The Top 10 Worst Portrayals of Gamers on Television

wAriot

New member
Jan 18, 2013
174
0
0
I believe you forgot NCIS, Bob.
I have yet to see a 16-core, 10 meg pipe PC.
"Lotta people after my high scores."
 

Starik20X6

New member
Oct 28, 2009
1,685
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.
If it was just the whole "portraying geeks in a negative light" thing, I could deal with it. We've been putting up with that tired schtick since forever, and it'd just be another show to add to that pile of white noise.

What I cannot get past is the shows treatment of those with Aspergers Syndrome. Whether they admit it or not, [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheldon_Cooper#Asperger_syndrome] Sheldon has Aspergers. And the fact that his oh-so-funny neuroses and personality quirks, which are almost entirely spot-on with those who have autism, are treated as comic fodder is beyond reprehensible.

If someone else was to create a TV show where one of the characters, for example, displayed just about every trait of Downs Syndrome, and then they used that character as the basis for most of the show's jokes, and then said "no it's okay, because they don't officially have Downs Syndrome"? How quickly do you think that show would get cancelled?
 

Quadocky

New member
Aug 30, 2012
383
0
0
I can't help but shake the feeling some of the negative stereotypes of gamers sometimes coincide with reality. I mean of course most of it probably stems for lazy writing but at the same time when it comes to Games Programmers IN film, they aren't too far off. Like in the case of the Film 'Grandma's Boy'. For whatever reason I feel they at least did some research or at least realized EVERYONE has trouble with just how bizarre supposedly Logical peoples like Engineers/programmers can be.

But then I discovered that:
Game developer Terminal Reality was involved in the production of the film, lending footage to promote their game Demonik. The game was cancelled before the film's release, but the footage remained in the final cut.
Then it all started to make sense.
 

Lvl 64 Klutz

Crowsplosion!
Apr 8, 2008
2,338
0
0
Starik20X6 said:
If it was just the whole "portraying geeks in a negative light" thing, I could deal with it. We've been putting up with that tired schtick since forever, and it'd just be another show to add to that pile of white noise.

What I cannot get past is the shows treatment of those with Aspergers Syndrome. Whether they admit it or not, [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheldon_Cooper#Asperger_syndrome] Sheldon has Aspergers. And the fact that his oh-so-funny neuroses and personality quirks, which are almost entirely spot-on with those who have autism, are treated as comic fodder is beyond reprehensible.

If someone else was to create a TV show where one of the characters, for example, displayed just about every trait of Downs Syndrome, and then they used that character as the basis for most of the show's jokes, and then said "no it's okay, because they don't officially have Downs Syndrome"? How quickly do you think that show would get cancelled?
I see that argument a lot, and I understand where it comes from. But the fact is, my sister has Asperger's, as well as a close friend of mine. I suffer from severe OCD. We all find Sheldon hilarious because he's relatable and we know that some of our quirks really are quite hilarious when viewed from the outside. If Sheldon were the type to let his symptoms tormnet him, it would be one thing. But he embraces his flaws while recognizing them, and I think that makes it perfectly okay to find him funny.
 

Rellik San

New member
Feb 3, 2011
609
0
0
Nixou said:
Bob, hate to break it to you but Cartman isn't a portrayal of a "gamer" he's a portrayal of a total douchebag sociopath who happens to be a gamer

And gaters are total douchebag sociopaths who proclaimed to be the Only Real True Gamers©. The overlap is pretty obvious
WHOA WHOA WHOA!

When have I ever given anyone that impression, I try to be pretty sympathetic and reasonable, I recognise inherent misogyny in the tech industries needs addressing whilst maintaining the desire for a better press. Since when did that make me a total douchebag sociopath?
 

shintakie10

New member
Sep 3, 2008
1,342
0
0
Procedural cop shows are always really bad about portrayin every culture honestly. Not sure if it was NCIS or one of the Law and Orders, but they had one of the most ridiculous portrayals of furrys you could have on tv. Like every terrible fucked up stereotype rolled into a nice neat hour long episode.
 

