Scott Hardie | July 7, 2002
This got mentioned in an entry from a few hours ago, but I'm giving it an entry all its own: In your opinion, does "gamer" mean a person who plays video games (XBox, PS2, Gamecube), a person who plays computer games, or a person who plays pen-and-pencil role-playing games?

Personally, I have always (and will always) taken it to mean role-playing games, for the almost ten years now that I've been playing RPGs. A "gamer" is a person who plays RPGs, plain and simple, and "gaming" is the practice of playing RPGs. You know why we need that term? Because we depend on a community for our playing. We have to be able to contact one another to get games going, because by the nature of RPGs, we need each other in order to play them. Consider my current situation in Tampa, trying to find other players, if you don't believe me. So we need to have a term by which we can refer to ourselves in shorthand. "Gamer" is better than "role-playing gamer."

By contrast, video game players need no such term. There's almost no community for players of XBox, PS2, and Gamecube, and they certainly don't need a term by which to quickly refer to themselves. As for PC game players, they do have a community (though they depend on it less than RPG players), but they at least have the option of calling themselves "PC gamers." It's close, and it reserves "gamers" for the crowd that had the term first.

I'm taking this too seriously, I know, but I don't like the theft (intentional or accidental) of a word that is important to the RPG community, especially when it's going to something that I don't like, which is PC gaming. I know that not everybody agrees with me, so weigh in on the matter if you like.

Lori Lancaster | July 7, 2002
[hidden by request]

Erik Nelson | July 7, 2002
"There's almost no community for players of XBox, PS2, and Gamecube" of the most (paid) subscribed to web sites on the internet

Scott Hardie | July 7, 2002
Lori - Easy to write, awkward to say. But I can't say I don't like it.

Erik - So? Two sites I visit frequently, (free) and (paid) both have large communities. But the discourse rarely rises above the level of "this game rules" or "this game sucks." Is IGN different?

Scott Hardie | July 7, 2002
And trading Gameshark codes is not discourse. :-)

Kelly Lee | July 8, 2002
Who the hell cares?

One note though, I once told a girl at college that scott and I are role-players, and she thought I meant in bed. So don't say your a role-player, unless you are.

Matthew Preston | July 8, 2002
No wonder my parents give me angry and quizical looks when I say that!

Scott Hardie | July 8, 2002
I give up. I think Kelly's first statement put it best.

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