I have had this topic in my head for weeks. So my challenge today is to incorporate photography and gamers, nerds, geeks whatever the word of choice is for you. First off, I am a proud and avid gamer, geek AND nerd. 🙂 I come with an attached stigma many people can’t get past. We are misunderstood, judged, stereotyped and pushed in to the mold that most of us do not fit in.
Be honest, when you hear any of the above, you are thinking.. ugly, braces, glasses, pimples, either scrawny or fat, annoying laugh, no social skill and stupid. Oh, and male. 🙂 Now, I am not saying that some don’t fit that mold to a T. But most of us? WRONG. This is a picture of me, granted taken by my lovely mother who can take stunning pictures, but she obviously did not photoshop a new face on. Yes go ahead and smile, I am trying to be entertaining too.
I am not gonna fib either, this is a few years old, but it was in my prime gaming years. Where I lived and breathed World of Warcraft. Unfortunately, as life goes on, I got a full time night shift job, a bigger family, so my “play” time had been reduced. Not to worry I moved on to Starwars the old republic. 😀 I also play Dungeons and Dragons a role playing game. Again not as much as I would like but I take what I can get! DnD always reminds me of Vin Diesel.. yes the actor. He plays WoW and DnD.. he is one of the biggest gamers out there! Look at him, smart, successful, hot, muscular, famous, rich and what does he do? Play games. Another random fact, Mila Kunis.. female actor, also big WoW fan and gamer and there are plenty of female players out there! She is obviously not ugly either. Steve Jobs, the creator of Apple used to be called a nerd and was made fun of. Who was laughing in the end.
The title is Gamers, the misunderstood breed. I touched a bit on looks, on success, on well known gamers but is that misunderstood as a whole? No, that is just a conception problem, prejudice and stereotyping. We are misunderstood in life. Picture this: I go out, meet new people, we talk, I crack a Star Wars joke…, I die laughing.. cause it was a good one. Most people will look at me like I have lost my marbles. And that is a joke about epic movies most people know.. think what would happen if I would dare say crack a DnD joke.. like I roll natural 20’s.. only a gamer would get it.
That’s who I am though. I don’t believe in small talk like most of my fellow gamers, nerds and geeks. We are smart, really smart. We are computer techs, computer engineers, game developers, artists, writers, teachers, actors, graphic designers, programmers, soldiers and many more. We see the world differently, we think a lot, we are probably more introverted than most people, we are creative, we are innovative, we are unique, we have passion and fantasy!
Yes, we spend hours in front of the computer (and our comps are awesome), TV is background noise, we aren’t very social by societies norm, our friends are spread out all over the world because we meet them playing online, form relationships and are fine with a long distance friendship, we have trouble dating “outsiders” because they don’t get us and they seem superficial to most of us.
Maybe, just maybe we do have a slight superiority complex or maybe we just know that there is more to life than shoes, sports, drinking, going out and spending money. I am aware I generalize too and we do enjoy some of the same things. Yet, the very things that define most of us, sets us apart from society. I have no problem dressing up as an elf <3, pretending to be a wizard, have light saber fights and contemplate if what we see in games and movies, is realistically practical. We are lovers and fighters. We want someone to share our world with not judge it. We are a good catch, maybe we are weird and awkward, standoffish or appear rude to you. We just don’t warm up to people easy. We aren’t shy, we just don’t have a lot in common and we know it.
To us, spending time playing games is a social affair, we chat, we have voice chats, we have forums, we do it in the comfort of our home, gaming isn’t as expensive as most people believe, 15 a month. Going out to drink with your friends, shopping, partying all costs more and we have just as much fun. We think out of the box, we learn fast, we read a lot. We need to, those games aren’t just clickedy click. They require focus, attention, tactics, mastery of your class, a good spec, good gear, good communication, punctuality and reliability. Some things can only be done with 5-25 people. There are pre set times and dates, for a common goal. You don’t show, you just possibly ruined the rest of the groups night. That’s who we are and we are alright with that, it’s fun to us. We also can take ourselves with a good amount of humor, there are plenty of pictures making fun of gaming we find hilarious!
