A gamer is a person who actively engages in the skilled-based card and computer-related games for a specified time. However, in contemporary understanding, not all people who participate in non- video games are recognized as gamers. Gamer identity has, yet, been described in different ways since it is affected by many factors. In this research paper, the factors that affect gamer identity in the gaming industry will be discussed in relation to participants’ and fans’ views. The factors that will be discussed are; Time, Type of the game, life hobbies, Game knowledge, Gaming tools, gender and possession.
Time is a very significant factor in the gamer identity crisis. According to research conducted recently in the United States, less addicted or rather gamers who played a game in for less than three hours a day are not considered gamers. Dmitri Williams agrees that female gamers spend less time on online gaming as compared to male gamers due to other household commitments (2018). On the other hand, individuals who played more than three hours a day for five consecutive days were considered gamers. For instance, playing video games not only consumes much time, but it is also time-consuming, and therefore, those who are addicted find themselves gamers. Additionally, individuals that spent more than 50% of their time talking about their specific type of game are regarded as real gamers (Charlotta et al. 2015). Most importantly, the time that one dedicates on their best game determines whether they are gamers or they are ordinary fans of that specific game.
Gamer identity is primarily determined by the type of game that one is involved in. Currently, more than 65% of the global population understands the word “Gamer” as a person who plays video and film games and specifically on a computer. This kind of understanding has mostly rendered other games mediums as non- gamers. Conversely, there are other many types of gamers whose participants regard themselves as gamers. For instance, card players recognize themselves as real gamers despite the fact that card games can be played physically without a computer. Nevertheless, it is important to note that the time and comfort that individuals spent on a particular game can be used to identify whether they are real gamers. In this context, as long as the game involves skills and can be played via a computer or physically, then that is a game and those who take much of their time are gamers.
Life hobbies have got major impacts on as far as gamer identity is concerned. Many people had found interesting games in the market either when they were teenagers or adults. Some of them found themselves playing and loving different games without necessarily identifying themselves as “Gamers.” A majority of the millennials do not regard themselves as gamers but rather take it as a hobby (Riot 2009). Moreover, individuals who started playing video or film games and wanted to play it for economic purposes identify themselves as games. On the contrary, individuals who play different games without economic aspects in their agenda do not count themselves as gamers irrespective of the type of game or time spent playing.
Apart from life hobbies, game knowledge is another imperative factor in gamer identification. The amount or the degree of knowledge that a person possesses determines by 60% if they are real gamers or casual players. For instance, consistent winners of board, video and card games are regarded as gamers. Moreover, when playing for commercial purposes, individuals who make more profits on every gaming day are too considered as gamers. Therefore, game knowledge stipulates the categories that both the fans as well as players of the game will place a player. On the contrary, individuals with less skill in the game are not recognized as gamers of the game. Many studies real that skillful players of any game are experts who can compete with others with high possibilities of willing and therefore recognized are gamers.
Gender is one of the most controversial factors in gamer identification. Depending on the markets and the type of games, gender issues play an important role in identifying real gamers. According to Shaw, females in the video games industry are not regarded as gamers, but instead, they are considered casual players (2010). Additionally, Sliwinski in another research argued that young female gamers are referred to “Girl Gamers” in stead of being called simply “Gamers” like their male counterparts (2006). On the other hand, male players are naturally regarded as gamers irrespective of their knowledge and the time they spent playing video games either at home or in the cyber. This assumption ignored the fact that there are more skillful and dedicated female players who should be regarded as gamers. Furthermore, game developers are more responsible for shaping the audience of a game; therefore, a target audience can set for males or females.
On top of knowledge, gaming tools and material possession plays an integral part in the gamer identification crisis. Ordinarily, more than 70% of the total games require either capital or some basic paid training for one to start playing a particular game. Several researched have found out that individuals with gaming tools or materials constitute more than 85% of legitimate gamers (Thrift 2003). An economic commitment that is involved in purchasing gaming tools and materials distinguishes casual fans from gamers. Any extra commitment apart from the knowledge that one has in a particular game is considered vital in the gaming industry. For instance, individuals who own Play Stations are much more recognized as players as compared to their counterparts who do not own it. Indeed a gamer in this perspective is that a person who has committed their money to own a gaming tool.
Gamer identity has got many factors and contexts that can be used as a measure. The time that one commitment to playing a particular game is among the factors that are used to identify a gamer. Additionally, the type of the game such as video games is naturally recognized as gamers. People with sufficient knowledge in a game are also regarded as gamers, while non- skilled persons are known as casual players. On the contrary, some games such as video games are conventionally reserved for males and not females in some places. Lastly, those who can afford to buy gaming tools or materials are regarded as gamers. Indeed, gamer identity involves various aspects that are applied differently by different groups in society.
Dmitri Williams,”Gender Roles and Behaviors Among Online Gamers”. February 2018.
Games, Riot. “League of Legends [PC Computer, Online Game] Riot Games.” Los Angeles, CA (2009).
Hellström, Charlotta, et al. “Effects of adolescent online gaming time and motives on depressive, musculoskeletal, and psychosomatic symptoms.” Upsala journal of medical sciences 120.4 (2015): 263-275.
Shaw, Adrienne. “What is video game culture? Cultural studies and game studies.” Games and culture 5.4 (2010): 403-424.
Sliwinski, Audrey. “British gay gamers get pitched.2006 Joystiq.com, 2007(June).
Thrift, Nigel. “Closer to the machine? Intelligent environments, new forms of possession and the rise of the supertoy.” Cultural geographies 10.4 (2003): 389-407.
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