Poll

What do you consider to be a "gamer?"

Someone who plays a lot of video games.
0 (0%)
Someone who plays a lot of tabletop games.
1 (2.1%)
Anyone who does either of the above
27 (57.4%)
Someone who understands the nuances of any game.
11 (23.4%)
Someone whose life revolves around some or all games.
8 (17%)

Total Members Voted: 47

Author Topic: What is a "Gamer?"  (Read 6043 times)

Offline SneeR

  • Legendary Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1526
  • Sneering
  • Respect: +22
    • View Profile
What is a "Gamer?"
« Topic Start: December 17, 2011, 09:12:36 PM »
What exactly is a "gamer?"

Before I got into tabletop RPGs, I considered myself a gamer for indulging in the culture of those who played video games and identified with the fun, silliness, or greatness of video games at large. This is still mainly how I define "gaming."

Once I started to play D&D 3.5, I identified as an even greater gamer, now having branched into the more obscure branches of "gaming," which I then considered to merely be the appreciation of the niceties and the participation in games of all sorts and their culture.

So, imagine my surprise when I started listening to the Brilliant Gameologists. In one of their earliest episodes, one of them makes the assertion that someone who plays video games shouldn't be called a gamer; the term is reserved for those who play tabletop RPGs! Why ever is that? Why are tabletop games afforded a distinction above video games? Can they both not be as entertaining, intellectual, and able to bring people together?

Whatever the reason, what do you consider to be a "gamer?" Why do you think that? How are the cultures of video games and tabletop games different or similar to you?
A smile from ear to ear
3.5 is disappointingly flawed.

Offline Libertad

  • Epic Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 2823
  • *Insert anime reference here*
  • Respect: +50
    • View Profile
    • Quasar Knight Enterprises
Re: What is a "Gamer?"
« Reply #1: December 17, 2011, 09:52:59 PM »
I consider a "gamer" to be anyone who is an avid fan of gaming, be it tabletop games, video games, or board games.

Those expert chess players are gamers.  So are the Warhammer 40K tacticians, the Final Fantasy fans, and the Dungeon Masters of the world.

They are all gamers.

One can also argue sports players to be gamers, because sports are a form of gaming.  But I don't think that sports fans identify themselves as gamers.

Offline Soundwave

  • DnD Handbook Writer
  • **
  • Posts: 149
  • Science, it works.
  • Respect: 0
    • View Profile
Re: What is a "Gamer?"
« Reply #2: December 17, 2011, 10:40:43 PM »
This poll does not contain the appropriate response.

Quote
gam·er/ˈgāmər/
Noun:   
A person who plays a game or games, typically a participant in a computer or role-playing game.

 The type of game is however largely irrelevant.

There are many types of gamers to be sure from casual to hardcore and while gamers my play different types of games they are still at the end of the day gamers.

-SW

Offline BG_Josh

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 217
  • Respect: 0
    • View Profile
Re: What is a "Gamer?"
« Reply #3: December 18, 2011, 06:24:57 PM »
So, imagine my surprise when I started listening to the Brilliant Gameologists. In one of their earliest episodes, one of them makes the assertion that someone who plays video games shouldn't be called a gamer; the term is reserved for those who play tabletop RPGs! Why ever is that? Why are tabletop games afforded a distinction above video games? Can they both not be as entertaining, intellectual, and able to bring people together?

Whatever the reason, what do you consider to be a "gamer?" Why do you think that? How are the cultures of video games and tabletop games different or similar to you?

This is a topic that we have used in many workshops since that episode.

Our refined contention is that if you play half-life or doom or whatever, you like to play games.  And if they are your primary cultural center, you are a gamer.  If you are a nerd or a jock, you are that 24 hours a day and it affects every aspect of your life. 

Also I want you to note the date of that episode.  Well before Starcraft became news or McGonagal wrote a book.  So our position has softened, but people who play RPG's are in almost by default as our boardgamers while Video gamers need to dig a little deeper.

Offline altpersona

  • Legendary Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1347
  • #78
  • Respect: +20
    • View Profile
    • You are here
Re: What is a "Gamer?"
« Reply #4: December 18, 2011, 06:46:05 PM »
are you game?

if yes, your probably a gamer.

if no, your probably not...

so i guess "ready willing and able" are my criteria.

i dont know jack about many games, but im usually ready willing and able to give it a go.
The goal of power is power. - 1984
We are not descended from fearful men. - Murrow
The Final Countdown is now stuck in your head.

Anim-manga still sux.

Offline SneeR

  • Legendary Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1526
  • Sneering
  • Respect: +22
    • View Profile
Re: What is a "Gamer?"
« Reply #5: December 18, 2011, 06:53:11 PM »
This is a topic that we have used in many workshops since that episode.

