Posted by razzdrazz (65 posts) -

So, after visiting a different gaming site and being disgusted by its forums and the general lack of civility therein, I want to make an effort to understanding who gamers are and what the culture is. I'll ask you:

What do you think about 'gamer' culture? Do you identify as a gamer? What does that mean to you? How do you think non-gamers view you? What stereotypes have you been labeled as? Do you care? Why do you like playing games?

Generally, I do not identify as a gamer precisely because of the stigma that carries. However, I love video games because I think they can bring out the best of an individual: teamwork, leadership, strategic and critical reasoning, hope. Moreover, escapism can be a good thing for those in high-stress environments. But, what does everyone else think?

#1 Posted by Oscar__Explosion (2305 posts) -

What does that even mean?

Yeah.

It means I play video games

Some think it's childish or bad for my mental health (I suspect that it due to the bullshit that goes on the news)

I haven't personally had sterotypes labeled towards me.

Nope.

Because they are fun.

Online
#2 Posted by JasonR86 (9710 posts) -

I rolled my eyes when I read 'gamer culture' so I suppose I don't think highly of it.

Online
#3 Posted by McGhee (6094 posts) -

There is no lack of civility in "gamer culture." There is a lack of civility on the internet in general.

#4 Edited by NMC2008 (1237 posts) -

Is it as good as porno culture? I hate the way the word culture has been used lately so I don't care for the gamer culture label. I play video games, I have played games for 30 years and I still don't call myself a gamer as I don't like useless labels.

#5 Edited by CrunchyPickles (74 posts) -

Yeah you won't really find much civility on the Internet from any side of any argument.

As for the whole gamer culture thing, I think it's dumb. I guess I identify myself as a gamer because that's what everyone calls anyone who's even touched an iphone app these days. It means nothing to me, and I don't think anybody I know really cares about me playing video games since they're just another hobby. I've been called a neckbeard for playing mulitple MMOs, but being called mean things on the internet doesn't really faze me. I like playing games because they're just a fun hobby. I feel that's how most people should view them because placing too much value in the escapism they offer just leads down a bad road.

#6 Posted by dudeglove (7866 posts) -

It's only slightly less worse than "rape culture".

#7 Edited by CaLe (3988 posts) -

I don't look down on gamer culture like I do some other cultures. I mean, I enjoy anime but I wouldn't go out of my way to join an anime forum or anything because to me they are a bunch of weirdos. I'm also a weirdo, but not quite that level. I'm a gaming-forum-level-weirdo. You are, too -- don't deny it.

#8 Posted by LikeaSsur (1533 posts) -

What do you think about 'gamer' culture?

What's to think about it? It's the same as any subculture, the extremes are very vocal on the internet, so you say "Ugh, get out of my face," but then you meet actual people and say "Oh, these people aren't so bad."

Do you identify as a gamer? What does that mean to you?
I figure I do, seeing as it's my main hobby. It means I like video games, and when people say "What do you do in your free time?" One of the things I say is "video games." By not labelling yourself as such because of other people, you are actually letting people dictate who you are.
How do you think non-gamers view you? What stereotypes have you been labeled as? Do you care?
Again, probably like non-X view other people of X: I'm probably a lonely, out-of-shape, antisocial loser who has no friends. I may be murderous, depending on the news they watch. Again, though, this is because the extremely bad examples are louder than the middle of the road. No, I don't really care.
Why do you like playing games?
Because it's more entertaining and healthier than any other medium. TV and movies are good, but my brain is turning to mush while I'm watching that. Books have the positive social view on their side, but if I want to be told a story, I want to interact with it. Choices are good, but I'm in for being a part of it no matter what. Whether I'm deciding the fate of a galaxy or just helping Booker rescue Elizabeth, playing through a story does a lot more for me than just watching it unfold.
#9 Posted by davidwitten22 (1708 posts) -

I play games. If that makes me a "gamer", I'm a "gamer". But I am not part of some "gamer culture". I don't wear video game related shirts, I don't... what else is part of gamer culture?

#10 Posted by AlexanderSheen (5011 posts) -

@cale said:

I mean, I enjoy anime but I wouldn't go out of my way to join an anime forum or anything because to me they are a bunch of weirdos. I'm also a weirdo, but not quite that level. I'm a gaming-forum-level-weirdo. You are, too -- don't deny it.

I'm kind of in the same situation. The people who go "kawaii-desu" wherever they go just irk me. That's why this is the only place where I talk about anime with others, because the people here are reasonably normal.

