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What Made You a Gamer?

Jessica Cook Posted:
Columns Tales from the Neighborhood 0

The Newbie Blogger Initiative has been continuing through the month of May, offering wisdom and encouragement for new game bloggers, podcasters, and video makers. One of the weekly NBI events is called the “Talkback Challenge”, and each week a question is presented on the NBI site with the goal of getting people writing, thinking, and interacting.

The question for this week is an interesting one: “What made you a gamer?”

Gaming Authenticity

My first instinct when I saw this question was to wonder about the definition of “game”. In today’s era of rampant gamification, almost everything feels like a game of some sort. Does “gamer” include LARPers or tabletop players? Even if you just consider the video genre, entire forums have been filled with text debating if playing Witcher 3 is somehow a more proper style of gaming than playing Angry Birds.

It’s tempting to start ranking games by legitimacy when dealing with a subject like this, but once you start down that road most of us quickly realize that it’s going nowhere. PCs are more legitimate gaming than mobile, earlier WoW expansions are more legit than later ones, real gaming means always no-scoping and never camping, and on and on. You can redefine the label forever, but it often boils down to the same underlying message: the games that I play are real games, but the games that you play are not.

It seems more useful to just accept that anything that calls itself a game is one, and anyone who calls themselves a gamer is also one of those. It doesn’t matter if you just play Hearthstone on your phone or if you have a Steam library worth thousands of dollars. Everyone should be welcome to call themselves a gamer.

After all, it’s a waste of time and energy to play gatekeeper of the title “gamer”, and we all have precious little time and energy to spend on games as it is. What unites us all is that we love games – and that’s all that matters!

Everyone will have their own unique answer to this week’s Talkback Challenge. It probably involves a great game, some friends or family, and a lot of fun. So what’s your gamer origin story?

Highlights from the Blogosphere

A number of blogs have already participated in this week’s talkback challenge, sharing their stories of becoming a gamer.

Paeroka from Nerdy Bookahs writes about watching her brother play games while they were growing up, and eventually picking up the hobby herself. Last year she saw her mother playing a puzzle game on the computer and realized – in her own way, her mother is a gamer too!


Jessica Cook

Jessica "Liores" Cook is a longtime MMO blogger, fan, aficionado, and community goodwill ambassador. She hosts the MMO podcast Game On, and writes the weekly column: Tales from the Neighborhood. You can read more at www.lioreblog.com.