Games Meet Metal: The Most Cliche Gaming Article You'll Ever Read

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Friday, December 25, 2009

The Most Cliche Gaming Article You'll Ever Read

Gaming has come a long way since the late 70's, hasn't it? What was once a hobby almost exclusively enjoyed by nerds and other bottom-rung-on-the-social-ladder types; is now a nearly ubiquitous cultural phenomenon enjoyed by everybody and their mother (literally, even my own grandparents are gamers now). Or at least that's what we'd like to believe, because not all aspects of gamerdom have evolved from our humble, pimply, basement dwelling sweat-stained shirt beginnings. Among other things, the most noticeable facet that impedes our hobby from true mainstream acceptance guessed it, us. Instead of bonding over our shared love of gaming, we treat our fellow button-mashing compadres the same way we treat everything else in life: if you can't fuck it, kill it. Or in the case of gamers, openly mock and ostracize your game-loving brother/sister if their opinions or preferences differ even slightly from their own. Indeed, how can we hope to be accepted by mainstream society in general if we aren't even accepting of each other?

When one ventures into the depths of a popular gaming message board such as NeoGAF or Gametrailers, more often than not the posts you'll encounter absolutely smolder with seething rage. Hell, you could almost see the steam coming out of their ears. And here's the kicker, it's usually centered around trivial matters such as the fact that the other gamer doesn't share his/her tastes. OK, I know what you're thinking...

"DJ, if you have such a big problem with these fanboys, then just stay away from message boards."

Oh, if ONLY it were that simple! As a matter of fact, I haven't posted on a gaming forum in almost a year (unless you count 1up's blogging feature), so why am I even thinking about this? It all goes back to a myriad of similarly hostile encounters I've had at retail outlets such as Gamestop, 3 of them occurring in the last 4 months (no, that's not a joke). It usually starts out affably as the clerk would try to strike up conversation with me about what kind of games I play. Things don't turn sour until I give him an answer that he obviously doesn't like (for example "I don't like Halo" or "I'm partial to the DS"). It's at this point that his tone towards me noticeably changes, sometimes even refusing me service because of it (I wish I was kidding). Not only that, I've even felt the lingering eyeballs of other store-goers on my back, snickering or scoffing at my response to the clerks prodding. Perhaps it's just the area I live in, but even then, it's still a rather alarming trend that I don't necessarily feel comfortable with.

It's terribly ironic when we beg, plead, and cry for the acceptance of our hobby on the same "mature" levels as movies, books, and other art forms, considering our inability to live and let live. In short: grow up, gamers.

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