Letter From the Editor: Do We Earn the Title of Gamer?

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I’m starting to actually like Anita Sarkeesian a lot – not because of anything she’s said, because she’s so full of shit it’s impossible for me to dissect every point she’s made, but because there are people out there who have dissected everything she’s said. Strangely enough, the point I’m about to adventure through like some kind of 19th century safari nut came from Honey Badger Radio, a podcast performed by Women Against Feminism.

There’s been a lot of ire towards ‘fake gamer girls’ and faux nerd culture, something I’ve dismissed out of hand due to the fact that if you follow the logic, it doesn’t really matter. At all. The amount of times I’ve fooled people into thinking I know even the slightest detail on sports has been both exorbitant and hilarious, and in the end, it harmed no-one, even if it may have made me look like an absolute twat had I ever been caught out. But I haven’t, and no-one ever will, because I am the cleverest bear there ever was. Just like my Uncle Yogi.

I’d say the only time that it would matter whether someone was a ‘real’ gamer or not is if that fact would save the world. Seriously. Otherwise, who cares?

Well, I might have in another time and place…

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Is this…

See, I remember a time when it was almost unheard of, at least in my small world, for girls to play games (maybe due to directive marketing). I also remember a time when it was heavily looked down upon to be a gamer and the bullying that would accompany it. There was something ridiculously frustrating about being asked ‘why do you spend all day inside playing video games?’ when I was participating in both Tae Kwon Do and football. Hell, I was fitter than most of the ‘sports group’ back in the day, yet the stigma of enjoying games went beyond bald-faced facts of ‘holy shit this guy is training for more hours a week than I sleep’ and straight into stereotype.

As ridiculous as it is, I think some of us are still waiting for an apology. The same people who used to tell us we were worthless because of our hobby are now spending hours on CoD and Candy Crush. The same culture that was defined by ‘fat, sweaty neckbeards’ is now presented by beautiful, fit people like myself. Gaming became mainstream seemingly overnight, and those of us who ‘suffered’ through the days when it was something to be ashamed are now ‘socially acceptable’…cool even.

What’s in a name?

Regarding the title of gamer – I’ve had a problem with this as well. I don’t really care what you play, how you play, how good you are at what you play and so on; I care about what you can say about a game. A person who can talk to me for ten minutes about how much they enjoy Jetpack Joyride is far, far more interesting to me than someone who tells me they liked a game because they enjoyed it and they enjoyed it because they liked it. You know who does this more than any other gamer? Anyone who liked FFXIII. Seriously. I know I’ve got an anger hard-on for FFXIII, but every time I’ve had someone contest me over its quality (or lack thereof), the only thing they say in it’s favour is that it was good. Because they liked it. Because it was good.

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Now the same as this?…

YOU PEOPLE DRIVE ME INSANE

I’m going to do a writer’s cop out at this point, because I have no idea what the answer to this question is. I’d like to hear from you, the readers, because you can’t spell ‘learning’ without ‘ear’. Even though I will be reading. But there’s an ‘ear’ in reading, kind of, you just need to rearrange the first three letters. Maybe you’re looking too hard at this.

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