: Editorial: It Was A Bad Day For Stereotypes!

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Editorial: It Was A Bad Day For Stereotypes!

As most of our loyal readers know, I've often spoken about stereotypes within the industry and how they've changed over the years. Recently, I've taken more of a negative view by saying that while the gaming populace has made great strides, there's still a deeply entrenched sense of inferiority in regards to the mainstream public. Even if gamers aren't "nerds," video games still aren't a legitimate entertainment industry, and nobody will ever take it as seriously as movies, music, books, etc.

Now, I still stand by that as today is merely one day and in the larger scheme of things, it's not indicative of the entire picture. However, in my modest travels on a Friday afternoon and into the evening (nothing too spectacular, mind you), I saw multiple examples of how some of the more commonly accepted gamer stereotypes have disappeared in the recent past. First, I went to the mall - oh yes, we're having wild times now - and hemmed and hawed over a Resident Evil 5 purchase. But after reading Arnold's review and remembering my time with the demo, I decided to wait. I wouldn't have if I didn't have Star Ocean: The Last Hope sitting at home, but with an RPG there...well, I've got enough to play. And there's this little thing called "work," too, even though I know some of you still think that it's more like playing. ;)

Anywho, there's a man and woman in there, and while I don't make it a habit of eavesdropping, they were pretty loud so it was difficult to ignore. It only took seconds to realize they were married, and the instant I heard the raised voices, my pre-programmed brain settled on the obvious conclusion: the dude wanted to buy a game but she didn't want him to, for whatever reason. But I forgot what year it was! They weren't arguing over whether or not to buy a game; they were arguing over which game to buy, in exactly the same fashion a couple might argue over a DVD or CD. The guy wanted RE5 and the girl wanted Star Ocean. It wasn't even a prototypical Wii game, or something! I couldn't help but grin in their direction; the girl noticed and quickly said, "he always gets to pick." Oh, and if any of you were wondering, no, these two in no way held any of the other common stereotypical gamer traits.

Then, I was in Best Buy and I overheard two people arguing over Killzone 2 and Halo 3; I heard before I saw them, but as it turned out, they were two guys in suits who had to be 40+ years of age. They almost sounded as if they knew what they were talking about, too... Finally, I turned the corner, and you know how they have the demonstration systems set up at the end of the aisles? I just started fiddling around with the PS3, sifting around to see if they had any cool videos or demos on there. I was about ready to put the controller down when a voice near my shoulder said, "hey, let's play." It wasn't a kid and it wasn't a teenage boy. It wasn't even male. It was a girl, probably in her mid-20s, who - if I liked the bleached blonde cheerleader look - would be extraordinarily cute. I said I had no idea what they had in there (or if they had anything at all) and she said, "oh, I don't care. I just want to play something...I'm bored."

There was a MotorStorm: Pacific Rift demo in there, so we played a few races of that. She didn't win, but she wasn't terrible, and she certainly enjoyed herself. She even chattered on about some of the games she had played recently and while none of them could be considered "hardcore" titles, the mere fact that she was standing there was enough to dispel a few major stereotypes. This all happened within the span of a few hours, mind you, and upon leaving Best Buy, I found myself thinking: "well, that was an encouraging little excursion." Some days, I don't even want to look at another human, but others...they can surprise me. Today was such a day. And bear in mind that I'm 30 years old now and my mind is still set in the '80s in some ways, so while you 20-year-olds might not find any of this surprising, you didn't grow up in a very different time. Consider that before saying something like "well, duh" in response. ;)

3/13/2009 Ben Dutka

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Comments (36 posts)

ImTheMan
Friday, March 13, 2009 @ 11:06:28 PM
Reply

Well duh! j/k Great article.

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TheUglyBassist
Friday, March 13, 2009 @ 11:18:17 PM
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Sounds to me like you had a pretty good day.

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Scarecrow
Friday, March 13, 2009 @ 11:41:14 PM
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I gotta say I personally enjoy these articles. Makes me realize that I should not be shy 'bout my v-gaming. In fact I've been more open 'bout it with people I casually know.

I think in general v-games are a big part of society now, just like movies.

