Can We Be Done With Game Shaming?
Ever have game you really enjoy? You play it religiously and you become really good and it just becomes your game? When you play this game, you just find yourself in a little happy bubble where nothing can bother you?
Now, have you ever talked to someone about that same game, only to hear “UGH! You actually like that game? That game sucks!” If you’re like me, your little happy bubble just bursts. You find yourself feeling ashamed and stupid and you just want to slink away and pretend like you never said anything.
Stop game shaming. It’s stupid and pointless and does nothing but cause arguments and make people feel bad about what they like.
From the day I started forming my own opinions and likes I have been mocked for those very things. When I was growing up, I was so afraid to say I liked something because I knew the people I was surrounded by would poke and sneer and overall make my life hell simply for liking something. This included, but was not limited to, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Spiderman, Batman, X-Men…and this was before I even got into gaming.
As a young, budding fangirl-in-training, my introduction to video games was slow. The only access I had to games and game systems was what was passed down from my older cousins when they had already moved on to the newer systems.
In fact, the first game I ever received per my own request was Kingdom Hearts for the PS2. My high school friends didn’t really play video games, a fact I learned very quickly, so I refrained from talking about the fact that I had finally beaten Ocarina of Time, including killing all the Skulltulas, or that I made it to Hollow Bastion and oh my god Riku has the keyblade now! Or that I had gotten to the fifth generation of my Sims family and now they have taken over the whole neighborhood…
Then came the ultimate time for independence: college. I was finally surrounded by new people, more importantly, new people who played video games.
And that is when I learned about game shaming.
Because as good as I had become at the little number of games I had access to, apparently to some people they weren’t the “right” games. To those same people, I wasn’t really a “gamer”. Now, seven years after I first entered college, this is still a problem. Especially with the ever-expanding game industry.
For anyone who is a victim of game shaming, or has been in the past, there are no “right” games. As long as you enjoyed the game, it shouldn’t matter. No one is better than anyone else because they play only indie games, or only the “popular” games. A gamer is, by definition, someone who plays games. Doesn’t matter if you play sports games, or only first person shooters, or RPGs…you’re a gamer. Here is what you do. The next time someone says, “Ugh, that game sucks!” look them dead in the eye and ask, “Why?”
If they have an actual, descriptive answer for you, great. You can then move into an actual, human discussion.
If they don’t, you just made them feel like crap right back and I would take that as a win.