The Top 10 Worst Portrayals of Gamers on Television

MovieBob

New member
Dec 31, 2008
11,495
0
0
The Top 10 Worst Portrayals of Gamers on Television

Television has long pushed the worst kind of gamer stereotypes into the pop culture limelight.

Read Full Article
 

Me55enger

New member
Dec 16, 2008
1,095
0
0
You can't fight common consensus, nor can you escape it. You can't fight its origin nor it's outcome. Because the point of it all is simplicity of identity, an ironic paradox intend of allowing us to judge entire swathes of people we don't know in as few words as possible.

Or maybe I'm just a bit of a pessimist.
 

josemlopes

New member
Jun 9, 2008
3,950
0
0
I really dont see what the South Park one has to do with poor portrayal of gamers, most characters in that show play games and Cartman is the douche that he always is, it isnt the fact that he plays games that has him being that way, its the fact that he simply is a douche.
 

Sigmund Av Volsung

Hella noided
Dec 11, 2009
2,999
0
0
josemlopes said:
I really dont see what the South Park one has to do with poor portrayal of gamers, most characters in that show play games and Cartman is the douche that he always is, it isnt the fact that he plays games that has him being that way, its the fact that he simply is a douche.
MovieBob still can't let go of recent controversies.

Give it time, we'll all forget about 'it' and move on.

As with the other ones...I thought Big Bang Theory was the nadir of gamer stereotypes, but those other ones are pretty bad too. BBT still holds a special place because it's consistently awful in its depiction, whereas the others were one-offs.

So yeah, a mostly fine list.
 

Hiramas

New member
Aug 31, 2010
124
0
0
Add to that the 1000 mentions of gamers as asocial, dirty and what not.
Recent example was an episode of "Castle" where the main character is clearly a childish, nerdy, and game enthusiast.
As Contrast, they catch a suspect because he could not say away from his game.
Next week could be interesting, though.
 

JoJo

and the Amazing Technicolour Dream Goat šŸ
Moderator
Legacy
Mar 31, 2010
7,150
100
68
Country
šŸ‡¬šŸ‡§
Gender
ā™‚
MovieBob said:
I shouldn't have to explain this one.
You really should, considering you've put the cast of the Big Bang Theory in the banner at the top. I've only seen a random selection of episodes so maybe I missed the one with the terrible portrayal of gamers but from what I've seen, gaming doesn't feature much at-all in BBT. At most there's the odd reference to the guys having a gaming night or a one-liner referencing a popular game franchise, I suppose there was that one episode where Penny became addicted to WoW but that was clearly being played for laughs, it was so silly.
 

Serrenitei

New member
Jun 15, 2009
35
0
0
Me55enger said:
You can't fight common consensus, nor can you escape it. You can't fight its origin nor it's outcome. Because the point of it all is simplicity of identity, an ironic paradox intend of allowing us to judge entire swathes of people we don't know in as few words as possible.

Or maybe I'm just a bit of a pessimist.
I think maybe a little bit pessimistic :) if you can change common consensus, then we'd still have all manner of what we consider evil in our everyday lives (Slavery, lack of Women's Suffrage, etc). The funny thing about stereotypes is that they help us a society function. Stereotypes do a great job of providing a framework of thoughts and ideals about how to interact with a certain group of people, and the vast majority of the time, those interactions are so seamless and subtle that they never even enter into our mind.

Now, where the problem comes in when a person(s) is presented with information that disproves that stereotype, but those people continue to cling to the stereotype. The thing is, stereotypes work on a macro-level, but they collapse on a micro-level. There is no one person that fits perfectly into a stereotype. A healthy individual uses the stereotype to broadly define how they should interact with a group of people, but then adjusts that for individuals, and makes exceptions to the stereotype. Enough exceptions to the existing stereotype, and the stereotype as a whole changes. Granted that's an insanely complex process of identity. meaning-making, and semiotics all rolled up for that happen, but it does happen.

So really, a stereotype has a negative connotation, but people only really ever think about stereotypes in a negative connotation. They ignore how they allow us interact with other groups of without knowing the specifics of that person. For example, a stereotype of waiter, you expect to act in a certain way towards you. We expect a health nut to act a certain way, we expect a gamer to act a certain way -- and by-in-large, these are fine. it's only when we can't reconcile the individual from the stereotype that it becomes 'pathological,' and we end up with things like sexism, racism, etc.

If you care at all about this stuff, an awesome read is Sander Gilman's Difference and Pathology. A lot of what just wrote here with stereotypes comes from this book.
 