I also have to add that it's good to see babes getting into anime. Anime and games really do help each other out a lot too.

I specially like the part 'bout the blonde babe, hot!

This is one of the reasons though why I think Japan is the best country as far as in being a gamer. Society there doesn't aggressively look down on gamers, or blame games for anything and everything. But yes good to see parts of the US accepting games more.

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LimitedVertigo
Saturday, March 14, 2009 @ 5:15:59 AM

At work today (I work at Jimmy Johns for some side cash) several co workers were talking to me the entire time about RE5 and other various games. One was a guy and the other a really cute girl that is in love with the Mortal Kombat series. Before we knew it others were getting in on the conversation.

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Neurotoxiny
Friday, March 13, 2009 @ 11:43:42 PM
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Stereotypically, video gamers are people that stay in their basements and eat cake all day while swearing over microphones with horrible acne. Also they're supposed to live with their moms until they're 40 and look like rapists.

However, video gamers can be anybody. Anybody. Seriously.

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Scarecrow
Saturday, March 14, 2009 @ 12:08:43 AM

Even celebrities

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ImTheMan
Saturday, March 14, 2009 @ 3:29:53 AM

@ scarecrow. Of course! Xbox live holds these game with fame events every now and then and you actually get to play with celebrities!

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Fatcat3788
Saturday, March 14, 2009 @ 2:11:36 AM
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Oh humans... They can be completely asinine one day and then pleasantly surprise you the next. Sounds like a good day to me. One day Ben. Everyone will think the "well, duh" on a situation like this. One day...

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Neurotoxiny
Saturday, March 14, 2009 @ 2:41:21 AM
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Super hot females can be video gamers too.

Just 'cause it not regularly thought of; nor does it occur as often as every gamer wishes, females do play video games. Seriously.

:)

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LimitedVertigo
Saturday, March 14, 2009 @ 5:16:23 AM

Not if they play CSS at 3am and are halfway decent.

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Totalz
Saturday, March 14, 2009 @ 2:56:43 AM
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Have you heard the recent school shootings in Germany have been blamed on "extremely violent videogames found in the boy's room" from which the teenager had "probably learned how to commit such a crime" (I'm not kidding I heard this on the news here in the UK)

Gaming and gamers take another hit then, apparently we're all manic depressive psyco-maniacs who like to march into our old schools and open fire on the teachers and students. It couldn't have been the fact that this poor child had most likely been abused and neglected and bullied at this place...no, of course not.


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Qubex
Saturday, March 14, 2009 @ 6:33:25 AM

The problem is that in society you will get the few that are unstable, homes are unstable, friends are probably unstable... everything in the poor chaps life is going wrong... maybe abused... and so he (or she) snaps - if there are video games laying about, then maybe it could be part of the cause, but then again, if he were part of a gun club or something... that too could be part of the cause..

Issue is, what was the psychological trigger that pushed the boy to behave in such extremes... massive depression, coupled with an unstable environment... criticisms, teasing... being ignores, abused... you name it... it all adds up... and then the snap!!!

Q!

"i am home"

Last edited by Qubex on 3/14/2009 6:34:05 AM

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Totalz
Saturday, March 14, 2009 @ 1:11:18 PM

I have to admit, although I do not believe that games are the source of all violence, there is no smoke without fire, and you're right in saying that it may well have been one of the causes for his actions. But it seems to me that gaming has become an easy scapegoat for the government, social servces, the media and authorities, so they don't have to admit that there are serious problems with society. After all, someone must have noticed this boy's problems, but nothing is ever done by the authorities etc. until its too late.

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artson1966
Saturday, March 14, 2009 @ 6:55:17 AM
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being in my 40's myself I can relate to your assesment. I often reflect on the late 70's and early 80's with great pride. We had the pleasure of seeing gaming grow from it's egg stage for a lack of words to it's currant teenage years. I really am curious to see how gaming matures as it finaly reaches adulthood. I am sure that many readers on this site can relate to my statements here. Being a older gamer has given me a appreciation that most younger gamers take for granted. If you need an example of what im talking about just listen to them on PSN or LiVE even worse.

