Posts Tagged ‘shakespeare’

Apologies to the Bard

January 22nd, 2010 5 comments

This is a blog written by a gamer. This is a blog designed to be read by gamers, and to be contributed to by gamers. I want gamers to connect over this, and maybe get some enjoyment and some thoughtful discussion going about this blog. That’s my hope.

But what is a gamer? Would that which we call a gamer by any other name would have as much fun?

I was going to do a little research on the term gamer, etymologically speaking. Where did the word come from? Where was it first used? What is our shared history as gamers, so to speak, but I’m not quite sure that it matters, for reasons I’ll get to shortly.

A gamer is someone who plays games as a primary form of enjoyment. They may deeply analyze the rules and structure of the game, or they may be new to the game they’re experiencing. They might participate over a wide variety of games (tabletop, console, card, computer), or they may devote themselves to one game, and believe that it is superior to others that try to emulate it. Despite all these different kings of gamers, they all share the same aim: to get enjoyment from playing a game, and devote some amount of time to it above their other interests.

Thinking that this is a reasonable definition, I submit the argument before you, dear reader, that anyone who wants to claim the mantle of Gamer is free to do so. Hell, they should be encouraged to do so. More people at the gaming table means more fun to go around. Exclusivity should never be our aim, as we’re too often misunderstood anyway.

In a very excellent article, Jeffrey Michael Grubb notes that gamers tend to instantly leap upon accusations of impropriety, defending their passion with a furor that may scare “normal’ people. He writes, “…if we are going to be more concerned about protecting the reputation of a video game than about fighting international sexual tourism, people are going to continue to look at gamers as an unbalanced people with twisted priorities.”

So when people want to call themselves gamers, embrace them as gamers, and invite them to play. Don’t question their title, or where they fit into the hardcore vs. casual debate, just accept that they are a gamer, and want what you want. They want to have a good time playing a game, just like you.

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