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Subject: How Gamers Break the Mold, or 'Stereotypes Suck' rss

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Phil Christiansen
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So reading about some ignorant comments to an online article in a newspaper it occured to me just how bad of a fit I am for the standard gamer stereotype. I have always thought stereotypes in general are a silly thing, after all you are taking a set of averages and attempting to apply them to an individual. Doesn't often seem to work out well. So, here are a couple of my responses to some standard stereotypes. If anyone else wants to share a little of their story and how it relates, so much the better

1. Gamers are single and childless
I have recently been blessed with a wonderful girlfriend and two amazing and beautiful little girls who are rapidly becoming my world.

2. Gamers are unemployed mooches, or work super nerdy jobs
Eh, well I have two jobs. I fix appliances and haul them around by day and I work with a pyrotechnician who does major shows like new years, the 4th, etc.

3.Gamers are hermits who minimize interaction with society
I almost wish that one was true. See, after my ill spent youth and early adulthood I spent a significant chunk of time in prison for my interactions with society. Drugs, violence, you name it but I sure as heck was never a hermit. It did help me find boardgames though, since after my release as part of cleaning up my life I needed to find a hobby or two and felt videogames were too impersonal to play with my girl heh.

4. Gamers are all super nerdy/geeky
Sigh, its true! If by nerdy/geeky you mean comfortable with who I am and what I like then I am guilty! However, if you mean I have exclusively nerdy hobbies my love for modern firearms may disagree with you

5. Gamers contribute nothing to society
My contribution I am most proud of is my work with Narcotics Anonymous. Having reached several years of sobriety I find myself doing alot of mentoring to addicts still struggling with becoming and staying clean. I am even working on bringing NA meetings to the prisons.


Well, thats enough for now. May add more later is the mood strikes me. Really hope to hear some of your stories too

Edit: Thought of a couple more, maybe not as common but I get them alot.

6. Gamers love/hate the 'classics' like monopoly, scrabble, etc.
I have no particular opinion on them. I'd play them with my family if they wanted, my girlfriend likes clue for example, but I would probably suggest an alternative.

7. A gamer is a gamer is a gamer, if you play boardgames you like videogames and tabletop rpgs etc. too.
I used to be guilty of this, and once in a rare while I fire up a pc game, but thats about it. Time is precious enough that it must go to the best of the best.

8. Gamers do not understand anything about sports.
Answered below, but how about the rest of you?

9. Gamers have poor personal hygiene
I have a couple jobs, so not an option heh.

10. Gamers Take Games too seriously
An excellent addition! Personaly, if I'm not having fun I see no reason to play. I'm kinda uptight about keeping my games in good shape, but I'm like that about most things

Edit: These next two go really well together, but if you happen to be a female maybe answer 12 about men, or how you feel about scantily clad female character. It could be considered a stereotype that all female gamers hate that after all. Thanks for adding these guys!

11. Gamers are men
Erm, well guilty of this one. But my girlfriend is easily my gaming equal, and most definately a girl heh. We played a bunch of games of Netrunner last night

12. Gamers want women in games to be sexualised
Honestly I don't tend to notice either way. I play Descent 2 with my girlfriend, and run 3 characters two of whom are female and as far as I recall not terribly sexual. Good solid characters though

P.S. If you guys think of any others feel free to post them, I'd be happy to add them! Thanks for the contributions so far!
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Hey now, that list sounds a lot more like Video Gamers to me. whistle
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Chris
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It's all true! Just don't tell my wife, okay?

merry

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Dan Vore
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Gamer do not understand anything about sports. - I get this often. Even while wearing one of my many sports jerseys. Nothing is more important than College Football season.
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Phil Christiansen
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chang1701 wrote:
Gamer do not understand anything about sports. - I get this often. Even while wearing one of my many sports jerseys. Nothing is more important than College Football season.


D'oh, ok there is one I'm guilty of heh. All I know about sports I learned from anime
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David Larkin
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Gamers have poor personal hygiene
Luckily I have rarely found this to be true
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Simon Lundström
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1. Gamers are single and childless

Half-guilty. I'm single, and has always been, except for a short period of time, during which I fathered a child. Single since she was 1, though.

