This started as a comment on Belghast’s post… I apologize for how rough it is. I need to get to work so I’m just copying and pasting from his comment form!
Here’s what I wrote in response to him:
You might be interested in this post at Gamasutra:
Opinion: Let’s retire the word ‘gamer’
I find it interesting that this is suddenly a hot topic. Both of those articles talk about the negative connotations of the term.
Honestly I think the whole issue is kind of absurd (no offense intended..as I say I’m the lunatic fringe here and many people ARE discussing it). Do people who knit sit around pondering whether or not they should refer to themselves as knitters? Do runners? Gardeners? “I have a garden but it’s just a couple of tomato plants… should I really call myself a gardener?”
You should call yourself whatever you want to call yourself. Gamer is just a word that is a shorthand way to communicate that one of the many things that holds interest for you is playing games.
And your post even adds nuance.. hardcore gamer vs casual gamer vs tabletop gamer. So you can sub-categorize if you feel the need to.
Tam can identify as Game Designer sure, but that has nothing to do with whether or not Tam is a gamer. It’s like my referring to myself as a Brewer. Sure I brew beer but it’s entirely possible that i might brew the stuff but not drink it, so saying I’m a brewer has no relevance to whether or not I’m a beer drinker. Am I a beer drinker? I do enjoy a beer once in a while but I don’t drink a 6-pack of Bud every night, and Bud is the most popular brand (it’s the Call of Duty of American beer), so maybe I shouldn’t call myself a beer drinker.
But if someone asked me if I was a beer drinker and I said “No” I’d feel like I was being dishonest since I do drink beer. Same with games… I play games, therefor I am a gamer, among many, many other things.
LOL sorry for the tirade… those two Gamasutra articles really got me spun up yesterday and the effects are still lingering… I probably should post this to my own blog since it’s so long….