Full disclosure; I consider myself to be, and tell others that I am a gamer.
I’ve been playing games for as long as I can remember. I played games on my father’s commodore 128. I had my mother read to me from my gameboy game manuals. I remember when the family got a 486DX processor and I could play Doom at it’s full resolution. Now I game on a three monitor setup that I put together myself, with over 500 games in my Steam library. I like games.
It was a huge surprise to me when at the end of August news outlets everywhere were calling an end to the “gamer”. Site after site after site after site claiming that the term gamer is no longer being used and the culture is dead. Because of the sexists and violent tenancy of the male gamer, the identity is forever destroyed, and good riddance. I didn’t notice any of this, because in true gamer fashion, I was playing games.
Below is a review of what this #GamerGate is all about. (click to enlarge)
As a gamer, I’ve run into all sorts of people that play games. Men, women, kids, misogynists and asexual xenophobes. The framing of this issue as a barbaric male VS oppressed female doesn’t fit with my experience. I know plenty of female gamers. During a ski trip a friend of mine brought her XBox so she could keep playing Skyrim. I know a woman who can speed run the first world in Mario 3 in under 10 minutes. I’ve bought video games for girlfriends before and talked about Final Fantasy at bars in a mixed gender crowd. In the UK, it turns out female gamers out number male.
This death of the gamer mantra is bullshit. Gamers love their games and will continue to do so. Yes, there are dicks out there that will say awful things; that’s true everywhere. Yes, people will say very mean things on the internet; they also do that in politics in plain view of everyone and keep getting elected.
There is a simple formula that you need to follow on the internet.
And ways to fix it.
So, game on my fellow gamers, and game proud.