Starik20X6

New member
Oct 28, 2009
1,685
0
0
Lvl 64 Klutz said:
Starik20X6 said:
If it was just the whole "portraying geeks in a negative light" thing, I could deal with it. We've been putting up with that tired schtick since forever, and it'd just be another show to add to that pile of white noise.

What I cannot get past is the shows treatment of those with Aspergers Syndrome. Whether they admit it or not, [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheldon_Cooper#Asperger_syndrome] Sheldon has Aspergers. And the fact that his oh-so-funny neuroses and personality quirks, which are almost entirely spot-on with those who have autism, are treated as comic fodder is beyond reprehensible.

If someone else was to create a TV show where one of the characters, for example, displayed just about every trait of Downs Syndrome, and then they used that character as the basis for most of the show's jokes, and then said "no it's okay, because they don't officially have Downs Syndrome"? How quickly do you think that show would get cancelled?
I see that argument a lot, and I understand where it comes from. But the fact is, my sister has Asperger's, as well as a close friend of mine. I suffer from severe OCD. We all find Sheldon hilarious because he's relatable and we know that some of our quirks really are quite hilarious when viewed from the outside. If Sheldon were the type to let his symptoms tormnet him, it would be one thing. But he embraces his flaws while recognizing them, and I think that makes it perfectly okay to find him funny.
I hear what you're saying, my younger brother also has Aspergers. I come down on the other side of that fence though- where I work we sell a lot of BBT merchandise, and the vast vast vast majority of the people buying the stuff approach it with a "haha let's laugh at the weirdos" attitude[footnote]The conversations I overhear about the show, and particularly regarding Sheldon, it takes a lot of effort on my part not to start fights with some of the more ignorant customers.[/footnote], and it pains me because it feels like an indirect continuation of the torment my brother received throughout his time at school. I feel like more often than not people take away the message that it's okay to belittle those that are different rather than accept them.
 

Robot-Jesus

New member
Aug 29, 2011
82
0
0
I vaguely remember Dangerous Games. One episode had the characters fighting off Tom Cruse from Magnolia trying to get him to eat a casset tape.
 

PunkRex

New member
Feb 19, 2010
2,533
0
0
Casual Shinji said:
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.
Cartman at number 1 does strike me as a little odd. His negative aspects arn't ever portrayed as a result of him being a gamer, he's just a massive douche who's young enough to just see gaming as a standard pass time. Saying that Cartman is a portrayal of gamers is like saying Ruby Rhod is a portral of black people, it's got nothing to do with the character really.
 

Vault101

I'm in your mind fuzz
Sep 26, 2010
18,847
0
0
Sniper Team 4 said:
Fun little read. I'd like to hear your thoughts on Big Bang Theory some time Bob. I first watched the show and thought it was amusing, but the more I watched it, the less funny it got. Struck a wrong cord with me I guess. The way the main characters acts is too much like the stereotypes I often see and hear about nerds and geeks. And Sheldon just got too annoying for me to handle.
I haven't watched much but it would surprise me people looking at it and going "oh yeah I totally relate to that" its soo....cliché

what bothered me about it was not only how dumb/cliché it was but how...mean spirited, I actually Like Sheldon because he seemed to be the only character who was happy/comfortable with who he was

like every other tired nerd cliché [I/]"nrrrrggg I can't get a giiiiiiirrrlllfreeeind?[/I] oh really? DO YOU OWN A MIRROR YOU DUMB WHINEY FUUU- uggghhh (the characters have had several relationships throuout which obviously cancels that out a bit however the vibe is..or was there)

compared to something like IT crowd...in IT crowd it involves nerds and nerdy humour but it wasn't stupid, and Jen might not have been a nerd but she was allowed to be messed up/funny in her own way rather than "ugghhh NERDS!" like penny

PunkRex said:
Ruby Rhod
is that the character from The Fith Element?

we green?

