Gamers have always kind of been snobs, don’t deny it, we all know it’s true. The sense of competitiveness that drives gamers to compete for that top score on the leaderboard also breeds a sense of entitlement in those of us who perform well at games. Or even those of us who perform well enough to complete games. Or those of us who perform well enough to play chunks of games before getting to a point where we get ‘bored’ with it (usually around a really hard boss).
The latest show of snobbery is the all-round gamer. These days ‘real hardcore’ gamers are seen as those who can headshot in COD, slay some dragons in RPGs, and kick some ass at casual games. It’s gotten to the point where those who specialise are looked down on, shooter- and racing-specialists are the brainless jocks (of the gaming world, not of real life), RPG-specialists are the nerds, and casual-specialists are just plain special. I am kidding, I love you guys, most of the time I am you guys.
Just as an example, I work at EB Games in Top Ryde (I’m the only girl there, if you happen to live around Top Ryde come give me a visit, say you read Capsule Computers and I’ll give you a 20% discount! Cos I’m a whore for attention). The day after Skyrim broke street date I had a regular customer come in, one of those GTA/COD/NFS people and bring a copy of Skyrim up to the counter without any input from a salesperson. I didn’t think much of it beyond ‘hey, look at you and your multifaceted personality’. Then he asked if it was like Fallout. The fact that he didn’t know the basic gist of the game was sort of worrying, but I gave him the benefit of the doubt, thinking that the magic of Elder Scrolls would wow him. He returned the game a few short hours later.
I am not at all judging him for not liking the game, Skyrim is kind of a giant life investment where you either want to make tiny game-addicted babies with it, or are bored by it. The fact that he fell into the second category is not his fault. The gaming industry is hugely varied for this reason, to cater to a variety of tastes. What bothers me is that he felt inclined to buy it anyway. Now, this might have been because he just wanted something to pass the time between COD matches, I don’t know, but I think it was because these days gamers are expected to play everything if they’re beyond the age of around 16 or 17.
Suddenly just blowing stuff up, or racing, or slapping hookers with a dildo-bat isn’t cool enough. Now you have to log countless hours on Skyrim, or be playing the latest iOS/Android game, or be willing to make an ass of yourself playing a motion-controlled game (and also win at it).
Now, for those of you well rounded enough to pull that off, then kudos. You win all the awards. But for the rest of you who like your certain types of games, it’s okay. You can like those games; you don’t have to branch out. After all, gaming is meant to be fun not a way to better yourself. So put back that copy of Skyrim, go back home, and jump on a COD server. I won’t judge you.