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Ashamed of being a Gamer?

Water Bob

Adventurer
As opposed to grown men playing with trains and trains sets?

That's a good example of something that is accepted vs. something that is not (playing "guns" with GI Joe dolls).

Men paint themselves and go games, rabid over their footballs teams. They can quote you stats and players and game highlights from the beginning of time. That's socially acceptible, no matter who you are.

Other men wear Starfleet uniforms and go to conventions, rabid over their favorite TV show. They can quote you lines and actors and episodes from the beginning of time. That's not socially acceptible outside of the niche group interested in these things.

In my eyes, it's the same thing. Society just looks at 'em differently.
 

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Elf Witch

First Post
That's a good example of something that is accepted vs. something that is not (playing "guns" with GI Joe dolls).

Men paint themselves and go games, rabid over their footballs teams. They can quote you stats and players and game highlights from the beginning of time. That's socially acceptible, no matter who you are.

Other men wear Starfleet uniforms and go to conventions, rabid over their favorite TV show. They can quote you lines and actors and episodes from the beginning of time. That's not socially acceptible outside of the niche group interested in these things.

In my eyes, it's the same thing. Society just looks at 'em differently.


I think you are wrong when you say society. I don't believe the stigma is as strong as it used to be.

I know plenty of Trekkies who have security clearances with NASA, work in the field of science who are doctors, lawyers, college professors.

You make it sound like there is rampant discrimination and ridicule for doing those things.

I have been a gamer since the early days as well as a Trekkie since the first days of the early cons. If I tell someone I play RPGs or that I go to Trek cons 9 out of 10 times they don't bat an eye or look at me strangely.

Trek is part of the mainstream now. And while gaming is not as well known it is nothing like it was back in the 70s and early 80s.

I think it is people like you who are so afraid of being stigmatized that this kind of thing still goes on. At least part of the reason.

If the only representatives of the hobby are the creepy gamer stereotypes then that is how people are going to associate it with.

Over the years I have played with a dentist, IT support for Discovery Channel, investment banker, various military people, neonatalogist, teachers, college professors, payload specialist from NASA, Hugo and Nebula winning SF authors but not once a smelly cat piss guy.
 

Lwaxy

Cute but dangerous
Sometimes I wonder if those judgmental people are not just jealous.

And yes, Star Trek/Star Wars is very socially accepted. My group could go out in full uniform, even LARPing in the city, and we get food for free, had to pay for no tickets and most bystanders were happy to be pulled in into whatever we were doing. Once we had a scavenger hunt going over 3 cities and a weekend, including a chase down between Klingons and Feddies in the middle of our local capital. And quite a few people asked us for help with stuff, too, because ya know, the Federation always helps :D

Ah, good old times. I don't really fit into any uniforms anymore though :lol:
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
OTOH, sometimes our fellow genre geeks simply don't help us out.


I remember sitting in a room full of gamers taking a dinner break from the evening's gaming when Barbara Adams made the evening news in full Trek gear as an alternate juror in part of the Whitewater debacle.

To a man, we groaned and cringed. Even the ones who we remembers of the local Trek group (as in, they had "uniforms" of their own).

Trekkie juror - CNN
 

Lwaxy

Cute but dangerous
I can understand that. Being a juror is something crucial, and bringing your hobby into it kinda devaluates that :erm:

That's the main thing for me, keeping games and fandom apart from other things. As long as someone can separate their hobby from reality, they may dress up as pokemons or play with their superman action figures however they want. When they talk to their action figures in public while wearing spandex hero costumes is where I'd probably call an ambulance ;)

That reminds me, when a relative wanted to get out of military service (which was mandatory here), he borrowed my uniform and props to pretend he was completely living in his own world. Worked, too :)
 

jbear

First Post
To be quite honest I think people who sit around and watch tv should be ashamed of themselves, and their hobby.

I'm not ashamed of mine. Like anything I don't shove it down people's throats. "Hi I'm John, I'm into roleplay..."

That would be wierd.

But I actually got a bunch of people playing D&D who had never played an RPG before: a school teacher, 2 factory workers, a podiatrist, a secretary, a kung fu trainer, a physiotherapist, a real estate agent, an optimitrist, a musician, a mother of 8, a nurse and a guy who sold solar panels. And I'm an actor.

The core group that formed from that talked about our game openly in front of other friends. We talked about plenty of other stuff too. We took it as a game. A very fun, social game that everyone was right into. But still a game. As opposed to a way of life or something that defined us as people.

That said, I think their are plenty of people into RPGs who (unfortunately for the rest of us) deservedly give it the bad name that it wears.
 

