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  1. #1
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    "Fake gamers"

    I saw a discussion about this earlier today and I think it's an interesting topic. I'm not sure it was ever really discussed on here beforehand.

    I think that the topic of "gatekeeping" has become a popular one in recent years and I have mixed feelings. I'd like to discuss that before the main topic. If you don't know what gatekeeping is, it's the act of having a criteria to be part of a particular interest, hobby, fandom, et cetera. You see this quite a lot in certain communities. It can scare newcomers away in many cases. In general I don't like gatekeeping and it is something I try to avoid doing. For instance I always welcome people new to Outlaw Star, regardless of their experience with the show. However, I have to admit that there have been times when I've been given certain vibes. Outlaw Star fans are Outlaw Star fans.

    If you like the show I think you can freely call yourself a fan and that goes for most things. I've encountered an "ultimate Outlaw Star fan" (something along those lines) who doesn't know a lot of the common trivia. So in cases like that I can kind of understand the perspective of actual gatekeepers out there who act on those feelings. Collecting any amount of merchandise doesn't make you a big fan of something too. Like how owning hundreds of those Pop Vinyls doesn't automatically make you a geek or whatnot.

    Gaming as a hobby can be ambiguous here. The general consensus is that there are lots of "gamer girls" who are fake. I don't think that's entirely correct but there is some truth to it. My first experience seeing "fake gamers" was probably as a boy seeing gaming TV shows. You often saw hosts of these shows clearly not knowing that much about games. They were hired for the role because they're experienced personalities. They were usually male. There's also game journalism. I'm sure most of us know about the journalists who have put zero time into games or even stolen other people's work. Journalists like that shouldn't really call themselves gamers. Some of you may know of Dean Takahashi. He is probably the most unskilled person I've ever seen playing games. Two of his worst were Cuphead and Doom Eternal. However, I don't think that disqualifies him from being a gamer. Being absolutely terrible at something doesn't mean you never try hard or have any passion for it. It's hard to tell with Dean.

    The gamer girls are the usual focus of this topic. I have first-hand experience here. One of my ex-girlfriends to my knowledge hadn't played a large amount of games before she met me. I know she really liked The Sims but that was about all. Her main passion was music. However, she loved watching me play Oblivion. She started playing it herself and racked up an impressive number of hours. She started playing Fallout too and got involved in both communities. Not only that, she went on to study video game art at university and now works in the industry. I'd probably call her just as much of a gamer as me, perhaps even more. She is absolutely a "gamer girl" but does not give herself that label. She had no need to. She's a gamer, simple as that. A different girlfriend was a bit of an attention seeker. She wanted to impress me in different ways but also follow trends in general. Despite having little video game knowledge she used to say she loved "old-school Nintendo" and bought some keyrings and badges. She was an emo.

    Basically her theme song... 2006 was a strange time

    I think that's the difference when it comes to women. When men are "fake gamers" it usually has something to do with their livelihood. That goes for women too when they're Twitch streamers whose game playthroughs are financially motivated, cleavage and e-begging included. Then you have Anita Sarkeesian who confessed to never playing video games but is still often fighting for relevancy to this day. All politics, no passion for gaming. I don't really like using the term "fake gamers" but there isn't much else to describe these people. I think there are many "real girl gamers", but I believe they have quite harshly got the short end of the stick because of the stereotypes created by those who are more interested in a label, a perception or money than the actual hobby. Guys are at fault too. Be it horny teenagers or simps, they are not helping this matter.

    "Fake gamers"-tquj8m7-png

    It was a bit long but that's my take. Do you have experience with this? Do you think that everybody should be able to call themselves gamers or is thinking otherwise just silly gatekeeping? I'd like to know your thoughts.

  2. #2
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    17th January 2021 07:41 PM
    I never called myself a "gamer girl". I always thought that was cringy. I grew up playing video games though. I played on all Nintendo consoles (outside of the Switch), played on PS2 and PS3, Xbox and Xbo360, and the odds and ends late 80's/early 90's consoles. I grew up with two brothers, one of which is 13 years older than me who was very invested in video games growing up. I guess this is why I got into them. I wasn't among many girls who played though. I think if you grow up playing them, you are way more likely to play them as an adult. Some women just see it as an excuse to make money when they are in their early 20's. I have heard of some having their boyfriends play and they pretend to play on videos. I can't remember the girl's name but someone on YouTube with glasses and dark brown hair did this with her boyfriend/husband and got away with it because she was attractive enough. Clearly using her boobs, butt, and general looks to get views.

