Brandon Sheffield thinks that we should stop referring to ourselves as gamers. Do you agree?

Brandon Sheffield, editor emeritus of Game Developer, feels that the word “gamer” puts those of us who enjoy playing video games in a box that results in the media and the general public at large viewing us as do-nothing basement dwelling losers with nary an ambition, and as such the word should be retired. His argument is that the instant someone utters the word gamer, whether in reference to themselves or someone else, the person being referred to is immediately thought of as one-dimensional, with no other interests, skills, or abilities to help further define them:

But that impression of the game player as a do-nothing, thoughtless drone persists to this day. And that impression is perfectly encapsulated in the word “gamer.” That is the word marketing people created to target and describe the basement-dwelling manboy. The person who just wants to play games and cares about nothing else. That person who only exists to shriek with horror and offense on internet forums about something he or she absolutely loves. And yet we have embraced this word with open arms, and proudly display it on our twitter tags. Microsoft even has its Gamer Points.

I personally respect where Mr. Sheffield is coming from, and I get it, but I personally don’t care if I’m referred to as a gamer. The thing about our society is that people love to label, especially if doing so elevates his or her own perceived image above who it is he or she is labelling. All things being equal in the progression of home console video games, no matter what society at large decided to call us, or what we decided to call ourselves, the end result would have been the same, because the people who think “gamer” is synonymous with “loser” aren’t really interested in getting to know us and see for themselves that we’re more than one-dimensional, plus they think that putting us down makes themselves look better by comparison.

So, why waste the time being upset about it? Do like I do: turn on your PC, open up The Sims, create a doppelganger of the person being judgemental, put them in a pool, take out the ladder, and wait. So satisfying.

via (click the link to read the full op-ed)