Well, I’d like to say that I am a real gamer, I mean, would you? If you are the kind of person to who the word console means so much more than cheering up someone upset, if you stay up to some ungodly hour of the night until you lose a round/ win a round, or if you’ve spent some insane amount of money on that high-end rig that runs the latest games on maxed-out settings. That surely qualifies you as a “gamer” right?
I know a lot of people who would say that a “gamer” is anyone who loves playing games, even those ‘casual games’, but then I know some who would say otherwise. To define it like that would be equivalent to saying; anyone who eats food as a ‘foodie’, or anyone who watches a movie as a ‘film buff’. Which is completely absurd because literally everyone living and breathing would be considered a foodie, film buff, and gamer in 2017.
Most people would agree that a gamer is someone who enjoys something more than a cheap game. Then again, not many people would call themselves a “gamer” with a straight face after playing Candy Crush or Clash of Clans for five hours a day (just like I wouldn’t call myself a gym junkie after downing a pizza every day). To me, a “gamer” is someone who appreciates playing something with a lot more thought (The Last of Us, Portal), art and design (Ori, Child of Light) and/or big-budget (Bioshock Infinite, Skyrim, The Witcher) video games.
These are the kind of games that more likely than not have either a heavily compelling and involved storyline, and/or mesmerizing graphics, sound design and musical score. In The Last of Us, we were drawn into the struggles of Ellie and Joel and the interweaving of themes such as despair, hope and courage were as clear as any award-winning tv drama; in Bioshock, we experienced a hauntingly beautiful world so surreal that you’ll get lost in it with a compelling mystery that slowly comes together as you play; and in The Witcher, we were thrust into epic battles as thrilling and shocking as any summer blockbuster movie. For many people, a “game” evokes images of Street Fighter, World of Warcraft, and at best, Call of Duty. They can’t even comprehend a game having a deeper meaning or plot. I remember recounting the realistic and intense scenes of a game my friend was playing (at the time it was scary), “Psh, how can a video game be real to life?” but all I could do was cover my eyes and watch through them as they played… DOOM (don’t judge me).
To compare such amazing and memorable games to a casual iPad or browser game is just as bad as comparing a full-feature cinematic film to a 20 second commercial. And that’s why there’s a reason to the more strict definition of a “gamer”. A person who watches movies at home in their sweatpants isn’t necessarily a “film buff”. A person who eats takeaway consistently isn’t exactly a “foodie”. In the same vein, a person who plays games does not automatically mean they are a “gamer”.
So despite what some people may assume, “gamers” aren’t standing on an ivory tower of egotism when they say someone’s “not a real gamer”, they aren’t trying to belittle anyone. It’s more of them wanting to lessen the chance for others to think that casual games are where it’s at for “gaming”. Explore the incredible world of unbelievable games, games never experienced, games that actually exist. Even I can’t comprehend how many are out there. If you want my advice – and you do – honestly, get out there try some new games, it’s a wild ride