    I think there are people, mainly women, who pretend to like games because they know guys that are invested into that industry are more likely to worship them if they are attractive. It is weird. I always thought this was a strange thing. I got made fun of growing up for liking video games and anime and now grown women pretend to like it and get money thrown at them.

  3. #3
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    "Fake gamers"-gamergirl-jpg

    I think this is really tough to quantify if we use the terms "real" and "fake". By definition, any grandma who has loaded up Candy Crush on her phone ONCE is a gamer, and beyond that it just gets too subjective to analyze at all. Perhaps we should use "casual" and "hardcore" or even "serious"? It's still subjective, but you can immediately define a lot more people this way. What makes someone a gamer anyway, is it the amount of time spent? Genre? Skill-level? Is gaming their primary hobby? # of games owned? It's really a mix of all of them, isn't it?

    You see this topic raised a lot between female and male gamers (which I will get into) but I'll quickly add in the anecdote that I did encounter a lot of casual male gamers in college who claimed "gamer" status. A lot of these guys were into sports (both playing and watching/gambling) and when we hung out together video games would always come up as my hobby. They'd get excited and either tell me about their Fantasy Football league (NOT a video game, imo) or Clash of Clans on their phone. I'm stuck in the past on a lot of topics, but to this day I don't consider mobile gaming to be "real". I'm still of the belief that gaming needs to occur on a dedicated device (a console) or a PC. Gaming on a mobile device is for plebs & is the equivalent of doing a crossword puzzle in a doctor's office waiting room. It's just a mildly-interactive timewaster, but I digress.

    I wanted to share that anecdote about casual male gamers before diving into what the posts above quickly turned into: male gamers vs female gamers. That wasn't even the thread theme, but somehow discussions of this nature always wind up there so we may as well dig in. This is one of those times where I'm happy that OSN is a niche site because despite being an Admin & Mod I can share my opinions on something like this

    I think that the fact this conversation comes up so often & women must routinely assert that they can play video games makes it clear that gaming isn't a hobby for women. Can women play video games? Absolutely! Do I welcome women to play with me and my friends? Yes! Every time they show interest! Are female and male gamers the same? 99.999999999% no.

    I've known a handful of girls who play games routinely & some of which were past girlfriends. Somehow, these games were always: the Sims, Animal Crossing, cat-related, Harvest Moon, Kingdom Hearts. If it WAS a competitive game, it would be the most recently released & most popular one like Call of Duty or League of Legends and they would be absolutely awful skill-wise. I'm not saying this to shit on women, I think it sheds light on something we've already discussed at length on these boards: men & women are different and there's nothing wrong with that. I'll use the same line as last time to say that there are 1000+ things that women are better than me at & I love them for it! Multi-tasking, emotional complexity, cooking, artistic vision, creativity, bust-size, uterus-related sports, I lose in ALL of these fields! Just wanted to make it clear that I don't think that one is better than the other overall.

    When girls play something that isn't Easy or casual in nature, it will be social 99% of the time. Most of them play games for different reasons than men do, it's more about socializing and garnering attention than the game itself. You can look at games of the same genre and see that the ones with an online/multiplayer component have a disproportionate female player-base. Take Dead by Daylight, for example. If that game was on PS2 15 years ago or hell even if it was single player on PS4 THIS YEAR my sister wouldn't have touched it. Because she can play with her friends, she had her (male) friends buy & build her a PC for her birthday and she plays it with them daily. Dead by Daylight consists of ~60% female players, by the way...it's fricking bizarre. Anyway, my point is that the desire to even play games in the first place originates from a different part of the brain in men and women, I believe. Streaming was around for many years and there was hardly a female streamer to be seen until it gained significant popularity & there was a way to monetize it/get attention. For a decade or more prior to Twitch gaining popularity, you didn't have guys streaming Halo wearing just their boxers with the webcam pointed at the outline of their dick. When girls entered the scene, they moved to objectify themselves for attention almost instantly. I'm not against that, I just think it serves as a strong example of the differences between the two.