2. Gamers are unemployed mooches, or work super nerdy jobs
I guess I'm fully guilty there. I'm half unemployed, and the other half is translating comic books and/or helping out with board games. And doing other nerdy things.

3.Gamers are hermits who minimize interaction with society
Not guilty. At least, it's not intentional. I meet with friends, but working from home, and being single, I end up meeting a LOT less people than I should. And I rarely meet new people, which quite probably is the very reason I'm single.

4. Gamers are all super nerdy/geeky
Guilty. I have a collection of 3,000+ comic books, 700+ LD/DVD with animation and 300+ board games. Quite super nerdy..

5. Gamers contribute nothing to society
Not guilty. I work with games and translation of them and playing games and being entertained is a large part of society.
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Alexander Mercer
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1. Gamers are single and childless
I am engaged and have two children (6 & 3, if anyone's curious)

2. Gamers are unemployed mooches, or work super nerdy jobs
I work for local government IT, I'd hardly call it super-nerdy, but's in the general direction.

3.Gamers are hermits who minimize interaction with society
I fit this one., I'm quiet, I don't enjoy pubs and clubs, I do have a circle of friends and family that I enjoy spending time with. I'm not a hermit, but I'm certainly not outgoing.

4. Gamers are all super nerdy/geeky
Yes, Boardgames, video games, RPG's, Comics, Computers - all things that enjoy.

5. Gamers contribute nothing to society
I work in local government, I haven't had a payrise for over three years. I give a fair amount to carefully chosen charities. I occasionally protest over things that I feel important.
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Phil Christiansen
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Holy crap, you sir are exactly what I was talking about. Thats amazing, helicopters and submarines?? Is there anything you can't pilot? Also, thanks for everything you are doing for our country!
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Clinton Coddington
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SomewhatDamaged wrote:

5. Gamers contribute nothing to society
My contribution I am most proud of is my work with Narcotics Anonymous. Having reached several years of sobriety I find myself doing alot of mentoring to addicts still struggling with becoming and staying clean. I am even working on bringing NA meetings to the prisons.


I just want to say Thank You for your work with NA, in March I celebrate my one year sobriety after a very long and crippling addiction to heroin.
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Phil Christiansen
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Congratulations on 10 months, thats awesome! The best thing I can say is that it really does get easier. I spent over a decade on the same drug, and now I can't even think of a reason it ever seemed appealing. One day at a time man
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Original Dibbler
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1. Gamers are single and childless
Getting married this August but I suppose I will stay childless for a few more years.

2. Gamers are unemployed mooches, or work super nerdy jobs
Partly guilty since I suppose chemistry is considered a nerdy field.

3.Gamers are hermits who minimize interaction with society
Neither an hermit nor the other extrem.

4. Gamers are all super nerdy/geeky
Well, ince geeky means that you care a lot about a topic and try to learn more and more about it (Yes, you can be a ballet geek or a firearm geek like the OP.) I am guilty as charged. I would consider myself (among others) a boardgame geek.

5. Gamers contribute nothing to society
Is having a job and paying taxes a contribution to society? Of course it is. But that's not the only thing I do...
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Nathan
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1. Gamers are single and childless
I have been married for a year and a half, so this one is only half true. I do intend to raise a game club of my own though, (and I have the partner to do it with!) so I really do not feel like this one applies to me.

2. Gamers are unemployed mooches, or work super nerdy jobs
Lawyer, so not really. I am not permanently employed right now so occasionally I do mooch off my wife who does have a job.

3.Gamers are hermits who minimize interaction with society
Definitely not a hermit, I have to meet people to play board games with them.

4. Gamers are all super nerdy/geeky
2,000 Star Wars miniatures, couple of shelves full of comics, several bookcases of dvds and a bookcase of games. I might count as nerdy. But hey, nerd is the new cool, right?

5. Gamers contribute nothing to society
I help people through my job (or at least I did and will do again once I get permanent work), I spend hours volunteering for my church, I try and be polite to people I meet in daily life. And I avoid farting in crowded lifts. So yeah, I think I contribute.
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Eric Matthews
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#1 is not a real board gamer stereotype, it is a video gamer one. I think the adult board gamer stereotype is an overweight, bearded, married, straight guy with a couple of kids.

