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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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