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...and by that, I'm talking about the most negative aspects of what "gamer culture" is and has been.  At what point did people get taken seriously for their choice in gaming platforms?  At what point did the industry start catering to people who based their whole life on gaming?  And more relevant, when did our culture accept that as normal?  I know there have always been bad eggs, going back to the very beginning, but can we mark where it actually branded the hobby?

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I dunno, it's all just labels and hype. Do you go to LAN parties? Are you into e-sports? Are you leveling up in a MOBA or a Battle Royale game? Are you scheduling raids with your MMO homies? Are you a streaming personality? Do you monetize your Twitch? Do you think any of this actually sounds cool or useful or important? 

 

Remember that this "culture" is still a tiny part of the overall population. The internet is probably magnifying its effect. As someone with a job and family and a fair amount of gray hair, it's not something I experience much in real life. 

 

"Gamergate" sealed it for me ... after all that ugly doxxing and trolling, I stopped using my name in public internet spaces like Twitter, and I dialed back my engagement with "gamer culture." Now I'm just someone who happens to enjoy games, but please don't call me a "gamer," they're poison. 

 

Except retro gamers, they're mostly okay. 

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13 hours ago, godslabrat said:

...and by that, I'm talking about the most negative aspects of what "gamer culture" is and has been.  At what point did people get taken seriously for their choice in gaming platforms?  At what point did the industry start catering to people who based their whole life on gaming?  And more relevant, when did our culture accept that as normal?  I know there have always been bad eggs, going back to the very beginning, but can we mark where it actually branded the hobby?

I think people getting taken seriously for their choice of game platforms probably started in the late 80s to early 90s with the "Genesis does what Nintendon't" campaign. But with the industry catering to people who base their life on gaming and "gamer culture becoming accepted",  I think that started in the early to mid 2000s when online gaming had become mainstream. But to answer the question on when gamer culture first branded the hobby, I gotta say around the "Let's Play" era so around 2007-2012. I don't really like "gamer culture" as you put it, because it feels like the people who are apart of it almost want it to be like a religion or something.

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I'd peg it around 2007 as well, for one big reason: Mountain Dew Game Fuel. That's the first time I can remember a product line being sold to 'gamers'. Yes, there were tie-in products before, but they focused on a specific title & not the market as a whole. Despite officially being for Halo 3, that soda wasn't really marketed as a 'Halo soda'- it was a 'gamer soda'.

 

Having companies see there was money in catering to a 'gamer' demographic, I think, really set off the downward shift. After all, most corporations don't care about people's quality of life & will happily push psychological buttons to make someone an outrage-fueled cretin defending a false tribe if it means they can sell things to them promoting said lifestyle. I imagine most of the worst were borderline-awful before, but having their 'otherness' validated by a marketing campaign helps no one but the shiller.

 

As for why it's accepted as 'normal'- I feel like it's less accepted and more ignored. Very few people like confrontation, so it's easier to let these types corral off in their corner of the fandom. Which in turn makes it easier for companies to push the tribalism for more cash, until the whole thing blows up ala Gamergate. Like a bug infestation, it's easy to pretend it's fine, until it isn't. And the cleanup becomes all the harder.

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When my brothers and I were kids we were really isolated as gamers. We lived in a small town where we had a small handful of friends who also played games, but none of them had the more fringe stuff we had like the TurboGrafx and a used 3DO. Our parents took us to the big city and we would go game shopping. On those trips they would take us clothes shopping, and we would still be talking about games. I guess we just assumed other people in the department store, for example, were stupid because they didn't care about the Turbo CD, etc.

 

Now thanks to the Internet you can connect with people into the same stuff no matter where you live, so it feels much less isolated. That's the real difference. I still find it awkward on the rare occasion of going to events interacting with other gamers. It's just not something that was available to me as a kid, so I'm not used to meeting people who have different opinions about games than I do. I'm rather happy just having my basement of games with the occasional visitor.

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I'd say with the proliferation of youtubers looking to get more views. It starts in forums then leads to videos and then the negativity spreads like wildfire with every 'channel' trying to get in in the hit action.

 

I'd say around 2014-ish.

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I'd say it started with the dude bro's in the 2000's with the Halo & CoD type shooters although game developers in the 90's were the first with the frat house mentality.

