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Joystiq presents

DS Daily: Is it 'okay' to be a gamer?

There was an interesting question posted yesterday over on big daddy Joystiq and we're bringing it over because we want to know what you think. These days, it is completely acceptable, generally, to be a gamer? Are certain levels of gaming preferable? And if we have experienced a major shift in attitudes, then what's caused it? Is it now "okay" to be a fanboy because geek is the new cool ... or because gaming has simply become more accessible for all types of people?

We feel this is a particularly interesting question to pose to handheld enthusiasts, because of the widespread success of the DS. So let us know what you think!

[Image, and shirt, from ThinkGeek.]

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Reader Comments

(Page 1)

1. Gaming is becoming a legitimate medium of entertainment, which means its alright to enjoy it, less so to be an enthusiast.

I've been consistently amazed by the types of people I see playing DSs, PSPs, and even their cell phones in public and people I wouldn't even think are gamers are 60 in Warcraft.

What astonishes me most of all is talking to the freshman class in my college: it's barely even a question anymore whether you play games, it's a question of which games you play. You're still a nerd if you know every move in street fighter or the story to every FF, but the same is true for music and movie enthusiasts. Also, even nerdiness is becoming cool in the form of vintage: with gaming so popular among the new generation, showing your old-school roots has made Hot Topic a gamer's destination. It's all crazy.

Posted at 11:18AM on Jan 27th 2007 by ephor

2. Of course. What's not ok is to be antisocial. If your gaming gets in the way of your ability to have friends; if you're 20 and never had a girlfriend, then it's a problem to be a gamer.

Posted at 11:35AM on Jan 27th 2007 by rafa

3. if you're 20 and never had a girlfriend, then it's a problem to be a gamer.

Holy crap, I only have a six month window left before I have a problem. >_>

Posted at 11:47AM on Jan 27th 2007 by JDTAY

4. "What's not ok is to be antisocial."

What if becoming a gamer was because I'm antisocial?

Posted at 12:37PM on Jan 27th 2007 by kabili

5. I'm a 45 year old father of three and gaming is something I've always shared with them. We have three Nintendo DS's with about 25 games and a Playstation 2 with about 50 games. I guess one of the things that has changed is the family structure with more kids growing up in gaming homes as second generation gamers. I'm sure that someday I'll be playing games with my grandchildren. And with the introduction of games like Brain Age, Clubhouse Games, Nintendogs, and others, my parents and grandparents are becoming gamers. The demographics have changed from a group that was primarily kids, to all ages now.

Posted at 1:56PM on Jan 27th 2007 by Billy Baroo

6. I'm 35 years old, I'm a gamer, and I've always carried around a subconscious notion that if people see me playing my DS in public, they probably think it looks "weird" and I should just "grow up." Valid or not, I did get that feeling.

Then, I was in a gaming accessory shop recently (they sell cases, screen protectors, stuff like that) and there was a group of 20-ish males and females in the store, all laughing and carrying on about their DS's, what colours they were or what skins they had on their handhelds, what games they were going to be playing later...

It was a bit of a revelation. I don't have any friends or relatives in their early 20's, so I'm pretty out of touch with that generation, and it was refreshing to see a bunch of young adults who were so obviously enthusiastic about their Nintendo handhelds, and not just your stereotypical "male gamers", the chicks were totally into the DS as well.

So yeah, gaming is cool. And I'll play my DS in public whenever I want, dammit. No Brain Age, though, screaming "Blue!" repeatedly into the microphone is definitely NOT cool, regardless of the circumstances.

Posted at 2:22PM on Jan 27th 2007 by Origamian

7. First off, I want to say that it doesn't matter what anyone thinks of you. If your happy doing what you love to do, then screw the rest of the world. You will never need anyone's approval for anything.

And also: there is no such thing as normal. So anyone that thinks gamers aren't normal, they're right. But that's only because no one is.

Honestly, being a hardcore gamer is not always accepted. Usually it depends though: hardcore female gamers are not as accepted as male ones, and most of the time black gamers aren't as accepted as well. Because when you think of a typical gamer, people still see the 20 year old white boy. So for some people it is not okay to be a gamer. But like I said - who cares about what everyone else says? Be who you want how you want and don't change for anyone.

Posted at 3:51PM on Jan 27th 2007 by truplaya

8. 29 years old here, and carry my DS on my commute. As such, I'm just part of the daily landscape, along with others' DS Lites, GBAs, PSPs, cell phones, and laptops. On commuter trains, I've seen adults of all kinds playing everything from New Super Mario Bros. to Bejeweled to StarCraft. Oh, and the occassional gaming kids, too ;)

Video gaming is just a part of daily life for a lot of people; hardcore gaming is still a bit of a geeky niche, though... I don't think *that* will ever change.

Posted at 4:14PM on Jan 27th 2007 by Reeve

9. It's fine to be a gamer so long you do not play World of Warcraft, Everquest, Never Winter Nights and Second Life and then tell EVERYONE about your experiances when we obviously DON'T GIVE A DAMN.
As long as you're not 400 pounds, have a face so full of acne that your face looks like the moon on bad day and speak Klingon and Javascript, you're not a hopeless loser thus is acceptable to the world.

