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#1 PriZm

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 05:31 PM

It has come to my attention recently that there are almost no decent outlet for people who like video games on the internet. I will call those people 'we' because although I certainly don't want to identify with 'gamer' culture, I refuse to be ashamed to play video games.

The image we are projecting through the official media is simply awful. Game 'journalism' is atrocious. Gaming must not be very attractive to outsiders if they wanna get informed. Console wars, trolls, kotaku, adoration/racism towards Japan, competitive vs scrubs, casual vs hardcore, nerd rage, internet tough guys, etc. These are all by far the most popular terms we get associated with and frankly I find it disgusting.

I have a friend who is a major movies buff, and although he was certainly against blockbusters when he was young and used to call everyone who liked stuff like Rocky or Total Recall ignorant tasteless idiots but, as he matured, he began to understand that not every movie aims to be a philosophical contemplation and an innovative artistic masterpiece. He began to understand the intention behind a movie and could appreciate the blockbusters like everyone. My point is, is game culture simply young and not mature enough, and will it ever grow up ? Is it because the medium itself is young or because games mostly cater to younger people ?

Also, since the more reasonable people are more likely to be less vocal since by definition they probably don't care about these issues, is there any way for us to change the image that we are projecting ?

Is there a way to project an image where we don't care about XBOX360 vs PS3;

where we don't find it particularly fun to piss other people off;

where we don't care that a girl cosplaying as whoever made a panties shot;

where we can appreciate and be intrigued by Japan and its culture without becoming obsessive and without being called weeaboos;

where we find it frustrating to lose to someone who always does the same move in a fighting game and yet don't care enough to become competitive tournament players;

where we don't care whether a game is labelled hardcore or casual and can find enjoyment in both games like Bejeweled and Farmville as well as more involving ones like Call of Duty and Dark Souls ?
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#2 Gollgagh

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 05:51 PM

where we don't care whether a game is labelled hardcore or casual and can find enjoyment in both games like Bejeweled and Farmville as well as more involving ones like Call of Duty and Dark Souls ?


I was actually thinking about this one last night when I was rating a few DSiWare games last night. The channel itself asks whether the game is more appropriate for "Everyone" vs "Gamers" and if the gameplay was more "Casual" vs "Intense" and nothing else about the game. It just seems like it boils down the game to a pointless dichotomy that doesn't even mean anything any more.

Why would you make those two the most important questions to ask if they don't actually tell you anything about the game?
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#3 Bahamut

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 05:54 PM

I personally choose to ignore labels or platform and enjoy whatever game I play for what it is, casual or otherwise. I don't particularly care about labels when it comes to enjoyment. They may help facilitate discussion about certain topics, but other than that I don't care. I have already reached that point. I'm sure eventually there will be lots of other gamers who have too (and I'm sure there are some others who are likeminded as me here), but I'm not even interested in when it happens. What others do doesn't concern me.
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#4 Moomba

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 05:57 PM

I don't think it's particularly likely to change. Interest will always default to the controversial and dramatic side of the fanbase. Unless you kill anonymity, there will always be extremely vocal people who cause most of the stereotypes we're labelled with.

In my opinion, one of the reasons why it may not be quite as bad on the film side of things is because the medium itself doesn't promote interaction between the community quite as much. These days, with multiplayer of all types generally playing major roles in most games, we're always pushed into interacting with other members of the community, often in slightly stressful situations, and that's where the clashes really begin.

Additionally, the video game industry has more levels of diversity in what people are looking for when they play a game - from graphics to storyline to gameplay and it's generally nigh on impossible to cater to all of them so someone will always complain about something and spark a war.

Plus, we'll never be rid of trolls. Never.

Generally, I just tend to ignore anything people try to label me as. It doesn't really matter that much at the end of the day.
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#5 Mirby

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 06:05 PM

I, for one, have enjoyed nearly all the games I've played. There are a few that were just stinkers, but most were great. then again I also try to avoid the universally despised ones.

I also don't subscribe to the console wars, PC elitism confounds me, Japan's cool, spamming doesn't bug me, and the casual/hardcore gamer debate is just inane.

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#6 PriZm

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 06:30 PM

oh my post wasn't a generalization. I wasn't saying that all gamers are like this but only underlining the points that make us have a negative image in general.

If you are not personally guilty of any of these, then more power to you, but I was asking was what do you think could change this.

Also I understand that we cannot get rid of the trolls, same thing as we can't get rid of bullying, but is it possible to make their presence not a defining factor of gaming experience and culture ?
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#7 Mirby

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 06:40 PM

We'd need to be a louder voice than them, a more prominent side of the community.

