The Diversifying and Growing Inclusion of Our Gaming Culture
“Overweight, unhygienic, unshaven, oily skin with Dorito dust covered fingers and Mountain Dew rotted teeth. Basement dwellers, keyboard jockeys, the scourge of respectable society….” Bryan Fettis rejects the stereotypes and instead writes an ode to the evolving gaming culture.
Ins and Outs of Groups
Over time, when humans are in a collective group, they will slowly form into their own respective groups within the collective. There will always be an ‘in’ group and an ‘out’ group. The ins are the ones on the forefront of society. Average Joe and Jane Taxpayer who enjoy Sangrias and watching reality television that’s based upon a standard of story so old that they don’t even realize that all their favorite shows are the same at the core.
But when there is a majority that weeds out the blemishes and casts them aside into their own groups, the majority becomes smaller and smaller and it eventually becomes the minority as a result of its own exclusion. The people that were once ‘in’ are now so isolated that they are the ones separated by society, however now identified as the ‘others’.
The gaming culture has been subjected to such disdain and resistance that an underground movement had been building right under the noses of the traditional sport jockeys who still believe that people care about who the hell can get the most concussions in a set period of time.
Transcript of "Gaming can make a better world"
TED Talk Subtitles and Transcript: Games like World of Warcraft give players the means to save worlds, and incentive to…
Gaming is Inclusion
From the very beginning with the first coin-operated arcades, the gamers were cast aside for losing themselves in these screens and lights. The hardcore fans of gaming coming from a myriad of social groups already under fire from the populace. The sci-fi kids and band geeks, the comic book readers and the artists, they flocked to gaming.
As it evolved with technology, and with a great deal of help from the creation of the internet, gaming moved out of the arcade and into the lairs of the gamers. It was there, in the comfort of their own homes, that the socially stunted and awkward could lose themselves in the games.
As video games became easier and cheaper to create, a new generation of game designers took the reins. The mid 1990s were a proverbial Garden of Eden for gaming. Legendary game franchises such as Super Mario, Doom, Final Fantasy, The Legend of Zelda, and many more were born in the gold rush of gaming production.
The Culture is Gaining XP
When the games became more advanced in hardware, faster in performance, and most importantly, more striking visually, an entirely new fandom started to develop within the gaming world. The casual fan emerged, wide eyed and innocent, stumbling onto the now vast wonderland of high definition graphics, deeply complex storylines, and character development to mirror raising a child.
The casual gamer revolutionized the gaming community, because they did not care as much about how it is to play the game, but more so how you feel connected to the stories and characters. In the last decade especially, gaming has grown to incorporate millions of fan artists, cosplayers, or costume-players, and creative minds that expand the universes of their favorite games.
The Cosplay Subculture
It is not uncommon for some of the high-end video game releases to have corresponding comic books or graphic novels featuring the characters of the game. The days of a yellow dot being chased by a vaguely ghost-shaped color are over. Video game characters are almost as real as I am. They come with backstories, families, character traits and flaws, an understanding of the character much deeper than we maybe should.
But the fans are in love. And there are so many games out there, that there is guaranteed to be a game that you’ll love. It is in this way, that the gamer culture is thriving. When someone has an idea for a game, there is not a different stadium used to keep it separate. Many esport tournaments feature multiple games under a single roof, because there is common interest across all virtual fields of play.
Although we try to forget, there is still a stereotype associated with what a gamer’s physical traits would likely be, and they are not flattering. Overweight, unhygienic, unshaven, oily skin with Dorito dust covered fingers and Mountain Dew rotted teeth. Basement dwellers, keyboard jockeys, the scourge of respectable society, we hunch in our parents basements and play our games hidden from view.
I’ll admit that there are enough gamers like that that the stereotype has some solid footing. But gaming has become so universal that nearly everyone who owns a smartphone could be considered a gamer. Not to mention the entire generation of ’90s kids that all grew up playing video games. The latter end of that generation is in college now, and it doesn’t matter if you’re in a frat house, the honors’ student dorms, or even some of the faculty offices, there are video games everywhere. A gamer can no longer be identified by any one trait, because everyone is a gamer to some degree.
The gaming culture is not concerned with who they can keep out, but who they can include. With each new game comes new fans, and the veterans of the community welcome each new person with open arms.
If you think you aren’t acquainted with the gamer culture, you’re probably wrong. Gamers are literally everywhere, and some of your closest friends could be gamers as well. Maybe you’re a gamer too and you didn’t know it.