Magmarock

New member
Sep 1, 2011
479
0
0
Law and Order is one of my favorite show. I know the episode you're talking about and I think L&O had at least two that I can think of that addressed video games. However the tone of the episode always seemed to lean towards that people who play games like that or commit crimes after playing a video game was just fucked in the head with video games being a catalyst.
 

vid87

New member
May 17, 2010
737
0
0
I'm in a weird place in that I regularly watch BBT or at least proxy-watch whenever someone else is watching (mostly reruns) but I cannot for the life of me explain why. Despite throwing out some impressive references every once in a while (I'm still amazed they had a legit[?] discussion about Crisis on Infinite Earths), their pool of topics is mainly Star Trek, Star Wars, and whatever comics people already know about - no Mother or Final Fantasy (for God's sake, Stephen Colbert said Tifa Lockheart's name on-air - when has that EVER happened in mainstream media?), no PewDiePie, no debate on a recent movie's merits other than whatever popular consensus seems to be, hardly any cosplay, and exactly one (maybe 1 1/2) instance of a woman un-ironically understanding and enjoying geek culture instead of the hen-pecking "What is this stuff?" I like the cast and honestly believe some of them deserve to move on to bigger and better things (re: Jim Parsons) and I think some of them have made interesting strides in character development, but for the most part they act however the plot dictates and continuity is half-assed. It doesn't help that Sheldon is the worst version of "Jerk Best Friend" that's becoming common to the point of baffling (WHY DO THE OTHERS HANG OUT WITH THIS GUY?!)

As for gaming representation, does it piss anyone else off that we live in a time where researching game mechanics is as simple as watching some Let's Plays and that practically Hollywood movies in terms of production value, yet A)no one knows how MMO avatar interactions work and B)the default sound effect is STILL Pong-like bloops and bleeps?
 

castlewise

Lord Fancypants
Jul 18, 2010
620
0
0
I hope that Felicia Day's character from Supernatural is on the good portrayal list. I was super impressed by it.

JoJo said:
MovieBob said:
I shouldn't have to explain this one.
You really should, considering you've put the cast of the Big Bang Theory in the banner at the top. I've only seen a random selection of episodes so maybe I missed the one with the terrible portrayal of gamers but from what I've seen, gaming doesn't feature much at-all in BBT. At most there's the odd reference to the guys having a gaming night or a one-liner referencing a popular game franchise, I suppose there was that one episode where Penny became addicted to WoW but that was clearly being played for laughs, it was so silly.
I think he's probably referring to the fact that there have been a lot of blog posts and essays written about how most of the time the audience is laughing AT the characters in the Big Bang Theory and not with them. I'm not sure its as cut and dried as all that, but its a longer discussion in any case.
 

P-89 Scorpion

New member
Sep 25, 2014
466
0
0
Bob on the (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, "Bullseye") one you made a mistake and put your own picture there instead of one from the show.










C'mon guys you knew someone was going to say it.
 

Rellik San

New member
Feb 3, 2011
609
0
0
I'd say "Gamer" still holds a particular cultural place as a prime descriptor for one whom "Primarily games" after all when asked what hobbies I do, Gamer is more succinct than: "I play video games, dungeons and dragons, warhammer, some board games, a couple of TCGs..." kinda kills the conversation, saying "I'm a pretty big gamer," can then lead the person to "Oh cool, what else do you do?" or "Oh cool, what types of games do you play?" and I can react accordingly, thus avoiding the drooling obsessive fanboy archetype.

And whilst yes saying "Oh I mostly play games", sounds kind of childish and doesn't really give people room for movement in the conversation. After all, if we're going down the "everyone is a gamer" route now, that includes people who play crib or darts in the pub, because after all, those are games too.

"Gamers are just an annoying cultural blip that needs to go away" well gee, thanks for telling me a big part of my time spent in intellectual, creative and rewarding pursuits is essentially worthless because you don't like the term I use. (I'm aware that's not the intention but that's how it comes across dude, may want to think how to better communicate this).

Other than that, interesting read.

vid87 said:
Someone needs to watch Spaced methinks.

And if Tim Bisley isn't on next weeks list, so does Bob.
 

Casual Shinji

Should've gone before we left.
Legacy
Jul 18, 2009
18,733
3,374
118
josemlopes said:
I really dont see what the South Park one has to do with poor portrayal of gamers, most characters in that show play games and Cartman is the douche that he always is, it isnt the fact that he plays games that has him being that way, its the fact that he simply is a douche.
I think Bob neglects to mention the fact that the only reason Cartman is all obsessed over either the new PSP, Wii, or GTA: Chinatown Wars is because Matt and Trey are big fans of gaming themselves. The reason you hear Cartman talking about it in the particular episodes, is likely because Matt and Trey at the time were looking forward to these products as well.
 

Lvl 64 Klutz

Crowsplosion!
Apr 8, 2008
2,338
0
0
JoJo said:
MovieBob said:
I shouldn't have to explain this one.
You really should, considering you've put the cast of the Big Bang Theory in the banner at the top. I've only seen a random selection of episodes so maybe I missed the one with the terrible portrayal of gamers but from what I've seen, gaming doesn't feature much at-all in BBT. At most there's the odd reference to the guys having a gaming night or a one-liner referencing a popular game franchise, I suppose there was that one episode where Penny became addicted to WoW but that was clearly being played for laughs, it was so silly.
Ah, but as a nerd/geek you're SUPPOSED to hate the show. Because.. you know, it's sooo bad at portraying "our culture."

