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Are You Proud to be a Gamer?

Columns By Tim Eisen on March 22, 2018

Are You Proud to be a Gamer?

Have you felt the urge to hide your gamerness from friends or coworkers? Have you experienced the sting of public humiliation tied to your secret hobby? Do you find yourself shyly stepping away from the conversation when fearless friends want to talk gaming in public? If you have experienced any of these symptoms then you might be a closet gamer. What is a closet gamer? Its being a gamer but being too ashamed to make it public. The scarlet G seems to be more prevalent among older generations of gamers, especially the RPGers. I get the stigma and where it comes from.

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There was a time when Dungeons and Dragons (DnD) players were considered evil! Devil worshipers and cultists! GASP! They weren’t evil, they were nerdy introverts with vivid imaginations that had more interest in the The Lord of the Rings than sports. Rather than go out and make trouble they stayed in and formed lasting friendships. Unfortunately the public shaming was so successful it stigmatized an entire generation if not two! That stigma carried on to the descendants of DnD infecting the RPGers and eventually the MMORPGers as well. While times have changed for the better a stigma still remains in the minds of many who fail to understand.

“How can you sit and play those games all day like that?” “Those are hurting your eyes.” “Those make you dumb you know.” “Go out and DO something!”  We’ve heard it all before. I am here to say we apologize for our personal hobby grievously offending someone observing it. We are sorry that we find to find bliss in something foreign to you. We will try to be less active in pursuit of things that make us happy. Rather we will move from our mentally stimulating, proactive, reactive, input action oriented hobby to a more typical one such as sitting in vegetative state while media is streamed into our brains or better yet, playing social media! All the drama of a MMORPG, none of the complexity required! 

“Neckbeard!” they spit it out in disdain. What they fail to realize is our beards are worn as a badge of sleepless unshaven nights in the raid on the hunt for challenges that lie just over the horizon, always over the horizon, just a little longer...further. Just a little more time, a few minutes then I’ll log off... They can’t begin to understand the complexities that go into a game like a MMORPG. What they fail to understand makes them uncomfortable so they attack.

Never before has criticism of gaming been less logical than in this era of the internet. As social media supersedes the reality of most addicts users they fail to realize, we are all gamers now. The next time someone questions your hobby rather than questioning how it possibly affects them, feel free to point them to what follows.

We have lived a thousand lives and we will live thousands more. We’ve learned, imagined and created. We’ve been the greatest heroes and the vilest of villains. We’ve done great deeds and we’ve committed terrible atrocities. We’ve climbed the highest peaks and descended to the darkest depths. We’ve hunted from shore to shore and everything in between. We’ve never met a paywall we couldn’t climb or a game we couldn’t afford. We’ve won some and lost some but we’ve always had fun.

We’ve toppled mighty kings and fell mightier empires. We’ve forged friendships, rivalries and memories. We’ve stood and fought and ran for our lives! We’ve written millions of stories and inspired millions more. We’ve given reasons to live and aspired to live many more.

We’ve been travelers, merchants, sailors, warriors, monks, wizards, healer, cooks, husbands, wives, enemies and friends. We have been misunderstood. We play our games. We support our games. We fund our games. We even make our games because MMORPGers always find a way. We love games. We are gamers, we game proud.

Tim Eisen / In my columns I walk the line between fan and critic as I document the development of Camelot Unchained, Crowfall, and Chronicles of Elyria.