I Want “Gamer” Back

Remember when “I’m a gamer.” meant you played table top RPGs? I do and I want my title back. Now “Gamer” means you play a lot of video games. I like video games but they’re no substitute for a good RPG.

Gamer used to be Role-Player code, a nondescript term so the jocks* didn’t know what you were talking about and would beat you up for being a nerd. Now jocks are proclaiming that they’re “Gamers”.# Why do they get to use my title? Jocks have always played games, they were just called sports and they weren’t gamers then, why now? Probably because “Gamer” is so vague it was easily adapted to video games which used to be geeky but are now about as geeky as watching TV.

So I’m not going to get it back. They’ve taken it and maybe it’s a good thing, after all, you can say “I’m a gamer” and it’s no big deal. Geek culture is now mainstream and that’s a good thing for us. I suppose my issue is that RPGs have only benefited slightly from the culture shift. Why is that? Shouldn’t a rising sea lift all boats? Maybe it’s because table top roleplaying hasn’t had a graphics upgrade the way video games have.@ They don’t have orchestras playing their theme music. They’re not as easy as grabbing a controller and mashing buttons.

So will RPGs always be for nerds by nerds? We started a lot of this geek culture, it’s based on things we liked 40 years ago and everyone else has caught up. When will they pick up on RPGs and real gaming will go mainstream?

Never mind, I’m going home and taking my “gamer” with me.

* or preps.

# I concede that there have always been a small subset of jocks that did/do role-play.

@ Maybe miniatures are like a graphics upgrade.


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2 Responses to I Want “Gamer” Back

  1. I agree especially when you get the video game folks involved in the whole mess.
    I think we need a badge. 🙂

  2. Just remember that the human imagination cannot be (yet?) eclipsed by encoded data. Games may eclipse us in visual depiction of the environments. They remain confined to a small window of the overall world. Borders are present on the peripherals confining those playing from moving beyond the edges. More significantly, they are limited to what has been encoded.

    We exceed them by continuous updates of the population, the people, and the adversaries. I’ve yet to see a game present a completely new personality for a gal I come across. Nor do the introduce a creature never seen before. Their games are fixed. Our constantly expand, expound and adjust.

    I think we win.

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