As for the 'gamer' culture, I find this whole labeling thing stupid. The term 'gamer' covers a so wide variety of people that it barely makes any sense for me. For example: what does hardcore gamer mean exactly? Is the person who plays games all day is a hardcore gamer? Or the one who plays all the triple A titles? Or- *sigh* Fuck it.

#11 Posted by buwchbach (311 posts) -

I don't identify as a "gamer."

First of all, it's a ~ridiculous~ term, second, I just don't really feel much in common with me and the average self-identifying "gamer." When people use that term i just think of the heterosexual teenage dudes in my film studies class and shudder, so... I'm staying away from it.

I'm me, a person who has been affected by video games throughout my life. That's how I see it at least.

#12 Edited by Fallen189 (5010 posts) -

Don't bother asking a question like this to this kind of community. They think they're better than your subject, so you're in for a very vitriolic and indignant thread. Sorry!

#13 Edited by wjb (1662 posts) -

I don't resent people for wanting to fit into a certain culture, but I am personally not into that sort of thing. Once I start putting labels on, I have this paranoid feeling, like I am being instantly marketed towards.

I play video games, but I don't call myself a gamer. I like nerd stuff, but I don't think of myself as a nerd.

#14 Edited by SpaceInsomniac (3749 posts) -

@buwchbach said:

I don't identify as a "gamer."

First of all, it's a ~ridiculous~ term,

I don't identify as a "swimmer." It is a ~ridiculous~ term.

I don't identify as a "hunter." It is a ~ridiculous~ term.

I don't identify as a "writer." It is a ~ridiculous~ term.

Seriously, I've never understood people who have any sort of negative reaction to the word gamer, unless they have a negative opinion of video games themselves.

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

What do you think about 'gamer' culture? - I think it's based on stereotypes and people using the internet in the way that people use the internet.

Do you identify as a gamer? - Yes. See above.

What does that mean to you? - Someone who plays video games.

How do you think non-gamers view you? - I think non-gamers view gamers negatively enough that I don't really discuss gaming around non-gamers.

What stereotypes have you been labeled as? - None that I know of, but I certainly know loads of stereotypes for gamers, and I go against almost every last one of them.

Do you care? - No. People who don't like certain things often see others as "wrong" for liking them, often to put others down and build themselves up. See: My Little Pony, Justin Bieber, Pro Wrestling, Reality TV, etc.

Why do you like playing games? - Escapism and spending time with friends.

#15 Posted by MX (232 posts) -

What do you think about 'gamer' culture?With games being about as main stream as movies is there a gamer culture? There might be people who are more invested than other, but do you could people who like movies alot part of the movie culture. Do you identify as a gamer?I play games so I suppose I'd qualify as a gamer. What does that mean to you? Absolutely nothing as far as I know being a gamer could as easily denote someone who lives by that book ''The game''. How do you think non-gamers view you? As a regular guy. But like I said non-gamers kinda exist don't more. Everyone plays games. What stereotypes have you been labeled as? None Do you care? Nope not at all Why do you like playing games? Fun with friends, a nice variation from the linear entertainment that movies and books provide me.

#16 Posted by evanbower (1211 posts) -

It's bad.

#17 Edited by Grissefar (2842 posts) -

Oh, by gamer culture I'm sure you mean people who enjoy gaming - you know, poker, blackjack and roulette. Yeah, that's gotta be it.

#18 Posted by ThePhantomnaut (6197 posts) -

Don't be vague.

#19 Posted by shinjin977 (761 posts) -

I never understood people's obsessions with labeling other people and themselves. I love games and I also happen to love woman. Would I be label as a gamer and womanizer? I write for fun and I am on my company's basketball team, would I them be an author and basketball player? A lot of people loves to watch movies and read, they don't identify themselves as watcher/reader.

We are just people who just happen to like playing games. I feel like holding the term "gamer" up to be some elite status or something is as stupid as people who thinks "gamers" are basement dwelling psychotic killers.

#20 Posted by panvixyl (325 posts) -

I think gamer culture is made out of farts.

#21 Edited by Aetheldod (3586 posts) -

I dont believe that there is a "gamer culture".... I however do not mind the name of gamer and dont care if people agrees with me or not , so I dont care talking about it anywere anytime. Assholes are assholes because they are assholes , does not matter where they come from or what hobby they do (there are asshole football fans , asshole music fans etc. it is not exclusive to videogames) I play games just because I always had and have a good time with them.

I atill think that only in the US there is a stigma for liking X or Y ..... I dunno it seems that way to me. (Could be totally wrong)

#22 Edited by Milkman (16810 posts) -

There's no such thing as gamer culture. Everyone plays video games. They aren't some niche thing anymore.

If you're asking what I think of shitty people on the internet, I think they're shitty.

