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Stereotyped

The struggle for gamers

20
July
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Over the years gamers have been stereotyped as being nerds. Now this undoubtedly came from the days when video games were an anti-social activity, and could only be played in select locations. However, now a days video games are so readily available that every age and gender can play them will relative ease. I mean for crying out loud Xbox Live alone has over 23 million subscribers. Video games are no longer an activity just for individuals. Sure, they eat up time when you are bored, but I personally have the most fun playing video games when it's a social activity with others. Now that could be playing a game with someone right next to me, or using an online service. Video games are more fun with friends.

Despite the fact that video games (for the most part) are completely mainstreamed, and can now be perceived as a social activity, hardcore gamers are still viewed upon as extreme nerds. A nerd to me is someone who goes to their local Gamestop just to have a conversation with the people who work there. Another characteristic of a nerd is someone who wears clothing that features a game franchise. Now I know this is pretty common, but come on fellas have some dignity. We can?t forget the people who dress up as game characters (not on Halloween). Also, anyone who purchases an action figure over the age of eleven. If you have done any of those things recently, I consider you a nerd. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but your fueling the fire to the perception that all hardcore gamers are nerds.

Evidence of this stereotype are all over, especially in television. Last night, we were having a menversus.com staff meeting and my friend told me to put on TBS. Lopez Tonight was doing a segment on gamers at E3. The purpose of the bit was to determine if the stereotype about gamers is true. They would ask the person a question (gaming stereotype related) and then pause the video to have contestants guess what the answer to the question would be. Now I enjoyed a good laugh while watching the segment, but my problem was the people they choose to interview. They type-casted individuals who look like humongous nerds. Trust me, even if you fell under one of my nerd characteristics, you would still laugh at these peoples appearance. The first person they showed was a male that looked like Rainn Wilson (The Office), he had unkempt hair down to his shoulders, was wearing a Zelda shirt, and said he worked at a Renaissance fair. The question was, do you carry an inhaler? The contestant guessed he did carry and inhaler, and in fact he did. The last gamer they interviewed was probably the best, he was another male who was twenty-five years old, overweight, and still living with his parents. Lopez asked him, was he a virgin? The guy answered yes, which if anything shows he has courage and a sense-of-humor to openly admit that about himself.

Obviously, the show was looking for people that would make the segment as interesting as possible, but it just annoys me that they are strengthening the stereotype. I?ve stated before that I played a college sport, and I would say three-fourths of my team played video games regularly. They were the same individuals who would go out and have a good time (with women) on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night. The fact is, the hardcore gamer should not be portrayed by the select number of people who go to E3 or ComicCon. Gaming is a part of American culture, and people who don?t think that are just ignorant.



Couldn't find an embedded Video, but here is the link to the segment

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