What does it mean to be a gamer today? This is not a simple question. Depending on who you ask, you are guaranteed to get a variety of answers. This is because people look at gaming differently. Most of us probably agree that if you play SWTOR, you are a “gamer”. But what if you play Pocket Frogs or Candy Crush? Is one more of a gamer than the other? Who gets to set the rules about which games make you a gamer and which ones do not?
And let’s cast all of that aside for a few and talk about what it really means to be a gamer today. Does it even mean anything? With gaming as mainstream as it is today, it seems everyone does it. Your grandma, that two-year-old waiting for his lunch and playing with mom’s phone. Everyone is potentially a gamer, even if they don’t consider themselves one.
So this opens a lot of questions and I”m not sure there really is a “right way”. Back in the day, being a gamer meant getting caught up in the story, becoming one with the main character line and spending a great deal of money of games, consoles or computer systems to run your favorite titles.
While all of that is still possible today, there are also many other ways to enjoy being a gamer. There are gaming consoles that double as media boxes, consoles that don’t need controllers and digital game stores for your computer that let you download all of your favorite games and save them on a cloud network so you can access them from any account.
Gaming has come a long way. Technology has been kind to us gamers. 20 years ago or even 10 years ago, we would never have imagined what option we have available to us today. It’s the stuff of gamer dreams from back in the day, yet we still complain about this and that. Have we become restless as gamers?
And we turn on one another- making rules about what is and is not a “real” game and who is or is not a “real” gamer. We become cliquish in our selective little groups. We make demands to video game developers for what we want from our games. Some of us even become entitled, expecting what we want here and now.
With all that being said, I am still in love with games and the gaming culture. I still think we have something of beauty, something worth celebrating and something worth enjoying. I embrace the new games and the new gamers. It’s a new generation and I look forward to what the future will bring.
What about you? What does it mean for you to be a gamer today?