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Hm... this is interesting. In some ways I can see how this can be true, that people don't 'identify' as a gamer either because of the stereotypical lifestyle it supposedly entails (geeky, lives in parent's basement, seen as a waste of time) or because it's just not something they identify as a major part of their lives (kind of like you can play sports but don't necessarily consider yourself an athlete). On the other hand, the label of gamer seems linked to people who play specific types of games - it seems that if you own a Wii for example, you're less of a 'gamer' than if you own an XBOX/PS3, or that you need to play Call of Duty/Halo type games and not rhythm or more casual games. If you spend a lot of time everyday playing solitaire or bejewelled or Guitar Hero, are you 'just playing games' or are you just a different type of 'gamer'?
Ugh... women's studies classes that cause me to take apart every binary ever created!
Well, many thanks to your Women's Studies professors! Binaries are limiting and should be deconstructed. However, and probably because I know this quote was taken out of context, this isn't really a binary that's being set up. There is a third group inherent in the quote - people who *don't* play games and don't have an interest in them whatsoever.
But in most cases like this, I'd argue that there is a gray-scale of some sort where you have "lighter gamers" on one end, and perhaps, more "hard core" gamers on the other. Most of us, as is usually the case with any binary set up, probably fall somewhere in the middle. I am still trying to figure out how to make every binary into a circle of some sort, rather than a straight line, but that is another project all together.
Thanks for your comment! If you haven't already, please send me an email about an interview! :-)Regina
Context is important, but even this little quote is provocative imo. I guess the 'ultimate' binary is gamers vs non-gamers. Of course, this is false and simplistic, particularly when there is a stereotype of what a 'gamer' is. So people who see themselves more as stereotypical gamers label people who aren't as 'non-gamers' even though they're just different gamers whether because of what genres they play, how much they play or even who they are in other ways (women for example). It just kind of reminds me of the stigma bisexual people get from both sides of the binary: some straight people think they are 'really' gay but can't come to terms with it and some gay people think they just want to keep one foot in heterosexual privilege, when in reality, it's not that simple and is just as valid a sexual orientation (which can be fluid and change as well).
Anyway, thanks for commenting back! It would be interesting if people who are interested in the project could kinda chat with each other on here... and it might give you some other data that would be more focus-group-y because of that conversational aspect. And I did send you an email, though I think it might have been with another email address. I know you posted that you're looking into interview options for non-US people, which would include me, so I'm just being patient that you'll write back soon :)
It was intended to be provocative and to call forth a discussion just like this one. It's funny (although that's the wrong word) that you bring up sexuality in this context since that was what I was thinking about when I mentioned that most binaries really should be gray scales. Of course, most people like things in small, easily contained packages, and "straight" and "gay" are very nice, tight places to put people. (As are female, male, good, bad, etc.) And most of life is just not that simple. I find people are more likely to open up their thinking when challenged personally with a box they don't fit in. Unfortunately, that doesn't always happen, especially to people who benefit from white, heterosexual privilege.
As for commenting back, I really want this space to be just the kind of thing you're describing - where I can talk to many people about the interviews and the ideas that I am going to write about. I tend very strongly toward feminist pedagogy in my classrooms and am taking that into my dissertation. I said to someone I interviewed yesterday that I hope to decenter myself as the "academic in the ivory tower" and get people talking about this stuff instead. It's important and should be treated as such.
I am waiting on a signature for the new study but I should be able to move forward with expanding the project as soon as next week. Exciting?! To say the very least. ;-)Regina
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