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Drop the Stereotypes; We’re All Gamers Really

Once upon a time, the phrase ‘gamer’ was a rather derogatory term thrown around alongside ‘geek’ and ‘nerd’ in an attempt to insult the percentage of the population who would rather spend time in their own company in front of their PC or console than be out socialising with others.

And while some people may still have a poor perception of who a ‘gamer’ is and what that term really means, the reality is a far cry from the now old-fashioned stereotype.

Why? Because the vast majority of the Western world’s population is a gamer in some form or another.

Perhaps it’s playing Flash games on Facebook, or completing those silly viral “What Type of ____ Are You?” quizzes. Perhaps it’s a quick game of Candy Crush or Words With Friends on a mobile phone while sat on the bus or on your lunch break at work. Perhaps it’s a sneaky bet on UK online casinos like Novibet or whatever gambling site happens to be popular today. They’re all forms of gaming. And if you partake in any of those at any point, then you may as well consider yourself a gamer.

The image of the spotty, greasy-haired kid plugging away on his joystick in his parents’ basement is long gone. Gaming is a much more integral part of society, and even if it doesn’t involve picking up a PlayStation or Xbox controller and spending several hours on Grand Theft Auto or Call of Duty, we’re all doing it in one form or another.

The rise of the mobile phone is, in part, responsible for gaming becoming increasingly widespread. Even before the smartphone came along and we had access to a library of hundreds of thousands of apps, we had big, brick-like phones with their two-colour dot matrix screens that had games like Snake or Solitaire on them. We’ve even had games built into our TVs: for those of us in the UK in the 90s, there was Teletext, with Channel 4’s interactive quiz Bamboozle. And then those who were lucky enough to have Sky Digital in the early 2000s, there was Sky Interactive, with its built-in games played with the remote control – remember Beehive Bedlam? Now with Smart TVs, you can download hundreds of game apps directly to your TV. Everywhere you go, there’s an opportunity to game.

Even your parents – and maybe even grandparents – are gamers. Ever take your nana to bingo? That’s gaming. Find that you can’t get a straight answer from your parents because they’re too busy playing Pet Rescue Saga or the like? That’s gaming too. Families of all ages heading out on long walks to scout out Pokémon together on Pokémon GO. Guess what? That’s gaming.

The stereotype is long gone, and so the stigma should be too. Whether it’s on a PC, console, mobile phone or built into a TV set, it’s all gaming in one form or another.

Editor in chief // Kim's been into video games since playing Dizzy on her brother's Commodore 64 as a nipper. She'll give just about anything a go, but she's got a particular soft spot for indie adventures. If she's not gaming, she'll be building Lego, reading a thriller, watching something spooky or... asleep. She does love to sleep.