Poll: On the Term Gamer And Its Usage

Sleepy Sol

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Feb 15, 2011
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I fall somewhere in between the first and second options, generally.

Just based on the fact that tons of mobile games aren't really built to be games, but money extraction devices.

But I'm really not going to get on someone's case because of what variety of games they enjoy. If they identify as a gamer, they are one.
 

Travis Fischer

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Feb 1, 2012
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Have you ever lost a day of productivity at work because you were watching E3 videos?
Would you recognize Shigeru Miyamoto if he got onto an elevator with you?
Do you know the difference between 1st, 2nd, and 3rd party developers, and which games are made by which?
Do you regularly visit sites or watch YouTube channels dedicated to video games?
Have you ever considered boycotting EA or Activision?

If you've answered yes to any of the above, you're probably a Gamer.
 
Jan 27, 2011
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I said "enthusiasts".

If playing games is something you do a lot of, and you really enjoy it, then you're a gamer.

We don't call people who read maybe one book a year, or just magazines a "bookworm", after all.

But this transcends genre for me. IF you play a ton of facebook apps and it's a huge part of your life, those are still games, making you a gamer. Even if all those games are shit.
 

IamLEAM1983

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Aug 22, 2011
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Anyone with honest interest in the medium is a gamer. If you're playing games from an analytical point of view and are doing it purely for research purposes (which I've seen happen, it's the consequence of games being study material, now), then you aren't necessarily one. Grampa fiddling around the Wii just to please his grandson by "checking the Marios out" isn't a gamer. If the same senior citizen started to seriously invest himself in Super Mario Galaxy, however, then he'd qualify.
 

Someone Depressing

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Jan 16, 2011
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A gamer is someone who enjoys the art itself, whether they endorse in small-level mobile and social games, or hardcore PvP games like LoL or whatever, is a gamer.

Obviously, I think that you have to take the effort to appreciate the medium itself as a vehicle for storytelling, art as a craft and as something to be enjoyed to be a gamer, but that line itself is too loosely defined for many to cement themselves as "gamers". So instead, a gamer is someone who eats lots of KFC and enjoys cartwheels or some other bullcrap at least understands and appreciates the medium to a decent extent, or understands how games are made in a sense.
 

Bellvedere

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Jul 31, 2008
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Anyone that plays games and cares enough about the fact that they do such that they'd want to call themselves a gamer.

Seems pretty pointless to argue about who can call themselves that and who can't. It's not really something you can regulate and even if you could it wouldn't make any difference to anyone because what is considered "game" is a pretty broad catagory. Even within strictly "hardcore" games there's enough variation that it's entirely possible that two people that meet each other and call themselves gamers can not like any of the same titles as each other.
 

irishda

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Dec 16, 2010
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What about people that don't like the term "gamer"? As many have pointed out, the definition seems very wide-spread, which doesn't seem ideal to be useful as a term for a group of people. If it's an identity that anyone can claim and drop in and out of, what kind of identity is it?

Moreover, it creates a perception of games as a lifestyle, which is not something I'd think people would even WANT to identify with outside of people who have it as their job.
 

DANEgerous

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Jan 4, 2012
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The term gamer is far less about what you play and more about the degree your interest spreads past just playing the game. If you play CS:GO 9 hours a day and never talk about it you are less of a gamer than someone that plays a Cow Clicker for an hour a day and loves it. That said the person playing CS:GO is far more likely to like the game in ways that extend beyond just playing it and thus we see the focus on "Hardcore" games.

I am a gamer not because of what I play but because I tell my non-gamer friends about games, talk about games and discuss opinions on games. Any regular poster here is to me a gamer even if they have been to busy to actually play games.
 

JohnnyDelRay

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Jul 29, 2010
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From reading most of the above I would conclude it's almost impossible to define gamer. In reality, technically anyone who actually plays games should be called a gamer, even if it's for 5 minutes on their phone every few days while waiting in line or on the subway. If someone smokes only on weekends, you call them a 'smoker' anyways don't you? Someone who runs once a week is also a 'runner' aren't they? So a gamer is anyone who plays. A "gaming enthusiast" much like the term "movie buff", is someone who considers it their primary, or one of their main hobbies. Of course, you can also be a cyclist or gym buff or anything else you want to be and still be a gaming enthusiast. So that's someone who takes it a bit more seriously, as in talks about, researches, plays, and anything more with games.
 

