Monday, February 13, 2012

Reverb #4: Gamer Shame

The next installment of our weekly Reverb Gamers questionnaire deals with gamer shame.

REVERB GAMERS 2012, #4: Are you a "closet gamer?" Have you ever hidden the fact that you're a
gamer from your co-workers, friends, family, or significant other? Why or why not? How did they react
if they found out?

I am not currently a "closet gamer." I am, to use a phrase perhaps inappropriately, out and proud. I just came to the conclusion a few years ago that money is not the root of all evil, shame is. If you like something, be proud about it. Unless you happen to be in a vocation in which popularity is a requirement (predominately politics), then what does it matter if people disapprove? Get up, put on your big boy panties, and enjoy what you enjoy.

I will admit that there have been periods in my life in which I was a closet gamer. I was very quiet about it in high school (though I doubt anyone would have been the least bit surprised). I was similarly quiet about it shortly after college, when I was trying desperately to get a career moving. I never denied it, but I also never brought it up.

Nowadays,  I may similarly avoid bringing it up, but it's more out of a desire to skip the conversation than any kind of shame. I just don't want to deal with the confusion. It has actually been a long time since anyone has looked down on me for my hobby. The primary reason is that I don't act like it is something to be ashamed about. If I just state, matter-of-factly, that I like role-playing games, it generally makes people feel a little awkward sneering at them.

That said, my wife and I do still "hide" our gaming from her family. It's more of a polite fiction at this point. After all, the announcements for these posts do go to my Facebook, which my mother-in-law reads. But, we simply do our best to avoid the subject, and get along well enough. I'm not even sure at this point what the reaction would be, if we discussed the subject. I know that their primary issue revolves around the idea that gaming is a silly, worthless hobby. It is not a productive craft (like, say, baking or knitting), nor is it useful for furthering our education, nor is it active and healthy. Any time the conversation drifts towards gaming, fandom, or the like, there is a great deal of head-shaking and bewildered looks. (Admittedly, when I look at many of their hobbies and interests, I do my own share of head-shaking and looking bewildered.)

I won't say that I'm necessarily "proud" to be a gamer, any more than I'm "proud" to be in IT. It is something that I enjoy and am good at. That's all, and that's enough.

1 comment:

  1. No gamer shame though at my most recent employment I didn't talk gaming. I frequently wore my Palladium polo shirt. That shart also enabled me to find some cool gamers at Villanova on a pre-grad-school visit.