Poll: When did you start to call yourself a gamer?

CaitSeith

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Jun 30, 2014
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I don't think this needs a detailed explanation, but I'll do it anyway. For years, the term gamer has been part of gaming in one way or another. Some people like the term, others hate it. For some it's shameful, for others it's an honor. For some it's a generic label or a stereotype, for others it's an identity or a way of life. Whatever be your take about the term, if you call yourself a gamer, it's for a reason. I'd like to find out a little more of those reasons, but instead of focusing on why you are a gamer today, I'm going for a different perspective: the beginning.

So, when did you start to call yourself a gamer?
 

StriderShinryu

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Dec 8, 2009
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I started back when I first heard the term and felt I could reasonably apply it to myself as gaming had become not only my main hobby but also one I cared about enough to partake in it on a deeper level than just playing the odd game. So, not really as long as I have been playing games but really not too far from that.
 

Phasmal

Sailor Jupiter Woman
Jun 10, 2011
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Mmm, when I think about it, I started calling myself a gamer when people kept telling me that I couldn't be one.

So, I'd been playing games since way before then (considering I have been playing games since I was a tiny child), but I've always been a `gamer` - I just didn't think there was a proper word for it.
 

Fiz_The_Toaster

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I honestly don't know.

I've been playing games for a long ass time, and I don't believe I heard that word until sometime around high school. I was always the "friend that plays games" or "gaming friend" depending on who said it, but never "gamer".

Not really a fan of that term, but whatever. Good enough label, I guess.
 

MysticSlayer

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Apr 14, 2013
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I'm not sure. It either started in elementary school or a couple years ago. Elementary and middle school were where I was rather deep into games, but I don't think I considered myself a gamer on account of everyone I knew being more into the medium than I was. Then again, their parents didn't put a ridiculous amount of restrictions on what they could/couldn't play. Part of my reason for enjoying Nintendo is directly the result of my parents thinking there wasn't enough suitable for me on the PS2. Then in high school, I went through my "games aren't important enough" phase that I'm glad I grew out of.

Overall, I'd say probably very late high school or early college is when I officially started calling myself a gamer. By that time I was getting back into playing games a lot, didn't have all the restrictions placed on me, and had enough interest in games that I was following them as my main hobby rather than a side hobby to sports or books. I did consider dropping the label a few months ago, but I figured that it wasn't the right thing to do and continue to call myself a gamer.
 

Lilikins

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I personally started saying Im a 'gamer' where I made playing games my hobby.

Some folks like to read, some go season binging...some mountain climb..others play football etc, I prefer to be some chap with way out there hair swinging a sword and saving the world..haha.

In all seriousness though, I donno when it became a 'term', there are lots of hobbies that people have and not that many of them have their own specific 'term'. To be quite honest Ive never heard of a reader...or a cooker...or other things like that. Football player would require running after a ball so and so often and getting payed way too much in my own personal opinion. (just to back that up, annual salary of a surgeon (one of the highest pays) is 350k, Ronaldo seems to have earned 47,647,059.00 last year...ehh..what?)

Nevertheless, back on topic, as spoken, I assume the moment I realized..hey, Im spending quite a bit of time doing this, so I guess this is my hobby....means I must be a gamer.
 

Mr.Mage

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Dec 18, 2014
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I was pretty much always called a gamer. I grew up on games, with some of my earliest memories playing with my family so the term gamer came pretty naturally .That and everyone keeps calling me a gamer so I might as well let them even if its caused some negative opinions of me to form because of it.
 

stroopwafel

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Jul 16, 2013
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25 somewhat years ago when I was still an infant my parents bought me a game&watch and I was mesmerized by that thing and the games that followed ever since. Infact my parents told me one of the first words I mumbled was 'videogame'. :p I loved videogames for as long as I can remember, so calling myself a 'gamer' might be a bit of an understatement. :p

I don't know, but people come and go, relationships come and go, interests come and go but my passion for videogames have always been a constant. Infact as I've grown older I've only gotten a deeper appreciation of them. Some of my fondest memories I associate with videogames. And I still get super, super excited when a game is coming out I really want to play(like Bloodborne).

