Saturday, December 28, 2013

Gamer Stereotypes

Regular gaming has taken a backseat the past couple of months as I've relocated cities and was in the process of transitioning into a new job / role.

I am trying to setup a small weekend gaming group in Gurgaon with preliminary success. 4-5 sessions with an average turnout of 4. Given that I host at my place and can't have more than 8 people in any session, this is a happy enough success.

One of the key challenges has been explaining to people why board gaming is not necessarily a kids' hobby and helping them overcome their reluctance to try out something new. On a related note, I've always wondered if there were stereotypes associated with gamers and today, I came across this thread on BGG and it was enlightening to read some of the common ones and to see how much they apply to me.

1. Gamers are single and childless - I'm currently dating someone regularly but am committed to a childfree living. So partially true.

2. Gamers are unemployed mooches, or work super nerdy jobs - Not true. I'm employed full-time in a strategy / consulting role at a major IT hardware company. Definitely a niche role but not nerdy

3. Gamers are hermits who minimize interaction with society - Not true. I travel frequently and socialize with fellow travellers. While I am selective about whom I spend my personal time with, I'm not a hermit by any stretch of imagination

4. Gamers are all super nerdy / geeky - If by nerdy / geeky, one means having an interest in learning new things and being curious, then yes. But I don't lack any social skills and am very comfortable in corporate and social settings as well.

5. Gamers contribute nothing to society - Not true. My average monthly income tax is greater than the average per capita monthly income in the country as of 2013. I occasionally teach on weekends and my annual donations to charities of my choice are also in the hundreds of dollars.

6. Gamers love / hate "classics" such as Monopoly, Scrabble etc. - Partially true. I am neutral about Monopoly (although at one point of time, it was my favourite game) and am a Scrabble fan. Other classics such as Settlers of Catan are on my "wont play" list.

7. Gamers do not understand anything about sports - Untrue. I follow tennis.

8. Gamers have poor personal hygiene - Absolute tosh. 

9. Gamers take games too seriously - if "seriously" is playing to win, then yes. But at the end of the day, it is a game, so victory and defeat are fleeting. Just like in life, at the end of the game, the king and the pawn go back into the same box.

10. Gamers are men - Well, I'm a man, so I suppose that applies. However, I've met plenty of women who are gamers. In fact, the gaming club at which I got introduced to modern board gaming was founded by a woman.

11. Gamers want women in games to be sexualised - Eh, what? Definitely untrue.