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Updated Editor’s Note 11/7/2017 – In an effort to further commit to our editorial vision of quality content about nothing but games or the industry, we are leaving this note here to let you know that this article does not meet the standards of that vision as it exists today. This article may be poorly written, or it may be well-written but with charged political content, which we have stepped away from. It’s not the ideas we have a problem with, as we do not discourage any viewpoint, we are just moving away from this sort of content. This article no longer represents TechRaptor’s editorial vision today and into the future. You can read more about why we are doing this here.

Holy melodramatic Batman. This has to be one of the most ridiculous things I have ever seen. The identity of “gamer” is a nebulous thing that we can’t lump any single group into for one thing, and it isn’t going anywhere. For another matter, it is a descriptor, not something people identify with – even if they think they are. Nobody is a “gamer,” in the way we all immediately think about. There are people that treat games as a hobby, some more extremely than others.

I have spoken about this in the past. Identifying as a “gamer” right now is both meaningless and exclusionary at the same time, for a couple of reasons.

Nobody knows what “gamer” means. You play a lot of games? You discuss games intellectually while playing them? You debate about different narrative styles? Or do you just play games to relax in your free time? Which one is it? I don’t know. I even call myself a gamer sometimes and don’t know what the hell I am talking about.

“Gamer” is a charged term right now. Those that use it to describe themselves using it look at it fondly. Those that completely misunderstand it look at it negatively. Look at any newscast on a major network that attempts to discuss gaming and you will know exactly what I am talking about.

Being a gamer is not a thing. Being a person that plays games is. Just like with movies, music, books, and everything else, there will be varying degrees of what that means. This is no different.

People are not going to stop describing themselves as someone who plays games. It just isn’t going to happen, and to say so is incredibly naive (and/or an attempt to sensationalize a fabricated issue). For this to be a true “The End of Gamers” it would have to be an end to the industry altogether. People will continue to play games, and those that play games can be described as one group, the name of which right now is “gamer.” Whether or not they will be called “gamers” in the future is irrelevant, those that want to play games will continue to do so as long as games are made.


And what an incredibly convenient topic to suddenly spring up considering what has recently happened (more on why Journalists want to deflect here). Journalists, who have been getting a terrible rap lately, are suddenly turning on who, but those that are criticizing them? Articles discussing this are vilifying those that disagree with them. If they can make that one group, that is almost impossible to define, look bad, then they win. Their poor journalism can continue, as well as their refusal to recognize and follow ethics.

What is so infuriating about this whole thing is that the dramatized “The End of Gamers” is something that does not exist. Those writing about it probably even don’t believe it – not truly. It is heightening the response to recent allegations against journalists. So not only are those that disagree with journalists on the issues of the past few weeks misogynists and sexists, but they are also sadly grasping at something to identify with because the “forward thinking” and “progressive” individuals are becoming the majority in gaming.

How is that the case? Oh, because recent studies showed that there are more adult women than teenage boys that play games. Because of this, the “gamers” feel threatened.  More adults playing games, does leave a higher chance for more levelheadedness. Sure. But, this is an example of something sounding really good, but holding no real value. They make false connections as there is no way to quantify an increase in progressiveness to an extremely undefined and nebulous group. Does an influx of adults who happen to be women lead to progressive and forward thinking? Do all teenage boys engage in the maliciousness that a few have highlighted recently? Without concrete examples to all of that, there is no way that claim holds any significance.


Another convenient part to this argument is the fact that people, like me, are arguing for a better adherence to ethics in game journalism because we are afraid that the male hegemony in gaming is disappearing, which the Zoe Quinn controversy is evidence of. There is no way that the mountains of evidence against her, other incidents, and other journalists means anything. No, we are more concerned with male dominance.

I will say it again: I don’t care that Zoe Quinn happened to be a woman. If we had heard something of a male developer sleeping with women journalists to receive better press, I would have been just as angry. The issue would be EXACTLY the same. There would be no change. Well, that is not entirely true. It would not have been as big of a deal because he was a man. And I say that because he would definitely not have tons of people rushing to defend him for no apparent reason, like what happened with Zoe Quinn (seriously, I still don’t understand why). So in a sense, this did become an issue because she was a woman, but only because certain groups, and many gaming journalists, decided to make it a significant issue. Without the crazy accusations of misogyny leveled at all who disagreed, this would be far less of a big deal. The discussion on ethics would continue, but it would not be seen nearly as negatively.