Gamer 4 life yo. :p
 

Dalisclock

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I don't. I enjoy playing games, but I don't apply that label to myself. Especially in the wake of the topic that shall not be named where I'm......disappointed(to put it nicely) with the community of people who play games(in general).
 

Evil Moo

Always Watching...
Feb 26, 2011
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I don't. I prefer not to define myself by my hobbies, even if I spend almost literally all of my time on it in one way or another. Nor do I want to implicitly align myself with an amorphous community entity that I may or may not wish to be associated with at any given moment.

It seems unnecessary. In fact, in general I don't call myself anything. I'm not sure when it would ever be relevant to refer to myself in such a way.
 

Ryallen

Will never say anything smart
Feb 25, 2014
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Gamer was never really a term that I used to describe myself until I heard it one day. I don't even remember when. I just heard it and thought to myself that I'm one of those.

I realized that I was a NERD when it sunk in that I was subscribed to a video game magazine. But, never really gamer.
 

babinro

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Sep 24, 2010
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Voted: I don't know. One day I just started to call myself a gamer.

I would have considered myself a gamer back when my parents bought my brother and I a Commodore 64 at a young age. From then on videogames took over as our main hobby. The thing is...we never associated ourselves with the term.

I probably didn't even use the term to describe myself until ~20 years later. Even then, I only use the term for descriptive convenience rather than something out of personal pride or accomplishment.

I don't judge people on their use of gamer because I don't feel it has any proper definition. If you enjoy a monthly game of the packaged-in PC Solitaire game and choose to call yourself a gamer based on that alone than you'll get no complaints from me.
 

Vigormortis

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Nov 21, 2007
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Well, I could be all cynical and hipster-y and say, "I don't because 'gamer' is synonymous with 'misogynerd' and 'sexist' and ''!"

But I won't, because screw that noise. That's an ignorant line of thinking.

I'm a gamer and have been for decades. I play video games, as a pass-time and as a hobby. I keep tabs on the industry. I research the ins-and-outs of the art form. I keep up-to-date with the latest trends and with whatever my favorite developers are doing. I maintain a decent collection and attempt to keep it as varied as possible. Etc, etc, etc.

I play video games, therefore I am a gamer. Anything else associated with the term is on whoever is making the association, not me.

If you want to think that me playing video games makes me a sexist, racist, bigoted, rape-culture-accepting, angry, anti-social basement-dweller, that's fine. You have the right. But bare in mind that I also have the right to say you're a fucking ignorant moron.
 

Aesir23

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Jul 2, 2009
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I don't think I ever really called myself a gamer. I'm not really sure why since gaming is my primary hobby but I guess I never met enough gamers outside of forums or maybe my local EB Games (read: almost none) to really consider myself as part of a "group".

Note: I do hesitate to use the word since gamers themselves certainly aren't a cohesive group but I couldn't think of any other term that could correctly apply.
 

FPLOON

Your #1 Source for the Dino Porn
Jul 10, 2013
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I don't know... I think it was around the time I was surfing the internet without adult supervision... which, if that's the case, then that was also around the time I was truly finding out about porn, almost getting suspended in middle school for something "internet porn"-related, and finding out there was such a thing as "fandoms" starting with the Sonic fandom...

And, if my past self has anything to say about "calling myself" a gamer...
FPLOON said:
I was going to say Rayman Advance for the Gameboy Advance, but that was my first game as well as my first unfinished game...

I was also going to say Rayman 3 for the Gameboy Advance, but despite completing that game 100%, I don't think that solidify myself as a gamer to me...

So, I'll just say that Tales of Symphonia for the GameCube was the game that made me a gamer, which is funny to me because at first, I was only playing this game out of spite for someone else who would not shut up about how awesome the game was... But seriously, it was the first game I ever invested most time in comparison to the other games I've had beforehand, the first game (with an actual end to speak of) to be played more times than I could count at this point, and the first game that I ever went in deep discussions over with others who have played this game as well...

