John Spacey, December 23, 2015 updated on February 03, 2019
Gaming culture is the set of customs, symbols, traditions and norms that have emerged around the shared experience of video games. This is a large super culture as a significant percentage of the world population of play video games on a regular basis. Gaming culture also features a large number of subcultures centered around factors such as genre, location, interests and skill level. The following are illustrative examples of gaming culture.
It is common for people who spend a lot of time gaming to identify as video game enthusiasts. This may give such individuals a sense of camaraderie with other gamers.
Video games are a form of social interaction that provide diverse environments to engage other people both physical and virtual.
The unique vocabulary and language conventions that evolve around games including references to games in language and efficient abbreviations that are used to communicate in games known as leetspeak. For example, gg for good game is often used as a sign off from a game.
Rules of politeness associated with a game or situation. For example, in some games it is good etiquette to leave a game with gg when it is clear the other player has won. In other cases, it may be bm, or bad manners, to leave a game before its over.
Expectations for behavior within games and at game related events. For example, an expectation that players not use a camping strategy or grinding in a particular game whereby a player engages in repetitive behavior in order to easily rack up points and other rewards such as powers.
Video game traditions such as LAN parties.
Video game enthusiasts may develop talents in areas such as hand–eye coordination, reaction-time, spatial reasoning, situational awareness, strategy, tactics and logical reasoning. These talents may be a basis for acceptance into certain gaming subcultures.
Maker culture is an enthusiasm for building, configuring and modifying technology. It is common for video game enthusiasts to participate in maker culture. For example, gamers may build their own high performance computers or develop mods for their favorite games.
Ideas and inside jokes that spread within the gamer community via media and word of mouth.
Immersion in gaming culture is a type of cultural capital that allows you to influence other gamers.
Gaming culture features unique forms of social status such as the general idea that PC-based gamers are more hardcore than console-based gamers. Likewise, gamers may gain social status due to their talents or their social connections within game related communities.
Video games change quickly. This tends to make the relatively short history of video games feel like a long time. Gaming history provides a common frame of reference for gamers. For example, memes and language that have their roots in old games.
Retrogaming is a subculture of gamers based around playing old games on old equipment. This may be partially driven by a sense of nostalgia for the past. Retrogaming is also embraced by low tech enthusiasts who may have never experienced older games when they were popular.
Games are often wrapped in rich narratives that represent a literary tradition of sorts. These stories are another type of shared experience amongst gamers.
Common lifestyle tendencies amongst gamers such as getting little sleep or eating snacks as opposed to meals.
Video game industry conferences and other gaming events such as competitions.
Some video game enthusiasts are engaged in the cosplay super culture where they may dress as characters from games as a means of self expression and social interaction.
Media related to gaming such as video channels, music videos and films.
Gaming subcultures may adopt a particular fashion or may participate in fashion subcultures such as normcore. Fashion is also a common element of game environments as players may design or collect clothing and accessories.
Gamers may attach themselves to music genres that they feel are conductive to playing games. For example, nightcore music that features remixes of popular songs at an accelerated speed and tempo. Games themselves feature soundtracks designed to appeal to the culture surrounding the game. The culture of music and gaming are also converging such that music videos often have interactive versions in dance related games.
Art inspired by video games and art used in games themselves.
The coding culture surrounding game development and modification is clearly distinct. For example, a lab developing games and a lab developing business systems typically have very different norms and expectations.
Animation & Computer Graphics
Animation and computer graphics as a profession, hobby and interest is tied to both the culture of gaming and film production.
Gaming allows people to escape the constrains of physical reality to enjoy experiences that may not be possible in the real world. This is described as escapism despite the possibility for games to be more challenging and intense than real life.
Gaming culture is commonly represented in a negative light in news and media. Although there are hundreds of millions of serious gaming enthusiasts, these media reports often use proof by example whereby the actions of a few are projected onto the entire culture. As such, gaming has become something of a political issue with calls to restrict games in various ways. This gives gamers common political issues that they may unite behind.