    When I see outright fiction like this being pushed as the reality women face in the gaming world, I get pissed off:

    When a girl who is any better looking than Shrek shows up to play games, every man's wallet flies open at the speed of light. Damn, I WISH I were a female gamer. Regardless of skill level, nearly every barrier is cleared for them by a Lord of the Rings sized army of Simps. The idea that male gamers hate women or exclude them en masse is demonstrably false & I have never seen it in my personal life either. A more accurate representation of reality would have been that guy running up to lick her toes.

    tl;dr: if a girl wants to play a game, just buy the fucking disc or download the game and play it. I don't see why anything else should factor in. "real" gamer, "fake" gamer, "casual", "hardcore", "big titty gamer gf", NONE OF IT MATTERS. Sure, gatekeeping does exist. If I showed up with my buddies from the gun club to a female-centric book club meeting then we'd be ostracized too. With the rise of Twitch, Discord, Steam & online multiplayer, girls are a larger part of the player-base. They often exist just to be the tits & ass of the group, but they want attention and guys give it...
    If anything besides the game itself matters to you or stops you from playing it, then THAT'S how you know you aren't a gamer.

    "Fake gamers"-gamer-girl2-jpg "Fake gamers"-78x7oiwhstd41-jpg
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  5. #4
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    Mantis, are you trying to practice your psychic abilities again? I had this on my mind and was thinking about making a similar topic about it, though it was going to be about nerd culture in general and not just video games. Since you're making this specifically about video games, I'll try to keep it focus on that as much as I can.

    I'm like Mantis in that I'm kind of on the fence on this. On one hand, what does it mean to be a real video game fan? What if they play nothing but RPGs and nothing else? Is a person who plays mobile games a real fan? It's one of those things that's so subjective to the point where there's no real answer and I've seen people try to argue how people who play something like, say, mobile games aren't real gamers and a lot of their arguments just goes into "No true Scotsman" territory where I can gurantee you a lot of those people arguing that probably couldn't tell you what a real gamer is. People get into games for different reasons. Some play to be challenged, others want to be immerse in a game's world and lore, others want something to play with their friends and some just want to play something easy and simple to relax after a stressful day at work. There's nothing wrong with any of these reasons and they're perfectly valid reasons where you can be a "real" fan even if you're not super hardcore into it.

    On the other hand, I can of understand and, to an extent, sympathize with people who think more casual players have , for lack of a better term, ruined gaming so to speak. Gaming back then had a smaller more niche player base so, since it wasn't super huge at the time, it allowed developers more creative freedom in creating interesting and varied games of all types. And then the "normies", I.E. the type that would normally wouldn't go anywhere near a video game decided that they wanted to be a part of it and they made gaming into this multimillion dollar industry as a result. Since a lot of that money is coming from them, developers and publishers started to cater more to them causing more modern games to start feeling samey, watered down, and stagnant. It also caused it bring about the coming of microtransactions and paid DLC where, despite gamers constantly condemning it, the more mainstream audience gobble that all up which cause the publisher to happily continue on with it. Seeing that, I can't really blame someone who grew up with gaming during it's golden years become resentful of the more casual audience who only consume modern mainstream games and just go along with gaming publishers greedy practices. I can even speak from personal experience. At one of my old jobs, I had a coworker who loved Mass Effect and was singing the praises of Mass Effect 3, saying people were getting angry over nothing. I expressed that people were mad because it had DLC in the game itself that can only be unlocked with money. Her response? "I don't care."

    I agree that it can be annoying when people say their super nerdy or a the biggest fan of something when really they're not. Even when I say I'm a fan of something, I don't exaggerate by saying I'm an expert on something since I'm always under the assumption that there's always someone out there that has more knowledge and skill about the game then I do. I've met people who have said that they are a massive nerd even though they only play Call of Duty, which is like the most mainstream, basic bitch game you could possibly play. I even have a friend who loves Fallout but only the newer entries and he told me that he had no interest in the older games. Stuff like this is frustrating but on the flipside, what are you gonna do? Take away their games and tell them that they are banished over it until they prove themselves a true fan?

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