Fill in the Blank: “I’m Proud To Be a Gamer Because…”

With so many horror stories floating around about addicted gamers and what some call an outrageously violent culture, this is important...
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It’s not hard to find examples of the video game industry coming under heavy fire.

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One day, you find a story about a supremely addicted individual who let his life fall into ruin because he couldn’t step away from the screen. Another day, there’s a story in the papers about a violent crime that is – surprise, surprise – linked to a violent video game. There are ongoing studies desperately attempting to prove causation between gaming and overtly aggressive and violent behavior. Politicians continue to use video games as a convenient scapegoat for the ills of society.

Okay, enough of that. Here’s your chance to stand up and proclaim: “I’m proud to be a gamer because…!” Granted, there are times when it’s difficult to do, when your fellow gamers embarrass you so badly you want to run and hide. Happens to me all the time.

But this is important, I think.

I’m proud to be part of the only entertainment industry that actually seems to be embracing innovation

Everyone can laugh all they like, but I’m seeing the same old crap from movies, music (which is somehow getting worse), books, and even sports. I’m just not excited about such mediums anymore; when I do get excited about something, it’s rare. However, I’m always intrigued by the seemingly endless stream of unbelievable creativity and imagination that’s on display in our industry. I’m not talking about cookie-cutter mainstream titles or major blockbusters that have to stick to a certain formula.

While some games in the latter category really do continue to innovate, the digital realm has allowed developers to really spread their wings. We see lots of really cool experiments, some of which are rip-roaring successes. Every month, you can find another original, enticing game on Steam, the PlayStation Network, or Xbox Live, and most months, there are multiple gems. I don’t mean to say that all smaller, indie games are automatically better; I’m just saying that without the constraints of demanding publishers, some designers can produce amazing stuff.

This tops my list. I’m also proud of the strides we’ve taken in terms of general artistry and storytelling. So, how’s about you?

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A gaming journalism veteran of 14 years, a confirmed gamer for over 30 years, and a lover of fine literature and ridiculously sweet desserts.