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Dispelling Gamer Stereotypes No Longer Requires Effort

Over the years, we've often spoken about how the video game industry has officially gone mainstream and we are very far removed from the '80s, when it was a hobby almost strictly enjoyed by boys between the ages of 6 and 12. And although archaic stereotypes still hang on amongst the irritating media and the even more annoying hordes of middle-aged parents who are never wrong about anything, I've now realized...it doesn't matter.

Many gamers, including myself, who don't fit the stereotypical label of "gamer" according to the ignorant, have advised standing tall and proud. The only way to dispel the stereotypes that continue to linger in the darker corners of the industry is to make your voice be heard. At 6'3, 220 and 31 years of age, I still see some bizarre and confused glances when strangers learn of my favorite hobby (hardly my only hobby, but that isn't the point), and I know many of you find yourselves in similar situations. You're married, you have families, you have jobs and in general, you don't see games any differently than the rest of the mainstream sees movies. You might get a little annoyed when one of your pastimes is brought into question, but it's probably happening less and less these days.

After this year, with Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, and Killzone 2 making big impacts amongst adults, it has become abundantly clear to more people than ever before that gaming is not only legitimate, it can appeal to all ages and both genders. See, we really don't need to do anything to battle the oppressive wave of ignorance, anymore; 'cuz these games will keep coming. This will just keep happening. With every passing day, everything about this industry becomes more - and I'll say it again - "legitimate." Last weekend, when I asked Mia Rose what she thought about stereotypes (clearly implying that she doesn't fit the gamer label), there was a slight pause and then, "well...do those stereotypes even exist anymore?" That prompted a pause from me as well because I instantly realized that maybe it just doesn't matter at this point. If they're not dead yet, their death is inevitable.

So who cares? There's no stopping this train. We don't have to explain in great detail to those who are still mired in 1982 that gaming isn't just for kids, anymore. Before, this wasn't true but video games also weren't in the very bright limelight they are now; these days, it's obvious. Millions who still thought gaming was all about Mario jumping around saw that Uncharted 2 commercial where the hot girlfriend thinks the game is a movie. They're gonna see lots more for Modern Warfare 2. So while I still recommend standing tall and proud, it really no longer falls on our shoulders to dispel the ancient myths. It's gonna happen...it's only a matter of time. Just sit back and enjoy it. ;)

11/19/2009 9:26:31 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (48 posts)

Highlander
Thursday, November 19, 2009 @ 10:12:26 PM
Reply

A new T-shirt...

Are you game? Stand proud!

Or...

Gamers stand proud!

Seriously though, I think Ben's right. Gaming is finally pulling itself beyond the kids image, and the Sony commercials are helping since not one of them features kids, it's all adults - including the internet fanboy in the commercial asking about the confirmation/denial of price rumors. I notice that the Modern Warfare commercials that WalMart did featured two dudes in their mid twenties to mid thirties. The subconscious message in all these commercials being that gaming isn't a kids game any longer. I love that two of the Sony commercials feature guys with 'hot' significant others. Not only is gaming for adults now, it's for adults with cute partners. It doesn't get any better than that, unless your significant other is not only cute, but likes video games and football...

p.s. Ben, you guys really need to link higher resolution images sometimes... :D

Last edited by Highlander on 11/19/2009 10:13:12 PM

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www
Friday, November 20, 2009 @ 5:35:30 AM

Maybe T-shirts like that are rather going to inject more life into the stereotype. Cause 'Gamers stand proud' is sorta like 'Gays stand proud', making it seem like your aware others aren't comfortable with your hobby....you know what am saying.

Last edited by www on 11/20/2009 5:36:16 AM

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frostface
Friday, November 20, 2009 @ 6:40:42 AM

What about 'Game Pride' T-shirts and a 'Game Pride' Parade j/k

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Kowhoho
Friday, November 20, 2009 @ 7:14:14 AM

How about a Gamelord shirt?

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, November 19, 2009 @ 10:17:32 PM
Reply

"There ain't no gettin' offa this train we on!"

-Barret, Final Fantasy VII

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 11/19/2009 10:18:46 PM

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Highlander
Thursday, November 19, 2009 @ 10:18:29 PM

LOL! Nice.

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Victor321
Thursday, November 19, 2009 @ 11:26:18 PM

Beautiful. Simply Beautiful.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, November 20, 2009 @ 12:40:07 AM

Win.

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Dancemachine55
Friday, November 20, 2009 @ 3:08:35 AM

Perfect!!! Couldn't have picked a better line. :)

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mexgeo86
Thursday, November 19, 2009 @ 10:36:44 PM
Reply

Nice pic up there Ben.