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caliblue15
Saturday, March 14, 2009 @ 9:11:55 AM
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You don't like blonde cheerleaders Ben? Damn, those are my favorite, and she's in my age range. You should have hooked you buddy/brother up. Anyways while working at Best Buy for some money between semesters of college schooling. I actually see this quite alot, and it confused me at first, but now its cool, because I can actually have a real talk about video games with grown men, instead of little 12 year olds.

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Qubex
Saturday, March 14, 2009 @ 9:33:58 AM

Maybe, as adults, we need to simply admit that we are "regressing" somewhat... not wanting to grow up to some extent... as long as I can relax and lose myself in one of these worlds... its great to be doing exactly the opposite to what most of the world does... and within a very exciting and progressive medium...

Q!

"i am home"

Last edited by Qubex on 3/14/2009 9:35:13 AM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, March 14, 2009 @ 10:28:50 AM

Nah, the blonde thing usually doesn't do it for me. Dark hair is for me. :)

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Scarecrow
Saturday, March 14, 2009 @ 2:18:01 PM

Right on!
Same here Ben, Dark hair = win for me also

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, March 14, 2009 @ 4:05:43 PM

I'm with Ben, Dark exotic women ftw.

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Qubex
Sunday, March 15, 2009 @ 4:50:41 AM

Dark hair it is... exotic... you should see the women in Singapore... you wouldn't believe your eyes... Asian beauties!

Q!

"i am home"

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shadowpal2
Sunday, March 15, 2009 @ 6:18:21 PM

ALRIGHT DARK HAIR WOOOOOOOO!!!!

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jaybiv
Saturday, March 14, 2009 @ 12:41:22 PM
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Ben, Ben, Ben. Never judge a book by its cover. She was free weed, if you will. You gotta step to her. She's a gamer and you said she was cute. She can always change her hair color.

I like reading your commentaries, but next time do us a favor and not include missed opportunities like that. Keep up the good work nonetheless.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, March 14, 2009 @ 12:55:16 PM

Now you sound like Arnold. ;)

I would find it weird to "step" to anyone in freakin' Best Buy, though. I'm perfectly comfortable in clubs and bars, but that's only because women EXPECT to be approached in that fashion in those places.

And I'll be perfectly honest: the thought didn't cross my mind until afterwards. I was just surprised she was even standing there; the idea for this article hit my brain and I didn't think about anything else. :)

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, March 14, 2009 @ 4:07:11 PM

Gotta love/hate those lapses in judgment. You get an idea for an article or in my case a story and then you're a friggin space cadet. I know I've let a few girls get away that way.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, March 14, 2009 @ 4:28:34 PM

I'm not a space cadet when it comes to women. I've long since been promoted to captain.

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Zorigo
Saturday, March 14, 2009 @ 2:17:26 PM
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Wel, i can safely say that that was the best editorial i've read in ages. thumbs up :)
anyways, nice to hear you story, i would say that made my day but i've just been out, so it enhanced it atleast, :D.
have fun ben,
Z

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, March 14, 2009 @ 4:08:20 PM
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Gotta agree with the others, your type or not if a girl like that wants to play with you she wants to PLAY with you.

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Qubex
Sunday, March 15, 2009 @ 4:52:41 AM

That would be a "worldending" experience... now wouldn't it? LoL!!!

Q!

"i am home"

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CH1N00K
Saturday, March 14, 2009 @ 4:58:28 PM
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I know what you mean, It shouldn't surprise me to meet someone older then me that still plays games, or a hot girl, and yet everyday you meet more people that do. There's even 40+ year old Women at my work who talk about playing games. (mostly Wii) Blows my mind every time I here them talking about it, but thanks to their kids, they've gotten into it.

It shouldn't come as a suprise really though, with the amount of consoles that have been sold to people over the last few decades, they couldn't all have been the stereotypical "gamer" there had to have been at least 1 hot girl in there some where..lol.

Take you, Ben, for example, a 30-ish gamer? Stereotypically, you should be living in your mom's basement, driving a moped and working an I.T. job. Instead you drive a 350Z, date hot women and are physically capable of tossing a grown man into a tree...A few years ago, we called people like you "Jocks"

Funny how things change....

