What is a ‘Gamer’?

Would you call yourself a gamer? If so, how would you describe what that means? What stereotypes would you say are associated with the term? After thinking about all of that, would you still call yourself a gamer?

For as long as I’ve played video games, the term has been used as a label for people who are serious about playing video games. It’s used for shorthand introductions. Put gamer in your profile and it says “hello fellow gaming enthusiast. I also play video games”. It’s the equivalent of giving a frat brother ‘the grip’. Problem is, the word is saddled with so much baggage that wearing the title is becoming a burden.

My good friend Tilt would say that I’ve become an elitist. Too cool for the a word that sits in my social media bio. On one hand I would say that he’s right. The man I am and further becoming is finding less use for the word. It’s not grown and sexy. It’s not the conversation stater I’m defaulting to at the bar. It’s not the label, but the interest within the label. I’m more than just a gamer. Being a gamer feels too narrow. Yes it’s something I do, but that isn’t the defining quality. As Tilt once said, “you threw away your anime shirt and emerged.”

Saying you’re a gamer also subjects you to traditional gamer marketing. And I’m going to give it to you straight. I’m tired of the neon lights and glitch graphics. That shit doesn’t speak to me. Neither does the co-opt from celebrities trying to fit in to sell me something. “Yeah I’m a gamer, I’ve been gaming since….” If that’s what being a gamer means, you can keep that shit. If ‘gamer’ isn’t going to grow with the times, adapting to the culture, then why should I be so hell bent on keeping it?