Posted at 4:33PM on Jan 27th 2007 by ssuk

10. I'm a 26 year old female gamer, which may be rare, but far less rare than people think. I have a nintendo DS, a Gamecube, a Gameboy Advance SP (for my orginal game boy games, and when I say orginal I mean orginal in their tan and black glory). I also play computer games including World of Warcraft, I watch star trek, I know every line from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. I am not, however, 400 pounds with acne and no friends. I have a handsome an equally geeky boyfriend, I'm attractive, I have lots of friends, I travel, I go out. I am not ashamed of the things I like, I think they're cool..so why wouldn't anyone else? So, not all my friends share my interests, but I find the more honest I am about my geekiness it brings out the geek in others and you have fun. It has never hurt my social life but I'm a pretty confident person.

Having said that, there are exceptions. I have a lot of guy friends, and being the hot chick gamer was a cool position to be in. Women, on the other hand, at least alot in my age group and older, tend to be prejudiced against gaming, so I have gotten sideways glances and bemused looks from more than one female. But these girls are not my friends, my girl friends are also gamers.

Not to drone on and on but I do notice a little prejudice in gaming stores against female patrons. Its always assumed you are not buying games for yourself or if you are you are not a serious gamer or even good. Even though I got my first nintendo in 1987, and before that had a kickin' commodore 64. And trust me, none of our guy friends will play Halo with me and my friend Jen anymore because we kick their ass. Is it just a guy thing?

Posted at 5:54PM on Jan 27th 2007 by Sarah

11. "if you're 20 and never had a girlfriend, then it's a problem to be a gamer"

I know what you mean, but I still feel I must comment on this as I never had a girlfriend until I was 20. I played a lot of games in high school and never dated. I was shy, and pretty immature anyway. I don't feel liked I missed out on anything by gaming over dating. Hell, that was the Final Fantasy 7 era, who had time for a girlfriend? (kidding... sort of)

Anyway, my fiancee (yes, same gf I met at 20) are now 26 and we both play games. Me more so than her, but she still plays. Our kids won't be named Gabe & Tycho or anything, but I'm sure they'll play too.

Is it "okay" to be a gamer? Don't really care =]

Posted at 6:47PM on Jan 27th 2007 by Charles

12. Copy/paste of my response from the corresponding Joystiq article

lol, no

(continues laughing)

Posted at 7:03PM on Jan 27th 2007 by Mr Khan

13. I was caught up in Phoenix Wright in school the last few days, and got a few looks while walking around the hallways playing. It seems like most my age play games of some sort, but not all are as avid.

Posted at 8:56PM on Jan 27th 2007 by Frederik

14. I personally can not name a single person boy or girl that I know who does not enjoy playing video games.

Posted at 10:02PM on Jan 27th 2007 by RobM

15. It probably is ok to be seen playing a starcraft or DS on the plane or bus but in the High school setting its all stereotype. I wore a excite bike t-shirt 3 years ago and till this day I still get "nerd", despite being on the lacrosse team. Hopefully real world consists of less assholes and more assholes getting whats coming to them, a big healthy dose of karma!

Posted at 2:14AM on Jan 28th 2007 by mike

16. "I still get "nerd", despite being on the lacrosse team."

Lacrosse? I see your problem right there.

Posted at 2:49AM on Jan 28th 2007 by Bipedal

17. What kind of question is this? Are you guys running out of topics? Why not also ask, "Is it OK to be Black, Asian, or Latino? How about, "Is it OK to be gay?"

"Is it OK to be a gamer?" I wonder what kind of response this will get in a gamer-centric web site? hmmmmm...

Posted at 3:06AM on Jan 28th 2007 by Daddy Gamer

18. "Hopefully real world consists of less assholes and more assholes getting whats coming to them, a big healthy dose of karma!"


Sadly, no. The real world is high school times 20. What you are thinking about, however, is known as "college". Enjoy your college years, because for some reason the clique-ish highschool bullshit magically seems to stop for four years, to the point where you are going to say, "That guy in that DSFanboy comment was really wrong about life". But after you graduate and get a real job, you'll see.

On the other hand, its not so bad because having a real job also means having money to buy shit like videogames and nintendo wiis. You just won't ever have time to play them. Now I don't mean you can't play on your 45 minute commute or something, I'm talking about honest-to-god-stay-home-for-5-days-doing- nothing-but-playing-Zelda-for-10-hours-at-a-time.



Posted at 11:09AM on Jan 28th 2007 by JM

19. Hi. I am a 27yo female gamer who loves my games. It took a while though for me to find my niche. As a kid, my little brother always got the game systems and games for Christmas or birthdays and I always got dolls or barbies. No one thought that I would like to play too, although my brother is a wonderful and always shared. Finally, after focusing on getting my son healthy, we got a PS2, in which I have played avidly. But I am a nintendo fan and recently got a ds lite. I have been carrying it around in my purse for those times that I am waiting excessively. My husband laughs and jokes that he married a kid. In my quest to find a gaming system and fun games, I have come across a full spectrum of gamers. I would say only a handful of those are extreme and need to go outside more. But otherwise, it is okay to be a gamer. The trick is not to let it control your life. Remember you have family and friends and need to go outside and enjoy life.

Posted at 8:43PM on Jan 28th 2007 by Nici

20. Who the hell cares? I've never been cool in my life. Why should I care what anybody else thinks?

My wife plays games. My friends play games. Everybody else can do (and think) whatever they want, and it's no skin off my nose.

Posted at 10:59AM on Jan 29th 2007 by Lee Gibson

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