As soon as we launched “Parents of online gamers” group on Facebook, a few friends came to us saying the group name could limit the audience as most of the kids were not gamers in their perception. Overall, they perceive them more as casual players, than as “addicted” or “devoted” players. We thanked them to point us towards this important conversation and, in fact, finding out what a gamer means on the internet can be really confusing.
Not surprising, the definition varies according to who is explaining or interpreting it. You can find a definition correlating it to the number of hours played, the types of games, the player experience, etc. So instead of being simply descriptive, many explanations have turned exclusionary, hostile and stereotype-driven.
The most common bias is linking a gamer to a person that plays exhaustively for hours to accomplish a goal, sacrificing whatever it’s needed to achieve it. In this case, being labeled as a gamer can even influence people’s perception of a player negatively. So who is a gamer at the end of the day for us?
Based on GamerSafer values and on an overall analysis of the diverse gaming population, for us, a gamer is someone that is passionate and enthusiast about gaming. No matter if they play casually, for 30 minutes or many hours, simple or complex games, mobile, console or PC games, the gender. If your kids enjoy playing games, they are gamers to us and being a gamer shouldn’t be seen negatively. Only behaviors and attitudes can lead to any conclusion.
Embracing gaming as an important way for them to connect, being part of a community, learn new skills and explore new worlds can lead us to more open conversations about safety, citizenship, and many other relevant topics.
Let us know your thoughts about what is being a gamer to you and join our Facebook group in case you haven’t.