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.

Featured Contributor

Audiophile, gamer and film buff. Just sharing my opinions.

Published Jul. 1st 2013
  • Max Jay
    Featured Columnist
    I honestly think there's a problem in the minds of the masses with the word "gamer." It makes people think of the 37-year-old obese man living in some basements surrounded by hot pockets and caffeinated diet sodas (it's diet so they can watch their figure).

    One of the reasons I write about games is to change this perception people have.We're all just people, and while some of us are the aforementioned type of gamer it doesn't make them weird.

    It's nice to watch things slowly changing though.
  • K.Goh
    Featured Contributor
  • Kazz in space
    Featured Contributor
    One of the reasons I fell in love MMORPG gaming is that you meet people from all walks of life and from all over the world. Men, women, students, house wives, professionals at all levels, people who are loaded and people who are skint. Sure you get lots of IT workers and super geeks but these days they are in a mix with everyone from boardroom directors to actors and artists. Since 2003 I've watched several long-term online friends "grow up" and go from their drunken late teens onto getting jobs, buying their first homes and getting married and having babies…. and still playing mmos (albeit some with less time on their hands these days). Love it! Perhaps MMORPGs have more of a mix than say FPS but even so the old cliques don’t really apply anymore.
  • Juicy Jane
    who cares.... and with names like retrogamer96 (you look like 14) and sexygamer its gonna stay this way
  • K.Goh
    Featured Contributor
    People do care (look at the comments) and we're gamers who want to express our love for video games with said names. We're not trying to widen the social gap, we just want to be socially accepted. And no, i'm not 14, I'm 17.
  • Lui Galletto
    I think those casual games though are opening the public's perception of video games, and their acceptance. Sure the stigma still exists, but the idea of a "gamer" has evolved past the basement dweller caricature.

    What I'm still upset about is how people still declare it a waste of time. Its like saying a whole medium of entertainment/art is worthless, just because they deem it so. It is dismissive and rude and shows no willingness to understand why people spend time with it
  • K.Goh
    Featured Contributor
    yeah apparently social networking for hours on end is perfectly normal but gaming is complete bullshit to non-gamers
  • SexyGamer
    Featured Contributor
    I come from a place that is, on average, 10 years behind the states. I was made fun of, mocked and teased for being a gamer until I moved to the states. Refreshing change indeed.
  • K.Goh
    Featured Contributor
    Yeah, I understand! I was discriminated by a few classmates when i was 10 for playing video games daily!
  • Capt. Eliza Creststeel
    The image of the geek in general is changing. Go to conventions. When I first started going over twenty years ago, the vast majority were white, male, and a lot of folks were not exactly in their physical peak. But, as things like comics, games and sci-fi TV and films became mainstream that demographic shifted.

    I know a number of geek girls and gamer girls as well as seeing a more of rainbow of faces at events and it's very welcome.

    It's not that geeks were very exclusive. If anything, just the opposite. It was a matter of things that are geek going mainstream if anything.

    Things like Xena and Twilight attracted young women while comic book movies opened doors to cosplayers from all walks.

    One thing I find interesting on the physical end is that I'm acquainted with or keep in touch with a number of pro wrestlers (guys and gals) and a lot of them are gamers and comic book fans. A lot of our servicemen and women are gamers due to their off-time too.
  • SexyGamer
    Featured Contributor
    Interesting, I too have noticed a change in demographic as well.
  • K.Goh
    Featured Contributor
    yeah I hope people learn to truly accept us for who we are!
  • Chad "Chuina" Albritton
    It is odd, even today as I go in to work and wish to talk about games if it isn't Call of Duty or Xbox that I have on my tongue others just look in disdain. It seems to be if the game is mainstream and ultra-popular than it is okay to discuss but if it isn't.. then you must be a nerd. It doesn't bother me at all, but I do wish others had a greater interest.
  • K.Goh
    Featured Contributor
    yeah its ok if its CANDY CRUSH but if its, say something more obscure like ninja gaiden sigma 2, people spontaneously react with negative remarks.
  • SexyGamer
    Featured Contributor
    @chuina Yeah, that game rubs me the wrong way. It'd be much like the Germans making a game all about eradicating the Jews. It's just distasteful D:

    We just don't have the time factor to look back on how wrong it is at this current incarnation. That aside, there are much more thought provoking games.

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