As far as the topic, I agree that gaming or the industry is indeed changing; I remember purchasing new SNES cartridges from Kmart where the selection was 2-3 small window cases and now you can go into Best Buy and see a whole segment of the store dedicated just for video games.

It's evident the industry has grown financially, technologically, and so have the consumers. It'll be interesting to see where where we are in another 10-20 years.

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Alienange
Thursday, November 19, 2009 @ 10:51:17 PM
Reply

There is nothing better than a wife who knows when to say "There's a sniper on the roof!"

Long live gaming my friends... Long live gaming.

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fluffer nutter
Thursday, November 19, 2009 @ 11:07:09 PM

Nothing better? What if she's the sniper on the roof because she's battling you online from the other PS3 in the house?

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___________
Thursday, November 19, 2009 @ 11:15:13 PM

but than why would she say that?
shes just giving away her position.
shes giving away her greatest weapon, the element of surprise.

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Highlander
Friday, November 20, 2009 @ 1:26:24 AM

@fluffernutter...

Indeed!

As for giving away her position, if she's like my wife, she's just spinning a story to distract...

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Alienange
Friday, November 20, 2009 @ 5:49:01 PM

Wow, didn't think I'd be so misunderstood there. The wife is sitting next to me while I play and she's helping me. Does that help ya'll ?

Last edited by Alienange on 11/20/2009 5:49:45 PM

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fatelementality
Thursday, November 19, 2009 @ 11:04:32 PM
Reply

My girl is broken right now and needs a patch and new batteries before she can watch me play games again. *Breathes rapidly into bag*

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, November 19, 2009 @ 11:55:31 PM

I... don't even want to know.

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Highlander
Friday, November 20, 2009 @ 1:29:07 AM

Um...'kay...seek help now.

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Aftab
Friday, November 20, 2009 @ 10:22:10 AM

No worries, dudes. He's being paradoxical.

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Aftab
Friday, November 20, 2009 @ 12:45:43 PM

Sorry, wrong word. I meant he's 'parodying'.

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___________
Thursday, November 19, 2009 @ 11:13:49 PM
Reply

heh those people need to turn on the tv and watch ultimate gamer on fox 8.
i was watching it today they have a real life challenge which was paintball than a gaming challenge and todays game was halo 3.
for once it was girls V boys, and guess what.
girls won both rounds quite substantially.
and to add icing to the cake on the boys team every single one of them had played halo before, but 2 of the girls never touched the game.
how embarrassing being beaten buy a girl, especially at a FPS for gods sake.

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Dancemachine55
Friday, November 20, 2009 @ 3:12:24 AM

I saw that episode today. Epic win!!! A good strategy beats the bigger gun any day.

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___________
Friday, November 20, 2009 @ 7:30:48 AM

i hate jamal so much all he does is talk sh*t.
dantes such a coward the way he tried to talk mark into putting Cji in there, a complete utter SNAKE!
i dont care who wins it, as long as its not jamal.
if he wins im going on a murderous rampage.

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wiiplay
Friday, November 20, 2009 @ 10:04:52 AM

What exactly are we even supposed to call you?
No name?
The Person With A Name That Is Not A Name Visible In Our Known Language?
Or maybe we can call you... Fred?

Hello Fred! I'm Wiiplay!

Anyways, I love this picture.. Er, I mean article.
It's excellent!
I especially love the ads!
Most of the ads are for Star Trek, but the one I saw was for the "Girls Gone Wild" dvd collection for only $19.95.
I miss Billy Mays! R.I.P! (Rest In Peace with your other famous infomercial buddies in infomercial afterlife, we'll miss you!)

-Wiiplay.

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Poor_boy
Thursday, November 19, 2009 @ 11:21:20 PM
Reply

One thing I'm embarrassed about as a gamer, are the trolls that infests the video game websites(not this site). I mean, you can be a fanboy all you want, but you don't have to be all nazi to other fanboys of different consoles. We could be having an intellectual debate about what is the best game, whose the best director, whose the best voice actor, the best writer, the best game designer but you can't 'cuz its mostly about "xbox4life" and "ps3 owns all". Compared to fans of other entertainment media like novels and movies, I don't see such things.

I think these fools are tarnishing our credit as gamers overall, and it affects how the media sees us as well. I think if the game industry wants to be completely legitimate, those fools need to grow up, break away from their shell. I don't want Nolan Nathan googling abut himself and find comments on Uncharted 2 like, "this game sucks 'cuz its on ps3". That embarrasses me.

Last edited by Poor_boy on 11/19/2009 11:26:04 PM

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Victor321
Thursday, November 19, 2009 @ 11:26:05 PM

I completely agree.

