Nas stated in this album, “Hip Hop is Dead”. It was used to describe the current state of what people know as "Hip Hop." Likewise, I say that the term “Gamer” is dead. Should you truly enjoy video games and care about them, at a certain point you’ll have to distinguish yourself, just like Nas does, from the rest of the people who claim to reside in your medium.
For those that have played the game Resistance, allow me to present an analogy. Gamers seem as if they are the embodiment of the Chimeran Swarm. They have become this amorphous blob of ignorance which leaves nothing but destruction in its wake. Whether they are unified in attacking a specific target or fighting amongst themselves, the people that are “gamers” are not the same people who care about the world of games.
Lets take the example of Cooper Lawrence. To refresh your memory, Cooper Lawrence was on Fox news and saying that Mass Effect has “Full Graphic Nudity and Sex.” Anyone that played Mass Effect knew that it wasn’t true, and this story was sensationalized beyond Bioware’s wildest dreams. I am in no way condoning her actions, I think they were not only idiotic, but deplorable. So it was understandable that apart of me understood and enjoyed the reaction through Amazon that fell upon Ms Lawrence’s book. However like the Chimeran Swarm, they did not stop attacking her or threatening her. Amazon has done their best to delete the reviews of her book in some way relating to Mass Effect, but they are still there. That’s right. Still there. Three years later, people are still writing reviews on that book and what she said about Mass Effect. I agree that she should have actually played the game before going on T.V and making up lies, but she has essentially been tormented for three years for that act, like a prison sentence. Her other books on Amazon (that have come out since the interview) also have reviews relating to Mass Effect. Plainly put: is there any legitimate reason for this still to be occurring?
Gamers don’t even like to help each other. How many times have you heard people in the defense of publishers or Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo say the following phrase: “You people seem to forget that gaming is a business, and they can do whatever the hell they want to make money.” Yes. Gaming is a business. And as consumers, we have to be treated fairly as long as we are giving money to the business. Yes I know. “You” aren’t the problem, and I shouldn’t judge everyone in the context of what some people continue to do. But like it or not, gamers are representative of the gaming community as a whole, and how gamers are seen is how the gaming community is defined. At this point, there needs to be a distinction between the people who are actually gamers and people who spread ignorance with a stamp of “gamer”.
It’s not just that ignorance has perforated the gaming community. It’s that ignorance has opened a whole, and sucked gamers directly into it, to the point where gamers live inside ignorance like it was a Poke-Ball. Remember the Jade Raymond controversy? The producer of Assassins Creed was undoubtedly the face of the game, but was that any excuse for the comic or the response? I’ve heard both the “right to free speech” and the “defamation” arguments, the former being an argument about as deep as a sheet of paper. Yes, you can in fact make a comic about Jade Raymond. Yes, it does make you look like you have the intelligence of a perverted seal who huffs flammable paint in the process. It’s not even just Jade Raymond. Girls in gaming are rare because it is to a certain extent (despite my hatred of this phrase) a boys club. Girls are either heralded for their attractiveness, or treated like crap. Some of my friends don’t even bother going on Xbox live multiplayer anymore, just because no matter their skill set, they’ll be ridiculed for being a girl. Obviously the only exception to this is Elsa, as she is awesome.
This is the paragraph where I talk about the “Humble Indie Bundle”. Cooper Lawrence at least, was an idiot. We all know she was an idiot, she knows she was an idiot too. The people who believed that Resident Evil 5 was somehow racist were idiots, (or caught up in “White Guilt"( http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/GiftofGab/not-addressing-the-n-word-in-def-jam-rapstar-171161.phtml
) Even the that girl from Shakey’s who thought that the development team from Fat Princess were misogynists was an idiot. To a certain extent, those people deserved some of the reception they got. The Humble Indie Bundle was for Charity. But it’s not just that. Even when Kotaku called gamers out on the stealing that they were doing, while there were a lot of people who joined, saying that the stealing of games whose revenue was designed for charity is in fact, wrong, there were people who defended the pirates. There were a lot of people who defended the pirates. “Some people didn’t have a credit card” doesn’t mean that they are justified in stealing them. Everyone torrents, but at least agree that using the company’s own resources to take something whose sole purpose was for charity is nowhere near morally justifiable.
When you see the title of this article, and the title of Nas’s album, it comes off as a bit alarmist. “Gamer/Hip Hop is dead? do we all have to switch to something else now?” It also sounds like I am saying all gamers are pirates and degenerates (something i’ve tried hard to distinguish during the writing of this article, but will undoubtedly come up in the comments.) First off, this is in no way an alarmist article. There are wonderful people who play games, and the stereotype is in fact just a stereotype and is in no way representative of all of the gaming community. But at a certain point, it just seems like the people who actually buy their games, the people who are civil on Xbox Live/PSN, the people who don’t go around flaming everything in relation to gaming in articles or on Amazon reviews should be distinguished from the people who actually do those things. Other media undoubtedly have their own version of fanboys and pirates, but are they really as bad as gamers? More to the point, are these people really something that “gamers” want to be connected to?
I don’t necessarily want gaming to “be taken seriously.” Something where fun is such a crucial factor being taken seriously is ridiculous. However I would like to look at gamers as a whole and think that overall, they weren’t mostly group of idiots attached to something great. In criticizing, the people who have managed to come above the massive wall of ignorance should be commended. The people that actually enjoy games, enjoy discussing them and aren’t just fanboys. The people that have to mute everyone else on Xbox Live when they play a Halo match. Gaming at its core is something that instantly gathers everyone around no matter whether your in an arcade, your house, or on the road. With that attraction brings new gamers. At least give them something to look forward to.