website tracking
One-Liner: Technically on Game and Player

One-Liner: Technically

Heather Richtmyre  //  April 4, 2010

What exactly is a gamer?


pparently, I am not a gamer, if a "gamer" is a person who plays a certain percentage of the same games as with whoever is defining the term at that time.

What is a gamer, though? Is it categorized by the expenditure of time and money, by the response displayed to games played, or some judgment of the content played?

I would consider focused interest in a particular game a basic criterion. Starting a game of solitaire because it is already on the computer hardly makes one a gamer, but researching and purchasing desirable games seems much more likely to qualify someone.

So, what is a gamer?

Michael Ubaldi // April 4, 2010 // 10:04 AM

Even though I generally fit the profile, I've never cared for the label as an identity, possibly due to the expectations that I act or speak a certain way (and I refuse to utter what rhymes with "loot," "rail," and "more the spin"). As a general term, though, "gamer" is unavoidable.

Still, much of the accompanying culture is drawn from 8-bit consoles, especially the NES; so those like me who played PC games exclusively until the last 5-6 years (and have never owned a Nintendo system) can't quite relate.

I know it when I see it; and that isn't when I look in the mirror. Maybe that fellow from Wizards of the Coast, who, at PAX, told Ed, Jeremy and me that we "don't have that . . . you know, aura" was onto something.

Ed Kirchgessner // April 4, 2010 // 11:35 AM

It seems as if the gaming industry and society at large approach the term "gamer" a tad differently. When tabulating audience numbers and sales results, anyone whose picked up a controller in the last decade fits the bill (housewives who occasionally indulge in a game of Bejeweled, Wii-playing grandparents, etc.). The more mainstream press and the general population seem to be responsible for the more negative connotations: the prevailing belief that "gamers" are socially inept bums who all live in their parent's basement.

So am I a gamer? I guess so, but I enjoy being referred to as one about as much as I enjoy being called a "Trekkie" — I, like everyone here, am a complicated person with varied interests. Being defined by just one doesn't really seem fair.

Joseph Powell // April 6, 2010 // 2:00 AM

I'm a nerd.
Gamer is just a sub-category.

Join the Discussion

Articles by Heather Richtmyre

February 22, 2011

February 10, 2011

G&P Latest

July 1, 2011

June 28, 2011

About  //  Editors  //  Contributors  //  Terms of Use