If you are still reading, thank you. You made it through all my lingo and I guess rants. I promise, my next posts will be about photography and the like again. I hope I didn’t bore or lose you. I think my point is, we are different but worth the effort to get to know. You may learn something or at least get a loyal friend. Cause for most of us, once you made it through our thick shell, we usually stick with you. There is a lot more to us than what I could pack in this post. I could write a book. Maybe I should 😉 Anyways, show a gamer, nerd and geek some love! Oh and if you wonder how I can tie this in with photography?! If and when I will have my equipment, I want to offer fantasy photography and the like.. you can tell wonderful stories this way! I would also love to take pictures of us the special breed.. to highlight everyone’s unique personality!
Please like this, share this, follow me, recommend me and share your insights with me! Do you agree with me? Are you like me? Let me know!
27 thoughts on “Gamers, the misunderstood breed”
Did you look at this article from the Statesman on aging gamers?? I’m old enough that Pac Man was the most advanced game around when I was in HS…. (that poor Pac man was always stuck in the corner and gobbled up faster than you can imagine), I’ve never had any interest in games since then… but here is the article for you as you get older..
I just read it. I can see his point, I am not there yet. 😀 I probably never will be. I replace social outings in “the real world” with my game. He has a couple of good points and I do by no means play as much as when I was younger, but I still make the time to play. ❤ It's also me time.. when the kids are in bed, the husband watching soccer, I get to play and shut out the world for a bit.
I’m a late blooming gamer… since when I was young there were no games other than cards or board games or rpg.. I got hooked into WoW and Diablo few years ago via a friend…. I’d like to do STOR.. just like many not enough funds..I do Secondlife too.. I”m very close to retirement age. (grin)… and I don’t think I fit any stereotype.
I understand, I fund one monthly game at a time.. 😀 SWTOR it is currently. There is no age on gaming 😀
OMG! I keep telling my wife that Warcraft is like Internet crack! She will get lost for many hours having fun. At least I do something practical online and kill zombies. Although she doesn’t dress up while she plays(yet), she has a lot of fun playing and can’t wait to show me her new pets or some new place she found. An yes, she watches the Guild and giggles while the kids and I try to figure out the inside jokes.
BTW, If you like cool nature pics, I put some posts on my site you may like.
Haha, I totally get your wife, and I understand your confusion about the “inside” jokes.. internet crack.. yep.. 😀 Thanks for commenting, and when you say zombies.. what’s your game of choice 😛
I’ll check your blog out in a bit, I looooove nature pics!
That’s pretty cool! The MAME not the unamused wife part 😉 If you ever need someone to test apps I’ll volunteer as a Guinea piglet 😀 That’s awesome, I hope you have great success! I am taking my first programming course in the fall. So many great things I want to try!
This is awesome!!! Good read 🙂
Nice one Deanna. I’ve been a mad gamer since 1977. I was 12 in that year when Star Wars hit the movie screens and Space Invaders hit the arcades. I’m now 46 and still out there smashing nasties and fighting the good fight. Thanks for your page, will follow and tell others. I used to dream about what we have now, online gaming, hi-tech games and our very own gaming universe – the future is here and now, cheers T
Thank you I am glad you enjoyed it! I remember when my dad brought home an ATARI I was like ohhhhh .. couldn’t get better than that back then!
This is a great little entry. I am a female gamer as well. I love D&D, Warhammer 40K, RPGs, etc. I always make sure to bring my camera to events and games because I always manage to get epic shots during gameplay! I highly recommend doing so!