Also some people were mirroring the otaku (or nerd) scene via Japanese games & anime as well.

 

But gamer culture is just a part of "geek culture" which also includes comic books/movies, Star Wars, pro wrestling or whatever.  Before it's just fans being "passionate" about their hobbies that they get into petty arguements online.  Now we have an entire generation of beta males and SJW's who are so socially stunted that they start of festerting with like-minded people in unmoderated forums and end up harassing people through social media.

 

In this world, it's the nerds that are the bullies...

 

 

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I remember sometime in the early to mid 2000's, at least one cable channel was devoted to computer tech and gaming. Flipping channels (TBD) on broadcast TV today, I see kids talking about and playing games on some show. And now of course, we have YouTube.

 

Nothing exploits the awareness of a "gamer culture" more than the birth of these *console* gaming conventions though. That's where you get to see it all in real time action. Hang around one long enough and you're likely to see a Klingon or some teeny tot in a skimpy Sailor Moon costume, hoping you'll want to take their photo.  🤣

 

 

 

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When geek culture and gamer culture became socially acceptable and even "popular", gamers and geeks took over the mantle of the bullies that sportos and jocks previously held.

 

i blame TV garbage like The Big Bang Theory, and hipster cosplay conventions, and hate-filled sites like 4chan and reddit. 

 

Video gaming was much more fun and less stressful when it wasn't dominated by show offs on YouTube.

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What I dislike is gamers dressing and acting like "dudebros" on YT videos. 

 

Bring back the well-dressed nerds with glasses and pocket protectors.

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On 7/23/2019 at 1:01 PM, godslabrat said:

...and by that, I'm talking about the most negative aspects of what "gamer culture" is and has been. 

There were pretty much always kids who'd berate other kids for having a different system than they did, so that negative aspect I'd say has been around since the beginning.

 

Everything else has kind of grown out of that, especially with the rise of the internet. I'd say I first noticed it getting really bad in the early 2000's, which was about when the internet hit critical mass. The gaming press at the time didn't help, especially as the dot com crash of that time made a lot of the remaining sites kind of desperate, so they started turning every headline into clickbait and fanning controversy whenever possible. Nowadays it seems like the outrage culture that was also borne from the internet has kind of crossed over to gaming, so you've got that too. It all grew out of the internet, from the seeds of the tribalism that existed even before the internet existed.

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One thing that seems to be better thanks to the internet: untrue rumors and disinformation seem to be under control nowadays. No more "my uncle works at Nintendo and he says" or Quarterman columns. I like that about today's "gamer press."

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On 7/27/2019 at 1:07 AM, MrMaddog said:

I'd say it started with the dude bro's in the 2000's with the Halo & CoD type shooters although game developers in the 90's were the first with the frat house mentality.

Also some people were mirroring the otaku (or nerd) scene via Japanese games & anime as well.

 

But gamer culture is just a part of "geek culture" which also includes comic books/movies, Star Wars, pro wrestling or whatever.  Before it's just fans being "passionate" about their hobbies that they get into petty arguements online.  Now we have an entire generation of beta males and SJW's who are so socially stunted that they start of festerting with like-minded people in unmoderated forums and end up harassing people through social media.

 

In this world, it's the nerds that are the bullies...

 

 

This post is pretty close to spot on, except I think you're confusing "beta males and SJW's" with the exact opposite in those unmoderated forums.

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On 7/23/2019 at 3:58 PM, Flojomojo said:

"Gamergate" sealed it for me ... after all that ugly doxxing and trolling, I stopped using my name in public internet spaces like Twitter, and I dialed back my engagement with "gamer culture." Now I'm just someone who happens to enjoy games, but please don't call me a "gamer," they're poison. 

Yep, this was the turning point for me, too. I'm not a gamer, I just like playing games. 

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22 hours ago, Newsdee said:

What I dislike is gamers dressing and acting like "dudebros" on YT videos. 

 

Bring back the well-dressed nerds with glasses and pocket protectors.

Good point. I prefer to let words speak for themselves. I miss the days when we never even knew what a critic looked like. 