Blood Brain Barrier said:
It really could have been a decent episode if the drug/addiction angle was made more explicit
oh god do you remember the episode "symbiosis" in season 1? don't let them talk about drugs...

[quote/]but it just seems as if the writers think it's reasonable to substitute drugs for electronic games since obviously both are equivalent in their perniciousness.[/quote]
reminds me of the episode "hollow pursuits" which might have been a more apt metaphor
 

Not G. Ivingname

New member
Nov 18, 2009
6,368
0
0
The Law and Order Crimminal Intent episode was interesting, since the parent show also dealt with an ultra violent video game as well. However, while the game by all accounts was a Postal-eshe blood-fest, Jack Mccoy admitted he tried it once and kept playing till 3AM, and the prosecution came forward to prove that no, video games DIDN'T cause the kid to murder anyone.
 

Kingjackl

New member
Nov 18, 2009
1,041
0
0
I would also question the choice of Cartman at the top spot, because him being a gamer is secondary to him being a despicable, sociopathic, cowardly, bigoted little shit, not a result of it. I'm sure cause and effect was exactly what Bob intended, seeing he seems to buy in to the negative stereotypes of gamers quite a bit. Not to mention he seems to have this weird chip on his shoulder for South Park, which comes across every now and again in his tweets. He seems to take issue with the 'make fun of both sides equally' approach, which strikes me as narrow-minded.

Regarding the Big Bang Theory, that's another case where I think being a 'gamer' is secondary to the characterisation of just being stereotypical nerds in general. I've watched plenty of BBT, and I reckon it has actually improved a fair bit in the more recent seasons. There are fewer mean-spirited or sexist jokes, and the characters have matured and become a fair bit more likeable, especially Howard and Sheldon. In those cases, I think it was mainly to do with Bernadette and Amy joining the cast, balancing out the gender ratios and making the portrayal of nerds a little less one-sided.

The pop-culture reference/laugh track is still around, though and still as cringe-worthy as ever. It's still mostly mainstream pop culture references as well, but if you're the sort of person who takes issue with that in particular, then you're exactly the sort of person being made fun of, so good for you.
 

Verlander

New member
Apr 22, 2010
2,449
0
0
Good list. I reckon an essay can be written on the relationship between "nerd culture" and Cartman by itself. Which one feeds more off the other?
 

SonicWaffle

New member
Oct 14, 2009
3,019
0
0
Plus there was that one episode of Vernoica Mars where she goes "undercover" as a girl gamer at some kind of weird underground gaming club full of anti-social dudes terrified by her presence. Blech.
 

EssThree

New member
Oct 6, 2013
21
0
0
Eh, all the boys in South Park are pretty hardcore gamers. There was an episode where Kenny was obsessed with playing PSP and then won the battle between the kingdoms of Heaven and Hell through the power of gaming.

Cartman only wants the latest games/consoles because he is a rabid consumer in every sense of the word. His hunger for the latest devices represents the wastefulness of modern society and its obsession with the latest and greatest while discarding what is still quite useful.
 

Batou667

New member
Oct 5, 2011
2,238
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.
Yeah, Bob couldn't resist a couple of petty little snipes, could he? We get it, Bob. We know what you think. Stop fanning the flames.

Mcoffey said:
Also holy crap Cartman is the perfect personification of Gamergators.
Yep, that's the single point Bob built this listicle around. "When our side complains it's 'calling out injustice', when your side complains it's because you're whiny crying manchildren! I am rubber, you are glue! Nur nur de nur nur! Pbththhththt". Reeeeal mature.

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.
My thoughts exactly. I wouldn't have clicked this lame, bloggy listicle were it not for the banner image piquing my interest.