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Poor_boy
Thursday, November 19, 2009 @ 11:32:14 PM

Edit: I meant Nolan North, silly me.

Last edited by Poor_boy on 11/19/2009 11:32:36 PM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, November 20, 2009 @ 12:40:53 AM

Yeah, I've said that before. I'm always worried that someone who doesn't know anything about games will go poking around forums...and then either run away screaming or just think, "yup, I knew they were all crazy."

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Aftab
Friday, November 20, 2009 @ 11:11:36 AM

What's even more annoying than fanboys, are the big dollar websites that are ran by fanboys, like IGN. Ben writes very intellectually and passionately, yet at the same time, he doesn't feel the need to unfairly knock 360 titles whenever he gets the chance, for example, or entirely ignore them, even though this is an exclusively PS3/PSP website. On the contrary, he often makes mention of them, and praisingly so.

What is very telling about fanboys, recently, besides them being on both sides, is typically ps3 fans were the ones who were on the defensive end, having to argue that "Gears or Halo doesn't blow away Resistance", for example, or "we've got COD4 or MW2, too". These days I've been reading more and more comments, by 360 fans, making remarks against ps3 fans, like "riding the bandwagon", or "we've got games, too", or "Forza is a real driving Sim, too, so yeah, we don't miss GT. Really, we don't. What? You weren't asking?"

And on IGN, I use to think they really wrote articles favoring the 360, not because they really cared or thought so, but because it promoted more internet traffic. 360 fans are in the majority, and ps3 fans will also frequent to argue. But, you couldn't really take the IGN circus (I mean "office") seriously, because they didn't, themselves. With the likes of the flamboyantly humorous Greg Miller, or the cute and coy Jessica Chobot, they really came across as a glitzy, entertaining site all about exposure, rather than something designed to honestly aid assist gamers as consumers.

But recently, articles, like their "top 25 360 games" list (with a ps list curiously missing") have opinions from the likes of Hilary Goldstein and Ryan Geddes, that show the same kind of unashamed bias as before, but tend to come off as speaking for their entire corporation, and a little bit on the reactively malicious side. Why? Matt Cassamassina, an IGN original who left a while ago, returns to write an editorial as an IGN editior "at large", with a careful disclaimer telling so (unlike in the articles written by the other dudes) about "U2 is fixing gaming". It seems that the veteran returns, after seeing how mottled with rabid fanboys the office has become since he's left, and how unfairly the Sony brand has been represented, that he has to return and tip the scale a bit, especially for a game such as U2. And I think the top 25 360 game list, was the offices reactive measure against it. Anyone who reads both articles will know what I mean.

Last edited by Aftab on 11/20/2009 11:12:25 AM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, November 20, 2009 @ 12:25:33 PM

I only wish others would see our work at PSXE as you do. Most just see the title of the site and make snap assumptions without reading a word.

As for IGN, I think you're probably right but because they're SO mainstream, there's little they can do about it. The only good side is that now the PS3/360 user base is so much closer, they may not have much reason to have a MS bias, anymore. The amount of traffic they receive would be almost similar for both platforms now.

So ideally, things will even out over there.

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Miggy
Friday, November 20, 2009 @ 1:01:13 PM

@ aftab I know exactly what you mean. about 90% of the games mentioned on their homepage are 360 related. i have usually have to dig around to find anything ps3 related especially with multiplat games like AC2. I'm actually trying to read both articles now. I also find it kind of humorous that some of the users that visit the site refer to IGN as IGNorant.

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Aftab
Friday, November 20, 2009 @ 1:39:28 PM

To Miggy:

So, it's not just me. And correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems recently they've been doing it more openly. I read an article, if you can call it that, where Ryan Geddes replies to a reader that he'll be sure to cover Heavy Rain when it's canceled! It was the funny article about replying to cherry picked emails, but still, that was strange.

To Ben: I'm sure other readers sees psxextreme as I do. I'm not sure if you noticed your competition, but your competition definitely notices you, and their taking notes. In IGN, has anyone noticed that the writers are now replying to some of the early comments on their articles? This never happened before, and was something particularly unique about Psxextreme.

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Poor_boy
Friday, November 20, 2009 @ 4:43:16 PM

Talk about breeding grounds for trolls, ign pales in comparison to n4g. That site disgusts me.

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Kowhoho
Saturday, November 21, 2009 @ 11:16:45 AM

That first post was absolutely beautiful aftab.

