Some people argue that the term “gamer” should go away.
They say you don’t call yourself a reader or a watcher if you read a book or watch a film, so why would you need to call yourself a gamer if you play games? They argue that as the art form has moved into the mainstream, the gamer label limits the scope of what gaming can be, or even is, as it stands today. For these critics many people over-zealously use the term as a badge of honor, which also acts as a gate that wards off those who don’t play games or don’t dedicate as much of their time or mindshare playing games.
Gaming most certainly is part of the culture, and I understand that some people simply don’t want to self-identify as gamers. I come across people all the time who tell me how they aren’t really gamers, then share stories of a game they are playing. The disassociation is so important for some that they are literally playing a game on their phone as they inform me of this distinction.
I respect the fact that for some, the term doesn’t represent who they are, yet they still love gaming. I can even understand the need for these people to distance themselves from the negative representation the term brings to some people’s minds.
I just find it odd that so many of these same people who want to take the term away from the lexicon altogether also want those who call themselves gamers to find another way to celebrate their love of the medium.
I like food, but I certainly wouldn’t call myself a foodie. I like movies, but I would never call myself a film nut. I call myself a cyclist because I love bikes, but most people who ride a bike wouldn’t even consider it, as they “just like riding bikes.” All forms of enjoyment to which people indulge themselves have levels of interest that differ from person to person.
People have different ways of identifying themselves. The young kid who beats randomly on a pot and calls himself a drummer has just as much right to the term as the late-great John Bonham (of Led Zeppelin fame).
I’m a gamer, and I will always be one. It is who I am. I define myself this way and use it to show people that gamers are not only great, but that the people who play games are not the stereotype, because I am not the stereotype. I’m just a person who just happens to love games.