Over the past decade or so, society has become drastically more accepting. Our community has taken huge strides towards eliminating the stigmas associated with being game. In the Dark Ages, so to speak, it was not uncommon, and perhaps even expected, for openly game people to be beaten up and mercilessly teased just for their life style choices. Now, however, there are gamers almost everywhere you look. We are no longer afraid to wear clothing displaying our game pride or to discuss our culture in public. Even the government is beginning to support us. Long gone are the days where we gamers were forced to hide in our basements, to lie about our nature. We have Game Pride now. I myself am openly game. I am or have been a member of many gamer community groups, such as LOTRO, WoW, COD, FIFA, etc. I have gone to various gamer events. I’m not hiding from myself, nor am I hiding from my peers.
However, there is one threshold I have yet to cross on my path to being completely out as a gamer. I have yet to come fully out to my parents. They have their suspicions. The late nights locked up in my room, the suspicious muffled sounds, the scrambling to conceal whatever it was that I was doing moments before they walked in the door. The truth is, my home is my favorite place to be a gamer. Why go to all the trouble of going out when I can just bring that world into my bedroom? This leads to some awkward confrontations with my parents, unfortunately.
“What were you just doing in there? What was that voice I heard?”
“It was nothing, Dad. I was just…watching YouTube.”
“Are you sure? Because that sounded an awful lot like that Cole Phelps character. You know how I feel about how much time you’re spending with that boy.”
“Daaaaddddd, come on. I don’t spend that much time with him, it’s not like that. I’m not…obsessed. He’s just a good friend, someone I can go to when I’m feeling down or just plain bored. He’s fun.”
A disappointed, all-too-knowing look, and he leaves me be. To be honest, I doubt they would care that much if I told them. They probably already know. They’re just from a different era. I do things outside the gamer world, I really do. In fact, none of my friends are a part of the game life style. But when I get some alone time, when the world slows down for an afternoon or so, there’s nowhere I’d rather be. I love my friends, and I love the life I have on the “outside.” There’s just something about the game community that draws me back time after time. To be around that many like-minded people is liberating, and I wouldn’t trade the time I’ve spent there for anything.
So here goes. Mom, Dad: I game. I live it, breathe it, love it. I game, and I’m proud. So the next time you see me shutting the shades in the family room on a sunny Saturday midmorning, don’t sigh and walk away. Accept the fact that this is who I am.
I am a gamer.