I think it’s safe to say that I’ve shared my thoughts on how exclusive geek and gamer culture can be. If you missed everything I’ve said about it in the past, here’s quick summary: I think it’s stupid. Why should we be allowed to set such arbitrary rules about who is and isn’t allowed to enjoy a specific hobby? We’re only hurting ourselves.
Anyway, in the process of writing those many, many blog posts, I had a realization: if the right (or wrong) questions were asked, chances are, I’d be considered a “fake gamer.” Also known as: “Casual” or “noob.” This isn’t something that bothers me (if other people want to make hasty judgments, that’s on them), but I decided to compile a list anyway. You can think of it as my “gamer confessions” in a way, or just a list of reasons why the division between gamer and non-gamer is so ridiculously arbitrary.
1) I’m terrible at shooters
Does the game involve using a firearm? Chances are, I’m going to be absolutely awful at it. I’ve tried Medal of Honor, Call of Duty, Fortnite, Uncharted, but the result is always the same: I’m just plain awful. I’m not really sure why, since it’s only this form of combat (I do fairly well with combat in The Legend of Zelda, for example). The only game with a gun that I was ever good at was Portal, and that’s not even a proper weapon.
2) I have yet to finish Ocarina of Time and it’s possible I never will
Ocarina of Time is one of the most beloved entries in The Legend of Zelda franchise, and many gamers regard it as one of the best games for the Nintendo 64, if not one of the best games of all time. I’ve been struggling to get through it for years. YEARS. It’s not even that hard of a game! Maybe I was spoiled with newer Zelda games and OoT just doesn’t hold the same majestic wonder that it did for many gamers when it was first released, but either way, I can’t find the motivation to finish.
I also haven’t completed the original Zelda or A Link to the Past.
3) I don’t play enough of “the classics”
If it was released sometime before I was born, then I probably haven’t played it. Tetris, yes. But anything else regarded as a “classic” or “everyone should play” isn’t really something I’m interested in. I don’t really know what it is about gamers and “the classics,” but apparently you need to play them in order to be a real gamer. I’m not even sure what “the classics” are.
4) I don’t play enough newer games
You can’t really win with this one. Don’t get me wrong, I love a lot of new games, and I wish I could play them. My biggest barriers tend to be time and console exclusivity. For example, I would love to play the new Assassins Creed Odyssey game, but I don’t own a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One (it’s coming to the Switch – but only in Japan). I’ll just live vicariously through YouTubers, I guess…
5) Competitive multiplayer isn’t really my thing
Look, unless we’re talking MarioKart, Super Smash Bros., or a Pokémon battle, I usually stay away from competitive multiplayer. I don’t usually fare well against other human beings, and they (the games, not the people) often frustrate me anyway. I’d much rather enjoy a solo adventure.
6) I almost exclusively play Nintendo consoles
There was a brief moment in time where I played a lot of PlayStation 3 games, but that’s about as far out of the Nintendo bubble as I’ve gone. Nintendo often gets demeaned as being “just for little kids,” so someone who just plays on their consoles usually isn’t a “real gamer.” They seem to forget how innovative and entertaining Nintendo’s consoles can be, but I guess that’s not really my problem. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go play 2017’s game of the year on my Nintendo Switch.
7) I often need help
I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again: I am not always that great at video games. Sometimes I get stuck on what should be easy, but it just isn’t. I’ve used walkthroughs and guides plenty of times, looked up characters stats on the internet, and even sometimes asked my friends for help. Apparently, this isn’t something that real gamers do – they’re supposed to be strong and independent, or some such nonsense. I’ve always been of the mind that if a helping hand will make me enjoy the game better, then why shouldn’t I?
I’ve probably just lost all of my credibility as a gamer and geek, but who cares? As I’ve said so many times in the past, it’s not which games you play or how you play them that makes you a gamer. Just play games!