DragonLancer

First Post
As opposed to grown men playing with trains and trains sets? I love trains and I have gone to many a hobby store lecture on them. The majority of people there are middle age men. Model trains are not a cheap hobby and you have to have room to set them up.

I am sure there are judgmental people who feel they need to grow up and stop p,laying with toys.

Any hobby will have its detractors. I think people who are so judgmental on stuff like are the ones with the issues. The ones I met seem to lack the ability to have fun. It is like they killed their inner child and feel that being a grown up means being serious and joyless.

Sorry if that is what being a grown up means I would rather be considered childish.

Exactly. One of my favourite Lovecraft quotes covers this quite nicely.

There are not many persons who know what wonders are opened to them in
the stories and visions of their youth; for when as children we listen
and dream, we think but half-formed thoughts, and when as men we try
to remember, we are dulled and prosaic with the poison of life. But
some of us awaken in the night with strange phantasms of enchanted
hills and gardens, of fountains that sing in the sun, of plains that
stretch down to sleeping cities of bronze and stone, and of shadowy
companies of heroes that ride caparisoned white horses along the edge
of thick forests; and then we know that world of wonder which was ours
before we were wise and unhappy.
-- H.P.Lovecraft, "Celaphais"




I recently bought myself one of these:

e6e7_dungeons_dragons.jpg


My reason for doing so was twofold. One, it's classic D&D to me and cool. Secondly, I hope that when I go out around town wearing this that maybe someone will step up and say "hey, I play D&D" and I might expand my circle of gamer friends.

It's a shame that the US seems to have this issue. The worst we get over here in the UK is the occasional prat who bangs of the shop window during the evening's game session and shouts "geeks!" And we turn round and say "yes?" which really confuses them.
 

nedjer

Adventurer
This is to no one in particular.

Quite a few gamers (and geeks in general) are on the autism spectrum, me and most my family included. Being loud or having no social life just happens to be part of it for a lot of us. I have no social life other than gaming and a few cat related contacts. My husband is loud, and I'm sure a lot of people would consider him obnoxious, but he can't control the volume of his voice, he never could, despite years of vocal training. We have 2 players with tourette syndrome, one who constantly laughs or breaks out in song and one who keeps repeating what everyone else said over and over. My cousin who I get most of my published adventures from has a sneezing tick. Myself, I talk to myself a lot when I'm going through my notes or books and I guess that irritates some people as well. At least my husband tells me to shut up when I talk on the computer too much while preparing stuff. None of the mentioned reads body language well or uses it correctly.

I don't WANT to bother with people anymore after I have been mobbed out of all my former social groups who, no doubt, didn't want to bother with anyone not like them, or probably thought I was giving them a bad name. Society at large tends not to think about why someone is/does something differently. It doesn't need to as 'society' is always the majority. But this hurts a lot of people.

Yeah there are definitely players I wouldn't want to hang out with either (and bad hygiene definitely is one reason, including clothes smelling nicotine). But it just so happens that for plenty of spectrumites, gaming, whether RPGs or board/card games, happens to be the only opportunity or reason to meet people and, in the case of RPGs, be someone else for a while and forget a life usually full of misunderstandings and social confusion. In fact, RPGs often teach some of the social skills people have issues with.

Now I'm not saying anyone should play with people who constantly irritate them, after all it is your precious free time we talk about (and I have removed someone from my games in the past). But maybe stop and think next time you find someone can't control his voice, or has ticks, or seems to be overbearing in body language. Sometimes talking to them helps, too, as it is not always the case that they even have the slightest clue about what is wrong. And it's not like all people you game with need to be friends in the general sense.

On our table, at least, anyone is welcome who can be a team player and doesn't push his/her PC in the spotlight all the time and who follows the rules of the place we are gaming at.

Hear what you're saying, but it gets a bit lost in the "Quite a few gamers (and geeks in general) are on the autism spectrum", which is a generalisation and (frankly scary) medicalisation of both autism and gaming.

It also doesn't seem entirely even-handed to ask for respect for everyone, only to define a sub-class of gamers on the basis of how they smell or look to you. (Long ago I knew a gameplaying geek know at large as 'squalid'. Was he a big-time soap-dodger - no, he had unusually tufty hair which made him look a touch disheveled and he was a bit short).

Returning to the medicalisation of gaming and autism - I'm afraid someone's been tugging-your chain on the medieval 'talking to yourself is the first sign of madness' cliche. The modern scientific understanding of most muttering or talking to yourself is that it's a form of auditory review and re-organisation that probably works in much the same way as tactile learning, (writing stuff down), to support the review and re-organisation of knowledge and understanding, i.e. students are told to take notes because it provides a more effective way of remember and organising.

The medieval interpretation of this rehearsal and revision is linked to the Inquisition, 'speaking in tongues' and finding ways to attack those who don't conform to authoritarian dogma.

