Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Gaming and Nerdiness

This is a conversation topic that's been making the rounds through me and my friends as of late: are video games still inherently nerdy?  If no, are certain types of games still nerdy?  Is gaming more mainstream nowadays or does it just seem more mainstream?

The inspiration for the topic was a tweet by a celebrity that I follow (okay, a porn star) that was to the effect of "playing COD, tee hee, I'm so nerdy."  My internal response was swift and angry.

NO YOU'RE NOT!

My general thoughts on the topic are that I'm sick of these FPS (first person shooter) and Madden players staking a claim to something they (as meatheads and jocks) have always ridiculed others for.  (And yes that is only an indictment on FPS and Madden players that typify those qualities.  Calm the fuck down FPS and Madden playing friends)  My girlfriend had a similar, albeit more concise and cutting response, "nerds are supposed to be smart and most gamers I know are fucking idiots who can't do anything for themselves."  Touche girlfriend.

Another friend of mine posited that certain games still retain nerdy qualities, most notably MMORPGs (massive multiplayer online role playing games).  But at the same time, everybody plays World of Warcraft.  Or that's what their commercials would have you believe, a crafty campaign to remove the stigma of playing such games by highlighting celebrities that (may or may not) play them.

I have conflicting feelings about what I want the truth to be.  On one hand, there's a desire for vindication, for being a little less of a minority, and on the other there's a desire to retain some uniqueness by being a part of such a group.  I think I can fall in line with the former considering that of the last four games I've played, two of them are Star Trek games made pre-2002, one is a Blizzard game made in 2000 and updated in 2001, and the other is a FPS mod that no one's ever heard of.  I'm going to end up being a nerd either way.

It has it's perks.

Depending on how weak your definition of a computer game is (cough*farmville*cough), it's pretty fair to say that virtually everyone can be considered a "gamer" these days.  It's become about as nerdy as regular internet use is.  As a former Starcraft Junkie, semi current Diablo II junkie, lover of Star Trek games and someone who was once ranked in the top 100 in the country (and top 400 in the world) at Mario Kart Double Dash, I have my fair share of experience with video games.  Even though they've fallen out of favor with me (another entry entirely), I still consider myself a bit of a gamer and a nerd at heart.  That's enough for me.

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