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The "Gamer" Stigma

My take on the ridiculous number of stereotypes for gamers today.

We've come a long way in gaming through the generations. Since the dawn of the "Video game era" where the Atari 2600 blew our minds. Back in the day, being able to play "technologically advanced" video games on an old television console was an experience in the 1980's. 

Inviting our neighbourhood friends over for a bout of Mortal Kombat 3 on the Sega Megadrive was a "staple" of american culture and a way of socialization. This was  considered "socially acceptable". Gamers were a part of pop culture and everyone was doing it in the mid 90's.

Sadly, things took a turn for the worse. Today, gaming has become a "niche form" of entertainment. Gamers have earned a horrendous reputation in society, with people labelling gamers as brutish, loudmouthed, sexist fat men who don't socialize and can only play video games 24 hours a day while chugging huge bottles of Mountain Dew.

What the hell happened?

Granted, some gamers are like that since the early 20's, swearing via online multiplayer games and stating sexist remarks to female  gamers, especially in the Call Of Duty Games. Sexism is especially prominent, with gamers lashing out at their online female counterparts with sexist comments, adding more to our repertoire.

But not all gamers are like that. People look down on gaming as if it were the bane of society. Gaming is a form of entertainment that people enjoy, like movies or television, with appeal to both genders. Gamers do not only play video games, they too have other priorities, such as socializing and studying. Not all gamers are obese, some of us are physically fit.  Sadly, no matter what I say, people still continue to degrade gaming with negative remarks and comments.

For example, many women I know were turned off by the idea of me being a "gamer". First of all, its hard to truly  define what a "gamer" is. In this context, I think she meant a "console gamer". But as I studied furiously to score a decent GPA in Polytechnic, I see a ridiculous amount of Facebook updates of the same women playing Bejeweled 24 hours a day. Sure, playing "Facebook" games for 24 hours is socially acceptable, but console gaming for a few  hours is a big "no no" (sarcasm).

All in all, the "gamer" stereotypes need to end and people need to open their minds and accept "gamers" into society instead of socially exiling us, creating a socially conducive environment where everyone is equal, getting rid of the "gamer" stigma as a whole.

Published Jul. 1st 2013
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