Fun fact, I know plenty of nerds who act exactly like the characters on that show. The whole "they want us to laugh *at* the characters instead of *with* them" argument? Uh-huh, yeah. That's called a sitcom and 90% of them are set up like that.

I can stand with the argument of the show being incredibly sexist. The earlier seasons were some of the most sexist moments not on Spike TV, and the latter seasons haven't done as much as they could to improve that.

But the idea of the show being so popular to rag on, to the point of such a smug "I shouldn't have to explain this" on an otherwise detailed list of entries, is really starting to get on my nerves. It isn't the best thing on television, but it's far from the worst thing either.
 

Rellik San

New member
Feb 3, 2011
609
0
0
Lvl 64 Klutz said:
JoJo said:
MovieBob said:
I shouldn't have to explain this one.
You really should, considering you've put the cast of the Big Bang Theory in the banner at the top. I've only seen a random selection of episodes so maybe I missed the one with the terrible portrayal of gamers but from what I've seen, gaming doesn't feature much at-all in BBT. At most there's the odd reference to the guys having a gaming night or a one-liner referencing a popular game franchise, I suppose there was that one episode where Penny became addicted to WoW but that was clearly being played for laughs, it was so silly.
Ah, but as a nerd/geek you're SUPPOSED to hate the show. Because.. you know, it's sooo bad at portraying "our culture."

Fun fact, I know plenty of nerds who act exactly like the characters on that show. The whole "they want us to laugh *at* the characters instead of *with* them" argument? Uh-huh, yeah. That's called a sitcom and 90% of them are set up like that.

I can stand with the argument of the show being incredibly sexist. The earlier seasons were some of the most sexist moments not on Spike TV, and the latter seasons haven't done as much as they could to improve that.

But the idea of the show being so popular to rag on, to the point of such a smug "I shouldn't have to explain this" on an otherwise detailed list of entries, is really starting to get on my nerves. It isn't the best thing on television, but it's far from the worst thing either.
On the other side: Eh I don't find the show that funny, it has some laughs I won't deny that, but I'm not really interested in the over arching narrative of who's doing who. I don't particularly like the characters, I hate that because of it people at work call me Sheldon now, because you know, actually having informed opinions on things, makes me like him apparently.

But for the most part, it's not that well written in my opinion, I think that's more down to me just not being a Chuck Lorre fan more than anything, he's not really made anything that resonates with me, and that's ok. I just watch other shows instead.
 

Kieve

New member
Jan 4, 2011
128
0
0
JoJo said:
MovieBob said:
I shouldn't have to explain this one.
You really should, considering you've put the cast of the Big Bang Theory in the banner at the top. I've only seen a random selection of episodes so maybe I missed the one with the terrible portrayal of gamers but from what I've seen, gaming doesn't feature much at-all in BBT. At most there's the odd reference to the guys having a gaming night or a one-liner referencing a popular game franchise, I suppose there was that one episode where Penny became addicted to WoW but that was clearly being played for laughs, it was so silly.
Seconded. As someone who doesn't watch the show, saying "Here it is. Because reasons," makes no damn sense.
Bob, if you're not going to take the time to explain yourself, don't bother listing it.
 

BroJing

New member
Sep 16, 2010
109
0
0
Rellik San said:
Lvl 64 Klutz said:
JoJo said:
MovieBob said:
I shouldn't have to explain this one.
You really should, considering you've put the cast of the Big Bang Theory in the banner at the top. I've only seen a random selection of episodes so maybe I missed the one with the terrible portrayal of gamers but from what I've seen, gaming doesn't feature much at-all in BBT. At most there's the odd reference to the guys having a gaming night or a one-liner referencing a popular game franchise, I suppose there was that one episode where Penny became addicted to WoW but that was clearly being played for laughs, it was so silly.
Ah, but as a nerd/geek you're SUPPOSED to hate the show. Because.. you know, it's sooo bad at portraying "our culture."

Fun fact, I know plenty of nerds who act exactly like the characters on that show. The whole "they want us to laugh *at* the characters instead of *with* them" argument? Uh-huh, yeah. That's called a sitcom and 90% of them are set up like that.
Yeah, I really thought that was a cheap move. Particularly in a list that also features that X-Files storyline which I remember even as a child watching and going 'WTF?'.

I actually really like the show, it reminds me of me and my friends growing up and I'm bored of people trashing it because non-geeks seem to like it.
 

Phasmal

Sailor Jupiter Woman
Jun 10, 2011
3,676
0
0
I've actually never seen TBBT, but most of my gamer friends enjoy it, so I'm not sure what's up with it. Though I do remember all those posts getting angry at how they were `appropriating our culture` which gave me endless giggles.

But yeah, every time gamers are introduced in TV shows its usually pretty much the same thing, big sweaty dudes with no social skills.

I look forward to the positive list. I'm not much of a TV watcher and can only think of one good example.