The media portrayal of a gamer has been changing over the years.The Image of a gamer on in popular culture often being young teens or children who are unattractive, fat, antisocial, and lazy. So being a gamer myself, I decide to do my research on this topic and my findings are relatively opposite of the portrayal. The artifacts that I analyzed was the show South Park, an article from ESPN called “The Unkillable Demon King” and a YouTube video called “LOL and NBA”. With the analysis, I came out with conclusion of that the gamer image of popular culture is rapidly changing.
The first artifact I analyzed is an episode of South Park that came out in 2006 called “Make Love, Not Warcraft” which is very much the portrayal of the stereotype of a gamer. In this episode, everybody started playing War Of Warcraft because it’s a new game that allows you communicate with others online and able to do quests together. Jack Tenorman, who is just a normal dad that was introduced to the game and he was immediately hooked into it and value his in game status than real life status. In this one scene where they portrayed Eric, Kenny, Stan, and Kyle being obese camping under Eric’s basement with 4 computers. The room is messy, filled with garbage along with empty cans of energy drinks. They looked like they haven’t shower in months or left the basement. They didn’t care about anything besides level up. This is shows the image of gamer in media.
Another artifact that I found was this article from ESPN called “The Unkillable Demon King”. This article is about gaming, but yet ESPN is willing to outreach from their normal sporting news to publish this. Behind the reason that is the E-Sport gaming community has been growing and evolving to the point where they consider E-Sport, competitive gaming, a sport. In the article, they talked about what the game League of Legend is and introduce who Lee Sang Hyeok is also known as Faker. He is a professional gamer that plays in the competitive League of Legend team called SKT-Telecom. The most well known gamer in the world and arguably best League of Legend player in the world. Due to the up-rise of League of Legend, the current most popular PC game in the world, according to Riot games, the company that owns League of Legend said there are 27 million daily players and 67 millions monthly players. This was the major reason that leads to Lee’s success in the gaming community. He is the first player ever to win two worlds championships in the history of league of legend competitive gaming. Also the championship comes along with the prize pool of 1 million dollars. Within all his success, he is being recognized as public figure, idol, and icon for many teens that shares the same dream as his, which is to make a career of playing games.
I would have to say that Lee is the Michael Jordan of competitive gaming. He had changed revolutionized the game by his game plays and popularity. The typical gamer image are being changed because of his success by just playing games. This article is a great example of how he influence the change. Having a gaming article published about you by ESPN is a sign that popular culture acknowledging the existence of gamer. After all, from being a target to make fun in South Park to now being recognized by the popular culture and being idolized.
Last artifact I used to analyze is a video created by Riot Games called “Lol and NBA”. It’s about the meeting of two people from different worlds, yet they share one similar interest, which is to play the game of League of Legend. The two people in this video are Gordon Hayward and Joedat Esfahani. Starting with Gordon, who is a professional NBA player that plays the small forward position for the Utah Jazz. He isn’t just a regular NBA player, but he is an excellent one, being the best player in the team and played for the 2014 USA team. For Joedat, he is a professional League Of Legend gamer plays who at the time play for Curse Gaming but he’s now retired. The two popular culture identity are opposite of each other. As Gordon’s identity is a NBA superstar, supposedly he is muscular, tall, and rich, while Joedat, the gamer, is fat, anti social, and nerdy. Those are the popular culture traits of their identity, however, these two were able to come together and meet each other and have fun playing the game League of Legend. The interesting part is the fact the NBA star is a gamer himself which oppose all the stereotypical popular culture portrayal. This could hint that the gamer identity has been changed.
The views towards gamer has been different from the past. Back in 2006, in South Park they were using gamer stereotype to create humor for the audience and now in 2015, gamer are being treated as a celebrity, role model, and a career. Example of that would be Faker, who is extremely successful in the career of gaming and created enough attention for ESPN to write an article about him. Add to the changes, Gordon Hayward an NBA player who consider gamer is part of his identity is the new portrayal of the a gamer. With all the research I had done, I came up with the conclusion of that the portrayal of gamer in popular culture has been changing.
From my secondary source researches I had found an interesting article written by Jo Bryce and Jason Rutter called “Killing like a girl: Gendered Gaming And Girl Gamers’ Visibility”.
The article is about how female gamers are big part of the gaming community while the stereotypical of gamer is often males which is quite shocking to see. According to Interactive Digital Software Association suggest that 44% of U.S gamers are female (Bryce,2,2002). As this supports the portrayal of popular culture is not arcuate. Female gamer are being overlooked because of the heavy influence by the stereotyped portrayal in popular culture, where it had changed people’s view of a gamer.
During this course I have learned few valuable skills that will be carried for the future. One of them is critical thinking. Every week we had to do the blog comments which allowed me to practice my critical thinking by answering the questions in my perspective. Also those suggestion questions helped me a lot, it gave me a new way of looking at the situation. I am glad that this course gave me the chance to practice my critical thinking skills.
Another valuable skill I learn during this course is to how to write feedback and accept suggestions. The weekly comment on other people’s post and comments gave me a good practice of how to give feedback that could help my peers. Also accepting suggestions and feedback from them are important as well. This allows me to insert new ideas to my essays or post and I believe this will be a good skill to have outside the class.
Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 27 Jan. 2014. Web. 15 Nov. 2015.
“Killing like a Girl: Gendered Gaming and Girl Gamers’ Visibility.” Killing like a Girl: Gendered Gaming and Girl Gamers’ Visibility. 13 May 2002. Web. 15 Nov. 2015.
Kimes, Mina. “The Unkillable Demon King.” ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures, 10 June 2015. Web. 15 Nov. 2015.
“LoL and NBA.” YouTube. YouTube, 14 Feb. 2014. Web. 15 Nov. 2015.
“Riot’s ‘League of Legends’ Reveals Astonishing 27 Million Daily Players, 67 Million Monthly.” South Park. Dir. Trey Parker. Paramount Pictures :, 2006. Film.