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Gamer stereotypes

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I’m not quite sure why, but it appears that gamer stereotypes have remained relatively unchanged in the last 15-20 years.  Sure, there are references to specific titles and the types of gamers who play them.   In general, though, the same cliches are repeated, and I’m so tired of it.

For the purpose of this argument, I’m going to ignore the gender stereotyping.  Not because it doesn’t exist or isn’t important, but simply because that’s a whole other topic and I’ll open that can of worms at a later date.  For now, these are the stereotypes that apply to the entire population of gamers, male or female.  And they’re ridiculous.

 

Gamers have no life.

How many times have we heard this one?  Sometimes I wish I didn’t have a life and had time to play all the games I wanted.  But the reality is that most gamers have very active and fulfilling lives – gaming is just the preferred hobby.  So instead of playing golf, or collecting stamps, or taking up quilting, gamers will spend their free time engaged in their activity of choice.

Perhaps it’s based on the assumption that skill and expertise in gaming can only come with massive amounts of time spent on practice.  While I have sunk tons of hours into gaming, it usually comes at the expense of watching TV, or trolling Facebook.  I still have time to bathe, eat, socialize and work – time is always just a matter of priority.

Gamers are ugly

Plenty of people on this planet are unappealing looking.  Probability ensures this is the case – with humanity having a wide range of features, some of the inhabitants of Earth will look horrifying.  Some of those people will be gamers.  Others might be radio DJs, or athletes, or businessmen.  Just because gaming is a primarily private, indoor activity doesn’t mean that gamers look like cave dwellers.  Stop it – this stereotype is beyond inane.

Video games add no value to society

Let’s not even look at the monetary value of gaming.  It should be clear that as a multi-billion dollar industry, it helps support the economy and is an important job creator.  But no, let’s not look at that.

Gaming can help with things such as lazy eye and decision making. Gamers are better at non-linear thinking, problem solving and spotting differences.  Some companies are even using games to improve their employee’s performance, and gamification is a growing phenomenon.  Oh, and all the work done to create accurate physics and AI in gaming is also utilized in other fields – the military industrial complex happily jumps on board the new technology that is initially developed for games; the more accurate the simulation, the better prepared soldiers will be in combat.

Gamers are all trolls

Yes, gamers are known for being abusive online.  That said, it is (more often than not) often said in good fun.  Women are told to go make someone a sandwich, losers are called n00bs.  It can be irritating, but you can also turn off comments in most games, or report bad behavior (even on this site’s comment section).  Perhaps it is because sarcasm doesn’t translate well online, or maybe because trolling trolls can be such fun, but things can spiral out of control in this regard.

That said, most of the gamers that I’ve gotten to know in person are really warm, funny, interesting people.  Like any population, there are plenty of assholes, too.  However, the vast majority of gamers are just happy to talk about common interests and support each other in their love of gaming.

Gamers are lacking in social skills

Sure, as above, there are some trolls in the community, and plenty of immature kids who love to run around causing trouble.  That said, it is not true that all gamers lack social skills.  Some are shy, which is why they might have found gaming in the first place.  However, many use gaming (particularly table-top or online gaming) to overcome their shyness and make more friends or learn to be outgoing.  Just check out the parties at any gaming event – it’s not as if people are walking around, avoiding eye contact and refusing to make conversation.  There will always be shy people, or socially awkward people in any group – just look at politicians!  They seem to be more lacking in social skills than most, which is ironic considering their role in public office.

Which social stereotypes are you tired of?  Have you been judged for being a gamer?

Last Updated: June 10, 2013

38 Comments

  1. Argentil

    June 10, 2013 at 15:37

    Stereotypes are sweeping generalisations that are caricatures of certain demographics. They are all generally offensive. I dunno, I don’t take it personally. If there’s one thing I can thank blockhead dudebros – and casuals for, it’s for diversifying the ‘average gamer.’

    Reply

  2. That Tall Twit

    June 10, 2013 at 15:39

    MY EYES!!!! MY EYES!!!!

    Reply

    • Ultimo_Cleric N7

      June 10, 2013 at 15:43

      KILL IT WITH FIIIRE!!!

      Reply

      • That Tall Twit

        June 10, 2013 at 15:46

        Reply

    • ElimiNathan

      June 10, 2013 at 15:49

      Did she really have to put that pic in ? Gosh 😀

      Reply

      • Ultimo_Cleric N7

        June 10, 2013 at 15:53

        Anyone else need councelling?

        Reply

      • Argentil

        June 10, 2013 at 15:55

        Is that really so much worse than the ‘In Other News’ pieces?

        Reply

        • Ultimo_Cleric N7

          June 10, 2013 at 15:56

          ……..no comment

          Reply

    • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

      June 10, 2013 at 15:50

      I know! The horror!!!!

