Who is a Gamer?

In Adrienne Shaw’s article “On Not Becoming Gamers: Moving Beyond the Constructed Audience”, there was one line that really stood out to me. She writes, “sometimes interviewees said they were not gamers because they did not play certain types of games such as games with deep narratives or games focused on killing.” For example, she says that someone could play a puzzle game every day and a violent game every once in a while, but still not consider themselves a gamer because they do not really think of the puzzle game as a game.

I thought this point was very interesting because it is something that I have always thought when I think about who a gamer is.  When coming into this class at the beginning of the semester, I did not think of myself as a gamer at all and have never thought about myself as a gamer. I thought a gamer was someone who constantly plays more violent games such as Grant Theft Auto or Call of Duty. However, after taking this class, I understand that there are so many different kinds of games and there are games that I would not have previously really considered a videogame. For example, I would not have really considered a twine game as a game, but now I see how it is a videogame. This class has made me realize that videogames are definitely not limited to violent games and that a gamer is not only someone who plays violent games because there are so many other kinds of games you can play.

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2 thoughts on “Who is a Gamer?

  1. I agree with you, and believe that the term “gamer” applies to anyone investing time into any type of video game. The aspect of investing time is necessary, as those who play a game for a short amount of time should not be considered gamers. For example, during my childhood, one of my female cousins would occasionally visit my house. She would sometimes tag along and play Wii with me, but generally had little interest in video games. I would not classify her a a gamer because she lacked the internal drive and want to play the game, but rather, played with me as a bonding experience with her cousin. Secondly, I also concur with you that the genre/type of video game being played is irrelevant to the term “gamer”. It is commonly believed, as you mention, that gamers are often associated with playing violent video games. However, anyone playing any type of video game for self-pleasure can be considered a gamer. As a whole, I like this post because it suggests that the term “gamer” includes anyone investing time into any type of game.

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  2. I similarly found this article really insightful. The phenomenon of “casual games” is just so fascinating to me–thinking about who designs them and why, who plays them and why, and thinking about how the “gaming” world reacts to them is just such a fun process. Before this class, I didn’t know that there was such an intense politics around games. When I learned about “hardcore gamers” and the ways in which some of them talk about family-centered games, or games marketed for women or moms, I was really taken aback. There seems to be a push to get video games to be taken seriously and de-stigmatized as violent or nerdy, but opening up different types of games for different types of people is met with backlash. I really liked this piece, though, because it showed that so many different types of people are into so many different types of games, so this hobby that I (ignorantly) thought interested a few people is actually pretty widespread. Thanks for sharing these thoughts!

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