks, achievements and score). It disturbs me that most pilipino gamers fail to move on to the future of gaming, there are tons of fun and addictive game than dota (or anything similar) tf2, raiderZ, borderlands, etc.

  • Ian

    Yeh damned media!I think the one who did the bad side report of gaming was a also a gamer with a standing of 100X rampage lose over win, earned trash talk and loses money.haha The media now is really bias since Apo Lakay’s absence.
    May be this is the better headline:
    *The 11 year old thief gets LAGUNA BLADE!
    *Teenager was DOOMED and RAMPAGE his grandmother.
    *Hot Topic:Earn Money in an Instant,”BETTER THAN VIDEO KARERA!”.
    If the reporter use this headline probably he’ll be the head of PH.E-SPORTS News.

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  • Ken

    Being a gamer, this offends me greatly. So smoking and drinking alcohol, things that actually harm you, are approved, and even advertised in mainstream media, are okay? But Video games, are wrong and should be abolished? I’ve heard the saying “It’s just a game, get over it” in my life a million times, yet the media fails to understand that. Can’t they just understand that these alleged “killings” aren’t of the games doings, but of the parents? I am a high school student who loves Pokemon, The Legend Of Zelda and the Grand Theft Auto series,I play the franchises all the time. but I have been an honor student for 5 years straight with a higher than average conduct grade. These filthbags should just leave us alone the way they do with drunkards and smokers.They never even try to look past the cursing teenage delinquents who call themselves gamers who only know the game DoTa and those bastards on gambling sites( mind you, they aren’t supposed to be considered gamers)

  • creeptastic

    What the Filipino gaming scene really lacks is a community that’s active at disseminating the fact that videogames can be good. Filipinos are entrenched in the thinking that videogames are time-wasters and can make you stupid. The local media also won’t make any money covering videogame conferences because who would watch that kind of news other than people who are into videogames? Hence little to no coverage about videogames unless it has something to do with a kid killing his playmate or grandma because he of his “addiction” to videogames. Videogames need to be a part of mainstream consciousness first and I think the best way to do that would be to start with communities made of, and for gamers. Sadly, Filipino gamers themselves are content to just watch while everyone else is ignoring the Filipino gaming scene. The media and society in the Philippines just don’t care about gaming and how it can be used as an artistic and transformational tool. Nakakainis isipin na mas nbibigyan pansin ang negative effects of videogames when these have been recognized to promote cognitive and social growth. Hai, gaming in the Philippines isn’t going anywhere. Parang we’re still stuck sa time ng FamiCom.

  • Berry Stark

    huh. where do i even start to comment. broadcast media in this country (PH) has always been one-sided. they only report good news when it suits the network and the advertisers, and always ALWAYS report about government corruption. why? because after all, who doesn’t love the drama? in this aspect, tele-novelas and tele-seryes are built. always the same drama night after night for 5 days a week, and there are even worse shows on the weekend to expose us to more depressing things.

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  • Kuya Martin

    Mahirap talagang i-impress ang media sa online gaming.
    Take a look on this example: Jessica Soho talked about DOTA :

    Pati mga teachers at parents, nagtulong tulong para pigilan ang mga batang manlalaro.

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