However I think many married board gamers hold on to the idea of the #1 stereotype because they "escaped" the very real stereotype of the awkward with girls stereotype of d&d playing teenage guy gamers from the 80's and 90's.

Of course this could be regional. I live in an urban East Coast area, and I do think the stereotypes vary through the US.

E
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Cheryll Gerk
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Well, I am a very nerdy software developer, who has social anxiety. The only thing that makes me slightly non-stereotypic is that I'm female.
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Phil Christiansen
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Sakuko wrote:
Well, I am a very nerdy software developer, who has social anxiety. The only thing that makes me slightly non-stereotypic is that I'm female.


Well let me clarify something, I don't think people who fit a few stereotypes suck, I think the idea that you can know one thing about someone and from there figure you know the rest sucks. Thanks for sharing
 
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Cheryll Gerk
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I didn't think you where implying that. I actually don't even think I'd seem all that stereotypic if you'd know me in real life. I just happen to fit your list very well.

But then again, there has to be something to balance out the fact that I break about ever female stereotype ever thought of.
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Jon
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Well...I'd consider myself a lifelong gamer and I'd have to admit, at some point in my life I fit every stereotype on that list. I'd venture a guess that if you survey a room full of gamers, every bullet would be confirmed as well. Same thing goes for any section in a football stadium too (including, I'd bet, the one about knowing nothing about sports).

Fortunately, most only express one or two aspects of such broad stereotypes at any one time.
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Gale Shafer
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1. Gamers are single and childless
I have an amazing girlfriend I have been with for years and we have a set of twins together.

2. Gamers are unemployed mooches, or work super nerdy jobs
I've been a software engineer for nearly 5 years; but really it's not that nerdy.

3.Gamers are hermits who minimize interaction with society
Have Date Nights, Game Nights, Family Nights, Movie Nights, meet up with old fraternity brothers, and occasionally hit the bars with friends. I'd give anything to sit at home all day. lol

4. Gamers are all super nerdy/geeky
I'm smart and like things considered nerdy, but I had brothers in my fraternity that were All-State Football champs and play wow in 12 hour sessions. So who can really judge a "nerd"?

5. Gamers contribute nothing to society
Nothing as great as overcoming addiction and helping other (major kudos btw I've seen my cousin go through the struggles and has yet to persevere) but I donate a decent portion of my salary to local educational foundations, participate in toys for tots every year, and am a generally chivalrous and philanthropic person.

6. Gamers love/hate the 'classics' like monopoly, scrabble, etc.
I enjoy Risk which is a bit heavier and am always up to play any board game, Candy Land is actually my latest acquisition to my collection.

7. A gamer is a gamer is a gamer, if you play boardgames you like videogames and tabletop rpgs etc. too.
I play Video Games during my kids' naps, there isn't much time to set up and play most solitaire board games. I did have a professor in college who was really into Shadowrun RPG but absolutely hated computers; so I could assume he is the exception?

8. Gamers do not understand anything about sports.
I have played Soccer since I was 5 up until college for scholarship, played football, ran cross country, ran track, watch my brother in law play high school hockey every wednesday, and have been a Bears fan since I knew what football was.

9. Gamers have poor personal hygiene
If I don't shower my girlfriend literally calls me names like stinky and pit boy until I take a shower...

10. Gamers Take Games too seriously
I hear this a lot, often in different forms but generally the same concept. I don't take games seriously at all really. I lose a lot and am rather used to it, and I let the rules bend in most cases (such as when someone wants to take a move back) I have a friend that joins our game night every once in a while that will flip the board if he gets mad enough, and he doesn't play many games.

I feel that stereotypes are hit and miss; in my college days I was the stereotypical "frat" guy, but that's because its a lot of things that put you in the group and nothing that excludes you. Nice list though, I'd like to see what others have to add.
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Jon
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To answer the points more specifically:
1: Avatar and badges should answer that, but I gamed before too.

2: Maybe 20 years of that, but I fully expect to support my unemployed mooches for a while too, with money earned from my super nerdy job. Also, with both video games and board games costing basically $50 a pop, there'd better be some paid productivity.

3: this one is a bit contradictory. That's who I am at heart, but most games require social interaction and gaming has inspired me to host parties and I even registered for a con (haven't gone yet...we'll see)

4: there are lots of types of nerds. I'm called a nerd all the time, but the same people also have said they hope their kids turn out like me.

