Gamers – Behind the Stereotype

Not all gamers live in their mothers basement. In fact, four out of five people you meet today are probably gamers.

The stereo type of the “gamer” might vary slightly depending on who you ask, but the most common description usually lies around: “Young guy (18 to 20 years old) who lives in his parents basement, plays Call of Duty for 12 hours a day, drinks Mt. Dew and eats Doritos for dinner, and hasn’t had a girlfriend in years (if ever).” 

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Any of this sound vaguely familiar?

Behind the stereotype

Well there are a few things wrong about that stereotype. The two most obvious are the age and gender of a “gamer”. 

Boys and girls, men and women are engaging in gaming more and more.  In fact, depending on your definition of what constitutes a “gamer”, the list of who meets the qualification could be enormous. According to Merriam-Webster dictionary a “gamer” is defined as: “a person who plays games and especially video or computer games.”

Traditionally when you talk about video games people would think either console (Nintendo, Sony, Xbox, etc.) or computer games (as in a desktop or laptop). But the platforms for video games is much more diverse than that.  On top of consoles and gaming computers that cost thousands we have hand held devices (Nintendo 3DS, Sony PSP or PS Vita) that are based on gaming and handheld devices that serve other functions first (iPads and other tablets and every cell phone on the shelf).

So what does that mean? Well it means that you don’t have to stay in your parents’ basement to get your game on. You can game anywhere you can take your phone. 

Take a poll on your Facebook page (After you play some games there too!) and ask how many people have some version of Angry Birds on their phone? So by Webster’s dictionary definition, anyone how plays Angry Birds or Candy Crush is a “gamer”. Yes, that includes your mom because you know how she keeps sending those Facebook game requests and floods your timeline.

And by that definition it most certainly expands the demographics of who is playing games.  Kids, teenagers, parents, and even grand parents. That’s a lot of Mt. Dew and Doritios! 

You can argue the definition needs some updating too because it seems to emphasize video games which overshadows board games, table top type games, and even role playing games (D&D). Of course when you add those to the list you can further argue that anyone involved with all of the above is a “true” or “hardcore gamer”!

We can save that discussion for later.  My point, for those “non-gamers” or those that think they are “non-gamers” (Yea, you with the Candy Crush addiction!), think twice before you stereotype a “gamer”!


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Author
Federico Senence
Lifelong gamer. Console, PC and Table Top. I like them all! I'm also a jack of all trades type of guy. My kiddos are gamers as well which is wonderful as a gamer dad! My youngest son and I have also ventured into the world of game development which has been quite the experience.