Tuesday, November 24, 2015

It’s a Big, Gaming World

Is a gamer someone who only plays Xbox or PS3 Games, like Call of Duty and Madden? Sure. However, gamers have diversified over the years. In the early years, gamers were, by and large, mature adults. Sure, children and teenagers played Pong and Space Invaders, but casual games that catered to younger audiences didn’t really appear until Nintendo released the NES.

Over the generations of consoles (and the PC, the poor thing), gamers have largely been mature, male adults and teenagers. Now, I’m not saying they composed the entirety of the gaming community, but they were most often stereotyped into the title “gamer.” Why males are more likely to become gamers isn’t something I can sum up on my own. Nowadays, gamers can be defined in much more diverse terms, even if said gamers don’t consider themselves “gamers.”

With the rising popularity of the Wii console, iPhones and their Android competitors, gaming has diversified. If you play Candy Crush with every second of your spare time, you’re probably a gamer. If you only play Call of Duty and Madden, you’re probably a gamer. If you play indie games, you’re probably a gamer.

“Gamer” is still a term portioned out to more “hardcore” players. People who play any MMO are considered gamers. For the most part, spending more than 4 hours a day playing games marks you as a gamer.

So, what does that mean?

Today, as I’ve said, most people who own a smartphone, Xbox, PS3, Wii, PC, or any game-carrying device can be given the title “gamer.” Yet, that’s not how most people view the term. Imagine you meet a new person. You’re sharing info about your lives, when they ask, “What do you like to do?” You respond non-chalantly, “I play games.” The response you receive can vary wildly, from enthusiastic “Yeah! That’s awesome!” to “What a waste of time.”

I am of the opinion that games have been a benefit to the cultures of the world. Creativity is fueled by gamers and developers. It’s an art of expression, story, and visual experience. That is how I feel.
Do I sometimes think, “Man, I could be doing something else.”? Sure. However, I don’t regret the many hundreds of hours I put into SWG, World of Warcraft, and countless other games in my life. I’ve learned from them, if nothing else.

So, if you’re a gamer, you don’t need to feel shame from non-gamers (whomever they are). Gaming, and what you gain from it, is entirely up to you.

On that note, if you stay up 24+ hours playing video games and drinking energy drinks, I am not responsible for any health problems. It’s all up to you, after all.

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