Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Why gamers need a new name

In the tradition of classic games writing, the idea for this blog post was totally stolen from someone else. But because it's games writing and I linked him (sort of), I'm golden. And 'll be damned if I give a Ready Up writer any more credit than that. But anyway, I was procrastinating like a bastard on twitter, when Johnny Ball Smasher (for legal reasons his name has been changed) brought up how pointless the term "gamer" was. Moments away from wanting to disagree with him, it suddenly struck me he was right. Hell, even a broken clock is right twice a day.

If you really think about it, the term "gamer" is so broad and non-specific in what it is supposed to be describing, yet is held onto and protected from those deemed unworthy of the label. And is treated by these so-called gamers like it was the arc of the covenant and they were the geek templars. Defending it from all those who must never know it's true location. And that's not an exaggeration, you only have to look at the insidious "fake gamer girl" phenomenon that proves gamers hold that very title  so precious, that they have to police who is and isn't one. Even though it's fucking ridiculous to do so. If you really think about it, "gamer" doesn't really mean anything. It just doesn't!

"What?! Oh god, he's not gonna say GTA 5 is shit as well, is he?"

 For example (brace yourself),I can drive a car, and like most motorists, my knowledge of said car is limited to controlling it, refuelling and changing the oil. And that's where my knowledge ends, I don't know anything about the engine, nor do I care to know anything about it. It's a  coffin on wheels I need to get somewhere that doesn't have a train station. I'm not what you would call a "petrol head" who watches endless Top Gear repeats, has a spare set of tyres for track days and is on their second driving ban for racing a biker on the motorway. I'm a "driver", that's all. By composing this blog post, I'm technically being a writer. But no way could you ever compare this rubbish to the works of any novelist, poet or even a lowly games writer. Likewise, acknowledging that previous sentence makes you a reader. You're not a rabid devourer of prose or journals that fill entire rooms of shelves. No, you're a reader, it's what you're doing, nothing else.  Using the term "gamer" as a label for the devout fanbase is just fucking stupid. I'll wrap this up right now, you know what makes you a gamer? Playing a video game. That's it. Whatever game, be it EVE Online, Call Of Duty or Candy Crush, whatever system you play on, if you're playing a video game you are a gamer. It's really that fucking simple. Gaming is what you're doing, not what you are.

Of course, that raises the question, what does the longtime, hardcore video game fans call themselves now? Don't worry those who previously identified as solely as gamers, but now need an entirely new and more accurate label to hang their entire personality on, I have you covered. After some thought (for nearly one entire afternoon) I have decided that the best term to describe the top echelon of video game players is....GAMECOCK

"Fuck your causal COD bullshit!"

Let it sink in for a minute and just say it a few times, gamecock, gamecock, GAMECOCK! Good. isn't it? If you actually know the original meaning of the term, you'll agree it's the prefect term to use. And if you don't, count yourself lucky I didn't go with my original choice of, "electric wanker." Or, you could just, I don't know, maybe not care who takes an interest in your hobby and whether they own multiple Dreamcasts to prove they belong in a clubhouse you don't own?

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