As for your cheerleader problem, well you can think about it this way...Chances are she wasn't a natural blonde. I was reading somewhere that blondes are becoming extinct. A study over the last few decades has shown that their numbers are dropping pretty rapidly.

Of course the same study also noticed that there are less and less Male babies being born every generation too, and we could be a dying "breed" along with the Natural blonde....just something to think about.

Last edited by CH1N00K on 3/14/2009 5:03:50 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, March 14, 2009 @ 5:41:40 PM

Redheads are becoming extinct too, I find that sad because of my fond memories of a redhead.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, March 14, 2009 @ 6:21:02 PM

At the risk of hurting that flattering view of my glamorous lifestyle, I'd like to clarify that it's probably not accurate to say I "date hot women." That implies I date a lot, and I really don't. My last gf was extremely hot...I'll boast to that. But beyond this...I'm no "Player." ;)

As for the rest...yeah, it's mostly accurate. But I'm staying home tonight to finish Killzone 2. Still a gamer! Heh.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 3/14/2009 6:21:44 PM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, March 14, 2009 @ 6:22:32 PM
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Oh, and good riddance to the blondes. I don't care if the hair color dies out...but maybe if it becomes really rare, it'll become more appealing to me. :)

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, March 15, 2009 @ 6:44:21 PM
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Bensta you are just a finicky bastard like me, i feel for ya, letting good times go because ur a stubborn sumbitch.

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OriginalSin
Monday, March 16, 2009 @ 9:10:10 AM
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I also believed that NO hot girls out there play games, and that they are all probably going out shopping and dating the so called ''jocks''... Until the one day (about 8 years ago) I met this gorgeous girl at a party. She had dark hair dark green eyes, perfect lips and the most petite body I have ever seen (Ben I think you would have liked her for sure)...anyway... To be honest I was intimidated to the core thinking she is probably dating the biggest m*****F***** on the planet.Long story short we started talking and it come out that she really loves gaming, she was an avid FF fan and knew them all, she kicked my ass in Tekken, gave me the best races of my life in GT.... and the list goes on. Sadly after dating (obviously) for nearly a year her whole family went over to live in Italy.... I was broken.

Anyway long story short since that day I no longer believed in Stereotypes. Since then I met '' geeks'' that never played Diablo, Final Fantasy or any other game for that matter, I met a ''Jock'' that couldn't get a girl to save his life.I even met chick that knew everything about muscle cars there is to know. The list goes on and on.

Great article Ben, but all I can say is that stereotypes have been changing for a long time now, I just think it will become more obvious as days go by, seeing more and more people grow up with the modern technology.

And honestly gaming is becoming the main form of entertainment all over the world. People are really starting to loose interest in the movie scene so to speak...

But I would find it interesting to see more stereotype's being ''Busted'' so if anyone comes across some more it will be good to know about...

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, March 16, 2009 @ 10:21:34 AM

Sorry to hear about the girl leaving, but I'm sure it's one of those experiences you don't regret. It's true that stereotypes in gaming are disintegrating every day; it just always surprises me when I see the real-life effects right before my eyes.

And yeah, she does sound like my type...but TOO small and petite scares me a little. I'm always afraid I'm going to hurt girls that small (and yet, overweight chicks are my biggest turn-off LOL).

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OriginalSin
Tuesday, March 17, 2009 @ 3:06:52 AM
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She was small indeed but not too petite... And flexible but that's a whole other story. And yeah it was a big loss but the time together was definitely worth it.

As for overweight chicks I'm with you on that one only thing that scares me off quicker are those monster bodybuilder chicks that looks like they snap you in two.... that's just not right. Guess some people will call us vain for saying that about overweight people, I just say it's our taste and we're allowed to. If the don't like it they can go have a biscuit LOL.

And yeah you are right seeing stereotypes fade right in front of your very eyes is quite a thing. But when it does happen in front of you it is quite satisfying as well. It makes me feel good to know the world is becoming less and less ''scripted'' if I can put it like that.

Anyway thanx again for the cool article.

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