Superiority and ‘being cool’ in the gaming community

retrogaming

It’s 5:30 in the morning and I’ve had no sleep. So of course continuous rants and not-so-thought-through ideas obtain the ability to seep through my fingers and find a published spot for you guys to point and laugh at. I apologize ahead of time for lack of organization and gibberish leaks as my eyes start to painfully close.

When growing up, being a nerd or a geek was something for kids to make fun of on the playground. And with kids harboring the amazing ability of being extremely cruel, it was difficult for me to be myself around them. I was always shy and introverted growing up, but I always meshed well with people who were the complete opposite. Because of that, I was always associated with the “cool” crowd.

However things transformed into one massive nightmare when middle school came along. Everyone goes through their awkward stages in middle school, but I seemed to be overly awkward with my hand-me-down clothes and shy persona. My hair was frizzy and my skin wasn’t healthy. This was when poking fun turned into harsh ridicule. I remember one girl who was really into anime. At this point I wasn’t too familiar with it, but it seemed weird that people shunned her for liking it. Your interests and the way you looked really identified who you were in middle school which was unfortunate. I never could understand why people had to fit into certain groups.

Being an adult inside of the gaming community kind of mixes things up for me. Being a gamer, enjoying anime, embracing a “geek” culture is considered awesome now. Instead of being ridiculed, kids are being applauded, and while it’s incredible to see… it’s also introduced a bit of negativity inside of the community.

Groups have appeared and some of them can be amazingly nasty. Of course there is the immaturity that normally associates with video games. Games are normally connected with child’s play, right? But where did the entitlement come from? When did these particular classes develop?

Recently, there has been an awful lot of people advertising their love of retro gaming. Which is cool since I grew up playing a lot of those games. But what classifies a game or a console as “retro?” If I call a game retro and someone (normally someone older) disagrees with that statement, suddenly I lose all credibility. I become a child. I become insignificant. There seems to be this sudden cloud of superiority with gamers who openly relate with the “retro era.”

Not all of them are like this. It’s not a generalization, and honestly it’s a bit hypocritical of me to say considering I occasionally carry the same mindset. “Oh, you grew up with the PS One? How overly retro of you. I remember Zelda on the NES.” Suddenly that makes me cooler when in reality maybe it should depress me considering it only shows how old I am. The same goes for the ones who grew up with the Atari, etc.

When did gamers become so cool that they thought it would be fun to alienate other gamers for unimportant choices? One major focus is the battle between consoles. Enjoying a PlayStation automatically makes me a fanboy (err… fangirl) and an eternal enemy to Microsoft, but it doesn’t matter because PCmasterrace. Right? I suddenly feel like that insecure little girl who had to wear oversized hand-me-downs in middle school again… and that’s not cool.

It’s honestly really not that dramatic even despite the disappointment that accompanies it. People will always find a way to be the better person, but I think maybe I’m a little more sensitive to the discrimination because of my position as a writer. Do any other writers agree with this? Is this simply a ridiculous late night (or early morning) rant? Should I just shut up and go to sleep? Will I ever stop asking random questions?

Good night. Game on.

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4 thoughts on “Superiority and ‘being cool’ in the gaming community

  1. Pingback: Weekly Wrap-Up: Pacific Power Rangers | The Chindividual

  2. I consider retro to be anything other than the current gen console. That’s obviously broad but I think there are two kinds of gamers: the ones interested in the culture and growth of the industry and the ones who are simply interested in current trends, so it works pretty well for me. I find I usually discover a like minded retro gamer anytime the conversation turns away from where the industry is headed and more about the history of gaming. This means conversations about a ps2 game or Atari. It’s all the same imo. Soon I’ll be including the ps3 in my retro category! Lol

  3. I couldn’t agree with you more. It is “cool” to be a nerd and a gamer now, and sometimes it can feel like you need to prove your credentials to be accepted into that community. That type of elitism is annoying.

    Personally, I missed out on a low of superhero shows and movies when I was a kid, I didn’t read comic books, and I didn’t play video games. Even though I was a total bookworm, read lots of sci-fi, was obsessed with LOTR… nowadays I’m way behind when it comes to retro gaming. Maybe that makes me less “cool” in the gaming community, but at the end of the day, it should all come down to sharing and loving this hobby. I say the more the merrier.

  4. “Geek” culture is becoming mainstream, and therefore we need a system to establish a hierarchy of geekness. Standard social behavior. As for me, I grew up in the days of the NES, which makes me a cagey veteran in the geek world. But then I mention that I game on console, and suddenly the PC Gaming Master Race has to let me know all the ways that I am inferior.

    I actually related A LOT to the Borderlands 2 Quest “Fake Geek Guy” and actually empathized with the entire quest line. I saw myself on both sides of that quest, both from Lillith’s perspective and Mr. Torgue’s. Society just can’t change or adapt gracefully. The Alphas must be identified, and everyone else must aspire to them.

    SAY IT LOUD! I’M A BETA AND I’M PROUD!!!

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