Recently, Jimmy Kimmel made a remark that he didn’t understand why people are watching people play video games on Youtube and Twitch.

Of course, some people took to Twitter to insult and otherwise verbally attack Kimmel. Already the outcry against the “gamer community” has begun.

Look, I’m a gamer and I don’t get why you’d watch someone else play a video game. (Unless it’s a tutorial or for tips.) From what I can tell, the Twitch/Youtube phenomena of watching people play video games a generational thing, not a gamer/non-gamer thing. I’m a gamer, have been since the 80s. Watching someone play a game is BORING. I remember when it was a bad thing to invite someone over to your house to play video games, only to hog the controller the whole time they were there. Watching someone on Youtube play a game feels the same as that to me. So, let’s stop painting gamers with the same wide brush.

Unlike many other hobbies that are a niche, gaming is wide and vast. At this point in time, video gaming is as big/bigger than the movie industry. It’s a norm. Really, when you say “gamer” you mean “everyone under 45”. (To different degrees based on age.)  So, when people talk about “the gaming community” I get defensive, especially when the discussion is about how terrible “the community” is. (See Gamergate) What community? What they really mean when they say “Gamers” is PEOPLE on the internet. Gaming used to be a niche, so you could identify a gamer “type”. Not anymore. Now, gamers are everyone. So, when a bunch of terrible people start attacking a female internet celebrity, or a gaming journalist, or a late night comedian, they’re just terrible people. Not gamers. There is no more a  “gamer community” as there is a “movie goer” community, or a “TV viewer” community. When a niche becomes the mainstream it’s not a “community” anymore. It’s just the majority of PEOPLE.


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