It can be difficult to comprehend that sometimes people within communities hate on other people who share the same values or interests. Odd, right? With the recent surge in Nintendo Switch sales, in part due to lockdown and the release of Animal Crossing, there are more people than ever taking up gaming.

Whereas this in itself is quite positive – the gender gap is decreasing year upon year – a small majority of the so-called ‘real gamers’ are not liking it one bit. Instead of a polite online debate on how gamers are changing, instead they decided to tell the world that ‘unless you have a PS4, then you’re not a real gamer’. Fair enough, that’s your opinion but this particular post then addressed a paragraph with:

‘… DEAR WOMEN: Pokémon is not a real game. Animal Crossing is not a real game. The Sims is not a real game. Mario is not a real game. Stardew Valley is not a real game. Mobile games are NOT. REAL. GAMES. Put down the baby games and play something that requires challenge and skill for once.’

Inventor Ralph Baer is credited as being the man who came up with the home video gaming system with his “game box” idea back in 1966

I can imagine some pretty hardcore gamers being quite offended by this. Do they not know that Mario is the epitome of a computer game?

Gaming did not begin with the likes of Call of Duty and Apex. Inventor Ralph Baer is credited as being the man who came up with the home video gaming system with his “game box” idea back in 1966. This went on to be licensed by Magnavox and released as the Odyssey in 1972, with the Atari launched a few months later. To any ‘real’ gamer, these would certainly look like ‘baby games’.

As with Mario, he has become the face of computer games. If you have ever played a Mario game, then you will know how much skill and challenge is involved. Using weapons and trying to win against another team doesn’t necessarily mean more skills and challenges. They are just different.

People play games for different reasons. It’s fine to want to play online in Call of Duty or Fortnite, but it’s also fine to want to relax and play Animal Crossing. One game can be quickly gratifying, whilst the other is a slow burner.

It seems to be that if something isn’t considered a more grown-up game with weapons, death and available on a Playstation or Xbox, it isn’t cool enough. The Nintendo is a highly respected gaming console with a rich history, with games potentially considered more classic than on either of the other two consoles put together. And that’s not saying they’re not as relevant as Nintendo, because they’re fabulous pieces of machinery in their own right. It’s just you can’t say this or that is for the ‘real’ gamers, when to be honest, if you play games and you enjoy them you are, in fact, a gamer.

So in the end, no matter who you are, call yourself a gamer or not, but don’t let somebody with a narrow-mind on what gaming is tell you otherwise.

Photography by Tomasz Mikolajczyk & Joatseu

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