      Reply

    • Tbone187

      June 10, 2013 at 15:52

      That was certainly unnecessary to say the least…

      Reply

  3. Ultimo_Cleric N7

    June 10, 2013 at 15:45

    Let me kill the stereotype now…..I have a girlfriend. A REAL girlfriend, not Miranda or Liara.
    Gamers have lives too.
    May all gamer haters be hit with a giant purple dildo until they get some sense.
    Boom!

    Reply

  4. Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

    June 10, 2013 at 15:48

    • That Tall Twit

      June 10, 2013 at 15:48

      Up vote for yooooooooooooooooooooooooooou!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

      Reply

  5. That Tall Twit

    June 10, 2013 at 15:48

    I play games, have a full time job & other hobbies.
    My wife plays games too. She also has a full time job & hobbies too.
    Bugger the stereotype! 😛

    Reply

    • Argentil

      June 10, 2013 at 15:49

      Gamer couples win the internet. ^5

      Reply

  6. Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

    June 10, 2013 at 15:49

    I really wanted to post a witty sarcastic yet funny remark but I can’t think of anything witty at the moment.

    But yeah you are right. The stereotyping is getting a bit old and I wish people would realise gaming is just a hobby like any other. At least it’s more exciting than fishing right?

    Reply

  7. Brett Miller

    June 10, 2013 at 15:51

    I’m a gamer. Have been for 20+ years. I have a room dedicated to gaming…. Walled mounted TV + Lazyboy for consoles and a PC. I also have a good job that involved dealing with people (I can afford a gaming man cave) and a wife (who doesn’t game).

    You couldn’t pick me out of a line-up as a gamer… but I’ll cross map headshot you m*&$%erf*(cker.
    w00t!

    Reply

    • That Tall Twit

      June 10, 2013 at 15:52

      Winning @ headshots!

      Reply

    • Stephen Bishop

      June 10, 2013 at 15:58

      ditto… i am pretty much the same, you probably could pick me out of a line up on a weekend though wearing a star wars shirt and skater shoes though! each to their own and gaming def is a great hobby. i game on a weekend morning in my man cave whilst the girlfriend sleeps and maybe switch it on during the week if not working or getting down-time in front of the telly (unless of course i am hooked on a current game).

      each to their own i guess.

      BTW: WTF on the mostly-naked dude… i see he didn’t need the 3DS XL!

      Reply

    • Not Normal

      May 15, 2015 at 03:09

      You’re such a hypocrite. You assign yourself on free gaming crap competitions and yet you say “I can afford a gaming man cave”

      Reply

  8. Andreavich

    June 10, 2013 at 15:52

    “Gamers Have No Life”! I wish! it is due to the fact i have a life I have less time to delve into the my happy place of gaming. I quite often wish i had no life so i can just enjoy an extended period of gaming. No other activity has ever had the same stress relieving capability as just letting your conscious be dissolved into a good story line and/or into someone elses violent virtual demise.
    I grew up in a heavily sporty all boys school, and played all the appropriate sports and captained the right teams and was essentially a run of the mill, douche baggy jock. And i soon learned that the coolest guys and the best friends were the gamers and the kids, that for some reason, the rest of the guys at school shunned and mocked all day, generally conforming to the usual stereotypes. I had never had as much fun in my life as the first time I attended my skinny asian friends “LAN party” and since that very day, i was a changed man. Gamer guys are ufcking awesome, and you get no better than a gamer girl. No, seriously, I find a woman who is into gaming and so forth irresistible, and much, much, MUCH, better than the breed you find at the clubs every night.

    Reply

  9. ElimiNathan

    June 10, 2013 at 15:55

    Funny enough I used to get allot of crap about playing too many games when I was younger, but now that I am working I am proud to be a gamer, always have been but now it doesn’t seem to be such a big issue and am often asked for advice when it comes to building PC’s and gaming/tech related things in general by the ppl I work with and my family. Gamer for LIFE

    Reply

  10. caponeil

    June 10, 2013 at 16:01

    Uhhm. I dont really give a crap about stereotypes. I love games, play at least 40h a week. Happily married to a former SA fashion week model who also likes games so there are 2 types broken in this one go!!

    Reply

    • Andre116

      June 10, 2013 at 18:05

      *brofist*

      Reply

  11. Paul Fouche

    June 10, 2013 at 16:57

    whaaaaha i laugh at people so much!! hahahah im a proud gamer and someone just needs to tell me i have no social skills or no life .. /point / laugh / add me on facebook and reap the whirlwind most of the time i invite them to come partying with me but they end up not keeping up or wanting to go home early :O gamers are the next level within human evolution.

    Reply

  12. Hendrik

    June 10, 2013 at 18:23

    I’ve been a gamer all my life. NES, PS 1, PS 2, PS 3 and PC. I played 1st team rugby, represented my province in athletics, got my LLB and LLM degrees,gym like a boss and have friends. Currently practicing as a lawyer. So, up you world! (o, I do not have a girl though…maybe it is my game library, sigh)

    Reply

  13. Tero

    June 11, 2013 at 15:24

    Eh kills aleins and doesn’t afraid of anything!

    Reply

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