However, it's only the negatives that people remember things by. In the case of gamers, it's the stereotypes of the aggressive guy who yells all the time playing Call of Duty, the morbidly obese nerd with severe acne playing WoW in his mom's basement, the PC gamer who scoffs at any and all consoles because he is much better than everyone else because he is a PC gamer, and so on and so forth.

With all those corrupting what could be a good image, it's a nearly insurmountable task to replace those as the image, as the representation of the culture.

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#8 The Derrit

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 06:56 PM

its the same story you get in the news all the time, generally speaking people who are muslims are labeled as terrorists even though the vast majority of people who are muslims aren't terrorists.

why? because someone blowing up a town over 52 virgins is a much better story than 'muslims peacefully exist'

and its the same for gamers
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#9 Mirby

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 07:03 PM

its the same story you get in the news all the time, generally speaking people who are muslims are labeled as terrorists even though the vast majority of people who are muslims aren't terrorists.

why? because someone blowing up a town over 52 virgins is a much better story than 'muslims peacefully exist'

and its the same for gamers


same with pit bulls. PIT BULL MAULS THREE YEAR OLD GIRL makes much better story than PIT BULL LOVES FAMILY AND DOES NOTHING BAD.

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#10 Malaki-LEGEND.sys

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 07:05 PM

The most tossed around statistic is that the average age of a person who plays video games is around 35 years of age. This statistic is misleading in that it might lead people to assume that these are a bunch of 35-year-olds who picked up video games for the first time instead of people who just grew up gaming.

Games are still too "comic book" in their scope of audience, and until games "mature", the stereotypes are going to persist.

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#11 AngelCityOutlaw

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 09:05 PM

its the same story you get in the news all the time, generally speaking people who are muslims are labeled as terrorists even though the vast majority of people who are muslims aren't terrorists.

why? because someone blowing up a town over 52 virgins is a much better story than 'muslims peacefully exist'

and its the same for gamers


I believe it's 72 virgins. I don't know why one would want 72 virgins anyway. I'd much rather have 30 sluts who know what they're doing than 72 virgins.

#12 Irish

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 09:09 PM

Personally, I think the stereotypes will always be there, whether we want them to or not. Because the gaming companies want it there.

How else are they going to define the genre of a game and market it?

Call of Duty will always be for the 'hardcore'. I cringe when I say this because I've met obnoxious teenagers who scream 'I'M HARD CORE' when all they've played is a newer, very niche genre.

If you ask me, you cannot call yourself hardcore until you've played and understood, if not mastered the classics. Ys was a game that I was not introduced to until its PSP rendition, this past year. The mechanic blew my mind. I don't press a button to attack?

Play Breath of Fire, Lufia, and yes, Final Fantasy. The OLDER ones.

People assume you are a specific stereotype because they don't understand. The game companies and the people who are not true gamers (people who got into gaming because of the Wii and Kinect) will always stereotype us. They didn't grow up with this stuff. They don't understand. I don't think they ever will.
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#13 Tensei

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 09:25 PM

Call of Duty will always be for the 'hardcore'. I cringe when I say this because I've met obnoxious teenagers who scream 'I'M HARD CORE' when all they've played is a newer, very niche genre.


Are you kidding? Call of Duty is one of the most casualized and widely accessible games in existence. It's one of the most mainstream games on the market right now. In fact, I'd put it closer to Farmville than I would to Dark Souls.

In response to the thread, I think a concept like game® culture, especially when you define it as something that encompasses every person who happens to play videogames, is ridiculous. There is no such thing as a movie or literature culture because they are too broad of a medium to really 'unite' people like subcultures tend to do.

This applies to videogames as well, especially because as a medium, videogames haven't really matured past the stage of being mindless entertainment. Videogames are not art (yet).
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#14 PriZm

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 10:12 PM

In response to the thread, I think a concept like game® culture, especially when you define it as something that encompasses every person who happens to play videogames, is ridiculous. There is no such thing as a movie or literature culture because they are too broad of a medium to really 'unite' people like subcultures tend to do.

This applies to videogames as well, especially because as a medium, videogames haven't really matured past the stage of being mindless entertainment. Videogames are not art (yet).


Well I wouldn't define it as something includes anyone who has ever touched a game. People who adhere or even simply participate in the culture are people for which gaming is an important hobby. And maybe that is the problem. If we considered all electronic Mahjong or Solitaire or Space Invaders fans as gamers, maybe the demographic would be a lot more varied and stereotypes would be harder to maintain.

