This episode of Game/Show takes some recent statistics about gamers and asks if 50% of all gamers are actually women? It's a question many have asked after the numbers were first circulated and the way he unpacks the facts is interesting. He reads a quote by Ian Bogost I found really interesting "If we are very fortunate gamers will disappear altogether and all we will have left would be people."

scrypt   Supporter wrote on 10/02/2014 at 05:03pm

I felt like Jamin was on a good track with the way he presented a definition for "gamers" in the February episode on the same topic, as a cultural identity of being a sort of aficionado or connoisseur of games, or at least someone that is well versed on, not just the entertainment of games, but maybe the process of the craft as well, to the point that you could give an informed, analytical argument on the subject (e.g. comparing/contrasting Strategy RPGs and RTSs, or how Dark Souls is basically Mega man in macabre 3D). As an example, when I was first getting into programming, a couple of authors told me, after spending a few days learning the basics of writing my own block of functional code, that I could now consider myself a programmer (one who programs). The sentiment is encouraging, but the reality is that if I was in a room with actual, seasoned programmers, I doubt very much that they would see me as a peer. In the same respect, I would argue, playing games does not make you a gamer. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this. The ESA doesn't care what a gamer is, they just care who is playing games. Jamin hits it on the head by admitting that if you look specifically at gamer culture, there are obviously fewer women than this statistic of 50/50 implies, but then pivots immediately to the Zoegate/Gamergate mess as a reason why that's the case. His later statement suggesting that being an aficionado could lead to sexism is bizarre. "Be careful, kids, get too enthusiastic about your hobby, and you could become an asshole!"

The point isn't the word "gamer." The point is the identification and the passion of the culture. If there were some way to magically strike that title from the known universe, so that it could never audibly be spoken again, we would find a new word to call ourselves. "What's in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet." How would those seasoned programmers feel if, in my very limited knowledge and experience, calling myself a programmer, declared that "programmers are dead," due to the idea that anyone and everyone can program "Hello, world!" You can homogenize the name, but you can't homogenize the passion. It doesn't matter what you call yourself, people will recognize you by your actions.

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 10/02/2014 at 05:37pm

His later statement suggesting that being an aficionado could lead to sexism is bizarre. "Be careful, kids, get too enthusiastic about your hobby, and you could become an asshole!"

I think people that move closer to any ideal get that way, it's not unique to gaming culture though. I try and stay away from the more zealous of any group, I just don't enjoy being on that side.

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet." How would those seasoned programmers feel if, in my very limited knowledge and experience, calling myself a programmer, declared that "programmers are dead," due to the idea that anyone and everyone can program "Hello, world!"

I think that's a good point. I am a software developer and if someone said my profession was dead I wouldn't pay it too much mind. In a way, it's always changing and that's part of the job. Someday my job might be so altered that what I knew it to be might be effectively dead, not sure how that would effect me but it's an interesting thought.

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