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Originals

Sorry Gamers, Some of you are acting like spoiled cinephiles

Toejam

Posted by: Doug Fairall

I hate to break it to you. If you’re reading this, you’re probably a gaming enthusiast; and that probably makes you a gamephile. You love video games and feel an affinity to them, much as a turophile loves a fine cheese, a bibliophile enjoys a good book, and a cinephile is a connoisseur of movies and films.

This grandiose love for video games and its culture is where we come into friction with the rest of society, much like those who consider themselves learned in cinema. So let’s use them as our prime comparative example; lord knows we can draw quite a few similarities.

Having gone through university as film studies major, I ran into all sorts in my classes who would throw their nose up at the very idea of the ‘common man’ creating any kind of cinematic vision. To them, the world of film was and should be relegated to the likes of Orson Welles, Frank Capra, and, more contemporarily, Steven Spielberg. To these scholars of the medium, the classics are what passed as true film, and, coincidentally, should and must be produced using Kodak stock. ‘Video isn’t film!’ they’d cry. To them, it didn’t count if it wasn’t on film.

Genius!

Their medium decision wasn’t the only deriding factor either. Popcorn flicks were the bane of modern cinema, and anything that didn’t leave you scratching your head afterwards was just a boring linear story.

But where am I going with this?

Us gamers do the same thing. We are the gamephiles that inhabit this entertainment medium. We scrounge around the news sites looking for inside scoops and blurry videos of the next upcoming game, and then furiously type away in a maelstrom of disbelief and anticipation. ‘How could they forget that feature?!’ or ‘Wow, check out the new graphics!’ These are our cries. The big games come and go, then the sequels and their sequels, and on to the next generation.

We let out huge waves of anguish at each subsequent ‘mainstream’ game that hits the shelves. Dance Party 6 or Animal Petting Zoo do nothing for us, but they fill a void for your six-year-old cousin or the coed next door. It’s gaming for the ‘masses.' Cheap, easy, fun. Much like those over-hyped summer blockbusters and the factory produced rom-coms.

They make money.

This was going to be revolutionary... was...
 
Just like in the film industry, easy to create genre games help to fill the coffers of the video game publishers to take risks — risks that sometimes work and sometimes don’t. Sometimes little games do well, like Portal, while huge games do not (Spore anyone?). Plus, does it hurt to have more people playing video games of any type? Absolutely not.

The more people gaming, the better. This is why we need to stop acting like spoiled cinephiles and accept that if gaming is to be received as a legitimate hobby by the mainstream world, we need to accept that mainstream gaming is a part of our identity. We need to understand that those who only play Angry Birds are still gamers. We should welcome them with open arms.
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