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Naztycuts
Friday, November 20, 2009 @ 1:30:17 AM
Reply

Whats the difference in people having a favorite console compared to people having a favorite car company, or a favorite brand of deodorant I mean you like what you think is a superior product. Usually there's cost incorporated into that perception (i.e. Jaguar's cost more than Kia's)

At the end of the day do you think the majority of us stereotypically nerdy gamers care what people say? No we are too busy trying to beat UC2 on crushing. With the average gamer aging with each generation a growing percentage of us outgrew the "I'm being judged for being myself" stuff in High School.

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A2K78
Friday, November 20, 2009 @ 1:41:56 AM
Reply

"Over the years, we've often spoken about how the video game industry has officially gone mainstream and we are very far removed from the '80s, when it was a hobby almost strictly enjoyed by boys between the ages of 6 and 12"

I don't know what age you was living in, but video games have always been mainstream. In fact the very thought that video games have been mainstream ever since the 70's is why the arcade scene was born and why still contintue to survive even till this day.

As for sterotypes, I don't know where you got the idea that there is a sterotype associated with gaming; something I well know because I've been playing video games ever since the 80's and never had I encountered one sterotype. In fact to even say there is a sterotype associated with gaming is to alway so there is a sterotype associated with all forms of leisurely activities, that include cooking,etc.

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Naztycuts
Friday, November 20, 2009 @ 2:50:40 AM

Movies A2K Movies. They usually have a "nerd" character cast and from time to time they use it as opportunity to take jabs at gaming.

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frylock25
Friday, November 20, 2009 @ 6:03:18 AM

i would say its the jock vs nerd mentallity that the jock type of guy is out being active and does not sit at a computer or in front of a tv unless its to watch sports. where as the nerd would be at the computer not going out and playing computer games.

then there is games being a kids thing and something to occupy kids. cuz as adults we put away our toys and move onto real life. since the words toy and game can often be assumed to be the same video games become toys. guess its a good thing the PS3 is not a toy ;)

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, November 20, 2009 @ 10:22:28 AM

I was living in reality. You're just being arbitrary for the sake of being arbitrary, as usual. Every single time any editorial is written.

And nothing of what you said is true, as usual. Just stop or go away...last warning.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, November 20, 2009 @ 12:10:33 PM

What rock have you been living under dude? I name you Holocaust-denyer.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, November 20, 2009 @ 12:22:42 PM

Don't believe a word he says. If I did an editorial about how the sun was hot, he'd deny it.

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www
Friday, November 20, 2009 @ 5:39:52 AM
Reply

To me that stereotype has been long dead and buried. Come to me and say 'I thought games are for kids?' and I'd reply 'How ignorant, that stereotype died in the 1980s or something, you never heard?'

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therabbitkinge
Friday, November 20, 2009 @ 10:14:01 AM
Reply

Wow all of a sudden I feel validated ^_^

)THEY CAN'T STOP US LET 'EM TRY! FOR ALL OUR GAMES WE WOULD DIE!)

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JackC8
Friday, November 20, 2009 @ 11:00:25 AM
Reply

I think the people who have a negative opinion of gamers probably have a negative opinion of just about everybody, for one reason or another. A lot of people are just like that.

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maxpontiac
Friday, November 20, 2009 @ 11:51:56 AM
Reply

No kidding Ben.

I am 36, and game everyday. My parents and in-laws used to frown on my hobby when I first got married (My wife did not mind, and still doesn't as long as I keep to priorities).

Ironically, once they all tried Rock Band they all realised how fun gaming is. Plus, my parents, yes, in their 50's plan on getting a PS3 for Christmas. They say it's because all of the family owns one and the "grandkids".

Regardless, I am happy that the Baby Boom generation has accepted video games as a serious hobby.

Now all I need is my wife to play more...

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Fane1024
Saturday, November 21, 2009 @ 4:29:04 PM

My parents are both 63 and we play Rock Band on my dad's PS3 pretty much every Sunday.

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Father33
Friday, November 20, 2009 @ 2:16:00 PM
Reply

It's the same story as comic books. Remember when only scrawny nerds were the stereotypical person who enjoyed those stories? Now look where that industry is. It's just a matter of time til people come around to video games. And for the record I am a handsome man with a model wife and I make alot of moneys. ;)

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BikerSaint
Monday, November 23, 2009 @ 4:42:24 PM
Reply

I recently turned 57 & grew up gaming.
And with 13 consoles & 4 hand-held's now, I DON'T CARE what any non-gamer thinks about me.

PS. OHHH, for those few saddled with "jock mentality"....Well, I say F.U.!!!!!
I always refused to wear any so-called athletic "supporter" like you, strapped around my 2 hanging dingleberries in high school.
(Well, except for that #1 hot grade-A prime cheerleader I took away from him).

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