The research I came across tentatively suggests that speaking to yourself is possibly associated with intelligent, adaptive people who are unconsciously adopting an efficient learning and coping strategy. No wonder Torquemada was after them :)
 

Aeolius

Adventurer
As opposed to grown men playing with trains and trains sets? I love trains and I have gone to many a hobby store lecture on them. The majority of people there are middle age men. Model trains are not a cheap hobby and you have to have room to set them up.

One of these days...
l.jpg


Mind you, I am no pillar of normalcy. I wear my weirdness like a badge of honor whether I am amongst family, friends, co-workers, or strangers. If I want to mingle with sheep, I have three in my back pasture ;)
 

Water Bob

Adventurer
I think you are wrong when you say society. I don't believe the stigma is as strong as it used to be.

I can see how someone with your point of view (no slight intended) would think that way. I mean, of course the person who participates in the activities, or sympathizes with those who do, wouldn't think the stigma as strong. Those who hide and lie, like me, obviously think the stigma is quite strong.

It probably depends on the people you know.

I mean the guy who tattoos his body from head to toe probably doesn't think the stigma against that is as strong as it is, even in a day where tattoos are quite accepted by the public at large.





Mind you, I am no pillar of normalcy.

"What is normal?" - Malcom McDowell as Soran in Star Trek Generations.
 


theredrobedwizard

First Post
Those who hide and lie, like me, obviously think the stigma is quite strong.

It probably depends on the people you know.

I don't think it does, really.

I grew up in the Midwest, in the middle of the Bible Belt. In high school, I was beat up on a weekly basis for my hobbies. I currently work in a highly regulated, professionally driven industry. My fiancee's family is very religious. I had over $200 in gaming books ruined at a local bar when some friends and I were playing (a couple of 'necks came up and "accidentally" spilled their beers over the entire table).

Even with all of that in my past, I'm still an outspoken gamer. I have geeky custom license plates on my car. I show off my game room anytime someone new comes over to the apartment. I wear a D20 Stickpin on my suit at work.

Anyone who judges me for my hobby can **** off. If they belittle me or make my life more difficult, they obviously don't want to be part of my life. I'll be happy to oblige them.
 
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Lwaxy

Cute but dangerous
Hear what you're saying, but it gets a bit lost in the "Quite a few gamers (and geeks in general) are on the autism spectrum", which is a generalisation and (frankly scary) medicalisation of both autism and gaming.



The research I came across tentatively suggests that speaking to yourself is possibly associated with intelligent, adaptive people who are unconsciously adopting an efficient learning and coping strategy. No wonder Torquemada was after them :)

I don't quite get what you mean by that. It is a fact that a large percentage of geeks, including gamers, are on spectrum. Most of them never need any related medication. It is just another way of being.

I agree on talking to youself being a good way to learn and cope, however I seem to do it too loud, which is why I get the occasional "shut up" when the others around me want their peace and quiet. Most of the time, I don't even notice I'm doing it.

I don't care how people look btw, most of the time I won't even notice. I'm faceblind and often even forget hair or skin color (seriously) never mind what anyone was wearing unless it is a costume. I remember smells and sounds though.
 


catsclaw227

First Post
It is a fact that a large percentage of geeks, including gamers, are on spectrum.
What would you consider a large percentage? I've met several hundreds of D&D/TTRPGers, Trekkie/StarWars, ComicBookers, etc in my lifetime, but only one or two would I consider to have an ASD and even then, only mildly.
 

theredrobedwizard

First Post
What would you consider a large percentage? I've met several hundreds of D&D/TTRPGers, Trekkie/StarWars, ComicBookers, etc in my lifetime, but only one or two would I consider to have an ASD and even then, only mildly.

I think what the quoted poster meant was "A larger percentage of gamers are on the Autism Spectrum than the percentage of non-gamers on the Autism Spectrum.".
 



The Shaman

First Post
A good analogy (that will, amazingly, be accepted by some of you, I'm sure) is to consider a 45 year old man who still collects and plays with GI Joe. Picture a guy who comes home from work, takes out his dolls, puts them into action poses, and plays through stories in his head with the GI Joe and all the accessories.
This is why you have children, 'cause no one bats an eye if you're playing action figures with your kids.

;)
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Anyone who judges me for my hobby can **** off. If they belittle me or make my life more difficult, they obviously don't want to be part of my life. I'll be happy to oblige them.

With respect, in the current economic climate, not everyone can afford to take that attitude, at least with respect to their place of work. Obliging them means seeking a new job in a tough market.

Given a choice between "be outspoken" and "keep up with my mortgage payments", being quiet probably seems to be a pretty solid option.
 

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