The games you play affect your cred, forsake Farmville and play XCOM instead.
The Gamer Code; Chapter 4, Verse 1
This is my absolute favourite rule about gaming. You’d think I would save it for last, but I just can’t wait anymore.
You’re only a gamer if you’ve played certain games. These games are so arbitrarily established as credible, and different for every gamer, that there is no point in trying to list any here.
Certain types of games are not respected, lately mobile games and social games are easy to pick on. I’ve even said that social games are not real games. I didn’t mean than anyone who plays them is not a real gamer, I meant, “Mom, for pity’s sake, QUIT sending me game invites over Facebook, and remind me to kill whoever showed them to you in the first place.” Social games are not my cup of tea. But they are games and they account for a lot of gamers. This is not too different from people who say MMOs are not real games. Or that the frustrating games that come out of QuanticDream are not real games.
Well then what is a real game?
As defined by a textbook I liberated from an Algonquin College Game Development graduate—yep, that dude I live with again—a game is "an activity that requires at least one player, has rules, [and] has a victory condition." It goes on to say that a video game is that, but on a video screen.
Pretty inclusive, right? It doesn’t say “any screen but a phone.” It doesn’t say it has to be popular or difficult or even good by anyone’s standard. It’s a game.
So I submit to you that anyone who is passionate about the games they play, whatever games they may play, is a gamer—my Mom is a gamer; she spends over an hour each morning playing Candy Crush Saga. She nearly lost her mind last fall when her hard drive fried. I went out and bought her a new computer for Christmas almost a month early because she actually couldn’t go a whole weekend, much less a month, without one. My Dad was a gamer—he played over a hundred games of Freecell, in order, and charted which games could be beaten.
I come by my passions honestly. I’m a gamer too.
Wren Guilmain is a gamer by just about any arbitrary definition. As a self-professed BioWare fangirl, Wren loves her RPGs and Action-Adventures. To her, games are the next evolution of storytelling: "It's like a book that's trying to kill me; I have to solve puzzles and stay alive to find out what happens."
Check Out These Links:
Dirty Rectangles - As they put it: "a collective of Ottawa based game designers and artists committed to the exploration of games as a medium of expression."
Penny Arcade - It's not just about video games anymore, but it's still worth exploring.
Joystiq - Where Wren goes for video game news.