Our refined contention is that if you play half-life or doom or whatever, you like to play games.  And if they are your primary cultural center, you are a gamer.  If you are a nerd or a jock, you are that 24 hours a day and it affects every aspect of your life. 

Also I want you to note the date of that episode.  Well before Starcraft became news or McGonagal wrote a book.  So our position has softened, but people who play RPG's are in almost by default as our boardgamers while Video gamers need to dig a little deeper.

I fully understand that. I was just using it as an example of an opposing viewpoint. Thank you for addressing this topic, though! I had always wondered why you guys held that position, but I definitely won't hold something you said years ago against you now! People change, and ideas mold to fit reality. Perhaps when you fellows made that episode, video-gaming culture was just emerging, and you were resistant to the idea of sharing your title with what was then a very unrefined subculture?

I made this poll because I am curious of what others think on the subject. I guess I have always taken what I thought for granted, but, as you have said, things seem obvious when you have already learned them! Perhaps I came into the gaming scene when the fusing of the two cultures just finished.
A smile from ear to ear
3.5 is disappointingly flawed.

Offline InnaBinder

  • Legendary Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1244
  • Onna table
  • Respect: +17
    • View Profile
Re: What is a "Gamer?"
« Reply #6: December 18, 2011, 06:55:20 PM »
For me:

Someone who plays because the game or games themselves are of interest to them, as opposed to because it's what their partner/buddy/family member roped them into.

Someone who wants to get a better understanding of the games they play, regardless of their methodology in achieving it or success therein: a person who never strives to get better at their game of choice isn't a gamer to me, while a person who tries but fails is a gamer.
Arguing on the internet is like running in the Special Olympics.  Even if you win, you're still retarded.

shugenja handbook; talk about it here

Offline SneeR

  • Legendary Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1526
  • Sneering
  • Respect: +22
    • View Profile
Re: What is a "Gamer?"
« Reply #7: December 18, 2011, 07:04:49 PM »
That's beautiful, InnaBinder!
A smile from ear to ear
3.5 is disappointingly flawed.

Offline Jackinthegreen

  • DnD Handbook Writer
  • ****
  • Posts: 5353
  • I like green.
  • Respect: +72
    • View Profile
Re: What is a "Gamer?"
« Reply #8: December 18, 2011, 08:44:00 PM »
If we're talking about the full range of possible games, perhaps there's a spot for participants in a war game too?  There's games of cat-and-mouse too, so Tom and Jerry can be called gamers in some respect.  They tend to actively try to get better at their own game after all.
Please let me know via PM if you vote up one of my posts.

Jack's Junk

Offline SneeR

  • Legendary Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1526
  • Sneering
  • Respect: +22
    • View Profile
Re: What is a "Gamer?"
« Reply #9: December 18, 2011, 08:59:41 PM »
If we're talking about the full range of possible games, perhaps there's a spot for participants in a war game too?  There's games of cat-and-mouse too, so Tom and Jerry can be called gamers in some respect.  They tend to actively try to get better at their own game after all.

Technically war games are tabletop games. Technically, Tom and Jerry are hunting each other, and the point where hunting is considered a "game" is too far from the original intent of this discussion.
A smile from ear to ear
3.5 is disappointingly flawed.

Offline Soundwave

  • DnD Handbook Writer
  • **
  • Posts: 149
  • Science, it works.
  • Respect: 0
    • View Profile
Re: What is a "Gamer?"
« Reply #10: December 18, 2011, 10:36:34 PM »
Quote
gam·er/ˈgāmər/
Noun:   
A person who plays a game or games, typically a participant in a computer or role-playing game.

Debate it with merriam-webster imo.
-SW

Offline SneeR

  • Legendary Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1526
  • Sneering
  • Respect: +22
    • View Profile
Re: What is a "Gamer?"
« Reply #11: December 18, 2011, 11:07:26 PM »
Quote
gam·er/ˈgāmər/
Noun:   
A person who plays a game or games, typically a participant in a computer or role-playing game.

Debate it with merriam-webster imo.

Thank you for that wildly useful personal input.
A smile from ear to ear
3.5 is disappointingly flawed.

Offline Soundwave

  • DnD Handbook Writer
  • **
  • Posts: 149
  • Science, it works.
  • Respect: 0
    • View Profile
Re: What is a "Gamer?"
« Reply #12: December 19, 2011, 01:36:13 AM »
The debate I'm reading here is whether certain types of gamers based on their preference of game type qualify for the moniker.

Its flawed reasoning to begin with. If you partake in gaming, in ANY capacity you are a gamer.

