Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Gaming isn't main stream? What about Curt Schilling the dragon-slayer!

Geek has been chic for years and years now ... this isn't news ... so I've been shocked recently to encounter several people, dozens in fact, who seem to feel being a geek in general, but particularly being a gamer puts us out of the main stream.  What sparked this was a conversation with a friend who was shocked when I said gaming is main stream man combined with many comments I've read during the great 5th ed wave of mass blog-o-sphere wide lamenting, gnashing teeth, celebration, drawing daggers, and jumping off of cliffs ... I saw a few blog posts out there where people were actually suggesting that D&D and gaming in general wasn't "main stream." I paid attention to those comments because in my mind one of the big problems for gaming is that it has become so main stream we are experiencing all the problems you see out in "main stream" land ... lol ... whatever that means. That said yes, yes, of course a new day in terms of opportunity for new products, etc. which hopefully will be very beneficial to us old guard now having main stream status for our hobby.  Clearly here I'm not saying specific micro niches of gaming are "main stream" just that more and more someone can out loud, in public, say something like "I'm a gamer" or "I'm a geek" and no one raises an eyebrow at you.  Of course segments of gaming will probably always be little isolated backwaters (thankfully eh!).

But saying gaming is main stream on the whole is really not true, obviously there are areas that will never be main stream.  But D&D is very widely known now and cited as something many famous folks did when they were kids, almost as a badge of honor.  Video games are 100% mainstream dozens of celebrities have admitted to being video game fans and most pro-athletes play sports related video games (or at least say that publicly as they love the money rolling in from EA).  Tabletop even has become more and more "main stream" when you can find Settlers of Catan in the average Barnes and Noble now ... the numbers are big enough all round to call gamers and I mean true gamers not just "video gamers" but guys that play tabletop of some variety as well as.  When MTV and CNN, etc. have "geek" sections now, when CNN runs regular stories frequently about geek-culture.  Hell MTV was running a story about an upcoming FATE based game, that is semi-obscure RPG stuff and its being covered by MTV Geek.   Obviously The Big Bang Theory and similar media exposure has done its number as well.

When Comicon is no longer just a stinky comic shop nerd fest (hasn't been for years now) but a big media roll-out event ... this all means ... sigh ... geekery and gaming is main stream.  To me this isn't news and I think someone could make the argument that "gaming" and "geekery" were mainstream in the mid-to late 90s.  But apparently people still are shocked when that statement is made. Well this article just slapped me in the face with those thoughts again so I thought I'd post about it.  Yet another big name athlete/former athlete proclaims their geekery ... before anyone says well that is just video games I also submit this quote.

“I was always a big fantasy guy, a big ‘Dungeons and Dragons’ kind of gamer,” Schilling said. “That was always a very big, significant piece of my gaming because I was always a very avid reader as a kid. I read ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy for probably the 20th time a couple of years ago, but that’s what got me into fantasy gaming.”“If you think about it,” Schilling said, “I’ve lived the ultimate gamer life”.”

Schilling is by far not the first celebrity or sports figure to say he is a gamer geek or even a D&D fan, he is just the latest in a growing line of people saying so ... as gaming continues its long entry into full main stream entertainment status.

Curt Schilling the dragon-slayer

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