What Gaming Means To Me

A Gamer's Thoughts

If you know me, you know that I am an anime fan. I have been watching various anime since the late 90's and I have always liked them for various reasons but most importantly for how well their stories relate to life issues. One of my favorite anime's this year is Log Horizon, which is in its second season, its a series about gamers being trapped in an MMO game called Elder Tale. I will not get in to the specifics of that story but this past week's episode dealt with something I feel is relevant to true gamers.

When I say true gamers, I mean those people who do not bash others for what console's or games they enjoy playing. People who can talk to you about any game and treat anyone wanting to know about their preferences with respect without judging and insulting them. It is truly a shame that today a lot of people call themselves gamers or hardcore gamers and that title could not be any further from the truth.

Being a gamer for the majority of my life -over 20 years- I have been on the receiving end of a lot of hate.  I have been called every name in the book and severely unpopular in school. Gaming was a way for me to lose myself in another world for a few hours and be the hero. Some games were harder than others (I'm looking at you Contra) but nothing beat the satisfaction of beating a game, saving the princess/realm, and taking out the big evil douche in awesome fashion (I'm looking at you Ganondorf). It took skill to play games and I was always happy to find someone else who enjoyed my hobby. Whether they were female, geek, jock, or whoever I was always happy to find someone with a genuine love for videogames. Why? Its simple not everyone could do it and in all honesty it just felt good to have people to talk to without being looked down upon. Yes, people look down on those that are gamers, they still do in fact. It has gotten better in recent years but it is still there and it still happens.

That's why I have a problem with some people who claim to be 'gamers'. Its tough enough when you have people that don't share your particular pastime looking down on you. Now we have people who want to be cool doing the same exact thing. Instead of playing games you want to debate on YouTube. Instead of capturing game play footage, you want to tell people why they shouldn't be playing games on a console that you do not own and have never played but seem to have a never ending opinion about. Instead of having thoughful discussions on the state of gaming as a whole, you have to try to expand on the superority of a console you only use for watching NetFlix and blu rays.

True gamers or people that really love and have a respect for the culture don't do any of those things. If you ask them a question they can give you an honest opinion and point you in the right direction. Yes, everyone has different tastes but that doesn't mean that its better than anyone else's. At the end of the day we're all supposed to be gamers. If you call yourself a gamer we are all in this boat together. If you're just trying to fit in here's some advice from someone who tried that. STOP. It won't workout, trust me. Find something that you love and become involved in that, never just try to fit in because in the end you'll find out that its not worth it.

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