What it means to be a gamer?


#1

For many years, there been talks about the identity of what it means to be a gamer. Of course, many of them led to some misunderstand of the identity and walls being built by said community like the negativity of females getting into games, viewing games as art, and having any changes to a believed series. Things are changing now even if there some road blocks in the way and I would like your idea of what it means to be a gamer.

To me, being a gamer is being able to get personal with a story, to being in the shoes of a different person, to work my brain with complex puzzles, and to connect with other from the other side of the world.


#2

To be honest I try not to identify as a “gamer” very much, because of some of the things you mentioned. So I guess to me it’s just someone who enjoys games, but if someone introduced themselves to me as a gamer I’d probably be cautious in my communication with. them.


#3

I can understand that notion. I’ll say this if someone does say they are a gamer but talk in a way their open to many things there in the good.


#4

if someone refers to themselves as a gamer i get weirded out not only for the gg stuff but also because it feels like willingly embracing yourself as a target demographic. like there are people who love movies but i feel like there’s less people out there who are like “i’m a movier!”, yknow? i don’t understand the need to define yourself around one form of media that you enjoy


#5

I try not to base my identity around what I am able/willing to buy, so I don’t self-identify as a gamer. And since the “gamer” identity is so inherently consumer-based, it actively works to exclude tons of people who may not be able/willing to buy into the culture.

That said, if a person finds a sense of belonging and purpose through playing games, and they find a community of people willing to accept them, then I don’t wanna take that away from them.


#6

Internet forums created the gamer identity to unite a bunch of people ostracized for their love of video games. In the beginning, no set of opinions, political views, or social characteristics defined gamers. Video game players called themselves “gamers” because they tired of people treating them like social outcasts for playing video games. In light of this, I see no reason to pursue the preservation of gamer identity. I would rather that people who don’t play video games simply respect video games as a medium in entertainment, and stop trying to stigmatize people for playing video games.


#7

I’m more likely to say someone is really into games than that they’re a gamer. Partly because I think most people I know enjoy games now and then.

It’s a bit like how I’d call a friend who regularly runs for exercise or sport a runner, but someone who reads a ton of books a ‘big reader’ on the assumption that most people read fairly often so ‘reader’ isn’t enough.


#8

This is true, and I feel like it’s because of the accessibility of film. They’re (relatively) cheap to watch (either at a theatre or at home on DVD/VOD), and they share a language understood by most everybody. Games, on the other hand, are way less accessible, both because they’re expensive and they’re hard (not just Dark Souls-hard. Just moving a character is overwhelming for some).

People form identities over things they’re proud of. Watching Spotlight on Netflix doesn’t instill pride because it’s something most people can do without issue. Spending $1000 on a gaming PC and then playing Crusader Kings II on it for 500 hours, that’s an accomplishment.


#9

While someone may not say “I’m a movier” they will say “I’m a Film Buff” which has the same implication as being a gamer. That is to say movies are more than a simple form of entertainment but rather a hobby, finding interest in the culture around and creation of movies.

Am I a gamer? Yes, I love games. Video, board, table top, card, dice, etc. I read critical pieces analyzing the nature of games, what they say about us as consumers or creators. I am interested in the culture around games, I wouldn’t be here otherwise. I have met many great friends, including my wife, through games. I’ve also met some truly horrible people through games, but I don’t think they get to take the name gamer away from me.

On the other hand, maybe it’s just a dumb name that doesn’t mean anything and I’m taking it to seriously…


#10

Was not expecting this thread to go in-depth. That true that the use identity is used to push people in groups to stigmatize.


#11

I want to burn the term “gamer” to the ground. It just becomes this weird, unnecessary status. So if you want to know what gamer means in our current reality: it’s something that people who take games way too seriously label themselves as to separate them from people who only play the games they don’t deem to be worthy. And also brands use it to target those people, I guess. And I don’t think I have to remind anyone here about the even grosser people that take on the label to push their movements. Burn it to the ground.

In a better reality, I guess I would use the term to describe people who consider games a constant hobby (maybe even part of their identity), anticipate releases and keep an eye on the industry.


#12

I’m a strategist. It just so happens games get less people killed than war


#13

In my opinion it doesn’t mean anything. It’s a hobby I enjoy a lot. I read a tonne , I like movies, I enjoy VARIOUS forms of exercise. These are just things I do.

Gamer is a marketing category, a slight, a badge of honour, something used to other, and really just kind of a lame term.

People like to try and define what makes someone a ‘real’ gamer and then use that to tell others that they’re not part of the club. It’s like the whole Dark Souls git’ gud’ bullshit. If you can pull off perfect 360 no scopes in COD then good for you, but that doesn’t mean anything other then you’ve spent a lot of time mastering a useless skill. If it brings you joy then great, but that’s about as far as it goes. It’s like someone who can bicep curl an obscene amount, all that means is that you can bicep curl an obscene amount, it doesn’t make you a champion body builder or good at any other type of fitness.

I play games because I like them. I choose what games I play and how deep down the rabbit hole I go with them. I’ve played for the better part of the last 30 years. If you need to call me a gamer then that’s fine, but it doesn’t mean anything to me.

TL;DR Nothing means anything I’ll be playing Warframe.


#14

I like this question a lot; I recently changed my long standing twitter bio which included “gamer” to include “game attempter;” somehow, verbing game has come to mean something other than play. It also strangely excludes games we interact with in ways other than mice and controllers; mobile game and tabletop players probably wouldn’t describe themselves as "gamers."
So if “gamer” doesn’t mean “someone who plays games,” is it restricted to the weirdness others have identified in this thread? Because there are definitely videogame culture things that aren’t play. People watch streams, make fan arts, have ocs; is being a gamer being a part of the videogame-fandom? Can there be a fandom for a medium?
My guess is yes, and that, just like any other fandom, you can rope in some really bad apples. Bad enough for many of us here to disassociate ourselves from that group.Just like you can unfollow all the tumblr blogs, but still watch the show, for some people engaging in “gamer” culture makes games less fun.