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A Bad Rap for Gamers?

Why are gamers considered nerds?

By Troy Roberts     July 14, 2002

© 2001 Microsoft

Why is it that video gamers have a bad rap? What I mean is that people who play video games are sometimes considered to be nerds. I kind of take offense to that.

In the early 90's, to be a video gamer was to be a nerd, a dork, an outcast of society. While that was hardly the case, it was the stereotype that people had for all people who played and enjoyed video games. Lately, though, video gaming has become a huge part of today's society, and most males from the ages of 9-24 play games. But there is still this unshakable image of the people who play video games: a person with 6 inch glasses, taped in the middle, who sits in his room in the dark all day, looking at either pornography or just staring at a television.

I'm sure many of you out there consider me to be a dork or something, right? I mean, I write about video games for a living, and I do play games a lot. But I also enjoy lifting weights, jogging, playing softball, paintball, and football. I played baseball all four years I was in high school, and still consider myself to be athletic. I have a pretty active social life, go to parties, and enjoy life to its fullest. Almost every person I know plays video games, and I will vouch for them that hardly any of them are nerds. But the best thing about video games is that they truly are a form of socializing, not just something loners do. I know at some parties I go to, there will be a video game system there, and sooner or later, everyone will crowd the system (even the drunk ones, or people who have never played a game before in their life).

Playing video games, in my opinion, is like any other form of entertainment out there. But I also believe it requires more imagination than most forms. With a movie, you go in, watch it, have no control over what happens, and enjoy it. Almost everyone watches films. With video games, you get to control what the character does, control his actions, control who he speaks to...it's basically an interactive movie. What's so nerdy about that? All video games require is a sense of imagination and the ability to have fun and put yourself in someone else's shoes for a while.

I know I'm griping a lot, but I just get sick and tired of hearing the same old stereotype for any person who plays video games. Gamers are normal people, most with active social lives. So, here's hoping everyone can get over that mental image of all gamers.


HALO has been announced for the PC, and it will be arriving in stores next summer...Kotobuki System announced that it plans to release an MP3 player for the Game Boy Advance this October in Japan...Sonic Team announced the delay of PHANTASY STAR ONLINE for the GameCube in Japan...


Well, the biggest thing released lately is WARCRAFT III. You probably read my review of it yesterday, and I'm ecstatic about it. Also noting, OPERATION FLASHPOINT: RESISTANCE comes out this week for the PC, and also BRUCE LEE: QUEST OF THE DRAGON for the Xbox is out.

Gamers' Thumb is our weekly Videogame column.

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