Take the cola wars for example. Most people have a preference for Coke or Pepsi, but very few people will call coke-fans idiots for preferring the other brand. It's like people are more focused on the positive (I love coke) instead of the negative (I hate pepsi). Whereas with the console wars, people are much busier trying to downplay the competition than thinking of the positive stuff about their console of choice.

And I completely agree that there should not be a game culture, especially that is defined mostly by negative stereotypes. I'm just bothered by what kind of image is conjured up when the answer to the question 'what do you like to do in your spare time' is 'playing video games'.

Video game fans used to be viewed as extreme nerds with huge glasses but now, we are more viewed as rabid entitled assholes, which to me is even worse.

I really don't wanna get into whether Call of Duty is casual or hardcore because to me that dichotomy is not properly defined and doesn't make sense.

As for eternal question of whether games are art, I think game culture has a negative impact on that perception. To me it really does not matter what you want to call it but the fact remains that if both a song and a game can make me feel an emotion as strongly, then to me they have the same entertainment value. I think that in order to mature into what could be universally considered art, video games need their consumers to mature first.
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#15 PixelPanic

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 10:14 PM

Being a teenager and major game fan, I often have to act as a guru when it comes to games in my school

And let this be known.

Everybody. Plays. Video games.

The other day, a jock kid I have 2 classes with (I don't interact with him, I talk to other marching band kids) asked me if he should get Skyrim. I asked him what intrigued him about the game. He responded with "my brother had Morrowind and I really liked that," which blew my mind. I said sure, the game is endless fun and will keep his attention. Sure enough, a week later, I hear him talk on the other side of the room to the wrestlers and soccer players about Daedric princes.

My friend in the grade below mine saw me playing Sonic CD on my iPod Touch, and asked me what I was playing (keep in mind, this kid mostly likes Fallout and Skyrim), to which I responded "Sonic CD, it's one of the originals." He told me he never got a Sega CD. I told him "it's a really good game" and let him play. He was cursing because of oddly placed badniks, but he laughed every time. A few days later, I get a text asking what Past and Future do.

These two scenarios are from two different classes of people, playing two different classes of games, at the same rate of enjoyment.

So remember this: 1) Hardcore/casual does not describe what kind of games, it describes how you play them, both kids playing casually, and 2) Everyone wants to play a game. They were made for fun.

#16 Nonamer

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 10:31 PM

The economist recently did a special report on the growth of gaming worldwide.
http://www.economist...ort-video-games

Also, Extra Credits had a few episodes concerning this topic.
http://penny-arcade....v/episode/gamer

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#17 Irish

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 11:42 PM

Are you kidding? Call of Duty is one of the most casualized and widely accessible games in existence. It's one of the most mainstream games on the market right now. In fact, I'd put it closer to Farmville than I would to Dark Souls.



I don't think CoD is hardcore either. But many people think it is. I don't understand it either so i'm not going to explain it.

Also, yes. Everyone plays video games. But not everyone is a gamer. Not everyone knows what that means. You could be a grandma playing a Zynga game or a young kid with a 3DS. You're at different spectrums of the same zone. Gaming could be that stupid banner ad at the top of the page, or a game you play with a controller.

There is a gaming culture. It's just ambiguous. No one has as of yet defined it concretely, so people misinterpret genres (such as the Call of Duty argument), and misjudge people who may or may not be gamers and their styles.
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#18 ella guro

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 12:29 AM

Game Culture


...sucks.

but yes I think it has a lot to do with the cultural climate videogames have developed around, as well as how young they are.
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#19 PixelPanic

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 12:33 AM

Well, being picky, we SHOULD be called "players."

But in all seriousness.

I believe a good definition of "gamer" is "one whom demonstrates gaming as a primary focus or hobby." If a little kid spends hours playing his 3DS? Yeah, I'd call him a gamer. He has fun gaming for a majority of his free time. Ones experience is purely an addition to the term. And yes, unfortunately, all those "totes 3l33t" CoD 12-year-olds, are gamers, in the same way that some film buffs respect Rob Schneider as a serious actor.

HOWEVER. This does not mean a person who spends a majority of their time socializing is not a gamer. Socializing isn't a hobby.

#20 mickomoo

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 02:28 AM

I don't know how many of you will be able to even finish this article...But ignore it's major claim of a 'world order' I did. More or less take away that until people realize that there's more to gaming than what compaines, news outlets, ect... tell us that games maybe will never mature to their full potential.




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