Why the Term 'Gamer' Does Not Need to Go

Last week, Douglas Wilson made an impassioned argument for why the term gamer needs to go; this week, Rene Patnode, a fellow soldier in the grad school trenches, responds with his take on why the term gamer does not need to go the way of the dodo:

... change to the fan sub-culture appears inevitable, but yet so are reactionary responses from the fans. But those responses are soon swallowed up by the progress of the sub-culture on the whole. Given this inevitability, is there reason for concern?

After all, the course of history has already begun to unfold. In the same way we gaming old-timers may look down on PlayStation fanboys (for the record, I'm a Nintendo man), those same gamers who cut their teeth on the PS2 may denigrate the n00bs who are just learning to waggle their Wii-motes. Wilson's critique may in fact stem from his own nostalgia for the good old days before a series of tubes became the internet we now know and love, and flame wars became easier to ignite.

He makes some good points on the nature of subcultures in general, and where we gamers may be headed on the whole.

Si, Ceci Est Un Gamer [GameSetWatch]


    The main argument for dropping the 'gamer' tag that I've seen is that it implies exclusivity.

    The argument goes (in my experience): We don't call people who watch movies "movie-goers" because everyone does it, therefore stop calling people who play games "gamers" and more people will do it.

    I see two logical flaws in this argument.

    1 - We're putting the horse before the cart here. Changing (or dropping) a name isn't going to make the masses spontaneously change their minds and start playing games.

    2 - We DO have a name for people who watch movies more than your average person, they're called film-buffs. Same goes for people who love fine food (even though most people eat at some point). So why not have a term to describe someone whose primary recreational activity is playing videogames?

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now