I’ve been thinking a great deal lately about what it means to be a gamer. I’ve started playing more games lately, and spending a considerable amount of time doing so. I use Fitocracy because I love the “leveling up” aspect. I use EpicWin as my to-do list for the same reason. I play Dungeons and Dragons (almost) weekly. I’ve been writing tons of posts about games. But I don’t consider myself a gamer. When I posted something along these lines on Twitter and Facebook I caught a bit of flack. Isn’t a gamer just someone who games?
So since I do game, and enjoy gamification of everyday type of things, why don’t I consider myself a gamer? For one, it’s because I’m so far behind on where I feel everyone else is. I got a PS3 several years back because I won one at a company holiday party. It never quite struck my fancy though. The controller was somewhat painful to use for extended periods with my achy wrists (hopefully this controller helps, look for a review soon), which also cuts out PC gaming (although if you have a recommended setup for PC gaming I’d love to hear it below). Playing the in-depth story games I enjoy at only an hour at a time doesn’t really work for me. So I didn’t get really into gaming until I got an Xbox 360 over Christmas. This means I’m playing catch-up. I’m playing games that came out when Xbox 360 came out. Great financially, but it’s kind of like being the person who just now saw Batman Begins. You have no one to talk to about it, because everyone has moved on.
I’m also not a talented gamer. I play all my games on “easy” (or as I love in Deus Ex: Human Revolution “Tell me a story”). I had to play Mass Effect 3 on Xbox Live to get my “readiness rating” up high enough to take on the Reapers. I was awful, and that was on the “Bronze” level. I’m pretty sure I got cussed out by a 15 year old because he had to keep reviving me (is there a way to mute those jackasses btw?) I’m not sure I’m someone you’d want on your squad for a vital mission in a co-op game.
Given the fact that I play old games, and not well, I’m afraid that if I called myself a gamer that I’d be called “fake.” Now obviously I should not care what some strangers on the internet call me. But let’s face it; I do care what my readers think. If I didn’t, I probably wouldn’t blog. So I throw the question to you, what do you think makes someone a gamer?