Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Nintendo's Strange Intentions

Urban Dictionary defines the gamer as:

1.)Someone who plays video games when bored...usually very good at it

2.) Someone who plays video games as a hobby 
However, in the recent Nintendo commercials, you can play video games but not be a gamer. The two commercials showcase two women happily tapping away at their Nintendo DS, either as an artist or as a coin collector but surprisingly, not as a gamer. Now, something tells me that Nintendo was just trying to reach a wider audience and this was just one attempt at influencing those of the non-gaming variety, but they way it came across...

...Not nice, Nintendo.

The term "gamer" has been attributed over the years to those serious and hardcore players, or even those who play occasionally. But as the years pass, the term gamer is growing to encompass more than what used to be the average momma's boy sitting in the basement until the wee hours of the morning. A gamer can be a social gamer, a mobile gamer, an online gamer, and so on. Well then, why are we so afraid of being classified as one?
What about this babe? Hawt.

It would seem that Nintendo is grasping at the concept of the gamer as a lazy, unfulfilled, procrastinating member of society. They took the stereotype and amplified three more times by having the commercial star an attractive woman and a young female athlete. God knows there aren't any beautiful female gamers! Right?

Wrong. Two out of five gamers are female, and they can't all be ugly. 

So now we have these commercials that are being played on channels like Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network that are only proliferating the stereotype by telling little girls "If you want to be successful, don't be a gamer. Just play Nintendo DS games instead."

This furthers that already innate schism between boys and girls and perpetuates the notion that the video game industry is a boy's world. If girls play video games, it's for a completely different reason--probably because they're giving in to their artistic side or mindlessly chasing coins.

Ultimately, Nintendo is trying to appeal to that audience that dislikes the "gamer," the sexist, hateful, 4chan lurking, lazy mostly male no-gooder. Except that in doing so, they're saying you can play video games and not be a "gamer." In the world of gamers, if you play a video game and you do it often, you're a gamer. Sure, the opinion varies here to there, but someone will classify you as a gamer, however horrible that may be.

I save pricesses. Others draw ice cream.
There were so  many different ways to go with this. I get it. With video games, you can be anything. When I'm playing L.A. Noire, I'm a hard-ass cop who can't drive. If I'm Commander Shepard, I'm saving the known universe. And sometimes, I'm a Princess-saving hero. But I can't be any of these things if I'm not a gamer.

And that's why you should join the dark side.
We have Doritos.
And Mountain Dew.

Image Source: The Frisky


Bloggerized by Lasantha