The irony here is that it is journalists who make these kinds of claims about male hegemony and make this a sexist issue. I’m not concerned with it. I don’t care if males remain the majority group in gaming, as long as interesting games continue to be produced.

This is just another heightened example of deflection. I’m not concerned with misogyny, nor sexism, as I don’t see them as significant to this issue, but they surely do want to make it the core of the issue. What I am concerned with are things like journalistic integrity.

I do not deny that there are hate groups out there – but they exist in all opinions of an issue. Those that make threats and harass those that disagree with them are despicable people who should be severely punished in some way.


Those writing about “The End of Gamers” would have you believe that by “gamers” they are referring directly to those sorts of groups. That is a total lie. Why not refer to them as exactly what they are, hate groups (though I doubt they are a homogeneous group), or extremely disturbed individuals? By using “gamers” and the way the term is used now, they are intentionally lumping all people that play games into one group.

It is an incredibly smart move and an interesting step in the progression. First, those calling out journalists were misogynists, now we are a group of people desperately trying to hold on to games as a part of our identity. That because pretty much anyone can play a game, which was not the case in the past, we are reaching out to hold on to our little clique. We don’t want newcomers, gaming is an exclusive club. VIPs only.

Is it just me, or is that something constructed to sound intellectual and poignant, but makes no sense? Right now there is some debate between “hardcore gamers” and “casual gamers.” That is the extent of any kind of identity crisis. Everyone will continue to play games in the way that they like to, regardless of who makes up the community. Every community expands and has its own sub-communities within it. At worst, more will retreat to sub-communities and adhere to more ridiculous names than “hardcore.”

And how in the hell does any of this have to do with the accusations against Zoe Quinn? What does the fact that certain terrible individuals decided to attack and harass her have to do with the idea that the gamer identity is dying? Does that sound crazy to anyone else but me? This is a perfect example of using the actions of a few to condemn the many. I’m sure there are plenty of people in Ferguson right now who don’t want to be lumped in with those that riot, burn down homes and business, and loot the town. Is everyone in Ferguson barbaric because those things happened? Of course not.

This is all just an attempt to change the current issue and force a new discussion away from an examination of gaming journalism ethics. A red herring.

Andrew Otton

Editor in Chief

Editor in Chief at TechRaptor. Lover of some things, a not so much lover of other things.

  • Ax

    Excellent article, really well done.

  • Manly Chicken

    Finally, a news article about the death of gaming not pissing on it’s audience.

  • minmod

    It really has been a very frustrating two weeks. Clearly, they do not want to have a discussion about this, and they’ll try to strongarm everybody – both the extremists and the majority moderates – into submission with a blitz of articles that shut them out and misrepresent them. It’s almost silly.

    Thank you very much for writing these articles.

  • Suzaku Kururugi

    This is a well-written article. And I’m not just saying that because it expresses the view that I believe in. It’s because it expresses a different opinion at all. Barely anyone else is reviewing the other side’s feelings or beliefs in this matter. It seems to be a non-stop railroading of one side’s opinion on the other. That is NOT how you debate. That’s not even how you write a goddamn essay/piece. Isn’t the first rule of writing essays you learn in school to express views and then give counter views?

    I’ve gotten off on a tangent, but yeah, great article.

  • Defunct Anti-SJW

    “The death of gaming’ articles are silly, but daunting when you realize about twelve articles, all from different sites all came out on the same day. I remember seeing a big list of all those articles with timestamps. I am amazed, but not surprised this whole issue got as big as it got.

  • Miasma

    Word is there is a PAX talk on Monday looking to redefine the word “gamer” due to it’s baggage.
    They are comparing this to invention of Atheism+ and the huge drama fest that came along with it. No solid proof yet but let’s wait and see.

  • Dehydration

    This entire ‘gamers are dead’ issue is just a case of video game journalists trying to deflect the bad press they got. It’s hilarious – after allegations of cronyism and collusion between and within the indie scene and game journalists, they decide to post ten articles about the same thing on the same day within hours of each other. Hell, some of those articles even link each other! Gamers aren’t dead, gaming journalism is and if the rumour that they are planning on introducing a new term is true, it’ll just be used by the rest of the crowd in mockery.

