ICBS: Hardcore ElitismI noticed a weird bit of subject synchronicity when scanning through my gaming Web comics yesterday. Both VGCats and Real Life Comics seemed to be hammering home the same somewhat crotchety message: Today’s gamers aren’t worthy; we had REAL gamers back in our day, dagnabbit!

I’ve got to say, I’m getting a little tired of this kind of us-versus-the-newcomers mentality among the “hardcore” gaming set. Yes, more people are playing games now, but this is not a bad thing! In fact, it’s been vital to making the industry as exciting and varied and downright enjoyable as it is today.

ICBS: Hardcore Elitism

The argument that new gamers are somehow ruining the industry is not new. Penny Arcade laid out the case back in 2001 as part of a four-part series of comics analyzing why “videogames suck now” (as the introduction put it). The problem started, apparently, when Sony tried to market the PlayStation to “the same f***ing guys who used to beat us up in P.E. They’d never turned into an eggplant in Kid Icarus. They had friends and girls and sports. Why did they need games?”

Believe me, I get where this argument is coming from. Games were an overwhelming, integral part of my youth. From just before I got my first NES at age seven through about my senior year of high school, practically the only way I interacted with my peers was by either playing games or talking about them. Games gave this shy, scrawny kid a vital social outlet that helped him get through adolescence relatively pain-free with a group of other awkward, like-minded children, and I’ll be forever indebted to the medium for that.
But back to Penny Arcade’s eight-year-old question, echoed in this week in other Web comics: “Why did they need games?” The answer is, of course, they didn’t need them. But that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t want them, if they were offered in the right way. More importantly, it doesn’t mean they don’t deserve them now.

(full article)