There’s been a rash of stupidity in the gaming field lately. I guess I’d be remiss if I didn’t weigh in on it in some way, especially when we agreed to avoid talking about it in last week’s podcast. When I answered the questionnaire from “Cannot be Tamed” I glossed over the question about whether or not I considered myself a gamer. It’s time to expand on it a bit.
Short answer: Yes.
Long answer: Yes, but that doesn’t say anything useful about me.
Words Have Meanings
I’m an incredibly literal person. To me, the word “gamer” denotes “someone who plays games regularly”, kind of like biker, or moviegoer. Given the giant segment of the population that it applies to now, I’d say that attempting to apply any qualities to this label is a lost cause. I suspect that as my generation grows older, this segment will continue to grow. I’m sure that almost any descriptor you can think of, you can find a “gamer” that it would apply to. As of late, this includes assholes, nice people, women, men, students, people who play MMOs 12 hours a day, and people who play Candy Crush on their way to work. “Gamer” isn’t meaningless, but its value as a label is questionable.
With that out of the way, it’s completely stupid some of the things people have been doing in the name of this label. Regardless of what your personal opinions may be, it’s never okay to embark on a campaign of harassment against someone who doesn’t share your opinions.
I don’t always agree with the things he says, but I’m with Jim sterling on this one. Even ignoring that you should be a decent human being to other people, it’s not a bad thing for the medium if games are made to appeal to a larger audience than “18-25 year old white male”. The industry’s treatment of women and minorities is usually pretty terrible, and AAA games will probably have to get over that to appeal to a wider audience. This is really irrelevant to the issue, though.
I guess I’m annoyed that a thing I like is now associated with terrible behavior. It’s really not the first time, but it’s not going to stop me. “Gamer” covers half of the people in this country, and I know they aren’t all dicks. I’ll be over here playing games like usual. Destiny’s out in a few days, after all.
P.S. Have I mentioned that attaching “-gate” to things is supremely stupid? Watergate got that name from the actual name of the location it took place. Not everything needs to be “something-gate”.
P.P.S. If someone wants to place me in the SJW camp for this post, can I please be a druid? Warriors are so boring.