    Good on you for reporting the news as it actually is.

  • Thank you techraptor for showing people what’s really happening.

  • Cool Gamer From The Web

    It’s good to see an article on the matter that confirms my biases instead of challenging them.

  • www

    Good article, I’m glad there’s a site that isn’t afraid to talk about this properly.

  • TheUnfunkiestMunky

    Whitelisted, bookmarked… Looks like you guys will be replacing The Escapist as my general nerdery goto site! Keep up the good work, I look forward to becoming part of a (no doubt) growing community here!

  • ThatGuy

    Be aware that those “12 sites” are either owned by one company, Gawker Media in this case, or are run by people who are friends to the folks who run Gawker Media. In truth, about one and a half websites ran that article, and a dozen cronies picked it up and carried it.

  • Tyroki

    I’d just like to throw this out there.

    I actually do identify myself as a Gamer.
    I am a person who loves to play video games have very in depth discussions about video games and the industry as a whole. This, I believe, is a Gamer.
    Many sorts of people can be Gamers. Intelligent or not (I prefer to stick with those who can have intelligent discussions myself, but I’ve had some crazy fun discussions with people I would consider stupid, so there is that)

    Saying all Gamers (people who identify themselves as such) are extremist, misogynists, neckbeards, fat basement dwellers, etc is the same as someone saying that all feminists are extremist, misandrists, fat, ugly, etc.

    There are far too many different people who identify with these names. In this case, we’ve had the extremist straw-feminists throwing out the words sexism and misogyny as a defense for their inability to accept when they’re flat out wrong.

    The recent ‘war’ started by using Zoe Quinn as a catalyst, but it goes beyond her. It isn’t that she slept with many guys that people have a problem with. It’s the fact that she did it and got favors that boosted her career.
    When people tried to discuss it, and ask questions, their posts were nigh-instantly removed and mass censorship began. Which, as it tends to, caused people to talk even more and start digging to find out WHY they were being censored. But to even remotely TALK about any of this, people had to flee to 4chan of all places, a place where anyone can talk about anything without fear of having their posts/threads deleted, and without fear of being banned for discussing certain topics that others might not like. At first, for example, about the Zoe Quinn thing.

    Please keep in mind that it only BEGAN with Zoe Quinn, and people keep making the mistake of thinking it’s STILL about Zoe Quinn. Zoe Quinn was just a catalyst. It has expanded far beyond her.

    This is about an extreme lack of integrity, the fact no codes of conduct exist for the game journalism sites, general corruption and more. Yay nepotism.

    The whole ‘death of gamers’ thing is a reflex by a large group of people who know they’re in deep. They want it to all go away, but it won’t go away, not helped by the fact the keep shooting themselves in the foot with insulting comments and articles, and lumping large groups of people who love playing video games together with some very angry people.

    A majority of the battle taking place is being taken place quite civilly, and those who aren’t doing as such are the extremists who don’t know how to handle themselves for the better of the industry.

  • Daniel Mann

    Finally, some damn sense prevails. Thank you, this article is one of the best things I’ve read all day and finally put a smile on my face. Thanks for writing it Andrew Otton 🙂 Even handed and fair.

  • Guest

    I find it utterly ridiculous that these journalists are now trying to spin the hate vitriol towards “gamers” as being the deranged trolls. When in reality, its the hate mongers that infest both side of the coin that are doing the real damage. On Twitter, I saw a 10 year old kid receive a death threat because he dare speak his mind against an SJW type. A death threat that was casually shrugged off by SJW supporters (or to be fair. the hate-mongers that support SJW that is to say)

    It just amazes me, death threat towards a 10 year old? No big deal. Death Threat towards Anita Sarkesian? Quick, run to the presses, “gamers” are evil bastards who dwell in their parents basements and rebel at the system.

    Yet absolutely no one wants to bring that up, nope, instead we’ll just spin the narrative that it’s the “Gamers” who are the problem and not the obvious “Hate-mongers” that infest every part of the Internet.

