Friends, as you know, within the gaming community I’m considered something of a stalwart: a dreamer, a doer, a parolee who has paid his debt to gamer society. And as a member of the gaming world, I have the freedom, and frankly the duty, to speak to the larger world about the beautiful drum circle that is modern gaming. Gamesmanship. Gamerology. Gameancy. Whatever they call it. I’m sure you know the word I mean: all those beautiful and natural game-related words which we all have tattooed on our multitude of bodies.
Still, despite our overwhelmingly mild desire to explain ourselves to larger society, there’s still a gaping hole in the public understanding where gamer-love ought to be. I’ve come to expect that most of the godless outworld barely understands our illustrious, button-mashing, never-sleeping tribe. Well, this ends right goddamn now, as the Marine whispered to the Parisian mime.
Totally dope people deserve to know every type of gamer. And believe me, there certainly are… “types.”
Gamers game in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Hey, us gamers, right? Knowing chuckle, knowing chuckle, sensible laugh. For Paste, I thought I’d do something that’s never been done before, and divide up gamers according to “archetype.” Stay with me here … I know, it’s a new idea! I’d never have imagined the human brain was possible of categorizing gamer typology, but it was surprisingly easy to do! Once I started thinking my way through it, these different “characters,” if you will, rendered up their spectacle to my searching eyes. It’s so obvious!
Believe me, I’d be familiar with these pigeonholes in my sleep. Or in death, which is like a slightly longer-lasting sleep. Since that will never happen—my death, I mean—I can speak freely about each of these rowdies and what they bring to my gaming career, AKA my life AKA the only true love I shall ever know.
We’ve all seen this guy around on the Game Internet! If he’s not playing Space Wipe he’s playing Pirate Child, and all the other classic MMPROGALS we’ve come to love in our gaming summers. Opium-Addicted Architect is a much-monocled and sickeningly beloved type of “gamer” among the “gaming universe.” He’s so full of quaint prejudices! Muttering of dread wives and children he’s had to forsake to play his games, you’ll find that the only thing he really cares about—besides the Whistling Protestant series of JRPGs—is his only true mistress, Gentle Lady Opium. That’s the source of his moniker, after all. Who hasn’t been hi-lariously propositioned by this classic gamer with his signature line “I need opium or your brain-humors to live. I tell you, fellow gamer, I shall sell my soul a thousand times over for one final taste of heaven’s only balm!” Ha ha, that’s so you, Opium Addicted Architect, you ruse-filled gamesman! Why, this gentle sir will doff his sweat-stained hat at you while he mutters about dream-towers and “mansions which lesser men shall never suffer me to build on the bones of their forefathers.” What a cut-up, on the talking channel of gaming, whatever that’s called nowadays!
I tell ya, if there’s one thing that happens in gaming, it’s that furry, milk-loving species sit on controllers. Gang, how many times have you been fighting off invisible bats at 3 AM when you realize that the enemy “gamer” you’ve been dueling in the online puzzle-game Never Another Orphan is, in fact, a dog or cat or sloth or walrus zygote that is sitting on the game controller? Who among us hasn’t put aside our bubbling pot of hot Mountain Dew, looked into a cracked mirror, and muttered, “If an illiterate field-beast can attain such hi-scores, what does gaming mean? I mean, doesn’t that call the entire question of gaming into question? What have I done with my life?” Am I right? Ha, this guy here, he’s nodding. He knows. MAMMALS.
Listen, Chet. I understand that you and Becca had a moment. But bro. Bro. Listen. Hey, listen. Bro. Bro. Whatever. You’re … you’re the past, ‘kay? But whatever. I get that you love your games. What? Do you want to fight?
(Walks away, puts hands on his hips, as if thinking. Stands pensively. Turns back to talk to you.)
Look, sorry I blew up like that. I guess you and I have something in common, since we play Chunk Dealer 2000 together. I mean, when you told me that? I figured, hey, this guy can’t be that bad. Why do you think men fight like this?
Okay. Honestly bro, I was intimidated by you, and your endless supply of witty pregnancy zingers. Hey man, that’s why when you point a finger, there’s four fingers pointing back at the pointer.
Yeah, that’s something us gamers would understand. Is Becca a gamer? No. But she’s something different. The princess in the castle. Heh. Heh.
Hey, listen, so Becca and I had a talk. Just now, while you and I were talking and the words were coming out of your mouth. Just … just treat her right, okay?
Funny: so many of these guys could liberate us from the scourge of Soviet oppression but not from the necessity of their mortality. Tens of Presidents have sworn to never stop breathing, but the moment they leave office, BAM, dead and silent as the silent hills of the Konami game Silent Hill: The Game. If you really think about it, what is the White House but a High Scorer List rendered into mansion form? Every President was a gamer, and it is written that every gamer will become President. As my court-appointed lawyer has informed me, I am required to tell the truth in all written communication, so you know what I tell you is true. This classic gamer stereotype can be found in the digital halls of classic religio-tainment titles like Frog War and the compelling 2003 Valve release Napalm … at My Brunch??!. Trademarks of this gaming “type” include invading Mexico and enabling two-hundred years of Executive Branch white supremacy. Over one hundred percent of these chief executives were tempted by the offer of turning into pure skeleton retirement.
Whenever I crack open a case of DOOM, the game all the kids are playing, this long-ping newb is always on my gamer’s case. But I can’t hold it against him. He’s a series of endlessly scratching, skittering claws attempting to make it a man’s world, fighting for his rights, to become the “It” guy of 2015. Don’t concentrated on the swollen, distorted, human-silhouette bag. Look below the surface. See the thirty night-creatures beneath. There are thirty tiny, hungry, rabid mouths filled with pro-tips, if you have the courage to ask them. This gaming stereotype could be seen at every Nintendo tournament from 1947-1965, and arguably were most effective during the Six-Day War. Last year, when Thirty Raccoons in a Man-Shaped Bag received an honorary doctorate in Tetris from Harvard, the broadsheets of Paris were aghast: how dare the learned professors of Cambridge inject credibility into the jaws of thirty raccoons pretending to be a single human being? But maybe we shouldn’t make fun of thirty raccoons in a man-shaped bag for being a successful gamer. Maybe we should ask … why aren’t we all thirty raccoons in a man-shaped bag?
Since I began this piece, all these gamer types have long since passed on from this world. Do I have any blame for erasing them from existence? Perhaps. But these thought-rampages aren’t just performed for the enjoyment of my dance-mirror. I’d ask the audience to remember that they’re the ones reading this prose, and so in a larger way, you’re as responsible as me for banishing these slick types from the gaming world. But if you’re like me, you’re not that sad. For, in the end, each of us want to win the high score of immortally, and that’s the greatest gaming commonality of them all.
Jason Rhode is a staff writer for Paste and 20 raccoons short of a full man-shaped bag.