The Truth About the Gamer Stereotype
A Guest post & Opinion piece by @DreadMorgan
(Disclosure: This post does not necessarly reflect the views or opinions of anyone on SuperNerdLand staff. Content Manager and staff follow the aforementioned account on Twitter & occasionally talks with them on Twitter.)
I think a lot of the tension around women in gaming comes from a fundamental misunderstanding of who gamers are. It’s classic stereotyping.
Games are the most accessible form of entertainment and social interaction for most people. And that accessibility is so important to our diversity. If you are disadvantaged, disabled, sick, isolated, working crazy hours, unemployed, living in a bad place, etc… games are there for you. They’re the most ubiquitous form of interactive entertainment.
It’s easy to buy into the concept of cap-on-backwards gamebros not letting girls into their secret clubhouse, but take a look at who you game with. I know gamers who are disabled and homebound. I’ve known dying gamers. I know gamers who can’t go outside without fear for their lives. Games are so important for so many people. It’s how they connect with other people. It’s how they find relief from the hard things in life.
That’s why it boils my blood when gamers are called misogynerds, gamebros, or whatever. They’re shitting on some really vulnerable people. Some people have been dealt a really tough hand in life. And, you know, the stereotype that people love to attack is basically people on the autism spectrum. Of which, many autistic people are into gaming, but not exactly known for their social graces.
People involved with #GamerGate really don’t like labels. They’d rather be judged by their words and actions. If you break them down, they can be a collection of labels, though. All the big buzzword you see today: marginalized, trans, woman, gay, disabled, impoverished, survivor, victim, ill, etc. are all found in #GamerGate.
They aren’t just those things and many don’t fit any of that criteria. Also, many detest the idea of being seen primarily as a set of labels, so they tend to not advertise these things. Still, the point is that there is a lot of diversity out there.
It’s a lot harder to write off a bunch of nerds as a “hate group” when you actually see the diversity and the acceptance of it within the community. I wish people would take the time to consider that, before assuming the worst of people.
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