What Makes Someone a Gamer?

About a week ago, my friend Kiara posted this on Twitter, and it got me thinking:

 

Like with almost any label someone can apply to themselves (baker, photographer, reader, etc.), there seems to be some set of criteria for calling yourself a gamer, but no one knows what it is. What separates a gamer from a non-gamer? What’s on that mythical list of requirements? Today, I’d like to answer that question and finally put an end to these discussions.

Before I dive into that though, I want to give a shoutout to the wonderful people in the Geeks Under Grace community! I posed this same question in their Facebook group, and while these thoughts in my post are mine alone, discussing this topic with them helped me process some of my own ideas.

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Stop the Geek Girl Hate

Yesterday, I was procrastinating on Pinterest when I came across this pin:

nerd-girl-problem

(Yes, I did go all the way back through my browser history to find that. Also, we’re going to ignore the poor text editing.)

Of course, this is just one of many pictures just like this. If you searched “nerd girl problem” on the internet, you’d end up with a plethora of images very similar to the one above. I’ve seen them dozens of times, and to be honest, I think they’re ridiculous and usually ignore them. However, I came across this one in particular, and something about it rubbed me the wrong way.

But before I talk about this, let’s talk about gatekeeping.

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