Granted, this wasn't my first [J]RPG (especially if you're counting Pokemon Ruby, Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, or even the NES Zelda games for the Gameboy Advance) at the time, but this was the game that kept me up late at nights, leveling up my team, experimenting with their EX skills, doing various sidequest because my curiosity got the better of me most of the time, and other random stuff for shits and giggles, basically... I played Symphonia more times and with more hours clocked in overall than Pokemon Ruby, which was the most social game I was playing among friends beforehand...

Overall, that feeling of playing something for hours on end, actually discussing not only the gameplay, but the story, characters, and sometimes themes with friends, and even finding out about others games in relation to having that feeling overall is why I consider Tales of Symphonia for the GameCube the game that made me a gamer...
I say my assumption on when I did start calling myself a gamer is right on the money... Now, to forget about that "internet porn"-related incident once again...
 

Neverhoodian

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Apr 2, 2008
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As long as I was aware of the term, I guess? I don't know how long ago it was.

TopazFusion said:
I've never called myself a gamer.

"Gamer", to me, implies the connotation that the person has built their entire life's identity around video games.
[small](This would also explain why so many people got offended at the "Gamers are dead" articles. Because if you've built your entire life's identity around a hobby, and someone insults that hobby, you're gonna have a bad time.)[/small]

It's the same difference between "brony" and "person who watches My Little Pony". You can watch My Little Pony without it becoming part of your identity, ie: without becoming a "brony".

I'm no more a "gamer" than I am a "shoe wearer". It's not a significant or crucial part of my identity. It's just something I do occasionally in my spare time, nothing more.
I suppose it all depends on how you interpret such labels and what degree of importance you attach to them. To use your "brony" example, to me the term means "any male who is interested in MLP." I consider myself a brony using that definition, even though my interest doesn't stretch farther than the show itself. In fact, I consider guys who liked previous iterations of the franchise to be "bronies."[footnote]G1 Tirek was fucking metal.[/footnote]

I go by a similar definition for "gamer" (e.g. someone who likes to play videogames), be they tourney level Counter-Strike players to a grandmother that plays a quick round of Candy Crush once or twice a week. I like playing videogames, therefore I'm a gamer.

To me, such titles are rather inconsequential and interchangeable. Gamer, brony, trekkie, Tolkienite, whatever nickname Star Wars fans have ("warsies?"), etc. I fall under all of these labels, yet at the same time I don't feel they define me. I just use them to let people know what I like. You don't have to know everything about a hobby or be actively involved in the community to be a fan.
 

SmallHatLogan

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Jan 23, 2014
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I don't think I've ever called myself a gamer. Not because I have a problem with the term, but because there's never been any context where I've felt the need to call myself a gamer. I play games. I also read books and watch TV but I've never called myself "a reader" or "a TV watcher".

There have been times where I've called myself a geek or nerd and then amended the label to "video game nerd" to differentiate myself from other types of nerds (comic books, anime, tabletop, etc). Usually when talking about nerdy things with other people.
 

Zhukov

The Laughing Arsehole
Dec 29, 2009
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I don't.

I'm a person who enjoys playing some video games in my spare time. Never saw any need to label myself over it.

Much the same way I don't call myself a "reader" or a "watcher" or, I dunno, a fucking "sock-wearer".

Besides, a lot of the folks frantically trying to lay claim on that most prestigious of titles strike me as miserable and bitter people and I'd really rather not catch whatever they have.
 

The Madman

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Dec 7, 2007
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I don't think I have ever addressed myself as a gamer in any serious context that wasn't joking among friends. Maybe it's because I work with a primarily older demographic but the subject of videogames is not something I discuss unless I'm either with friends, online, or someone else specifically brings them up.

That's also why I don't bother to follow all this serious political crap that tends to pop up around gaming so often these days. I'm sorry but I just don't care, playing videogames is just a hobby I do to relax and a subject I blab about when I don't want to talk or think about more serious things, I have zero interest in letting myself get upset over it.