'The Church of Gamers': Why the Term 'Gamer' Needs to Go

According to Douglas Wilson, we're a rather unenlightened bunch: mass histrionics from the 'Church of Gamers,' as he describes it, are shooting the industry/people who play video games in the proverbial foot. Of course, he's picking out the worst examples (the militantly defensive) to cry for greater participation, less exclusivity, more political consciousness (beyond media issues), less misogyny .... Ouch. While we're all blindly worshipping at the altar of gaming, we're missing out on opportunities to expand:

The very notion of the "gamer" implies that games are a niche hobby, only for the sufficiently devoted. This exclusivity is exactly what impedes games from attracting a more diverse player base beyond the white adolescent male stereotype.

Given that more and more people are beginning to embrace games, it's finally time to dump the anachronistic "gamer" label. We longtime players of games need not feel sad about this change. Opening games to, well, everybody can only result in a wider selection of genres and ideas.

Maybe it's because I'm part of the even snottier and more exclusive subgroup of 'academia,' or because I think people in general couldn't care less about big important issues beyond what they feel personally impacts them, but I don't really see a problem with 'gamer' or 'gamer' subculture — rather, I don't think the exclusive and/or militant mindset of some people will go away if a label or term is suddenly ditched. The connection between being a passionate gamer and clueless when it comes to politics is rather tenuous at best.

Ceci N'est Pas Une Gamer [GameSetWatch]


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