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FEATURED VOXPOP oblivion437
I Don't Want to, but I Have To...
By oblivion437
Posted on 10/20/14
Well, Gamergate has spilled over into the mainstream media and the coverage appears to be nearly uniformly dreadful. Take " What is Gamergate, and What Does It Say About Gender In Video Games? " by David Konnow as an example.  It appears that the writer has done little to no...

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Damn...Damn...Damn...I think I might be a "Gamer"
Posted on Friday, August 2 2013 @ 08:38:20 Eastern

This member blog post was promoted to the GameRevolution homepage.

I was reading through some of the comments in the article Identity Crisis: What Makes Someone A “Gamer”, and I found the definition which resounded most with me was provided by Yossarian29:

I feel like when I strike up a conversation with someone ABOUT a game instead of just what HAPPENS in said game, I've found a gamer. Many people go the movies every week and could give a **** about any kind of quality or depth.
Like when I say "How was the brand new crazy looking movie you just went to?"
"It was o.k. ..............."
 
Now I didn't just meet a movie buff. A movie (or game) buff can talk about something at length without giving away plot points, could reference similar titles, are interested in the mechanics and execution, and, the most important, WANTS to have a dialogue about it. Parallels gamer or game enthusiast, connoisseur, addict, patron, critic...
 
Yossarian (“Yo”) only received 1 thumbs up, but if I could give you more, I would bud. What I like about your definition was that it reminds me of discussions I have with my cousin; both of us consider ourselves “Gamers” but relative to him I tend to actually follow more of the industry news. As we chatted today I inquired as to whether he would be getting Dragon’s Crown so we could play it together. We have somewhat similar taste in games, but we vary to an extent: I thoroughly enjoy the Devil May Cry series whereas he likes games like Quantum Conundrum but we have a lot of middle ground, such as Ratchet and Clank multiplayer, Resident Evil, Uncharted, Dead Island, etc…so before purchasing a preferred co-op game we tend to consult with each other regarding interest so we know if to buy early or wait for a bargain.
 
He had not heard of Dragon’s Crown and I was tasked with explaining what it is…which gets me back to Yo’s definition. I first said, “well it’s a bit like Champions of Norrath but cartoonier and a bit slicker…” (Note 1. First step was to consider games we have played together to give him an idea of what the game is like even if it is not really very much like that) (Note 2. Need to keep description somewhat short due to communication being in the form of text messages.) I thought about that message for a couple of minutes and then sent back, “no champions was 3d and this is 2.5d…so mix champions with Shank, add some RPG character classes, side scrolling, loot collection and old school quarter arcade game style ala Simpsons”. I concluded with, check out the review on GR when you get a chance. This brings me to a couple of different points:
  1. I think our conversation inadvertently speaks to Yo’s point about the reference of similar titles, mechanics and execution.
  2. I guess we are “Gamers” because we want to have a dialogue about it, but furthermore get frustrated when we can’t seem to find the best way to communicate what type of game we are experiencing to someone yet to experience it.
  3. Wanting to explain a game you haven’t played based on the review opinion of someone you don’t know and getting frustrated that you can’t quite put it into a neat box…may in my opinion lead you to be considered a gamer.
When I think of our past conversations regarding different games we always look to elements of previously played games to try to find that perfect description of what we are experiencing. I recall him asking me how was Sleeping Dogs, my response being, “It’s a cross between…True Crime, Shenmue, and GTA” *DING*!!! He knew he wanted it and in less than a sentence I was able to summarize what the experience was like for me and sold him on it…he purchased it, concurred on my opinion, and thoroughly enjoyed it. That was an easy one…now trying to explain Echochrome for me was difficult, possibly due to my lack of experience with puzzle games so I had very few points of reference other than, well it’s a puzzle game and you kind of turn the camera to…F*ck if I know.
 
I guess that is the nature of the “Gamer”. You can be a gamer with a wealth of knowledge in a specific niche while being at times abhorrently ignorant to other aspects of the industry and culture. From the posts in the Identity Crisis article it seemed that quite a few people had a negative perception of “Gamer” as a moniker. I couldn’t help but think…really…? I guess it is a bit relative when you consider all the other things people can call you but the quantity of responses to that article was pretty damn impressive and seemed to be an issue of contention. We could run off a list of derogatory terms but “Gamer” never once actually came to mind with regard to my list of those terms.
 
Hypothetically, if we were to have a general consensus to go with Yo’s definition, would the moniker “Gamer” still be considered that offensive? It seems like being offended by being considered someone who is knowledgeable about a specific form of entertainment and has a genuine interest in furthering that knowledge through experience and discourse isn’t that bad. It is interesting the things that are perceived offensive on the internet particularly when individuals are given a voice without personal disclosure. What I mean by that, is that if you were hanging with your friends (in person) and one of them called you a “Gamer”, would you really take offense? If you were walking down the street and someone yelled out the slur, “F*ing Gamer”, would you be more offended or puzzled?
 
I guess I am getting at two points: (1) I think after some thought I am just fine with being considered a “Gamer”; and (2) I am not sure the term should warrant offense at this time because in our offline lives seldom is the term used to mean something derogatory in lieu of more common derogatory terms. For me I find that people give words meaning. Words do not define the individual but if the shoe fits…you know how that goes. It’s profoundly amazing how much more power words and statements are given on the internet if only to spur more discourse and garner attention. The Identity Crisis article really made me want to conduct a case study on the perception of innocuous words on the internet.

The opinions expressed here does not necessarily reflect the views of Game Revolution, but we believe it's worthy of being featured on our site. This article has been lightly edited for grammar and image inclusion. He has provided links of his own in the article. You can find more Vox Pop articles here. ~Ed. Nick
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