Video gaming since finding its place in popular culture has seemed to always have a certain stereotype surrounding the type of people who class themselves ‘gamers’. I, myself, would call myself a gamer – and I would say I have been since I was able to steal the mouse and keyboard away from my Dad to get a few minutes of playing Diablo 2 back way in the early 2000’s. However, I feel – personally – that I don’t really fit into the stereotype that has been created within popular culture as to what a gamer is…
I’ve tried to break the stereotype (in my eyes) into four different categories:
Okay – I guess I fit into this particular box. However, the typical gamer could be considered to be male – and I guess that’s a fair assumption! Whilst there has been a significant rise in the popularity of gaming amongst women (*) the stereotype does not concede to this fact. I believe, however, that women in gaming are becoming increasingly more normalised and soon this stereotype might ultimately fade away.
This is one box I don’t fit in! Being gay and growing up with games I always found myself bombarded with sexually provocative images of women and just being completely immune to their charms:
Now that I’m older, I can understand why the gaming industry saturates their games with images such as these of their women and that is because they’re probably trying to appeal to the wider, straight male audience rather than the much smaller gay male audience. As of recent, many gaming companies have tried to turn this perception on its head – however – such as with Bioware’s Dragon Age and Mass Effect series both offering several LGBTQ+ representations throughout their games. I believe in time this particular part of the stereotype will be less prevalent, but there’s always going to be some sexualisation within video gaming (Probably from the gaming industry thinking that gamers are…)
Socially awkward, smelly and fat – the stereotypical gamer can be considered the slob that sits before his preferred gaming device all day throwing Doritos and energy drink at his body until the tank is full. Going out? Social events? Pfft! The furthest they’re going is to play D&D in someone’s basement! Personally, and I know I don’t speak for the entire gaming community, but I actually like going out. Whether it’s just to a friend’s house for wine and cheese or a horrifically mess night out, I love socialising! Gaming has also switched from a solo event to a social thing, now, with most gamers using some form of voice communication to chat amongst one another. I think this is the most damaging of any of the stereotypes, however. I grew up with a perception of myself being socially awkward, and that no one would like me because I was into gaming – now, I understand, that it’s just part of my personality and honestly if someone didn’t like me because I liked to sink 3 hours of spare time into World of Warcraft then why are you still my friend?
.. okay, you’ve got me. I’m sorta lazy. I’m not any lazier than the average person, though! Even if you don’t play video games imagine how much time you spend sat on watching television? Sat listening to music? Sat.. doing nothing much at all? I think video gaming gets a bad rap for turning people into lazy slobs and I think that people that are naturally lazier are more drawn to these more passive hobbies rather than.. I don’t know, exercising? Makes sense to me, and heck, I’m doing a Media degree.
Well, there you have it.
Do you agree with my definition of the stereotypical gamer? Have you ever felt awkward about being a gamer because of the stereotype that surrounds being a gamer? Leave me a comment and let me know!