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Episode 81

The Indoor Kids

What Makes You a Gamer?…

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The Indoor Kids #81: What Makes You a Gamer? with Jordan Morris

Kumail and Emily welcome their favorite guest, Jordan Morris, to discuss those weird Nintendo commercials where a person (usually a female) is playing a DS and proclaims herself not a gamer, but an artist. What makes a person a gamer? Is it enough to say you are one? Why do we care so much? All this and more!

(Painting is by Dave Kloc- @kmanworldwide)

POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT:

(8:18 – 11:40) – Zero Dark Thirty talk

Games discussed

XCOM, Far Cry 3, Playstation All-Stars Battle Royal, Borderlands 2, Mass Effect 3, Journey, Walking Dead, Kingdom Rush, Pixel Junk Monster, Your Shape Fitness Evolved, Farmville, Angry Birds, Halo, Street Fighter, Madden, NBA 2K13

Movies discussed

Zero Dark Thirty

TV discussed

The Wire, X-Files, Game of Thrones

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30 comments

  • I think Gamer works off of the loose idea of what Nerd means. Undefinable. For myself it’s a person that enjoys either a game or gene with some kind of passion more then just a passing glance. I am a FPS gamer, I’ve played a wide variety and have a select few that I regard above all else, but still love non FPS like Silent Hill 2, Zone of Enders, FF and etc. What I think Nintendo’s ad was trying to say was: I’m not overly enthusiastic about games but they allow me to do other things that might spark my imagination or take me away from something so I can keep doing that .

  • Love the Jordan episodes! I think the reason we get neckhairs up when casual gamers call themselves gamers is the same as when casual movie-watchers call themselves film buffs…but don’t have any interest and/or knowledge of “important” films for example. Man, I love you guys :O)

  • How is Bagel doing ? Has he climbed into any boxes lately ? Did his case of the worms clear up ? How is his relationship with Kumail ? How did he feel about Obama’s inaugural speech ? Does he feel that French incursion in Mali is legal international law enforcement or Francois Hollande’s attempt at Post-Sarkozy empire building ?These are the kinds of Bagel related information we need.
    Can we post our Bagel related question here ?
    Des anyone else have Bagel questions ?

  • Uh….did you just say when a casual gamer calls himself a gamer….this is the most pointless topic…. Just because someone doesn’t sit and soak up all the news surrounding game doesn’t make him less than a gamer. I’m confused how soaking up news and media makes you more of a gamer….I play dota2 30 hours or more a week. I down load cheap games off steam when they are available could be popular could not he I don’t know and I don’t care. I play them…. I don’t know the specs for the new consoles coming out and I don’t care….I don’t know any knew Xbox games coming and I don’t care….I don’t even k.ow of any pc games coming out. Yet…. I will buy over 50 games on steam this year and log 12 hours a day playing games….you saying I’m not a.gamer because I don’t know what’s going on? I’m sure I log more hours gaming than people who are “keeping up with games” givethis convo a rest its nonsense.

  • This is the same Jordan Morris who made a video mocking gamers as dateless virgins who have never “touched a vagina,” right? Would love to know if he’s ever been asked about that piece of easy-joke hackery on his previous guest appearances on the show . . .

  • @Farmenne: Just thought I’d clarify one thing: Bagel is a her :D
    But other than that, can you guys do a live chat where we can directly ask Bagel questions and have her answer them? :D

  • Hunh. I found Angry Birds pretty engaging and entertaining, while also using it to fill time as well. But I have a four year old, and we own a lot of little stuff Angry Birds and her imagination with the birds is enormous. We play the games, watch the videos, and read the comics they have put up. I wouldn’t say I’m a game, though. I sold my GameCube last year to get it out of the house, and gave the Dreamcast to a good, appreciative home. Never had an X-Box, X-Box 360, PS3 or Wii. We had a PS2, because of SSX, which was a phenomenal game, and Rez. And my wife played RPG galore (Skies of Arcadia, Final Fantasy VII, etc.). We had an original PS as well, and a lot of games (fave on that was probably Medievil). Are we games? Nah. We loved playing, but it just seeped out of our lives (especially when we had a kid and went from having disposable income to not having it). I really have been tempted to download and play the Lego Harry Potter games you’ve talked about (I love the books and movies), but they are expensive for the Mac! I feel weird that Angry Birds is the only game I’ve played in years, but really, I think it’s been the tiny sliver that’s kept me connected with actually playing anything at all (as I find the Facebook gaming stuff to be essentially just awfulness).

