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10 reasons why it's hard work being a gamer

Philistines don't understand the sophisticated and complex culture of gaming. They think it's a breeze. That it's as easy as sitting on the sofa, fiddling with sticks and shooting space invaders with a gormless expression painted on our faces. But they're clueless fools. We know that being proper dedicated got-the-t-shirt gamers is one of the hardest jobs on the planet. Yes it is.

The next time someone shouts "Lazy git" in your direction as you sit on your sofa, fiddling with sticks and shooting space invaders with a gormless expression painted on your face, feel free to quote them any of the following 10 reasons why being a gamer is actually bloody hard work.

1. We're escapists unable to escape escapism

As gamers it's inherent in us to turn our back on reality at every given opportunity. Sure, the notion of being able to switch off from depressing daily drudgeries might sound romantic to people unable to liberate themselves from life's grim burdens, but the fact of the matter is that being on a permanent vacation in the Costa del Virtual comes with its own metaphorical ball and chain.

The longer we're away, the worse things are when we return for the unavoidable stint that must be suffered back in the Real World. The bills have piled up. The dirty dishes are a breeding ground of filth. The kids are malnourished. The dog's pissed on the carpet. The global economy's a wreck.

And we address the fallout of our prolonged neglect in the only way we can. By playing some more games and ignoring it all. It's not a choice. It's every dedicated gamers hard-coded prime directive. How can we escape escapism? It's the impossible conundrum that torments our existence.

2. Even saints don't have the patience of gamers

The waiting game is perhaps the toughest game we have to play. But play it - and endure it - we must. We wait for firmware and mandatory installs, for loading screens, for Nintendo games we care about, for Kojima's cut-scenes to STFU, for a new Battletoads, for that rare Pokemon to show it's face, for the UAV to be online, for casual gaming to leave us alone, for the postman to deliver our hand-crafted Kasumi figurine...and on and on.

And then there's that special discipline of patience we must exercise with other humans. Patience with the abusive voices in the headset, with condescending game store staff, with anonymous trolls, with idiot non-gamers that don't have a clue about gaming but have opinions aplenty, with clueless reviewers that obviously don't appreciate the same games as us because they're heathens... and so on and so forth.

Honestly, it's a health risk. We could literally drop dead with hyper tension at any minute.

3. We have to eat defeat

No one likes losing, because no one likes a loser. But as gamers the humiliation of being beaten by make-believe adversaries is something we must suffer with distressing regularity. Developers spend years bunkered down devising ever more ingenious and nefarious ways to scupper the progression of players. Our defeat and deflation is their delight. Eventually we overcome, but how many death animations, game overs and mocking 'Continue?' screens do we have to suffer along the way? Too many.

Lava pits, laser-toting aliens, heavy-handed police, crumbling walkways, unblockable combos, blue shells, groaning zombies, giant enemy crabs, rapidly descending blocks, mutant flowers, deadly gas, near-impossible leaps, rising water, time, nuclear bloody bombs and on and on. There is nothing that hasn't been thrown in our path, all with the sole purpose of making us lose.

And lose we do. We live on a daily diet of defeat. Occasionally we steal the spoils from the victory jar, and certainly it's sweet tasting while it lasts. But mostly we are swallowing fail. And that amount of fail would make lesser men and women loathe themselves for their ineptitude. But we soldier on.

4. It's a morality minefield and we're wearing clown shoes with the laces undone

Should we plough our dumper truck into the crowd of innocent civilians? Should we unload our shotgun at point blank range into the head of a docile bovine, just to see what happens? Should we knife to death the friendly NPC in a brutal unprovoked attack merely because their single line of dialogue is immensely irritating? Should we - as men of games - choose to play the lady warrior with ludicrously swollen shirt turnips just so we can wonder at the fine craftsmanship and unrestrained magic of breast physics? Of course, for dedicated gamers, the answer to all these questions is "Absolutely YES!"

Casual observers might think us cold and callous and filthy perverted. But that's a lot of silly. Through years of hard gaming we have conditioned and desensitized ourselves so we never consider our in-game actions in the context of a real world situation. Weaker beings would likely be paralyzed with indecision or forever plagued with a guilty conscience. It's taken years of dedication not to give a shit as much as us.

5. We regularly mourn the passing of loved ones

On the emotional scale, coping with the death of a loved one is probably right at the far end marked 'my heart has been ripped from my soul and I can't even think about eating right now'. So it's probably a 10. But it's something we have to battle through all the time.

Watching game characters that once-upon-a-happy-day were our bestest friends in the world go bad and wrong and rubbish is enough to crush any gamer into a pile of tiny yet incredibly sad particles.

Or having the guts of your good memories ripped from your brain by companies that were once mighty and made consoles that were better at doing miraculous things than Mr J of Nazareth and made games that were proper games but have since over a period of years turned into impotent piss puddles of their former selves.

Or the moment that your faithful old game console finally chokes and in the blink of an eye transforms from being a magical treasure chest of near limitless good times into a worthless box of plastic and silicone-covered brokeness.

We may move on, but we can never forget.

