5 reasons it's still not cool to admit you're a gamer.

2010-06-08 14:25:25 by sirjeffofshort

I found an article entitled "5 reasons it's still not cool to admit you're a gamer." I went into it expecting some mild chuckles followed by my saying 'well that's not entirely true...' However I was surprised to find an extremely well stated article on the current pitfalls of the gaming industry and subculture. Written by an avid "gamer" it is (in my oppinion) the perfect perspective for such a thing.

The full article is here... http://www.cracked.com/article_18571_5 -reasons-its-still-not-cool-to-admit-y oure-gamer.html however for those of you who don't feel like reading the full two pages (although I would suggest it, it's pretty good.) I'll sum it up real quick...

5: We can't escape the lonely virgin stereotype - Even though pretty much everyone plays games now there is still the lonely loser stereotype we have to put up with in the media, down to the point where there is a site where you play to game with women. This isn't really helped out by our actions as gamers and our interactions with the opposite sex, especially in our preferred medium, the realm of online games (which are often shrouded with shouts of "tits or gtfo" and other such demeaning slander)

4: The Industry Thinks We're All 17-Year-Old Douchebags - Basically the objectification of women argument, the fact that "Mature" in the industry basically means male fantasy superviolence or over hyped sex... not extactly the most "Mature" things to the rest of the world.

3: Video Game Storytelling is Still at the Level of B Movies - Yes there are games out there that have amazing stories and push the genre, however the most popular and abundant titles are themes and ideas that in other mediums would be considered "guilty pleasures" at best. Characters continue to be stereotypes and plots continue to be thin to non-existent, not very huge strides in storytelling for a medium that has been around for about 40 years.

2: We're Still Obsessed by Shiny Gadgets - When the film industry started out it was all about the 'holy shit I'm watching a movie!' spectacle, but it very quickly evolved into a much more in depth medium for storytelling and conveying ideas. Videogames don't have the same staying power as movies (people still pay money to see movies that were made 40 years ago, would anyone here pay money to play pong?) We are more obsessed with pixel counts, polygons and high def specs than with the things that make entertainment timeless (story and themes). The things that excite us most are still technologial novelties (motion control, updated graphics and 3D), and if something doesn't live up to current standards we as a community can throw a fit like no other, leading into...

1: We Have Some Serious Entitlement Issues - This part lightly touches on the piracty issue and the fact tha millions of us seem to think we are entitled to something people spent thousands of manhours on for cheap or free, but it focuses more on our ability to throw a serious tantrum when we don't like or disagree with something rather than talk about it in a mature manor.

So that's pretty much it. I honestly found the article somewhat enlightening in the sense that it put into words some concerns and thoughts I'd had for some time. I can't say I agree with everything as it applies to me (or really much of it) but the truth is that as a group, these things do seem to define us "gamers" to the rest of the world.

Basically I want to know your thoughts on the idea. Do you think we as gamers have a long way to go before we are taken seriously by the larger demographics? I'm not so much interested in knowing what games or actions people think rebutt the issues stated, or why they don't apply to you. I'm more interested in hearing thoughts about why as a populace we (gamers) are viewed as we are and what (if anything) could be done to improve our station in the world.


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2010-06-08 14:56:04

Yes! Cracked is amazing. Great site.


2010-06-08 15:02:39

I'm getting pretty tired of "gamers" or "people who play videogames" taking so much pride in what they do. You're all playing this canned experience, that was carefully crafted and tested over and over again to elict some kind of favorable response.


sirjeffofshort responds:

Haha, well put, although that wasn't really the point of the article. It's more about how the world views people that avidly play videogames rather than how they view themselves.

I do agree with your analysis of the video game experience, although as over the years I have found myself enjoying fewer and fewer games I began to wonder if the industry itself could evolve much as other industries have to deliver a multimedia experience that will not only stand the test of time (games get out dated and dropped so much more quickly than any other medium) but leave me with a feeling that I've taken something from the experience rather than accumulated points or awards.

It's not so much a question of pride in the subculture of 'gaming' (I actually find myself at odds with the 'gaming' community as I'm not much of a fan of overly shooty titles like halo or gears, or open world errand games like gta or red dead) as it is just wondering if videogames as a medium will ever be more than "a canned experience."


2010-06-08 15:11:52

Yeah, I read that article too. The word "gamer" annoys me.
Like "Hello gamers!" = "Hello Twilight fans!". Why gamers? Are people who watch movies for fun "moviers"? or people who read bookiers? Oh, yeah, and we (people who play videogames for fun) are stereotypically imature due to the "Tits or GTFO" thing.

sirjeffofshort responds:

Yeah, I'm not often to be found using the title "gamer", although as it's in the title of the article I kinda slipped into it haha, but again whether or not we (as people who play videogames for fun) want to be, many parts of society do see us in those terms.

The real question is does it become our responsibility as a people to say we are more than that and demand better, or the responsibility of the industry to say we are a legitimate form or expressive media, take us seriously? Or is it both?

