Welcome to MMO couples

Every one who is familiar with MMOG's (massive multiplayer online games), knows the stories of people who are so addicted to playing these games that it costs them their real life friendships and relationships. There are also stories though of people who meet in a MMOG and fall in love, like my boyfriend and I. 'MMO couples' is a tribute to our lovestory, but also an invitation to share your story and experiences with others.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Gamer Boys: nerds or studs?

After having written something about the enchantment of Gamer Girls in online games, it is only fair to also shed some light on the Gamer Boy. In general, the Gamer Boy is not perceived to be or have been the most popular guy in school who has had all the girls and was the number 1 in sports. Most people will in fact call the Gamer Boy... a nerd. But is he really?

According to Wikipedia the first time the word 'nerd' was documentated, it was in a Dr. Seuss's book called 'If I ran to the Zoo' (America, 1950). Here it was used as a name for one of the creatures Gerald McGrew wanted to collect for his imaginary zoo ('.... a Nerkle, a Nerd and a Seersucker'). If you are thinking: "Who is Dr. Seuss?", maybe the books 'A Cat in a Hat' and 'Green Eggs and Ham' ring a bell...
In the fifties and sixties, the word 'nerd' refered to a dull, square person. It was in the seventies that its meaning changed into being socially inept. Nowadays the word 'nerd' still describes an introvert person or someone with poor social skills, who is not involved in or even excluded from social activities, but who is intelligent with either good technical or scientific know-how as well. Especially people who are passionate about everything having to do with computers are often being stereotyped as nerds.

Are the online Gamer Boys nerds in this sense of the word? Yes when it comes to their passion for games, and most of the time also yes because of their profession or education. But are they also socially inept? I think not. Playing in groups, raiding and being a member of a guild requires the player to be socially active and communicative. Therefore good social skills are a must. That some male gamers are introvert and shy in real life, is probably true. But of all the Gamer Boys that I have met, online and in the real world, I would say 95% of them have a very active social life with many friends, are not only into computers and games but also do sports, go out and party, make music or are otherwise engaged in creative activities. Apart from its setting, an online gaming community is no different than any other community. It is merely a reflection of every day society, with the gameplay as the foundation to keep us all connected.

I think it is safe to say that the term 'nerd' is being used falsly too often. Online Gamer Boys certainly do not fit the description. Because of all of the above, they are in fact interesting. Once you get to know them on a more personal level, they also open up more easily than the regular guy at the pub. And they turn out to be great at flirting as well. Gamer Boys know how to balance macho behaviour with being charming, funny and sensitive, making them... well, let's not overdo it, almost perfect. Those of you Gamer Boys that are shy, don't need to be worried: with the Gamer Girl generally being the more agressive huntress in online games, you are bound to be won over one way or the other :)


Shadi said...

You're a nerd

Gabi said...

thanks for the compliment :p

Whitey said...

hey gabi i made a story a long time
ago but I dont know where to send it :(

Gabi said...

Hey Whitney,

You can send your story to mmocouples@gmail.com.

Looking forward to reading it!

P.S.: let me know if it is for my eyes only or if I can post it.