Who Gets to Call Themselves a Gamer?

Journalist and video game fan Latoya Peterson put together a great short video that explores the word “gamer.” Peterson explains that when she was growing up, she never had a problem with the word. “For me, gamer was a word with power. It was an affiliation. It was a way to say that I, too, loved games,” she explains. But for many people, the word feels loaded. Being a “gamer”—rather than just someone who likes games—is an identity. A lot of women and people of color feel like they don't or can't identify that way because they're not like other gamers, even if they love video games. This can be a form of gatekeeping in nerd culture—the way a group is defined in popular culture makes people who aren't represented by that image feel like they're not actually welcome to be part of the group. As we've seen way too often, when women speak up about issues in gaming, they can face serious harassment and intimidation. 

Watch the video here: 

This video is the first in a documentary series all about women gamers. I can't wait to see what's next! 

Related Reading: Three LGBT Gamers Talk About Queering Geek Culture. 

by Sarah Mirk
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Sarah Mirk is the former host of Bitch Media’s podcast Popaganda. She’s interested in gender, history, comics, and talking to strangers. You can follow her on Twitter

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1 Comment Has Been Posted

I've identified as a gamer my

I've identified as a gamer my entire life. While it does sometimes earn me condescending looks from guys (if you are better than them they shut up quickly), I never once considered race a restriction. Of my female gamer friends more than half (6+) are not white. It makes me very sad that you've experienced that.

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