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29 comments

  • starhaw - March 11, 2010 5:16 p.m.

    uhhhh...Jimsondanet..I agree with everything BUT master of advanced military tactics..trust me no gamer or COD MW2 addict would know the first thing about real life military combat, the only game that comes close (NO ITS NOT MW2) is actually Operation Flash-point: Dragon rising WHICH the U.S. Marines and the U.S. Army do use for tactical training (but they have actual REAL guns that they point at a screen about the size of a movie theater screen and pull the trigger to simulate small arms combat..heck the guns even give off the same kickback they would if you where actually using it) they also use the game for squad based tactics. (def not MW2's area) but in all seriousness gamers would not know the first thing about real military combat and there is no way any game IDC how good the graphics are can come close to real life injury or dismemberment or even death in combat. Yeah sure we learn strategy but only against an enemy that is predictable, in strategy games you can't tell your troops to cut down a tree to block a pathway and then lay the perimeter around said tree with traps such as trip wires, IED's,mines and such...strategy games can go as far as figuring out your troops strengths and weaknesses and figuring out where to place them and what spots would be good for ambushes and such...but the thing video games lack..is the ability to allow the player to improvise with whatever,whenever,however they want/need at the time being. (just thought I'd make a point although if you had said we are better at military tactics than non-gamers then I would of agreed but trust me...we are no where NEAR Masters of advanced military tactics...that's why we have generals and special ops because if gamers ran the military, I MEAN PURE gamers cuz I know some friends in the military who play games but PURE GAMERS like the article dictates, lol we would screw the world up like no other...we would see the button controlling the launch sequence to a nuke as a collectible to defeat the enemy with...err okay maybe that's a stretch but you know what I mean, some gamers would let their drive to win compel them into doing something drastic and stupid.) and lol I AGREE WITH TASTY_PASTA and personally I think the MEDIA bashes video games (which ironically is another form of media) because its just like Kratos and Zeus, the media being Zeus is afraid of video games being Kratos of over throwing it on its throne of power over people (the main media I'm talking about is the News media and Movie Media...I mean common its a sad day when movies have to start borrowing ideas from video games and yet it makes being a gamer that much sweeter ;) )
  • Pozat - October 24, 2008 6:51 p.m.

    wonderful article. never in my life have i seen such Truth over a two tabs of webpages. wonderful. number seven is a bit steep though (being expected to know those dudes that nobody's ever heard of....). TRUTH
  • SpikeDelight - October 20, 2008 4:31 a.m.

    Wow this completely describes me. Bravo, GamesRadar you guys must be pretty awesome over there!
  • Manny-Faces - October 20, 2008 3:47 a.m.

    lol owesum i hate shows that down on video games
  • lava_lamp - October 18, 2008 9:14 p.m.

    wow sounds like some of u guys are planning to start a crazy gamer cult, is that necessary?
  • LilBompie17 - October 18, 2008 4:55 p.m.

    IM A TRUE GAMER!!!
  • TifaFFun7 - October 18, 2008 11:51 a.m.

    So true...i particularly agree with "We should really get better organised and form ourselves a union." That would be interesting \m/>.<\m/
  • Jason.Darksavior - October 18, 2008 8:44 a.m.

    Interesting Article.
  • jimsondanet - October 18, 2008 7:35 a.m.

    who gives a crap when pong was invented? thats when your a hardcore wannabe! aint nobody taken away those magical first 50 hour's of san andreas with out sleep an then callin me a pretender! who here isnt a master of advanced miltary tactics, inventory management, stat/class tactics, synthesis (and whatever else of our respective individual preferences) and reflexes to match those of an athlete?! them effers slaggin us off are an embarresment to evolution!!! once the universe has replicated itself in cyber reality THE HARDCORE GAMER WILL BE THE ALPHA AND THE OMEGA!!!
  • mfwahwah - October 17, 2008 11:37 p.m.

    For once, a everything in a top 10 list applies to me... "blondin weginn"
  • lava_lamp - October 17, 2008 9:19 p.m.

    wow who ever wrote this article is funny, but do play video games 24/7? do you even have a life?
  • Smiffy99 - October 17, 2008 9:18 p.m.

    Amen! Gamers are not the lazy, obseesed, couch potatoes they make us to be...well,some of us.
  • bron1417 - October 17, 2008 8:17 p.m.

    so true i agree with mostly all of the 10. i really hate when people call gamers "nerds" not all of us are nerds we just love video games and if thats a crime then too bad i will continue to do what i do. and of course i have a life outside video games c'mon im not a complete loser lol.
  • Defguru7777 - October 17, 2008 8:11 p.m.

    It's hard out there for a gamer.
  • skyguy343 - October 17, 2008 7:47 p.m.

    i am officially joining the union, anybody with me?
  • shockolate - October 17, 2008 7:42 p.m.

    I agree pretty much with this whole article
  • suicidalllama - October 17, 2008 6:42 p.m.

    Im just waiting for the day when gamers and arent scapegoats for everything and a murderer says he did it because he saw it on the evening news. Also the masters of bladder control is spot on in my case.
  • Tasty_Pasta - October 17, 2008 6:16 p.m.

    Ha! "It's taken years of dedication not to give a shit as much as us."
  • CAPST3R - October 17, 2008 3:22 p.m.

    7 is rubbish but the rest are perfect. and amen to 10. i want my money back from MOH:A
  • key0blade - October 22, 2008 11:39 a.m.

    HARC0R3 GAM3R 4 L1F3

Showing 1-20 of 29 comments

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