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Orkk Blog

Gaming as a culture and lifestyle: What it was and what it is

When video games and gaming were first introduced, it wasn't truly a hobby at all. They were a small form of entertainment not meant to be taken seriously, and were generally aimed towards children and young teens. Arcades boomed, and it was the age of innovation not only in electronics, but in many products of the same generation. Consoles hadn't come into play yet, and there really was no true gamer group. Instead, they were an off source of mild electronics that provided a reason for friends and kids to get together and have a simple and good time. Not that the game developers wanted it this way, but games were incapable of providing an in-depth fighting system or a well-written story.

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The video game industry staggered along this way for a while, up until the 1980s, which was the golden age in gaming for those not familiar. Adventure games like The Legend of Zelda, action games like Golden Axe, and racing games like Turbo all came together to meld video games into a hobby that people could get into, and it was a hive of creation and passion. Gamers back then weren't really focused on anything but playing the video games. They simply enjoyed them and that was all there was to it. Video games in this era weren't remembered as something everyone could enjoy, but as something that changed the face of artistic creation, America, and civilization as we know it as newfound companies and developers breathed life into the electronic catridges.

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Now I want to fast forward a bit after that brief history lesson. Gaming has become a culture in its own right, and its not really an insult to be called a "nerd" anymore. Gaming tournaments have come up everywhere, and in all sorts of different genres of games, humor and jokes specific to the culture exists in the thousands, LAN centers have opened up all over the country, and now theres even different types of gamers. Like any culture, we argue amongst ourselves about things; things like sexism in the gaming industry, difficulty changing how a game can and can't play, and if video games are to blame for real world violence. I want to represent a group of gamers that I feel are truly unrepresented in the gaming world today: true gamers. Gamers who don't have a batallion of girls defend them when they don't get the attention they want, gamers who game because they're passionate for it, and gamers that see games as art, and are the centerpieces to the evolution and progress of the gaming phenomenon.

 

Easy modes in video games are around for one reason: to attract a bigger audience. Bigger audience means more money, and gaming companies like more money; I mean, I like money, who doesn't? The age old argument is the same about all other forms of art such as painting and music, and that argument is which is more important, the art or the money? That question has finally dug itself into the creation of video games, and thats a question that developers are asking themselves, and thats really what the difficulty argument comes down to. Us gamers see that as just plain disgusting. How dare you tamper with art just to make an extra buck? Video games are already the top grossing entertainment industry in America, so why do you need more? Companies should be able to create what they see fit, without the idea of money in mind. As soon as greed works its way into the creation of art, it usually always goes to shit. Sometimes the difficulty contributes to the game as a whole, and it just wouldn't be the same without that sense of challenge. Recently arguments have been brought up on whether or not its a good idea to add both a difficult mode and an easy mode in games, to appease both the hardcore and casual audiences. In theory, thats not necessarily a bad idea, and I would agree with it in most cases. The thing is though, is that you can't have a general outlook on such ideas. Each game is its own unique situation, and what might work for Skyrim, might not work for Dark Souls. There are no rules to this art thing, gamers just play what is fun to them. Dark Souls shouldn't be easy. Its challenge is one of the pillars of its great gameplay, and it just wouldn't be the same without it. Stop tampering with art just to appease a casual audience. Lets rewrite Shakespeare so people who aren't so proficient with the culture can understand it, lets refilm Casablanca so that modern moviewatchers can get into it, and lets re-record Pink Floyd so that mainstream listeners can enjoy it more. Changing art, and video games are art, just to satisfy an audience that doesn't feel like spending enough time in the culture to enjoy it, is really **** dumb.

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And then theres girl gamers...

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Its not the fact that their girls, its just their gaming style. The stereotypical girl gamer usually casually games for attention. If I were to see a guy gamer posting on facebook that hes level seven in Skyrim just so that he could get attention for the opposite gender, it would be a different reaction because girls don't usually game, and therefore wouldn't really be a valid way to attract the opposite sex. I frequent LAN centers, tournaments, and the like, and I am a big part of the gaming culture. Men really don't care, until you mess with something we're passionate about just so that you can get plowed by a neckbeard. You can like the things we do, but stop expecting to be treated special because you're a girl gamer, shits real annoying. Girl gamers as a whole have really made a bad name for themselves already because of their own actions, but male gamers just need to stop caring. Its really a touchy subject unique to the situation in your life, but I find that male gamers are usually upset because girl gamers are just so terrible at every video game, yet they continue not because they have a passion for it, but because they want the attention of guys, and true gamers hate seeing this form of video art as a medium for dating.

Guys: stop caring, they're here to stay. A lot of guys eat that shit up, that's why they're going to stay.

Girls: if you're good at video games, I'm sure no one will discriminate you. So stop trying to focus on people seeing you as a "gamer" and trying to fit in, and actually become a gamer.

I'm eager to see you guys' opinions, because like you, I am a fellow gamer. I want to learn and be more involved just like you do, and us harassing and hating each other because of different opinions really needs to stop. We should be able to calmly voice our standings on the different issues that are going on in OUR culture, and we should try to resolve them as best as we can. Games have become books that can come to life, interactive cinema, a clash of visual and musical masterpieces, and have come to define the entertainment business. We owe it to the idea of video games to be the best we can be, so they can continue to be the best in their craft.