Friday, January 27, 2012

Prejudices (rerun)

I am not a basketball player. I played a little bit of basketball in high school, in PE class. That does not make me a basketball player. Not even an amateur one. I don’t have basketball as a hobby; I don’t enjoy playing very much, I don’t go out to play it or have any basketball… balls? Anyway, the fact that I played basketball a few times doesn't make me a basketball player. 

The fact someone played a videogame a few times does not make them gamers. What make someone a gamer is the fact that this person enjoys gaming and have it as a past-time or hobby. If this person goes to a friend’s house and play a few matches of a FPS multiplayer or Rock Band does not make this person a gamer if the only time that they care for gaming is in this very occasional occurrences. 

To me, a gamer is someone who like videogames and regularly play if possible. 

That said, there have being a lot of discussion about casuals and hardcores. What kind of person is a hardcore gamer and who is a casual. And also what are a hardcore game and a casual one. When this trend started, I hated casual games and casual players. I have being playing since I was a kid and those newcomers appears playing stupid Wii games and Angry Birds and start calling themselves gamers? How dare them! 

Until I realized that this is stupid. What others play should not affect me, because in reality, it doesn't. Why I should care what they play? Are they having fun? Are they affecting my gaming? I don’t know the answer for the first, but the second is no, they aren't affecting me. 

Someone who have just an iDevice and use it to game because he/she/it like the games on their device is as much a gamer as I am. As long as they like gaming, they are gamers. 

Another point I am trying to make is that the game industry seems to be relying on very outdated concepts about men and women. Another day I saw a lilac PSP with a Hanna Montana game bundled. It looked a little stupid to me. 

The fact that someone is female does not make them to like lilac, pink or any color society defined (rather arbitrarily) as women colors. It also does not make all women to like Hanna Montana, Barbie or any other ‘girl game’ the industry believes they might like. I wonder how many people bought this one just because of the color and immediately traded the game. 

See, gamers doesn’t work as a hive mind. The fact that many men likes the testosterone fuelled, swearing muscle protagonists don’t make all men liking them. Also, it does not make all women distaste them. I think the industry needs to stop looking at stereotypes and just give gamers more options. 

One of the things female gamers wants is that games give them the option to choose a female avatar in multiplayer matches. I don’t know why the developers don’t give people this option more often. It would make the girls in those games happy and many guys to. I would rather see a nice female avatar in my screen than an ugly man full of muscles. 

Also, what many female gamers want is more options. Most games, like Soul Calibur series, have only the scantily clad females. I have nothing against it, but if you are trying to make your game to gather to the biggest number of people possible, this is not how you do it. You need to give something for everyone. Make a few characters who dress appropriately.

In the end, we are too fast in giving people labels, in trying to look them down to make ourselves looking better. It helps nothing and nobody. I avoid using the words ‘casual’ and ‘hardcore’. I still believe in the core gamer, the one who loves gaming and the occasional person who play a game, the one who don’t bother with games but play if an opportunity appears. 

We must stop caring what other people do or like. Our lives and everyone else would be better that way.

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