The End of the “Gamer”

The notion that the “gamer” identity is ending is one Ian Bogost draws upon in his How to Do Things with Videogames (2011), and Patrick Jagoda gestures toward it in his work as well. Luke Plunkett has an article at Kotaku, “We Might Be Witnessing the ‘Death of an Identity,'” where he also draws our attention to Dan Golding’s “The End of Gamers” and Leigh Alexander’s “‘Gamers’ Don’t Have to Be Your Audience. ‘Gamers’ Are Over.”

What do y’all think? Have we moved past the age of the gamer?

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About Bradley J. Fest

Bradley J. Fest lives and teaches in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He has published a number of scholarly essays on contemporary literature and culture, and is the author of a volume of poetry, The Rocking Chair (Blue Sketch, 2015). He blogs regularly at The Hyperarchival Parallax.
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3 Responses to The End of the “Gamer”

  1. Pingback: Friendly Reminder | Narrative and Technology Fall 2014

  2. tanuvein says:

    I do think the age of the gamer is at an end, if it ever existed in the first place. Much like “The End of Gamers” says, there seems to be a greater and greater diversification of the game-playing demographic. Part of what, I think, caused the original “gamer” identity rested mostly in the exclusivity of the activity. Gaming, being technologically based, already rejected the majority of people who had minimal exposure to the growing technological world, and further the activity was mostly limited to people who had an abundance of free time to be attracted to less tried and true forms of entertainment. Certainly, you still have your enthusiast that spend more time gaming than anything, but now most people are intimately familiar with the sort of technological muscle-memory that makes gaming intuitive to most of us. To match this greater ease of access, there is simply greater market variety to reach every possible audience. Video games, it seems, have just become another form of media to be consumed at convenience and not an identifying activity more exclusive games, such as say table top roleplaying or miniature wargames, remain.

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  3. Junglist says:

    I definitely think of myself as a gamer. It is something I grew up with, something I do almost every day, and something I plan on making a career out of. I feel both disappointed and enthusiastic that games are becoming more of a mainstream form of media. I’m disappointed because those of us that grew up in the late 80s and early 90s feel like games “belong” to us, but I am happy that video games are beginning to be recognized as an art form.

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