What is a Gamer? [Opinion]

Before I get into the “you whippersnappers” rant to include various exclamations detailing how you can get off of my lawn, please allow me to touch on something important. A question implied every time we hear someone’s status come into doubt;

What is a gamer?

Let’s take a look…

gamer define

Well, that’s it; pretty sure that explains it well enough right? So now it’s back to playing [insert random game]? No, you mean that people dispute the definition… okay let’s chat.  You there, thumbstick jockey, you’re a gamer right; but not that guy playing minesweeper? Wrong. Matter of fact, there were gamers long before there were controllers. Sure the ideas and the methods have evolved through multiple generations and we’re not still playing the “brown box,” a relic of the 60’s which gave birth to an Odyssey of its own, nor are we still busting out that ol’ red box and polyhedrals (some of us are) – but we are still gamers, all of us, and we’re far from done evolving.

Gamers come in all varieties, from the cellphone app-addicts compacting sweet treats to the pencil spinning die casting Funion and Dew crew to the 360 no-scope blind folded look ma no hands headshot masters. Gaming has become a rapidly growing cultural phenomenon, which has generated countless subcultures. Though as a whole, the genre of gaming effortlessly spans gaps in nearly every other culture which is something almost unheard of. Gaming has united a people again under a single banner despite any previous differences they may have had, and with that achievement we should be celebrating – instead as with all things we, as humans, have found a divide.

mind the gap

Your system isn’t as good as mine, your console is inferior to my rig, your miniatures, dice and books don’t count. These things are echoed online, and in person, down to the level of “your skill in a game where you shoot people with absurdly inaccurate ballistics and physics is less impressive than my skill in a similar but slightly different game where you shoot people with absurdly inaccurate ballistics and physics.” Isn’t that just a tad ridiculous? So, how about we shatter the fragile reality it seems many live in. Gaming comes in so many forms that, really, the only true way to forfeit your title as a gamer is to attempt to needlessly narrow the definition simply to exclude or ridicule others. That’s just un-gamer-ly of you.

Maybe I’m old school, maybe I’m more tolerant than others – but maybe that’s also why I’ve found a home with the “friendliest gaming community online”. We’re all gamers; there is no need to ridicule someone for the games they choose to play or how they play them. What truly matters, and makes a gamer a gamer, is the passion to play. The medium used to facilitate the gameplay means so very little, what’s important is that the experience is strong, the content is engaging, and there’s fun to be had. So table top or television, cards or controller, 8-bit or 4k, it’s all gaming and we’re all gamers. It’s time that we close the gap again and rebuild the community as a whole!

I leave you with the words of Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, in a recent tweet that inspired this, /endrant


Do you agree? What’s your definition of a gamer?

Tell us in the comments, or on our subreddit.