StriderShinryu

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Dec 8, 2009
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A gamer is a videogame enthusiast. The recent Escapist article about the topic defines it perfectly. Just as pretty much everyone watches movies not everyone who does so is a cinephile or movie buff. Gamer is the videogame equivalent of that. There's really not much more description or definition needed.
 

Lightknight

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Nov 26, 2008
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Happyninja42 said:
Lightknight said:
How would you be excluded from that category? If you play for hours every day it is an integral part of your life and you would be equivalent to a "car freak" then.

This is like a person telling me that every day since he was five he pops open the hood of his car and looks around and tightens things and oils things for hours. To hear that person say, "but I'm not a car nut" would be hilarious. People are passionate about things in different ways. You don't have to keep up to date on the news to be passionate. You playing those games is you being passionate about the games themselves.
I wouldn't include myself in that category, because it implies being up to date on every minute detail of the industry. Or at least, that's how the escapist dev stated it. And I've known plenty of "car nuts" in my time, and in a gaming equivalent comparison, I'm not a car nut. I couldn't tell you what anti-aliasing does for my graphics quality. I don't know how to overclock a computer. I don't know shit about zoe quinn, anita sark, gamergate, or any of the other stuff that populates this website. Again, by the dev's definition of "gamer", I wouldn't qualify. Because I don't live, breath, eat, and sleep gaming. Which is why that definition of it annoys me to no end. But the fact that my earliest memories of being alive were to the sounds of Alladin's Castle arcade, and the symphony of noises and lights as I fought evil and saved kingdoms from tyranny says to me personally, that I'm a gamer.

Just to clarify, I do consider myself a gamer, through and through, from the days of my youth, probably up until I die, I will be gaming. I was simply commenting about what another person's definition of it was. And considering it was one of the people who runs this site, and they stated it in a "a comment about the state of gaming" during all the gamergate bullshit, I felt it relevant to point out. If only to disagree with it. xD
It doesn't imply that you're up to date on every minute detail. It just implies that you're well abreast of the games you played and are passionate about them.

Look, there are car nuts who focus on very specific time periods or models and may know nothing about other developments but would still absolutely be considered car nuts. You're a person who plays core games every day of your life. If you're not familiar with games on a large enough level to be considered an enthusiast then you may be doing it wrong.

Don't know, just seems like you're being a contrarian here with your statements: I do X every day but I'm not an Xer is crazy talk, sir, CRAZY TALK I say!!! :p

Enthusiasts are only enthusiasts in relation to the norm. They aren't the huge extremes you're indicating, they're merely passionate about the subject. Enough to give it their time and energy. Here you are, a person who plays every day discussing gaming online saying you're not an enthusiast and here I am with raised eyebrows.
 

happyninja42

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May 13, 2010
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Lightknight said:
Don't know, just seems like you're being a contrarian here with your statements: I do X every day but I'm not an Xer is crazy talk, sir, CRAZY TALK I say!!! :p
No, what I was saying in my posts, was that based on the definition of "gamer" by one of the devs of this site, in his "on the current state of gaming" post he made, during all the gamergate shit, I wouldn't be a gamer. That was my only point. I even stated in my post that I didn't agree with this definition of gamer, because it seemed incredibly exclusive. I then went on to say that considering I've been playing video games my entire life, and that I always have, and likely always will play them, I consider myself a gamer. I was simply pointing out that apparently that doesn't match the opinion of a head person at this site.

That's all I was stating. xD Pointing out that someone who plays games every day for 30+ years isn't a gamer because he doesn't follow twitter updates on every indie dev and E3 splat promotion link seems dumb to me.

I guess my original post would make more sense if you heard the dripping sarcasm I had in my head when I said "well according to one of the head people at the escapist site" xD