Published on July 6th, 2013 | by Alex Porter8
Blog: My Experiences With The ‘Gamer’ Stereotype
I did say that my next blog would be a more positive one but I read something recently that really annoyed me so I thought that I’d make it the topic of my next post. I promise that the next one will be positive! I hope…
Why does the ‘gamer’ stereotype still exist? As a gamer of reasonable skill with a 6 digit gamerscore, I find myself being messaged regularly about how I ‘have no life’ or that I ‘need to move out of my parent’s basement’. In particular, I receive messages about my gamerscore, although it’s funny how people only send you them when they lose, but not when they win. Below is an example of one such message that I received a few years ago although I cannot remember the details of what I had been playing at the time.
Another time that I received a stereotypical message was during a game of Modern Warfare 2. I play MW2 with several friends and we tend to play Team Tactical. As a tight-knit team we usually win most games, and on this occasion, we had done just that. I had personally topped the game with a reasonable K/D ratio. Before the game had even returned to the lobby, I’d already received a message about how I need to get a life because of my gamerscore. My first thought was that he was just a sore loser, but then it dawned on me that he’d sent me a message aiming at my gamerscore. This made me realise that this guy who was about to complain about how we’d beaten him, had suddenly changed his mind and instead decided to stereotype me. As I normally do, I simply ignored the message and continued playing.
These are not the only occasions that I have received such stereotypical messages but these are the two that particularly stuck with me. Normally I can just shrug these messages off and block communications with these people if necessary, but what I saw and read today encouraged me to speak out about it instead.
A friend of mine, knowing that I like to collect games, decided to mention me in a gallery that Xbox had featured on it’s Facebook page about gamers’ game collections. This is something he likes to do to encourage me to snap a picture and post my collection for other gamers and collectors to see. It’s something that I’ve done before several times and usually the response is positive with other avid gamers posting up pictures to show off their collections as well. On this occasion however, I was completely put off by what I read. After viewing the few pictures that they had featured, I glanced at the comments… and soon regretted it. After looking through a handful of the comments, I got the gist of what most of these Xbox ‘fans’ and ‘gamers’ were talking about… and I was disgusted.
Among the comments you had people making positive comments about how awesome the pictures are or the odd funny comment such as ‘GameStop be like, 5 bucks.’ I found that one particularly funny! Despite this, many of the comments were negative, and in my view, darn right abusive. While you had the odd comment saying things such as ‘sad’ or that they have ‘more money than sense’, many of them actually targeted the ‘gamer’ stereotype and I actually found them to be hurtful. Comments such as ‘they all need to get out more’ and ‘go kiss a girl’ infuriated me. Some people went further but I’ve decided not to include those messages here because of their content.
Luckily I can control my anger so I didn’t reply to these messages, but God knows I wanted to! The only saving grace here was that some people made constructive responses to these comments which at least made me feel a little better about the situation, although I still refused to upload a picture of my collection. But this just goes to show how many people out there still pick on the ‘gamer’ stereotype. I find it amazing how many people, and gamers, online are prepared to throw the ‘gamer’ stereotype around. It’s funny though that despite no matter how many people send me these messages online, not one person has ever said it to me offline. The advantages of being a big guy at 6ft 3″ I guess!
I’ll be honest in that I kind of fit into the stereotype as I still live with my parents, but I’m 21 and in full-time education so I haven’t got the financial ability to have my own place. Trust me, I would love to have my own place, I definitely need the room, but it’s just not feasible. Most gamers that I know do not even come close to fitting into this stereotype, so why is it still so common? Perhaps these people are just using it to vent their anger or jealousy? Whatever the reason, there is no excuse for it.
Comments and messages like these will never stop me from enjoying my hobby or stop my passion for video games but perhaps one day they’ll annoy me enough to break my rule of not replying to this kind of abuse. I just hope that this, along with many stereotypes, eventually die out… probably wishful thinking on my part…