In the end I know it's all just games, not a social revolution, and it's better not to take it too seriously, but it's still a question that I think is fun to debate.


2010-06-08 16:09:14

but there is still glimpses of hope. I think Valve is a great model, half-life has a story i'd rank higher than B-movies and the openness of the company to user creations. They picked up the whole Portal staff from Full Sail and TF2 has a great user community.
but then theres the whole split between the people interested in creating their own content and more casual players who just want someone else's work product. while games like Little Big Planet make for simpler user creations aren't most of them just replicas of other games?
its all very similar to the music industry. gamers are just like angry indie kids who get mad when a band they like release a bad album or sellout. the entitlement issue is justified to some extent. you expect to pay for a product made by professionals to be good and challenge the norm and its frustrating to not always get that. i guess thats the industry's fault and we should all just wait patiently for Battle Block Theater

sirjeffofshort responds:

Yeah, I think there is no dispute that there are definitely games and companies out there that break the mold of traditional 'gaming' as it is seen.

Points well made on all fronts. Thanks for the input.


2010-06-08 18:03:32

Meh, there's a couple oddities about this one. Reading through it, I found myself wondering if the author had mistaken 'gramers' for 'gamers'. And while it'd take a small bit of effort to differentiate between the two, I found myself chuckling at the virgin stereotype, turning my head a good 90 degrees to look at my brother and his wife, both avid gamers and one of them expecting. (I'll give y'all a hint, it's not my brother. No, seriously, I had someone ask that.)

This article strikes some truth, but as I mentioned before, failed to acknowledge that this pertains to 'those' gamers. The 'fad' ones. Funny enough, the 'fad' gamers (the reason why we're still considered to be societal freaks) ARE indeed the less mature, probably teenish (or as YouTube shows, sometimes 'tween'ish) virgins that love big explosions, hearty graphics, While I try not to stereotype any one group of people, c'mon: Try going onto X-box live as anything but a 17-year old white heterosexual and see how 'pleasant' everyone is.

Meanwhile, the gamers who have been into this for years (aka actual gamers) are stuck being herded into the same group as these people. So, even if we can prove we fit in society, can hold a job, can support a family, and lead a decent, meaningful life, we can always count on some 15 year old douche to get caught swearing out someone over Live and having his actions posted on YouTube. And the cycle begins aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaall over again.

This is why I take painful strides to make sure should I ever state I'm a gamer, I specify the difference between 'gamer' and 'gramer'.

Not only that, but why should I be ashamed of being a gamer? I like games. I play games. I have a job, support my immediate family, and am pretty much a normal guy.

Yeah, like I said, unfortunately I have to share the gamer title with, well, idiots, but that's how demographics go. It's like me saying it's not cool to say I'm Mexican due to the Frito Bandito. It's a ridiculous idea.

If normal people would stop treating the word 'gamer' like taboo and just admit that we all have guilty pleasures, the public eye would see that a lot of us 'gamers' aren't morons, but people with lives and meaningful stories... in addition to morons.

Every group has morons. This should not be news. And they should not be our poster boy, either.

sirjeffofshort responds:

Right, I don't agree with everything stated in the article either, but I do find the points to be interesting. I agree that the vast majority of 'gamers' are responsible hard working individuals and hopefully in the future we will be able to be seen as such.


2010-06-08 18:45:35

i think 'gamer' is a pretty pointless label

its almost like saying 'oh i'm a TV-er cos i watch tv'

sirjeffofshort responds:

Oh, I agree entirely, however like it or not the label is out there and is what is most often used to define regular consumers of video games as an entertainment medium. That, in a way, is the point. Videogames, unlike any other media outlet, has sectioned its consumers into a subgenre due to the overly prominent behavior of some people that belong to that group. People don't call anyone TV'ers because in this day the consumption of television is a social norm and has become so because it provides content for everyone and there is a broad enough range of views that nobody in particular stands out as a consumer of television. The problem is that through both the narrow scope of (most) of the game industry, and the actions of many of the more vocal consumers, people who consume videogames have been thrown into this subgenre, complete with stereotypes, by the rest of society.

Don't get me wrong I'm not trying to be a staunch advocate of anything one way or another. Just trying to open the forum for debate on the subject.


2010-06-08 19:12:21

I fuckin hate the word "gamer", and people who say it.

Actually I've never met anyone who says it, I've only read it on the internet.

sirjeffofshort responds:

haha, I agree. Rather than repeat myself a whole bunch I'll refer you to my above response.

It's actually kinda funny, a while back I decided to foray into online multiplayer through Left for Dead and for the first time I started hearing people use idiotic terms that I thought only existed in internet lingo... I had to stop playing.


2010-06-08 20:20:58

They should also make an article for "5 reasons it IS cool to admit you're a gamer".


