It should come as no surprise that gaming as a hobby has expanded considerably over the last few decades. Not only has gaming been able to receive more of a public platform with the advent of eSports, but people have also been able to earn a living designing, reviewing, and even just playing games regularly.
Aside from that, it remains a perfectly fine hobby. Whether you're up to date on the latest triple-A titles or just want a casual farming session, those of us who grew up with games continue enjoying them to this day.
Despite this, folks still seem to think that it's fun to bully folks for playing video games as if they were still trying to earn cred in middle school. Just as we gamers have grown up and accepted games as part of our lives, the same folks who had a misconception of games as being only for children have allowed that perception to grow with them.
Unfortunately, Mary Elizabeth Kelly on TikTok received the brunt of that when she, a female adult gamer, was bullied by another woman for her hobbies.
This adult female gamer was bullied by another woman just for enjoying video games.
In late December 2023, Mary (@mare_kell) shared a story on TikTok in which she got some harsh side eye from another woman for her hobbies. She recounted the time when she was at a party and was meeting someone for the first time.
At the time, Mary was asked about what shows she was currently watching. Honestly, that'd be a perfectly respectable question for someone to ask a new person.
Mary answered that she hadn't been watching too many shows. Instead, she spends most of her free time playing video games.
She told the woman, "I'm playing Tears of The Kingdom right now!"
As Mary recalls, the other woman straight up asked "How old are you?" as if her age had any factor in the idea that she plays video games.
"I was like 'how old are you [for] bullying someone, being judgemental, making fun of someone [for playing video games]?"
Needless to say, Mary was pretty outraged after the fact.
"We need to remove the stigma of adult women playing video games," Mary proclaimed in her video. "I'm not doom-scrolling, I'm not binge-watching a show mindlessly. I'm out here making cool outfits and doing puzzles and using my brain."
To say that Mary has a point would be a huge understatement. Clearly, the other woman had grown up with the idea that video games were meant exclusively for children and decided not to grow out of that. What's more, she even felt the need to shame Mary on the spot just because Mary had a better grasp on enjoying things that make her happy.
Fellow gamers in the comments were all too supportive of Mary in her mini-rant.
One 67-year-old gamer proudly stated, "Waiting for Fable 4 and The Haunted Chocolatier and [the] next Dragon Age."
Another person commented, "Can't believe people will bash gaming as a waste of time while simultaneously spending 10 hours sitting on the couch watching TV."
Look, gamers who identify as anything other than male have it hard enough as it is. To this day, they're subject to harassment, abuse, and unnecessary gatekeeping from people in their own community. The last thing they need is for random strangers to completely balk at the idea that an adult happens to enjoy video games.
In this interaction, the only person who needs to grow up is the woman who decided to act like a bully because of someone else's hobbies.