PixieJenni talks GamerGate with both 'sides'

What is a Gamer? (part 1)

on September 13, 2014

Some answers may have been merged – ie, where I’ve been given the same link/article/answer multiple times, I will just include link with a note of how many people answered with this in the format: [article](x5)

Some answers may not be included if they misunderstood the question – they may instead have moved to ‘bonus’ as a section. Will highlight if that is the case.

People are anon if they didn’t explictly say “call me x”. Email me again if you want to change that 🙂Anon referencing consistent within this topic, but not with others.

1. What, in your opinion, makes a gamer a gamer? 

@Tuckerism: “I think it’s two things– first, that you enjoy spending free time playing video games. Second, that you’re willing to engage in conversation with other people who enjoy video games (e.g. in person, forums) or consume “bonus” material (e.g. YouTube, Quick Looks). I do look at it like a community, but the only real requirement is that you want to engage / listen.”


Anon1: “Anyone that considers gaming a hobby or spends a decent amount of time (at least a few hours a week) on gaming. Regardless of it being on pc, console, handheld or mobiles.”


Anon2: “For me, a gamer is a person who plays games but a person who identifies as a gamer tends to be an enthusiast.”


Anon3: “A gamer is someone who enjoys playing games (computer/console/handheld/social/card/tabletop/…) and holds it dear in his/her heart.
Not all gamers are as enthousiastic about games as the others, but they like it enough that they’d be at least a bit upset should it be taken from them.”


Anon4: “Someone who enjoys games, but takes it the step further by attempting to be open to as much as possible.”


Anon5: “gamer is a game enthusiast, i think you can find a great definition in the escapists editor note by archon.”


Anon6: “Videogame player != gamer. It’s somebody that, when asked “what do you usually do in your free time?”. Will answer with “play videogames” as one of their most frequent activities. Playing Clash of Clans during your coffeebreak doesn’t make you a gamer. But sure, if you boot it up after work as well, and can’t wait for the new Cooking Mama because you’ve unlocked all the content you possibly could on Nintendogs, then by all means. The kind of game doesn’t matter. As long as you’re honestly passionate about it. Just like how “musician” doesn’t refer to everybody in a 6th-grade band but only those who care enough to practice and improve, whether their instrument is the violin, saxophone or triangle.”


Anon7: “Someone who plays games and is interested in them as a hobby, not just a way to pass the time. The latter isn’t a bad thing to be, but there needs to be a term that seperates the two, and “gamer” is it.”



2. Do you think gamers should care about social/political content in games, or just whether they’re fun/enjoyable at all?

@Tuckerism: “I think games should be whatever the developer wants to make. Some developers have a story / emotional feeling that they want to convey, but the game doesn’t have to be “fun” for it to be legitimate. Other developers are going to focus on the fun / enjoyable factor because they believe that is what it’s going to drive sales and make them money. Both are completely legitimate and I don’t feel that I have a right to criticize their choice of development. My speech is my wallet– if you don’t make games that I want to buy… well, I won’t be supporting you. And I’m not making that statement as a “I’m so important, and you should cater to me, damnit!”. It’s the exact opposite, I’m not special. I’m just an individual. I don’t care if it’s one or one million, if you can find enough people to support you making games with whatever content you feel is important, go for it. There isn’t a cap on the number of video games that can ever be created.

As a side note, I think the issues here in #GamerGate have to do with gamers being told that they should care, and if they don’t that they’re somehow not very good human beings. Journalists have a microphone, and they were a little too hamfisted about that message in the past few weeks. In the grand scheme of things, there’s a feeling that journalists were setting the tone and environment in which games are incubated and developed, instead of the desires of “gamers”.”


Anon1: No answer given.


Anon2: “I think gamers, and anyone else, should care about whatever they freely choose to care about.”


Anon3: “Should? No. Can? Yes. Every gamer decides for themselves what they look for in games. Games should be as diverse as gamers. No single game can cater to everyone, so if a game does not appeal to you, you should find one who does. One thing gamers should NOT do is judge others by the games they play.”


Anon4: “I think there should be a place for both types of content to exist.”


Anon5: “it’s not my place to tell anyone what they should care about, we all have different things we care about and that’s fine. personally however i don’t much care about what content is in a game, so long as it’s good. I’d say fun but some good games aren’t actually fun to play (like the walking dead, the Stanley parable and other games that make you think, or feel.)”


Anon6: “That’s up to every gamer to decide for themselves. I personally don’t want to have issues shoved down my throat unnecessarily, probably like most people. But I’m completely open to the critique of the depiction of minorities in the medium. Whether or not gamers care, I think it’s a GOOD thing that games are seen as battlegrounds of opinion. More so than even movies and television were. There’s just something so visceral about the fact that you’re the one moving the narrative forward, not merely having it presented to you. Some gamers and devs don’t like it, and that’s fine. The games that these people make and play will be without social/political content at all. I think a good example would be Transistor. Have you played that game? It’s by SuperGiant studios and chronicles the journey of Red, a singer who had her voice taken away by a cyberpunk mob. Of course, there’s more to the story but it’s not really that important to the point I’m making. (But seriously, check it out if you haven’t. I think it’s great.) There are A LOT of themes about censorship, freedom of information and the nature of “the public good”, etc. if you look for them. But it can also just be a game with really good music, storytelling and combat mechanics about a mute girl with a weird-ass cyberpunk sword going through a really colourful city. Sure, Transistor is saying something about our society that its developers wants to say, but you can also enjoy it just because it’s fun. The same way you can read One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich and see how terrible the Soviet gulags were, but also just appreciate it because it has some damn good writing, especially the description. Oh man those Russians know how to do description. I wish I knew Russian just so I could get all the nuance- anyway I think I’m rambling a little bit. Feel free to cut out the bits about Transistor, etc. but the bottom line of my point is there will always be those who care, and those who don’t. Let those who care and those who don’t both do their own things. If studios can make games like Transistor that can say something rather non-intrusively, then great. Power to them. I personally am one of those who wouldn’t mind seeing more games that look to say something, though.”


Anon7: “If the game in question evokes a social or poltiical response, then it should be acknowledged, preferablly in a non-inflammatory way.”



3. Do you think “gamer” is equivalent to “movie-watcher” or does it mean something more/different?

@Tuckerism: “I think it means more simply because of the communities that can develop around them– there’s more to bond over, in my opinion. Beyond that, not really. Most of us are consumers and this is our hobby.”


Anon1: No answer given.


Anon2: “I do but I suspect a self-identified gamer would align him or herself with a movie buff, not a simple movie watcher.”


Anon3: “It is at least similar, every movie-watcher has his preference. While someone who primarily enjoys action movies might not enjoy romance movies, he/she should not judge others who do enjoy romance movies.
Some cross-genre is also possible, the action movie fanatic might enjoy a romance movie from time to time, same as the romance fan. The same is true for gamers, while we each have our prefered type of games, we like to branch out and discover.
Noone should be harassed for playing someothing that might not targeted at their demographic, but they should be fair in their review should they not like their new experience.”


Anon4: “I’d equate it more with cinephile.”


Anon5: “no, a better comparison would be gamer is like a cinafile, or gamer is like a gear head.”


Anon6: “See my answer to the first question, but I want to add something here specifically. You’re a movie-watcher if you watch movies. You’re a film buff if you talk about movies with other people about them. The difference is that you’re interacting with the medium and others that are fans of it in more than just a “conversation at the water cooler” way.”


Anon7: “It’s equivlelnt to ‘moviebuff/geek'”


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