2010-06-08 20:21:26

I've never felt there was anything wrong with the word "gamer." I just think of it as another word, in this case, a word that describes someone who enjoys playing video games. It's not like it's a racist term, so why are people suddenly uptight about it?

sirjeffofshort responds:

I just hink people dislike being lumped into groups and labeled in general, not to say that one can blame them.


2010-06-08 20:28:04

A simple summary is thus: most people still think that the only people who play video games are male teen virgins living in their moms basement.

The market for video games has exploded recently, and many different generations are now playing all sorts of things. Thing is, no one really knows, because it doesn't make headlines (other than in publications that most people don't read). My father, for example, loves playing first-person shooters. Thing is, the industry doesn't really get it. Nintendo markets to casual gamers, which includes kids and adults, so that's kind of nice, but everyone else markets to male teen virgins living in their mom's basement.

And there are a lot of games that amazing musical scores besting blockbuster movies, and storylines that should match classical literature, but no one sees that, because it doesn't make headlines.

As for the "entitement" and "piracy" issues, that claim I've never been able to understand. People listen to music for FREE all the time on the radio and have been doing so for decades. People have been watching TV for FREE for decades as well (at least in the US - this is charged in other countries). But when people want to enjoy some other kind of media for free, all of a sudden, people cry out "entitlement!" Also, people have been taping music off the radio, and bootlegging live concerts and movies for decades. All of a sudden, when some people do the same for video games, people cry out "piracy!" It's always easy to blame the new generation for the problems created by the old.

Really, it's nothing to do with actual gamers. It really never did. It's old people getting used to new culture. Remember when Rock&Roll was new? Or Jazz before that? It's just a matter of time before it becomes the norm and people stop caring so damn much what other people do in their spare time.

One last thing: some people play games for a living, and they are revered and are often made quite wealthy from that profession. We sometimes call these people "athletes". They aren't playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, but a game is a game. Let's just call it like it is.


2010-06-08 22:00:34

I enjoy playing video games and don't mind being called a "gamer". What I do mind is the stereotypes that come with the label. The thing is there are differences among gamers, just like there are differences among people. That is what "non-gamers" seem to have a problem grasping. Since some of the "gamers" are like that, doesn't mean all of are.


2010-06-08 22:58:39

I have to stand from time to time something like "Are you playin the little martians?" from people mostly older than 35, kind of thinking I still play galaga or pac-man. It's just a matter of time, honestly most of the guys under 30 I know (close friends, buddies and random strangers) play videogames and we can keep a job, get laid, drive a car without going all "Carmaggeddon" and everyone around us can notice that, it's just the media trying to make fun of it.

Don't you had a laugh at the N64 kid too? Sometimes I think we are the ones overreacting, only the old-timers, ignorant and idiotic people have that extremist idea of our whole "society". I mean, everyone has a relative who plays videogames and is perfectly normal, we shouldn't fall into that paranoia. If a bitch don't wanna go out with you because you play some videogames, seriously, try looking for someone with a brain.


2010-06-08 23:36:14

the points are moot, as they don't pertain to just"gamers" but to all forms of entertainment.

The article is just another attempt as retarding the process of homogenizing gaming as simply a form of entertainment.

more than likely that article was written by a non "gamer" with no idea on the concept, here you are basically a "nongamer" repeating the same such article.

only a real "gamer" would know this article is Bullshit and gaming is simply another medium to tell a story.


2010-06-09 01:31:11

Is that like Monopoly?
play that from time to time when my nieces come to visit, does that make me a gamer?
The word gamer for people playing video games alone doesn't make much sense, does it?

About the rest of the article I think there should be a difference between gamers and people who play video games.

(obsessive) gamer= the basement geek
person who plays video games = ...what do you think?

When the word gamer is used almost everyone means the first group of asocial dimwits...


2010-06-09 03:58:10

Ooof, I can't stand it when people semi-sarcastically sum something up to make it seem stupid. Anybody can do it, it's not really clever.

"Different space soldier guns down many, many aliens"

It's just something that bugs me. People do it to insult anything they want to.

"Oh I get it, it's funny because X happened"
"Atheism, nothing exploded and became everything, makes perfect sense"

Not that I think Halo or Gears of War have great stories or anything, I just really hate that tactic. It's one step higher from mimicking what somebody just said, only in a nasally high pitched voice.


2010-06-09 07:57:13

gamer here
5. im not a playboy but i still get my sex at least weekly without paying for it or helping myself
4.age 17 was quite a while ago...
3.who cares about stories in video games?! xD
2.my pc is not good enough for shiny gadgets so idc bout that
1.i only play games if i dont have anything better to do. which is about 8 hours a day xD



2010-06-09 08:21:11

Hey bra, let's go play some vidgames down at the holo-cade.

I dunno. I skipped around the article and each excerpt I read managed to push my "I don't really fucking care" button. Or maybe that's just the fact that it's 5 in the morning. This whole "gamer" concept and its bombastic bride, the "gamer girl" have always kind of nauseated me.

Maybe it's because everyone has a different idea of what a gamer is and my tiny brain becomes frustrated and confused as a result.