Extra Lives: What does it mean to be a gamer?

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For many people, the word “gamer” seems to have a negative connotation. When I talk to people about the subject, they seem to have an image in their mind of a lonely, nerdy kid sitting in his parents’ basement yelling at the TV.

It’s strange to think that this conceptualization of gamers exists, especially considering that video games are one of the most rapidly growing forms of entertainment in the world. According to Guinness World Records, Rockstar Games’ “Grand Theft Auto V” was the fastest entertainment product to gross $1 billion and generated the most revenue ever for an entertainment product within 24 hours. That’s for all entertainment, including Hollywood. Gaming is no longer some niche hobby that the weird kid who nobody talks to partakes in. It’s for everyone.

Gamers come in all shapes and sizes. They come from a variety of different cultures and play a variety of different games. I’m a PC gamer. Someone else might prefer consoles or handhelds. It really doesn’t matter. We’re all part of a diverse, growing community that spans the entire globe. Whether you prefer “Bioshock” or “Mario,” you’re still a gamer.

That’s part of what makes me proud to call myself a gamer. Gaming is a major part of culture worldwide, and it’s a largely positive experience.

We’re even more connected then ever before. Online gaming is huge and it’s made it possible for someone in Mexico to easily play a match with a kid in Thailand.

Unfortunately, there are some elitists among the gaming community who have certain ideas about what it means to be a “real” gamer. There are no real gamers. There are no fake gamers. Everyone who is able to enjoy video games is a gamer, and there are no exceptions to this.

When it comes down to it, it’s really simple: A gamer is someone who plays video games. There are no ifs ands or buts about it. Oh, and we’re not going anywhere. Gaming is not disappearing now or anytime soon. Gamers and gaming are a huge part of our culture today, whether you’d like to admit it or not. We’re here, and we’re here to stay. Everyone has something to get out of video games and everyone can benefit.

With that said, I’d like to welcome you to my blog. I hope you like it.

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