I have never considered myself a â€œgamer.â€ Despite my generation being the first one that really grew up with gaming consoles being mainstream, and the fact that between my parentsâ€™ houses we had several different systems over the years, it was never something I really got into. While my brother and sister fought over who got to be Player 1 and who was relegated to Player 2 (spoiler: my brother was the youngest and my sister punches left), I was busy reading or constructing ridiculously detailed architecture out of LEGO bricks. As we grew up and they progressed from SNES to Sega Genesis to the Sony Dreamcast, N64 and beyond, as my friends got various other consoles to experiment with and formed their own unique gaming identities, I always stayed on the peripherals of the gaming world. I was aware of the new systems as they came out, knew the advantages and disadvantages of the different systems specs, appreciated the advances to game art and playability as the technology advanced, understood the bitches and nerdgasms players had with each of these things, but with the exception of my well-known and admittedly unhealthy obsessions with the Sims, I wasnâ€™t actively gaming, so I was not a gamer.
Or was I?
The common misperception of the gaming culture, espoused as it is by the ridiculously vocal minority (letâ€™s call them â€~anti-gamersâ€™), is that itâ€™s a cast of socially awkward male misfits, usually late teens to early adults, who wear taped glasses, live in their parentsâ€™ basement, and drink nothing but Mountain Dew. They donâ€™t have girlfriends, unless you count the waiku pillows. If they play shooter games, theyâ€™re violent and repressed. They have no life outside of gaming and trolling the internet. And of course, the real reason theyâ€™re upset about the Australian Target stores pulling GTA V from the shelves is because every single one of them wants to oppress women. Donâ€™t let them fool you with that censorship nonsense. Theyâ€™re geeks at best, miscreants at worst. Donâ€™t let them near your children.