Whether casual or hardcore, table top wargamer or pen and paper RPG enthusiast from a console videogamer to a PC gamer to freeform Larp to MUD players or online PbP games.

It is my contention that all are equally valid activities and by their very nature of being "games" confer the moniker to those participating.

Anything else reeks of personal bias and a discussion that contributes nothing but an attitude of elitism (IE: This person is a gamer but this person does not qualify.)

Gaming is an extremely diverse activity which encompasses multiple genres, styles, systems and methods of communication.

To define a "Gamer" as anything other then  "A person who plays a game or games" is to arbitrarily draw a line in the sand deciding that one persons choice of activity is valid while another persons is not.

I simply cannot agree with this line of reasoning.
-SW

Online veekie

  • Spinner of Fortunes
  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 5338
  • Chaos Dice
  • Respect: +56
    • View Profile
Re: What is a "Gamer?"
« Reply #13: December 19, 2011, 01:40:01 AM »
Yeah, the difference is merely one of degree, not one of categorization.
Everything is edible. Just that there are things only edible once per lifetime.
It's a god-eat-god world.

Procrastination is the thief of time; Year after year it steals, till all are fled,
And to the mercies of a moment leaves; The vast concerns of an eternal scene.

Offline archangel.arcanis

  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 316
  • Respect: +3
    • View Profile
Re: What is a "Gamer?"
« Reply #14: December 19, 2011, 07:46:04 AM »
As others have said if you are out to game you are a gamer. There is also another definition that I use and have seen used frequently. Gamer as the type of person who plays at an elevated level during competition. As a personal example I consider myself a gamer (in both contexts here, but the 2nd is the relevant one). I have done martial arts over the years and frequently played someone from our sister club about 80 miles away. He has always been larger than myself and is a good player, despite him having some advantages he isn't a gamer. We have fought 10 times over the years and he has only won once. He goes out and plays like it is practice, when I go out there it is "game on" and I will do anything short of cheating to win. That is the difference between a player and a gamer.  ;)

Offline Tiltowait

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 214
  • Werdna advances!
  • Respect: 0
    • View Profile
Re: What is a "Gamer?"
« Reply #15: December 19, 2011, 07:59:27 AM »
Anyone that plays a game is a gamer. Those that take it more seriously and play to win are hardcore gamers but just the act of playing a tabletop game, video game or some other game is enough to make you a gamer.

Offline SneeR

  • Legendary Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1526
  • Sneering
  • Respect: +22
    • View Profile
Re: What is a "Gamer?"
« Reply #16: December 19, 2011, 10:18:05 AM »
Thank you for clarifying, SW! Now I see and definitely agree with your opinion. This notion combined with Toltowait's is exaclty what I have thought throughout the years, but have not put into words.

You bring up a good point about going all-out in a game a.a. That does help to delineate the hardcore gamers from the mere gamers, as Tiltowait said.
A smile from ear to ear
3.5 is disappointingly flawed.

Offline Soundwave

  • DnD Handbook Writer
  • **
  • Posts: 149
  • Science, it works.
  • Respect: 0
    • View Profile
Re: What is a "Gamer?"
« Reply #17: December 19, 2011, 03:31:05 PM »
My first post is just my sense of humor, dry with a touch of cynicism. You were correct to point out it wasn't terrible productive. I will endeavor to do better in the future.

I DO however have one addendum to my stance but be forewarned it IS heavily ridden with personal bias.

Phone and facebook games dont count, never will count and do not make you a gamer.  DIAF zynga.
-SW

Offline SneeR

  • Legendary Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1526
  • Sneering
  • Respect: +22
    • View Profile
Re: What is a "Gamer?"
« Reply #18: December 19, 2011, 03:37:22 PM »
Phone and facebook games dont count, never will count and do not make you a gamer.  DIAF zynga.

Hallelujah, brother!
(that is, until those games get so much of a following that it forms its own subculture  :rolleyes, but I dread that day.)
A smile from ear to ear
3.5 is disappointingly flawed.

Online veekie

  • Spinner of Fortunes
  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 5338
  • Chaos Dice
  • Respect: +56
    • View Profile
Re: What is a "Gamer?"
« Reply #19: December 19, 2011, 05:51:03 PM »
Phone and facebook games dont count, never will count and do not make you a gamer.  DIAF zynga.

Hallelujah, brother!
(that is, until those games get so much of a following that it forms its own subculture  :rolleyes, but I dread that day.)
They already do.
Everything is edible. Just that there are things only edible once per lifetime.
It's a god-eat-god world.

Procrastination is the thief of time; Year after year it steals, till all are fled,
And to the mercies of a moment leaves; The vast concerns of an eternal scene.