What exactly is a ‘gamer’?

I see the title everywhere, and it seems you can play video games and not be a ‘gamer’, so what exactly is a gamer? Why are people obsessed with this label? I hear “if you only play Call of Duty you’re not a gamer” or “if you only play easy games, you’re not a gamer”. Why not? I don’t understand this at all. Personally, I play video games for fun and I’ve done so for over 20 years. I’ve owned a NES, GameBoy, SEGA Genesis, Nintendo 64, PSone, PS2, Xbox and Xbox 360 (in that order). Also an iPhone and Kindle Fire HD (mobile gaming). What does that mean? Why does it matter?

I mean if you enjoy watching TV are you a ‘TV’er’? ‘couch potato’? TV fanatic? The same goes for movies. Or cars even. Now I know there are people who are obsessed with movies and consider themselves some sort of movie hipster. And there are car people for whom cars are more than just a vehicle. But what difference does it really make? If you have fun playing video games, you have fun playing video games. That’s it. You might be part of a gaming community, be it Xbox Live, a forum, a website or even a blog. But does it really make a difference?

I’ll stop rambling now, I’m just tired of seeing the gamer vs non-gamer argument. Who cares. It’s a hobby. It’s a form of entertainment. If you play a game and I play a game, what’s the difference? Am I not having the same fun? Experiencing the same thing?

photo taken from the webcomic CTRL ALT DEL @ http://www.cad-comic.com

 

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2 responses to “What exactly is a ‘gamer’?

  1. Oh my this post was a surprise.

    Through this, I see what your point is, how some labels nowadays are a bag full of crap. It’s either you like something or you don’t.

    To me, throughout my life and living with other video game players, I always saw that to be a “gamer” is to have great knowledge in video games. It does not mean you have to have skill to be a gamer. It’s like comparing someone who watches movies and a “movie junkie”. Movie junkies have a broader knowledge on films, compared to people who have limited knowledge.

    As much as I hate comparing others, this is what I feel about this issue.
    Therefore, this is just my opinion and please don’t hire an assassin to hunt me down.

    – kylantis \\//_

  2. I like your point! My biggest thing about this debate is how wound up people get about the issue. To some it’s just about how much you game, to others it’s all about living the gamer lifestyle and projecting the image. Then there is the whole ‘purist’ element. Also, if you speak against someones personal opinions (such as some people who messaged me after I wrote an article on my views a while back) they view you as ‘pretentious’ and ‘ignorant’.

    It’s a crazy world that we live in!

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