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On 7/23/2019 at 4:01 PM, godslabrat said:

...and by that, I'm talking about the most negative aspects of what "gamer culture" is and has been.  At what point did people get taken seriously for their choice in gaming platforms?  At what point did the industry start catering to people who based their whole life on gaming?  And more relevant, when did our culture accept that as normal?  I know there have always been bad eggs, going back to the very beginning, but can we mark where it actually branded the hobby?

What hobby is any different?   There's always people who take it very seriously, complain about the 'casuals' who don't, insist one brand is better than another, etc.   Whether it be cars, sports teams, politics, foodies, celebrity gossip, etc etc.

 

In fact it's funny, no matter what interest I have, I see the same complaints..  that the people "in this hobby" are uniquely awful, and always pursuing pointless drama, etc,  and something needs to be done about it.

 

At what point do we just realize that this is human nature?

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1 hour ago, zzip said:

What hobby is any different?   There's always people who take it very seriously, complain about the 'casuals' who don't, insist one brand is better than another, etc.   Whether it be cars, sports teams, politics, foodies, celebrity gossip, etc etc.

 

In fact it's funny, no matter what interest I have, I see the same complaints..  that the people "in this hobby" are uniquely awful, and always pursuing pointless drama, etc,  and something needs to be done about it.

 

At what point do we just realize that this is human nature?

While everything you said is true, I think it understates the fact that gamers take that kind of behavior to the extremes. I mean - I'm a musician, and I frequent plenty of online music forums, go to local shows, etc. and yes - there are some awful people. But unlike Gamers, I've never been on a music forum or at a local show and had a a gang of 12 year olds scream the N-Word at me while they use cheat codes to kill me. I've never had a guitarist call me a "cuck" because I don't believe in some crazy conspiracy theory. I've never seen a band's fans show up in gangs at a show and start attacking everyone with slurs as part of a "raid".

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I was about to chime in that I think this formed in the Genesis vs Nintendo days of the 90s like Magmavision2000 mentioned, but then I remembered a guy from the UK telling me how he would have disowned his parents if they bought him a C64 instead of a ZXS when he was a kid . . .

 

I think the rivalries were there right at the beginning, but it was when the marketing tried to create an identity for the consumer that things started to get a little nasty.  "You'll be like XYZ cool cat if you play our system" kinda stuff.  By the time we got to people bitching about how you can't play an FPS on a console, those gamers had been identifying with a certain subculture for a number of years and voting about it with their wallets too.

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I never fully understood the "console war" mentality. Maybe I just dislike confrontation ... my childhood idol was Hawkeye Pierce and I was never allowed to play with guns. Or maybe it's coz all I had for a long time was a secondhand Odyssey 2 and a clearance Timex Sinclair 1000 while "everyone" else had a nice Atari or Commodore 64. Maybe having this shite as the "killer arcade port" for your home computer instills a certain tolerance for hardware limitations. 

 

 

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9 hours ago, John Stamos Mullet said:

This post is pretty close to spot on, except I think you're confusing "beta males and SJW's" with the exact opposite in those unmoderated forums.

 

To clarify what I meant, it's two groups of extreme idologists (far left & far right) but they act so much alike they are mirror images.

 

So to me it's both sides of the same coin.

 

 

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Gentle suggestion: maybe talk about specific behavior rather than general labels, lest this thread get locked up for breaking rules

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I suspect the console wars is fueled by a scarcity mentality, since parents would normally only buy kids one system (if they buy anything at all). 

 

People tend to feel personally attacked if what they invested in financially and emotionally gets under criticism (either direct or implied by comparison).

 

I'm not sure how we got from that to the bad image of gamer dudebros and associated behavior.

 

The only analogy I can think of is that some games are closer to sports (hence eSports) and some gamers are basically jocks who engage in "locker talk" and other questionable behaviors associated with toxic masculinity.

 

Perhaps it's the focus on game as competive sports that is the issue. In other words, "gamers" are automatically assumed to be competing with each other to prove who is the best.

 

Companies fan that sentiment because it sells products in the same way as sports (e.g. shoes that allegedly make you play better, etc). It's a narrative the marketing people are already familiar with.

 

But games are more than that (and all sport is not always competition with others). Nintendo seems to get it by always trying to also cater to other social aspects of gaming.

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