It used to be a lot easier to stereotype a gamer. It used to be that all that was needed was some greasy hair, thick glasses, and a few faintly veiled allusions to terminal virginity in order for the lazy sitcom writers of the world to have a brand new supporting fall guy all written and ready to go. But that was in a less enlightened time, when gaming was unknown to the masses and the concept of actual normal, well-adjusted adults playing video games was unheard of.
With people from all walks of life coming to gaming from any number of countless perspectives, and all wanting to get something different out of the activity, it’s now impossible to classify someone just on the grounds that they play games. No, if you want to properly look at the various archetypes now involved in our favourite pastime, you now have to look more deeply into how they play games and what they’re getting out of it.
#1 – The Back-Seat Gamer
“No! Leave that! Go that way! Kill that guy! Circle strafe, circle strafe! Jumpjumpjumpjumpjump! Chainsaw, chainsaw! Rocket launcher on the guy at the back! NOOOOOOOO! Told you you shouldn’t have done that. My go.”
Think you’re a good gamer? Forget those aspirations my friend. You are not as good as this guy. He is at one with the games, symbiotically tuned with them in body and mind. He sees all, he knows all, and he will pre-empt any AI script created. Every map of every level of every game is seared into the very matter of his brain, and he can walk any section by simply closing his eyes and recalling his surroundings down to the pixel.
In practice however, the only recorded noise in human history louder than his militant bestowing of “advice” and proclamations of his gaming qualifications is the sound of the servers emptying whenever he enters a lobby. You see, the simple fact is, he’s not actually that good …
Over the course of the year however, the inner depths of the game began to take hold, and something inside him began to stir. His hardcore side slowly but steadily awakened, and after a prolonged diet of daily binges he was talking about power slide physics and correct item usage like a pro. Though he still wouldn’t admit to anything.
The next morning however, it was a different story. With sobriety and the cold light of day came his previous guilt and repression, worse tenfold now following our nocturnal activities. I don’t mind telling you it was an awkward morning. He couldn’t even look me in the eye for the first few hours, and even later in the day conversation was stilted at best.
Next week: Chavs!
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