Alan Smithee

Saying “I’m a Gamer” is Not Wrong

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Gamer debate

I have a condition. I’m too comfortable accepting labels for who I am. The big difference is that I don’t make who I am say to the world WHAT I am. There might be some confusion with that last statement, but please give me a second to try to explain.Labels, regardless of whether they’re assigned to you by someone else (like your given name after birth) or generated on your own, should be able to encapsulate essences of what makes you you.

Take for instance a couple of my own labels. I’m a white, cis-gendered male named Christopher. Two of those labels are things that I can’t help or fix, nor would they need to be, but they immediately state to the world or whomever might be reading this rant of a editorial parts of what defines me as a person. Just to complete the set I’m also a liberal agnostic atheist weeaboo…so edgy, you might as well buy me a fedora and call it a day.

Sorry, back to the topic at hand. In the wake of the #GamerGate controversy, much of which has gotten completely out of control on both sides of the argument, the label of “gamer” has begun to be stigmatized and I don’t understand completely why this is the case. A gamer by its most narrow definition should be someone who enjoys playing games…really, that should be the only condition to use that label.Unfortunately for any label that a certain subset of the populace adopts, things are taken to the n-th degree and extra conditions are added by the “in-crowd” in order to use that label or to be taken seriously. I could use my pedigree of being a gamer since the early 80s, or the fact that I’ve written gaming news before as arguments toward why I can call myself that but NO. The only condition that should exist for being a gamer, like I said, is a love for playing games.

THIS MEANS ALL GAMES.

I don’t care if they’re board games, card games, videogames, pen and paper RPGs, Tiddlywinks, it shouldn’t matter. Hell, even if your favorite game is Candy Crush on a mobile device or browser, you’re a gamer. Those that want to co-op the title and make it their own need to realize this.

I’ll give an example. In modern atheism, there seems to be a disconnect between what the word/label atheism means. In reality it should mean “someone who doesn’t believe in deity or deities” and that’s where it should be left. Unfortunately those n-th degree radicals have decided that it should also consist of an adoption of secularism, humanism, and a couple of other -isms.

I disagree. If you choose a label, be damned sure you know what it means, not what you want it to mean…and while you’re at it, don’t belittle those that don’t share the same interests. I’m a runner, but you don’t see me telling other people they should run as well. I can only speak to what I do and what I like.

Running a website for a number of years and putting opinions out into the world has given me quite the clinical detachment from a good portion of the fandom. I realized long ago that I have ZERO control on what others take away from what I write or publish, nor can I tell people what they label me as. For the most part if given a label, it might fit in some context, but I’ll be damned if I leave that context up to someone who is using it wrong.

Never in my mind would I tell someone what to think, I leave that up to the individual. But yes. I am a gamer, and there’s nothing wrong with that. /endrant

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