    Anyways, I’m just happy some damn sense finally prevails and this article is incredibly refreshing to read. So thank you Andrew Otton, just happy that there are still good people out there who are even handed and want to write about this whole mess in a fair manner

  • Pablo Hernández

    Just leaving this here.

    According to some high rank in Nintendo the competition (including steam) is dealing with the same kinda numbers for registered users.

    Meaning if you take mobile and facebook out of the equation female presence drops drastically.

  • >Oh, because recent studies showed that there are more adult women than
    teenage boys that play games. Because of this, the “gamers” feel

    Yet certain people seem to have little problem insisting women feel alienated from gaming, even though by some of their own claims, women make up almost 50% of gamers. They usually move the goalposts to “well, that’s only because they don’t have anything else to play but these horribly misogynist games!”

  • >It just amazes me, death threat towards a 10 year old? No big deal.
    Death Threat towards Anita Sarkesian? Quick, run to the presses,
    “gamers” are evil bastards who dwell in their parents basements and
    rebel at the system.

    Oh, it gets better. Someone wrote a fanfic where Anita executes the head of Gearbox Software. Anita herself cheerfully endorsed it.

  • Women make up a minority of gamers? That’s because they’re so alienated by all the games with male protagonists.
    Women make up almost half of gamers? Well, that’s only because they’re forced to play games with male protagonists.

  • Oh, look, a drive-by handwave.

  • Sam Trashcan

    I totally agree with this article. “You’re mean!” is not a valid response to well-evidenced accusations of corruption. Their humorously well-coordinated ad hominem did nothing except make it that much easier to identify who has skeletons in his or her closet. They bit the hand that feeds them, and I hope gamers flee to websites that celebrate games and appreciates gamers as normal folks with a common interest.

  • It’s good to know that there’s an article out there that’s willing to look at the so-called “death of gamers” that isn’t looking to stir up trouble or purposely anger its audience unlike some other articles that have been making the rounds as of late..

    To Mr. Andrew Otton, I say thank you.

  • Thanks for reading and for the comment.

  • Thanks for reading!

  • Robert Ashmore

    Nice to see some of the dominos are still standing. Gamers need to stand up for themselves! Good article

  • Neuchaaacho

    I really liked the article. I read Kotaku’s and found it to be Gawker’s usual click-bait fare. I’ve played games most of my life but never considered myself a ‘gamer’. It seems silly as an identifier. Do people that listen to music call themselves musics?

    People are getting all worked up by injecting social issues into something that’s become a type of art and it doesn’t work. If a game is good, PLAY it. If a game is terrible, don’t!

    I honestly don’t believe for a minute that people that play games would be up in arms in ANY way if there were more of everyone depicted as the hero. Uncharted would be the same game if Drake were an Asian dude who hit on his archeologist love interest Samir. Tomb Raider would be the same if Lara Croft was black.

    Forcing things like that and telling ‘gamers’ it needs to be changed since they’re a bunch of misogynist assholes is what rubs people the wrong way.

    The game and story are the primary focus, everything else is secondary. Inclusion is going to happen naturally as the market changes and there’s absolutely no reason to be so militant about it like some of these websites tend to be.

  • Neuchaaacho

    This true of every article on the other side of the spectrum as well. I can objectively say this is a LOT more level headed, thought out, and fair than Kotaku’s shit postings tend to be from a purely journalistic standpoint and keeps the actual point of the issue upfront.

  • wcg

    Let these news outlets think we’re dead. The best we can do is vote with our mouse. I’ve removed many of the offenders from news feeds (most I did not frequent.)

  • BranndonFricks

    Thank sweet chocolate christ that someone out there gets it. I thought I was alone!

  • TheCybercoco

    Gamer refers to someone who loves video games, the video game industry, and video game culture, and is very enthusiastic about it. That’s about as clear of a definition as you can get and has been defined that way since at least the ’80s. It is definitely an identity (even a lifestyle) that many identify with that is neither “meaningless” nor “exclusionary”. If you fit the definition up top, you are a gamer, period.

    “Someone who plays video games” is not what gamer means. Gamers do more than just play video games. That’s a mistake that many people make.

  • Really good points all around. Thank you for writing this.

  • MychaelDarklighter

    The fuck do you mean “as well”?