You are a gamer. Don’t let anyone tell you you’re not. It’s okay if you don’t play first-person shooters. It’s okay if you’ve never tried Fortnite. Even if you only play mobile games, you are a gamer.
In many circles, I’ve had my love for video games discredited because I don’t play the “right” games. Gamer culture dictates that you play online multiplayer games that typically involve guns. If you don’t like those, you may be able to slide by with open world adventure games, as long as they’re made by Ubisoft and have creative ways to kill your enemies.
Gamer culture excludes a host of enjoyable and even beautiful games due to its limited scope. Most “true gamers” will never experience the melancholic sadness at the end of Journey. They may never enjoy randomizing Sims to look as goofy as possible. They’ll never have the sense of accomplishment that comes with beating a level of Candy Crush that you’ve been stuck on for weeks.
Gamer “culture” excludes playing games that lack violence. Games like Animal Crossing or Stardew Valley are disregarded as having no point, when the fact that they have no objective is the point. Games that have built worlds and deep lore like the Kingdom Hearts series are accused of being too convoluted.
Gamer culture only values “skilled” players. There is no room for beginners or casual gamers. If you don’t have time to dedicate your whole life to being the best at a game, don’t bother calling yourself a gamer. Don’t even start.
A gamer isn’t just a male who plays first-person shooters and enjoys looking at women in a derogatory way. They don’t just play Call of Duty and Fortnite. Gamers are as varied as the games they play.
How many people do you know that fit these stereotypes? In my experience, this is a close-minded view of what gaming can be. Most of my friends play games, and they all play different games for different reasons. Your interests are valid, even if they don’t fit into the “gamer” model. Don’t let someone talk down to you as a gamer because of the genres you like, how you play, why you play or your skill level. You are a gamer.