Anyway, since Bob seems content to employ clickbaity false advertisement tactics and the whole "article" was a disingenuous vehicle to deliver yet another anti-GG jibe, I don't feel too bad about mildly derailing the topic. My question is: did the "fake gamer girls" phenomenon coincide with The Big Bang Theory? I've read comments before suggesting that the two happened around the same time - 2007 or whenever the show first aired - and there could be a link. TBBT certainly represents the most substantial recent popularisation of geek culture, and unlike many other depictions of nerds in fiction, actually humanises the male (and female) geek characters and doesn't just fall back on lampooning their terminal geekiness for laughs. (Well, there's Sheldon I suppose, but I guess any geek show needs an uber-geek who the rest are measured in comparison to). Crucially, TBBT presents the male geeks in an accessible way, often through the female viewer's self-insert character[footnote]There must be a better term for this, but I don't know it[/footnote] Penny.

If we look at the show this way, you could see how it "sells" geek culture - it suggests to female viewers that there is an unmined seam of educated, well-off, non-threatening men out there who would represent a welcoming group of fawning, mildly awkward but easily friendzoned companions, who would unquestioningly accept the offer of a relationship were it ever offered, but would also happily accept a female geek into their ranks as "one of the boys". Roll up, ladies, one free harem of cute geeks with every ticket. And, maybe that's how it played out in some cases - maybe TBBT gave some girls who were kinda-maybe hovering around the periphery of geekdom the courage to play Halo with Game Chat on for the first time, or visit their first comic book shop, or go to a convention in full cosplay. Undoubtedly some of those girls fit right in and had a great time. But some would have got a 12-year old scream obscenities in their ear for the whole Halo match, got awkwardly hit on in the comic shop by a fat guy, and harassed at the convention, and they'd likely come out of the experience thinking - where are the cute, unassuming nerds I was promised? Where is my Sheldon? Who are these obese, smelly guys with greasy ponytails and black T-shirts, and what are they doing in my new hobby?

Does any of that sound feasible? Was geekdom mis-advertised as being a universally friendly "safe space" for women, and could the fallout from that have contributed to the recent few years' of analysis of gaming through a feminist perspective, the introduction of social justice issues into gaming journalism, female-centric lobbying of developers' design choices, etc? And, does TBBT represent the catalyst for this?
 

SonicWaffle

New member
Oct 14, 2009
3,019
0
0
Rellik San said:
Nixou said:
Bob, hate to break it to you but Cartman isn't a portrayal of a "gamer" he's a portrayal of a total douchebag sociopath who happens to be a gamer

And gaters are total douchebag sociopaths who proclaimed to be the Only Real True Gamers©. The overlap is pretty obvious
WHOA WHOA WHOA!

When have I ever given anyone that impression, I try to be pretty sympathetic and reasonable, I recognise inherent misogyny in the tech industries needs addressing whilst maintaining the desire for a better press. Since when did that make me a total douchebag sociopath?
Conflation, my unfortunate brother. There are, I'm sure, perfectly reasonable GamerGaters who are actually concerned with the lack of journalistic ethics like yourself.

However, there are definitely a lot of abusive, misognyist types using the hashtag/movement to vent their bile and shout down "feminazis", then using the "it's about ethics!" line as a shield when called out on their behaviour. That's the wider public's consensus on the nature of the movement, and it's far too late to change that. GamerGate is perceived as an excuse for harassment veiled by weak excuses about journalistic ethics, particularly when the supposed ethical concerns are "stop doing anything that doesn't cater specifically to me!".

Perhaps, as a sympathetic and reasonable GamerGater, you should find a different banner to wave when making your points? One that isn't already indelibly stained with shit? I'd certainly join you in arguing for less collusion between publishers and reviewers, if it weren't attached to a hashtag that's firmly associated with toxic behaviour.

I know I'm not the first to say it, but those Gaters who actually do care about the things GamerGate claims to care about would be a lot better off if you could escape the (apparent) majority who only care insofar as it allows them to fling their poop at people. Good luck!
 

Batou667

New member
Oct 5, 2011
2,238
0
0
Rellik San said:
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.
I read this in Sheldon's voice and it fit perfectly. Just sayin' ;)