“Soon gamers will be the anomaly. If we’re very fortunate, they’ll disappear altogether. Instead we’ll just find people, ordinary people of all sorts. And sometimes those people will play videogames. And it won’t be a big deal, at all.”
Bogost draws attention to the stigma that is currently associated with the word “gamer.” In some people’s eyes, the word “gamer” is closely related to “geek,” or “nerd.”
Consider the following rant on a blog by Jason Schreier that discusses the stigma associated with gaming:
“So why does the stigma still exist? Why does the title World of Warcraft evoke such an odd mixture of pity and disgust from your average non-gamer? Why are videogames considered a waste of time when it’s “productive” to watch movies or read books? Why are hardcore gamers treated so much differently than hardcore film geeks or sports nerds?”
It’s true. Movie aficionados, music lovers, sports fans, and wine connoisseurs receive no such criticism. Rather being picked apart for enjoying what they love, they just blend into the crowd.
However, with the popularity onset of the Wii and casual Facebook games, the video gamer stigma could soon disappear. Moms now stay in shape with the Wii Fit. Grandmothers can play a simple game of pinball on the big screen. Dads and grandfathers can hunt big game using a physical rifle. Toddlers can exercise with Just Dance Kids or play Elmo games. Yes, video games now target a much broader audience, and it’s becoming much more commonplace for people of all ages and interests to play them.
However, the media still “[condemns] and [demonizes]” video games, often citing video games for violence. Roger Ebert, popular movie critic, notes that video games cannot ever be art. Movies and television portray gamers as socially isolated. Media stereotypes belittle the progress that video game culture has made in society.
The “gamer” stigma will continue as long as the gamer stereotypes in the media are prevalent, regardless of how popular they become. As Bogost notes, “if we’re very fortunate, [gamers will] disappear altogether.”
via Bogost 3.