#23 Edited by phantomzxro (1577 posts) -

To be honest i don't understand the "i'm not a gamer movement". Like its the hipster thing to do now is be outside the box of the gaming world, or go out of your way to not call yourself a gamer is silly to me. I don't feel the need to represent myself as a gamer to everyone i socialize with but if it comes up and they ask if i game? or am i a gamer? i will say sure.

I don't need the ego boost in singling out causal gamers because they game less or suck at games. I don't need the title of hardcore gamer because i'm perfect at games. I feel the reason these terms are popular or needed is sometimes the interest of gamers can be different, which in turn spawns labels to easily explain or market.

Also there are often time dark sides to any culture so i don't know why gaming need to always be singled out here. You pick your battles, speak with your wallet and actions, lastly be the example that people respect if you want to show gaming culture is not all bad. You don't really do that by just acting like you have no affiliation with gaming.

#24 Posted by schreiberty (208 posts) -

Does gamer culture mean I put the triforce on everything and carry a nes controller wallet?

#25 Posted by CatsAkimbo (628 posts) -

Anyone who labels themselves as just one thing is severely limiting the full extent of who they can be. Whether it's "gamer," "bicyclist," "wine-connoisseur" or whatever, it's defining yourself in a relatively narrow category. Some people really like those categories, and live to embody everything about that category, but I think most people fit into a wider spectrum than they give themselves credit for. The problem now-a-days is that describing that wide-spectrum doesn't fit into a 140 character self-description, and I don't really know a way around that.

#26 Posted by JazGalaxy (1576 posts) -

So, after visiting a different gaming site and being disgusted by its forums and the general lack of civility therein, I want to make an effort to understanding who gamers are and what the culture is. I'll ask you:

What do you think about 'gamer' culture? Do you identify as a gamer? What does that mean to you? How do you think non-gamers view you? What stereotypes have you been labeled as? Do you care? Why do you like playing games?

Generally, I do not identify as a gamer precisely because of the stigma that carries. However, I love video games because I think they can bring out the best of an individual: teamwork, leadership, strategic and critical reasoning, hope. Moreover, escapism can be a good thing for those in high-stress environments. But, what does everyone else think?

I think that's a really interesting question that needs more exploration in the industry.

Because, as a man in my early 30's, I don't play videogames for any of the reasons that modern kids seem to play videogames.

For me, and it was commonplace for the games I grew up with, games are all about challenge. That's pretty much all there WAS to early games.

Andrea Renea on Weekend Confirmed always makes the comment that she plays videogames "to feel powerful". She says it like it's commonplace and EVERYONE plays videogames for that reason. Meanwhile, I always hear it and think "that sounds absolutely insane to me". Still yet other people play games almost strictly for the purpose of comparing their progress and achievements against other players. They will toil away in WoW for weeks on end so that they can have more in-game status than other gamers. This is yet another reason I do not understand.

So, I think this is a really interesting discussion. I would have described myself as someone who was heavily into games 15 years ago, before the term "gamer" became a thing, but now I wouldn't.

#27 Posted by TheManWithNoPlan (5527 posts) -
Whenever you can't find a civil site to partake in an actual conversation.

Oh, and I don't really identify myself as a gamer. I just like to play them and that's that. Just because I read books and watch movies, doesn't make me a reader or watcher, I just do it as a hobby. I'd never call myself something so specific to identify as an individual. I mean, the term "Gamer" sound a little ridiculous. Try saying it a few times. "Gamer", "Ga-mer", "Ga-mur". See what I mean?

#28 Posted by razzdrazz (65 posts) -

Wow, everyone, thank you for all the comments!

Obviously, a lot you agree with me that the 'gamer' stereotype is contrived and ridiculous. I think this thread thoroughly deconstructed it!

Like @catsakimbo said, that people are diverse and have competing interests.

#29 Posted by believer258 (11927 posts) -

Anyone who labels themselves as just one thing is severely limiting the full extent of who they can be. Whether it's "gamer," "bicyclist," "wine-connoisseur" or whatever, it's defining yourself in a relatively narrow category. Some people really like those categories, and live to embody everything about that category, but I think most people fit into a wider spectrum than they give themselves credit for. The problem now-a-days is that describing that wide-spectrum doesn't fit into a 140 character self-description, and I don't really know a way around that.

But the term "gamer" identifies something that I enjoy, not everything about me. I'm also a reader, a movie-goer, a computer geek, and someone who likes the occasional anime.

@jazgalaxy: There are a whole lot more people playing games now, and a vast variety of games available to play, so it's only natural that people play different games for different reasons. I don't have one single reason that I play games, I have different reasons for different games.