  • I think this episode is interesting and it is one of those things that isn’t going to have a definitive answer. I think Kumail put it well when he said that there will always be a bigger nerd.
    Personally I really enjoy RPG or city bulding/strategy games. The two games that I’m playing the most right now are The Sims and Anno 2070. I’m also counting down the days until the new Sim City comes out.
    Personally I don’t consider myself a gamer because I’m not the type of person to keep up with current trends and innovations within the industry. But I will pre-order the crap out of a new Sims expansion.
    So someone might consider me a gamer because I am loyal to a certain genre, company or game and make sure I know what they are offering in the future.
    In the long run I don’t think it really matters. If you are comfortable and happy with how you think of yourself then it shouldn’t matter what other people label you.

  • I don’t even know if I am a true gamer. Though I am currently playing AC3 and have Dishonored on board, I must admit to making recent Madden/Angry Birds purchases. This may end up being one of life’s unanswerable questions.

    ALSO WUTTUP BAGEL!!!

  • Another entertaining and funny podcast. But I was surprised to find that — not only do I disagree with your previous definition of art — it appears I also don’t agree on what Kumail defines as a game. Even though I don’t play Farmville, it seems obvious to me that it is in the same genre as Simcity or a whole host of other management games. Why does being centred on management make something not a game? Does Kumail also think simulations cannot be games?

    I also at first didn’t see much point in arguing about the definition of gamer, when we already have terms like “casual gamer” and “hardcore gamer” to differentiate ourselves, imperfect as those terms may be. (I probably play fewer hours overall than many casual gamers, but I know my flight sims in exhaustive detail…) In the end though I agreed with your point about engagement as a distinguishing factor.

  • I love your show but this was just painfull to listnen to.
    Guys, If you don’t consider people who play Farmville or Angry Birds to be gamers that’s your business. To me it’s haughty hogwash on your part.

    I don’t have a smartphone. But if I had I’d be playing angry birds in a heartbeat because I’m a gamer!

    I play videogames,
    I play cardgames,
    I play dice games,
    I play boardgames,
    I play role playing games (the pen & paper kind),
    and I play miniature wargames. (which is a whole topic unto itself to be fair)

    Yet I’m not lamenting about people calling themselves ‘gamer’ when a more precise description would be ‘videogamer’. I don’t get to define who’s what nor would I want to.
    Please, get off your high horse and have some friends over for a boardgame allready.

    Viva la Bagel!

  • Thought this video by the Extra Credits guys would add an interesting element to the argument. http://www.penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/gamer
    I also feel a sense of self-righteous indignation when certain people call themselves gamers. I feel it’s probably because for a long time it was such as derogatory term in a lot of society so now that it is used so casually, we feel we earned the term. Much like the term “nerd” and its rising popularity in mainstream culture.

  • Gamer is a culture, and just like any culture their exist within the culture individual’s take on that given culture. The fact that it is more and more obscure the definition of the word “gamer” goes to prove this. Gamer is not what you call a person like “Geek” or “Nerd”. Gamer is a way of life that has as broad a definition as hunting, soccer, socialite, criminal, Nascar, Musician and so on. In the current collective conscious what is is to be a gamer is being redefined and growing beyond what any of us can accurately imagine or predict. What ever it ends up being the solid definition of the culture, part of that definition will be synonymous with change. Their are many types of musicians, a singer is not excluded from being a musician because they don’t use an object to create music. Just like a person who plays Warhammer 40k is part of the same culture as people who run guilds on World Of Warcraft or Big Team Battle on Halo 4. All are “Gamers’ just different parts of the culture.

  • So I was catching up on some old episodes of this podcast and I stumbled upon some valuable intel. Based on this information I’ve concocted a foolproof strategy for those of you hoping to chat with Bagel.

    1. Convince Emily to video chat with you.
    2. Whip it out.
    3. When Emily points the camera at Bagel, put it away and resume video chatting with your intended target.

  • This was my first time listening to your show and I came in pretty excited. I was with you guys up until the actual topic of the show “What makes a gamer” when I quickly realized you guys are hipsters.

    I loved NIN and Marilyn manson utnil they became popular for rednecks? Call of Duty, Angry Birds and Farmville aren’t gamer games?

    I appreciated your honesty and even though you guys admitted that your feelings were most likely unfounded I had a hard time finishing the show after that. Just because something is popular doesn’t mean you can’t like it.

    Our family listens to rap, heavy metal, alternative, country etc. You name it we listen to it. When we have friends over our playlists can make them smile, cry and try to kill themselves all in one sitting.

    As gamers we have had enough trouble with people judging us that I hope we wouldn’t care if others associate us with red neck fans etc. Who cares what others think. If the music is good head bang to it. If the game is fun then play it. And as you guys said there is always a bigger nerd out there so if your whole breadth of gaming is Farmville then that is just as good a step as someone who has played every single Harvest Moon.

  • Personally I hate the term gamer. I consider myself as someone who plays a lot of video games. I’ve played ‘casual’ games, mainstream games and indie games. I hate multiplayer gaming. Not helping the argument, just wanted to say this.

  • Hey! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could find
    a captcha plugin for my comment form? I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having trouble finding one?
    Thanks a lot!