I believe it! I have some pics of one of our older sessions and added thought bubbles.. was quite amusing to bring them up last week 😀 I am saving for a better camera, my phone does limit me so does my little pocket cam 🙂
It’s almost 3 in the morning and I need to sleep, but the photography in the end reminds me of this project my friends girlfriend was doing. She was taking pictures of us (me and my buddies) while talking/playing dnd? Well I just think it’s funny because the people she showed (she did it as a college class project) all thought I ‘looked’ like the DM, I’m assuming she explained a lot to them. Cracks me up 🙂 Great post, shared it on facebook.
Thanks for liking and sharing! I really appreciate the positive feedback! You should post those pics, I’d love to see them! I can imagine she had to explain a lot most people have no clue lol
lol, I’ll see about getting them from her. I’ve gotten to the point where I enjoy explaining ‘role playing’ to the unenlightened. I consider the weird looks badges of honor. 🙂
Thanks! Yes, it does have a fun factor going of into forgotten realms and trying to tell other people about it.. the lost looks is worth it 😀
Loved your article. We are always looking for contributing bloggers for our geek and nerd community. Check us out at thenetworkinterface.com and also our facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Network-Interface/167364060017997 We would love to have you contribute for us, and we can promote your blogging site as well!
Thank you so much! Absolutely I’d love to contribute and of course share your page as well 🙂
Though much of what you say is indeed true, there is a great deal more to consider when discussing the stereotypes of gamers. They are shifting, socially speaking. With the advent of social and casual gaming, mobile app games and downloadable content, more and more people find themselves embroiled in one type of game or another. Of the 311+ million people living in the United States, nearly half of them now play some sort of game. My own mother, at 50 years old, came to me last year with the proud pronouncement that she is now a gamer because of casual games.
Nearly half the households in America also have at least one console system. 90% of them have computers on which they will play one game or another. The stigma has shifted and will continue to do so as my generation ages and my child’s generation comes into their own. Most of these children will have and will continue to play games in some form. We call them gamers, a term they are more and more comfortable with. I have never explained to my child the stigma attached to the term when I was younger. She has no idea it even exists at this point in her life. And I have taught her that people who make fun of others are to simply be ignored or even pitied for their narrow minded, bitter dispositions.
The stereotype is persisted not only by the fading generations who were taught that games were a waste of time and who originally created the stereotype but also by the gamers who perpetually think they have to fight against it. By consistently discussing what was a social issue to us in years gone by, we remind people what we think society is supposed to believe of us. I have found that many people do not even think about it in that manner, gamer or not. Only those who are immature and lacking in self-confidence continue the behaviors we have suffered from growing up to make themselves feel bigger and better than people they believe deep down are so much smarter than them. Like many other stigmas, it will not ride into the sunset until we allow it to.
I am female. I am a mother. I have a steady, relatively well paying job as far as the current economy goes. I hold several degrees in my favorite subject; computers. My social skills are not lacking. My fashion sense suffers not at all. Like you, I am not difficult to look at (which causes some amusing reactions at cons and game stores). And at the same time, I have no problems sinking into a game for hours when time permits, often with my child. It is one of the ways we bond. I play TT/LARP games, video games, casual games and social games. But rarely do I meet someone, even someone my own age, male or female, who cannot bond with me in some manner over games.
I think in some ways that gamers themselves perpetuate the stereotypes by living up to them. I have seen some that do it in defiance of those they think would look down on them. It takes very little to actually shrug them off, deny them and be a relatively normal person. In my experience, it is partly arrogance, partly insecurity and partly ignorance that keeps them in this infinite loop of misunderstanding…both from them and of them. I did a paper in psychology in college on this once then followed up with a great deal of research into the market for a business project, and all the data fit this simple opinion.
Remember, society can only perceive the image we project of ourselves. If this is the image we project, we only have ourselves to blame. Many of the gamers I have met that fit this stereotype have made no effort to project anything else. Many end up angry, bitter and stubbornly believing that the world is out to get them so therefore they must be better than the world. The stance alienates people before any connection can be made with them. And most often, it is their own parents that give them this belief, not society at large; parents that still fall into that dwindling generation who were taught that this stereotype must be truth, that it can be no other way.
