Saturday, 19 May 2012

Life: Is the Tabletop-Gamer Stereotype Dead?

A derogatory and often common view of war-gamers is that they are ill kept basement dwellers: devoid of showers, female contact and direct sunlight. The kind of person who gets all sweaty and excited at the idea of a new 40k edition, Star Trek movie or new magic cards.

Honestly, who still believes this rubbish?

Stereotypes, thankfully, appear to be a dying breed. Sure, there are many narrow minded people who still adhere to these labels, but the number of people matching them is on the decline, and here's my thoughts on why this is, as well as some key factors of the gamer-nerd image which don't seem to add up today.

1) "war gamers are smelly creatures"

Sadly, this does apply in small, isolated groups. I still recall the chewable odour of a local gaming group where I am at university. Thankfully, this was only one group, and my previous group (and current when I have downtime) has at least a standard level of cleanliness. The manager of the store even insists customers keep a standard: recalling the time he sent out someone until they bought deodorant.

A fair point, as no matter where you go in life, people shouldn't have to hold back gagging near you. I never seem to find myself choking on a nauseating funk, which is a good sign for the progress of tabletop gamers

2) "gamers never get the girl"
Royalty-free Image: Couple playfully piggybacking through field
Often people think the nerdy types are hopeless with the opposite sex: they might clam up when even standing near one, or would prefer to finish off their 6000pt Skaven army list. Truth is, a number of gamers I know have girlfriends, partners, even fiancĂ©es and wives. Some gamers are even the wives or partners, defeating the notion that gamer geeks are male exclusive.

3) "gamers have no lives"

This seems an unusual one set in the public mind. People might think that gamers live in their mother's basement, living off takeaway pizzas and Dorrito Crumbs. This is also a silly notion. A number of gamers are fairly ordinary. They go out drinking, play sports, and have very nice jobs. Sure, some gamers play far too much WOW or have seen all episodes of Stargate SG1, but most also live in the real world of mortgages, driving and social interaction.


(some images from Getty Images)

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