Charting The Cultural Ascent Of The Word 'Gamer'

Most folks don't really much like the term "Gamer." It has a lot of cultural baggage, and is even a little bit like "Hipster" in some ways. We all like games these days, don't we? So what is a "Gamer" anymore, anyway?

Over at his blog The Ludologist, video game researcher (and author of A Casual Revolution) Jesper Juul has put together a chart tracking the rise of the word "Gamer" over the last 112 years, or from the year 1900 until present day. Unsurprisingly, there is a pretty significant spike from 1990 onward, but most interestingly, the trend begins to flatten out starting in 2005.

As Juul himself wonders: "Why is the curve flattening around 2005? Could it be that the rise of casual games is making the question moot?"

Why, indeed…

The Rise of the Word "Gamer" [The Ludologist]


    easy. A gamer is someone who goes and buys games instead of any thing else. Any one else just plays games.

    I'm more interested in that spike in the 1910-1920's. What is the deal with that?

    @pixxpixx I'm guessing that would have been 1918 the end of World War 1 and a different kind of "game" was being played.........

      You mean the game where Jews had to have a nasty shower? That's rough.

    Would really like to know how the author is coming to these data points for each year. Sorry I do data as a full time job and would like to know the he was able to determine if the word was being used say back in 1910. Also why is there a spike in the WW1 and post war years?

    Didn't the internet become availiable in households within the 90's.....
    So basically anyone online could say the work " GAMER " and it would increase it.
    Useless poll is useless, how can i get paid to make useless shit like this?

      Yep, that's sort of the point

    Interesting article, personally I loathe the term Gamer. I love playing games, the same way I love watching movies and a hundred other things, I cant stand being labelled a 'gamer' and being associated with all the horrible cultural baggage the term drags along with it.

    Shows like 'good game' really don't help.

      I agree, but at least I don't hear "hardcore gamer" as often these days although it does crop up every now and then. I always found that term ridiculous.

    I wouldn't be offended but I may be a little annoyed if someone were to call me that now that I think about it.

    My reasons? I watch television, listen to music and watch movies just as much as I play games these days. I guess if you were to put it in the same league as tv junkie, bookworm and movie buff it'd be ok

    Maybe it's just me but I always thought the word "Gaming" not so much as gamer was associated with gambling and therefore quite negative in it's connotation. It's only in recent times that you here gamer and gaming in a video game context.

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