So now we must ask ourselves whether we, the gamers, want to keep this stereotype alive. In truth, where social views are concerned, they have the attention span of rabid squirrels on six shots of espresso. If we ignore it, live outside it, the stereotype will die. I defy it every day by not living up to it. Why should I give anyone the satisfaction of dictating my life via streotypes?
I am by no means trying to keep a stereo type alive or teach my children that this is what will happen if they play games 🙂 I agree with your point of you to an extent but I also want to point out that depending on where you work you are met with different “stereotyping” I worked at a county jail and my husband as a deputy and there is LITTLE understanding for being different. I also understand that I generalize a lot but I write from experiences I had and from what I have seen with friends. It may also depend on where you are that you are met with less or no stereotyping.
And yes I agree it is shifting, since I wrote the post I have been linked a bunch of blogs all hailing nerd and geekdom and I guess it is a trend currently and that struck me as odd as I did not see that coming. I am sure that too is a phase and will pass when the next “cool” thing arrives. I also agree that with advanced technology everyone games and is a gamer as access to them becomes easier as well. I agree with not passing on the stigma to our children yet I had to explain to my child that there is nothing wrong with being different and taught her the same as far as narrow minded and bitter dispositions.
I also cannot argue the fact that people who do belittle us or stereotype us do so to boost themselves. Yet, this is why I distance myself as I have no use for friends like that. I stick to what I know and I am not trying to encourage a rift between gamers and the rest of society I am just basing it of personal preference and I am also not bitter 😛 although I do know people who have become sour. Parents do play a vital role in how everyone sees themselves not just as far as gamers are concerned.
I wrote this blog after I had a few lengthy conversations with friends about how they feel misunderstood and no one gets their personality/jokes. I am not saying you don’t have a point, you obviously do and I agree with a lot but I think where people are from, what they are told and how it affects them is still different by quite a bit depending on where you are. I also have met younger people who stereotype like this, more than likely taught by peers and parents but it is not something that faded away with the generation of our parents.
I do appreciate your comment and pointing out a different view! It is good to read and points out many great points.
Region does have a great deal to do with it. You make a number of valid points in your initial post and your response. I do not disagree. I just find that it is dwindling and shifting, not gone by any means. But there is change. Even here. I live in North Carolina where narrowminded can often be a career and work for a law firm for people who are as much geeks and gamers as I am, though I deal with a diverse client base who often are not. I am from Seattle and have lived all over the US (military brat). Environment is everything as each area reacts differently to people like me.
It is not gone by any stretch, but neither is it as widespread. People still often do not get references. But make a joke about Angry Birds, and they get it. It is just a matter of perspective and material. Personally, I’m with you in that I walk away from anyone who tries downing me for being a gamer, cutting them from my life. Friends don’t do that therefore they are not friends. It is not worth my time to try to change their minds.
Thank you so very much for taking the time to read through it, lengthy as it was.
I love the lengthy comment! I want to initiate conversation and discuss different opinions and point of views or I would just be like people I gripe about, unwilling to bend. I am also a military brat and former spouse so I can relate to everywhere is different. I grew up in Germany now in a small town in Texas, whole different ball game!
hey, i too am a female gamer/nerd. the dork side sent me. you did a good job on the blog. thanks for giving us female nerds a voice! my phone isn’t letting me share to facebook, but i tweeted it! (@kyliekerosene)
i’m 27 years old. i’m a writer, a musician, and a video editor. i am many things, nerd is but one of them. and i’ve always been pretty introverted, quiet, what most would call shy. but it’s true, it’s just hard to relate to most people.
i also played dungeons and dragons back in high school. and yes, i saw the dice before the girl. :p
keep writing! and keep playing. 😉
Thank you! I really love all the feedback I have gotten! It’s amazing how fast social media works! I am always happy to see other female gamers that truly are gamers not just fantasy fans ❤