Friday, 3 August 2012

Gaming should Never Ever be cool and gamers shouldn't try to make it so.

People generally like being accepted and invited to cool parties, well I do anyway, so when I'm interacting with the general population I try my utmost not to come across as a dribbling idiot with nothing to talk about except obscure Gamecube RPGs and how there just aren't enough good co-op campaigns out there. I have people I can talk to about these things and they have me to talk to about these things in return and although people outside of this circle of trust are aware that we like our games, they literally have no fucking idea how deep the rabbit hole goes. In addition to what a gamer's party might look like and gaming marathons, there are just the endlessly unexplainable and socially inexcusable in-joke curios that come from down the gamer's pit of madness. I won't even try to explain why re-imagining Dracula from Castlevania: Symphony of the Night as a posh crab makes me vomit with laughter every time I think about it, but it does.

"Die Lobster! You don't belong in this world!"
See? Absolute Grade-A Bullshit which I shouldn't bring out on a tray in general conversation. I still stand by a previous article that states that geek culture has permeated society in a huge way in that it's a lot more socially acceptable to own a games console, go see a superhero movie or just be into science than it has ever been in recent years but I must place the emphasis on the word 'acceptable' here. When I say that 'acceptable' I mean it in the sense that having a valid train ticket on a train is acceptable. It's just something that doesn't register as an immediate faux pas which is as much slack given by the world as I could ever hope for. Being an avid gamer is not something that should ever get you on the guestlist for London's hottest nightspots nor should it get you a few seconds of screen time for being in the audience at the Olympic games.

Because why the hell would you want to be at London's hottest nightspots for crying out loud?
I might be preaching to the choir here given that you're reading this gaming blog but there are offenders out there trying to transform the status of gamership from something to be ashamed of (the way it should be) into something to be ashamed of not being, which is just plain wrong. The TV Show Spaced had it right by associating gaming humour with social dysfunction and general malaise. Admit it, Simon Pegg loses cool points whenever he does a movie which isn't laced with obscure references to gaming or other nerdy things. Is How to Lose Friends and Alienate People in your top 3 Simon Pegg movies? Didn't think so. We move onto sitcom Big Bang Theory which still sticks to its guns and firmly conveys that being an avid gamer is something to be tolerated and not celebrated by the general populace. The downside is that it mocks the main characters for this which from my point of view is like mocking someone with a genetic disability. Just plain cold hearted.

The fact that the Sheldon Cooper character gets a girlfriend is meant to be a joke. Sick humour.

It gets worse as we pass to a Kickstarter project called VGHS (Video Game High School) in which top gamers attend a Hogwarts style gaming academy to hone their skills, where society applauds the top players like celebrities and the weaker/casual/non gamers are treated like so much useless trash. Oh and as a final kick in the gut this whole "gaming=cool" logic applies mostly to FPS games which means the COD crowd get all the babes/hunks whilst the Dragon Age fans still get to cry themselves to sleep. This world would be a hell for us all.

The worst offender probably has to be Blizzard's World of Warcraft adverts featuring Mr. T, Ozzy Osborne and Chuck Norris proclaiming that immersing yourself in the MMORPG world of WoW is something to be proud of. In no world of mine does sinking your finances and time into a fantasy world align with the emotions evoked by rock and roll, moviestars or even an ironic pastiche sense of reverential cool. Let me say this: I don't play Hexic to get SWAG, I don't write this blog so people will high five me at the roller disco and Ben and I do not record Timeshitters videos for glory. We do it because we can't help ourselves and need serious medical attention. Seriously, somebody call the emergency services. Help.      

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