When you hear the word ‘gamer’, you think of someone in their mid-30s, attractive, has their life all worked out, maybe has a significant other or a spouse who is equally attractive and worked out lifewise. They make 6 digits a year and live together in a clean, well-maintained living space that’s always ready for guests, and there’s an impressive collection of games in front of a luxurious TV, and the household spends the evenings engaged in some friendly online bouts of some award-winning title or other.
At least, that’s likely to be what you imagine if you use the word ‘gamer’ to describe yourself. For 99% of the first world, “gamer” usually means someone who spends an unhealthy amount of time wrapped around a controller or keyboard, typically obese, possibly a type-2 diabetic, who is leeching off their parents and jobless, with no chance of attracting a mate. As much as you’re loathe to believe it, Mr. or Ms. Self-Appointed Gamer, people say things like, “I had to dump my boyfriend because he was such a gamer,” “I can’t stand the gamer-stench when I walk past the electronics shop at the mall,” “I gotta hit the gym and get rid of this gamer-fat.”
Face it, game players, “gamer” is not a good word, and fighting to make it a good word is an uphill battle, if only for all the people that just don’t care that it means all those bad things, and those that just continue to validate the bad stereotype.
Nintendo has recently launched an ad campaign that’s being called the “I am not a gamer” campaign, and I believe that they are on the right track. “Gamers” are not the majority of game players, and it’s high-time the rest of the video game industry realizes this. If you exclude people who don’t call themselves “gamers”, then you will get your company to lose money quickly. Gamers are a dying breed, and we shouldn’t be trying to save them. We should be trying to hold on to the people who are interested in video games, but also have well-maintained lives of their own. The people that allow the positive effects of video-games influence their lives and make them healthier, more productive, more successful, and more fulfilling in their lives and the lives of the people around them. The people who would be described as the “gamers” of the first paragraph of this article.
I like to call them, “humans.”
My name is Guardian Hero, and I am not a gamer. I am a protector of the realm, and if you’ll excuse me, I’m about to go out and do so in Code of Princess.