I'm Not a Gamer, I Never Was

Even though I mostly make Super Smash Bros-related videos, I’ve long since renounced my status as a gamer. It's been years since I've played even played a casual session of Smash. The only reason I classify my videos as gaming-related is becuase machinimation is associated with animation the same way professional wrestling is associated with combat sports. If I were to win an award for best gaming channel on YouTube, the internet would have my head. So why is it that I don’t consider myself a gamer?

Why would I with the negative stigma attached to it?

I'll spare you the obligatory rant about how AAA publishers are evil because as Steam Greenlight and the saga of Digital Homicide taught us, wannabe developers are no less capable playing the victim card while screwing over their customers and scamming them out of their money. I actually have more sympathy with publishers than gamers, at least when they get flack over something as trivial as microtransactions. Don't give me that psychological baloney about how games that use microtransactions are messing with your head and testing your patience until you crack, because not every game is as rigged as Middle-earth: Shadow of War or EA's Battlefront 2. Sometimes the choice between spending more than your $60 on enhancements to progress in the game versus playing the game without them is just that: a choice.

It's easy for me to be sympathetic to publishers because I am a business-minded person. How else do you expect The Game Awards to deliver those awesome premiere trailers and bring in all those special guests without sponsorship deals? It's not like people watch the show for the actual awards. That's like if people watched the Super Bowl for the actual football game instead of the commercials.

...They said sarcastically.

That being said, for every trivial thing like microtransactions, we have more repugnant actions, like the Blitzchung incident. Even before that, we have publishers like Take Two waging a war against international law for the right to use lootboxes in a way that makes the player feel like they're gambling. That's where I draw the line. Stuff like this isn't exclusive to the video gaming industry, but it always seems like the most disgusting business tactics and policies are employed by publishing companies.

Again, that's not to say gamers are above acting like bastards too. Please don't get me started on Gamergate. You say you're trying to prevent posers and fakes from hitching a ride on the gaming bandwagon to popularity when in reality, they aren't about that lifestyle. You say you're fighting against those who demonize video games as an outlet for antisocial boys to be antisocial. Yet when someone starts a discussion about non-objectified female protagonists or the inclusivity of minorities, ethnicities, and deviants from sexual and gender norms (myself being a work-in-progress), you treat them like the antichrist. And you wonder why gamers are still perceived to be basement-dwelling freaks by the media. 

Common sense and basic human decency are more valuable than your beliefs, so stop using the latter as an excuse. Fuck your politics, and fuck your religion.

It would be easy for me to say "fandom is cancer" and use that as an excuse but between the financial strain, the shady business practices, the toxic fandoms, and the lack of focus on genres that I myself am interested in (like a racing game that doesn't feel like a bad knock-off of Mario Kart, or an attempt to create the next Forza Motorsport), the truth is I'm all burned-out. That doesn't mean Super Smash Bros machinima is my only gaming-related hobby. I've fallen in love with Undertale AUs, and I find it  more refreshing to watch female gamers because it reminds me that video games are no longer a boys-only pastime.

But these days my general interests lie in professional wrestling, animation, and music. I'm very low-key about all these things because my experience in the gaming world has left me bitter towards human interaction, especially in real life. That and Canada hasn't produced a beloved, game-changing animated series in decades. Even when we animate such programming (*cough*MyLittlePony*cough*), the Americans take all the credit. So I stuck to watching anime instead.

The preceding piece wasn't made to denounce video gaming culture or bash anyone associated with it. Don't take this as me saying "don't lump me in with them". I just figured, as long as no sane person would ever read a blog, I might as well vent.

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