In an attempt to combine Olympic gold medalist, Nintendo games, and positive gaming habits a video was released having athletes and actors proclaiming they “weren’t a gamer” but rather artist and super stars.
This brings up two very disturbing and discouraging realizations that hurts the gaming community. First off, the term “gamer” is immediately frowned upon which does no good in encouraging people to buy games. Inevitably, that is what the commercial is trying to promote; get you to buy a game. However, phrasing the label of the individual who buys a game as “not a gamer” then leaves the questions “Well what the heck are they then?” Are we then to say anyone who plays 3DS games are not gamers? Or if people play non-traditional games they are not gamers? Or if people say they are not gamers while playing games makes them not gamers? Not only is this confusing, but this creates a gray divide between what we presume a gamer to be and what the industry tells us. I can see why Nintendo choose this direction but the how they promoted it was terrible.
Secondly, a person who plays a game is a gamer. Period. In a time where labels, subcategories, console preferences, misogyny, and genres have already divided the gaming community to be pin against each other, this adds to the already broken community that so many organizations are trying to mend. It should never matter what console your play on, what gender you are, what your preference in genre, or how good you are if you play a game “You are a Gamer.” This industry has failed to realize that it was the close connection of the gaming community that made it prosper and continuing to divide it with little labels and self-determined prestige will ruin the industry and resort it to just another cut-throat hierarchy. Don’t try to sell games by pitching it’s not gaming, but show the better sides of gaming to disprove the negative connotations people might have.
Is it not obvious now, that the gaming industry is being run by people who either don’t game or have no sentimental nor nostalgic connection to video game history? Indeed profits come first, but to sell the very foundation the industry was successful on is asking for big gaming giant’s fans to doubt whether they really care about their loyalty.
Nars is CEO, Founder of Girl Gamer Vogue, writer at Gametyrant, and Lead Video Game Columnist at Knickerbocker Ledger.