Anyone can be a gamer, regardless of genre

More non-shooter games should be allowed greater opportunities as they bring unique benefits

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Games other than Fortnite are fun, engaging, and educational. ILLUSTRATION: Siloam Yeung / The Peak

by Charlene Aviles, Peak Associate

When I hear the phrase “video games,” first and third person shooter games often come to mind — the Entertainment Software Association even says that 47% of gamers play them. Many of these types of games — including popular ones like Fortnite, Halo, and Call of Duty — are often seen as more legitimate because those with expertise in this genre have various opportunities for wealth, fame, and recognition.

Other video game genres are also underrated because they are perceived as predictable and offer delayed gratification. However, the gaming community should accept all gamers irrespective of their preferred genre, as no game genre is lesser than another.

The gaming industry can open up doors for people worldwide to earn a living and become famous. Fortnite streamer and entrepreneur Tyler “Ninja” Blevins is just one of these people, having won numerous tournaments, appeared on TIME’s 2019 list of 100 most influential people, and been a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. In contrast, people who don’t play games that can lead to these opportunities often lack access to expand their platform and business through networking. To promote more opportunities for all gamers, they need to first be considered valid.

The video game industry offers a wide selection of games to choose from, such as role-playing, sports, party, and action. This diversity in content should be celebrated, not ridiculed. For example, some people can perceive puzzle games as repetitive and later lose interest — some puzzle game players even quit because they are too challenging and require greater patience. While suspenseful shooter games offer instant gratification and require skill, attentiveness, and strategy, other types like puzzle are equally capable of balancing challenge and fulfillment to entice players. 

For example, NBA 2K20 and FIFA 20 were two of 2019’s best-selling video games. Challenge is inherent to video games, and exposure to new types of challenges absent from shooter games allow gamers to gain more skills. These challenges teach gamers to think creatively in a variety of video game settings, beyond how to detect and avoid an opponent’s sneak attacks. By playing other types of genres, gamers could become well-rounded by developing other techniques that they would normally not use in shooter games.

Among the National Museum of Play’s World Video Game Hall of Fame inductees are well-known, non-shooter games such as Tetris, Pac-Man, and Pong. The World Video Game Hall of Fame’s inclusivity reflects that multiple games merit praise, irrespective of their genre or form. The diversity and history of video games also demonstrates that classic video games and consoles laid the video game industry’s foundation. In fact, the early technology used in the Magnavox Odyssey, an early video game console, served as a prototype and essentially promoted the development of modern technology used in shooter games.

Gamers should also celebrate other genres because their unique storylines present educational opportunities. Through a collaboration between the Iñupiat people and Upper One Games, Never Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna) was developed. It incorporates the Iñupiat culture into the main character Nuna’s attempts to survive in the Arctic. These collaborations show the potential for promoting cultural awareness, which is often lacking in shooter games. 

As the gaming industry grows, it requires a variety of games to be welcomed. All video game genres and types are equally valuable because their diversity facilitates technological innovation and promotes educational opportunities. The gaming community’s solidarity should outlive the latest gaming trend because what the gaming community needs is greater recognition, opportunities, and acceptance of gamers from all game genres.

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