5: This depends on perspective. Even posting this reply is a contribution to society, while donating ones life savings to some charities could be seen as detrimental depending on some's belief systems.

6: Basically true for me, but that's probably because that's all I had to choose from for so long.

7: True for me.

8: Also true for me from the eyes of most, but there are a lot of sports and being good at one paid my way through college.

9: give me a new video-game and a "meekend" (I take two long weekends off per year with nobody in the house, and completely let go) and yeah, that's me too. I have to clean up to go back to the world, though.

EDIT: to the person above--we were typing at the same time...please don't take my conceptual charity comment as a response to your point.


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Christopher Dickinson
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When I was a wee bit younger I may have been many of the things the stereotype describes. Some of that was just related to circumstance though.

Geek - Absolutely (kinda still am and love it)

I moved to an area, when I was 16, that I hated. So I either stayed in doors, or spent nights as mates houses on the other side of town. This lead to being considered a nerd because, as far as my family were concerned, all I did was play games - which was true. I, in my wisdom, thought that was preferable to my Brother and Sisters approach to life of hanging out in the park, whatever the weather, getting stoned and / or drunk.

I looked like a nerd too... spotty (teenage boy), big glassed (oddly fashionable now) and crappy clothes. I couldn't afford to do much about that at the time. I was also small for my age. So often I appeared the easy target to pick on, but generally had a short fuse and would lash out and pay for the consequence (on the plus side it made me some good non 'nerd' friends who had my back and also made it clear there were easier targets than me).

Sport, through school and college I played football (soccer) and basketball and was a decent long distance runner.

Move on 20 years.

I have been with my now wife for 18 years. Spent 18 months working in Sweden and have a bloody good job working for a major international Telecomms GIANT! Yes, I have been a programmer of sorts (that was accidental as I just happened to be good at it) and now I am an Analyst of sorts, managing billions of pounds of financial data.

Once I started working I was massively in Paintball (nerd apparently) and also took up Squash, Badminton, Softball and both 11 and 5 a-side football, At 39 I still play Football, Badminton and Squash.

Am I a nerd, yes. At least according to my family.

What makes me a nerd / geek? I am exceptional at maths and love reading, and I put my all into everything I do. I love gaming of all kinds.

That's why people think I am a nerd.

When I speak to 'non nerd' friends about football, they know all the stats, history, players, etc. but they don't consider that nerdy at all, apparently that is cool. In my mind, anyone who indulges a passion regardless of the passion, to extreme levels has to be a nerd. It doesn't matter if that is figure painting, fitness, firearms... they all count.

Me, I don't care what people call me. At the very least, the path I took in life gave me the most important thing I need. Choice.

Edit: I do have facial hair.
 
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Gale Shafer
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hgoed wrote:
To answer the points more specifically:
...

5: This depends on perspective. Even posting this reply is a contribution to society, while donating ones life savings to some charities could be seen as detrimental depending on some's belief systems.

...

EDIT: to the person above--we were typing at the same time...please don't take my conceptual charity comment as a response to your point.


No offense taken, everyone has their own opinions and you weren't necessarily offending mine. I donate the excess of my budget to a charity that does amazing work in my area helping less fortunate children take advantage of the education that is presented to them; something I feel is very important in exchange for money I don't necessarily need.

Toys for Tots is something my fraternity got me into in college and it stuck.
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Trent Copp
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Something I've always liked alot more about boardgamers compared to videogamers is that I find there is more social wherewithall involved and expected. I find online gaming too often barbaric, and alot of my chat with strangers turns out to be racist, sexist, and all around offensive (I spent some time playing Company of Heroes online. Great game, but for the gamers...). In boardgaming, the social aspect is key, and there is none of the internet's anonymity to hide behind.
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11. Gamers are men.

My name is Katherine. 'Nuff said. I was a high school cheerleader and wouldn't fit the "stereotypes" in any way, I am sure. But I do love games and embrace my inner geek!
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Liam (Away/AFK)
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Gamers want women in games to be sexualised.

What the hell industry stop doing that!
I don't want or need to see unnecessary cleavage or skimpy outfits on the female charters - If your game includes such crap I'm less likely to buy it.
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