The gamer subculture is one of the most ubiquitous subcultures in the world spanning almost every single nationality, race, ethnicity and gender.
What must be understood is that considering gamers as belonging to a particular subculture isn’t a widely accepted notion by the general public since they consider gaming as nothing more than hobby, however, gamers have developed their own unique way of talking by incorporating game lore based abbreviations, developing certain distinct customs in regards to considering proper online gaming etiquette and have even created group hierarchies based on a person’s inherent skill with a particular game which is indicative of a form of subculture.
What distinguishes this particular group from any other subculture is the fact that a majority of its social interaction is based online. In-game messaging, message board posting and the use of voice services such as Vimeo in order to collaborate attacks and strategies online while playing a game are considered the primary mode of social interaction for gamers.
Based on my own experience as being part of this subculture most gamers would prefer real world social isolation while at the same time immersing themselves in online social interaction found in numerous Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPG) such as World of Warcraft.
On average, a gamer will spend literally hours improving their skills in one way or another by leveling up their online characters in order to show who the better player is. In fact, the gamer subculture revolves almost entirely around the concepts of competition and collaboration due to the main goal of some games which is to win through the use of effective tactics with your teammates.
It must also be noted that through online competitions certain norms of behavior have developed wherein respect is accorded to the best player, profanity and degrading comments are heaped upon the clumsiest player with mid range players often being the ones heaping the praise or insults.
While society in general considers gaming as nothing more than a hobby, some gamer’s lives revolve almost entirely around games with players often neglecting to sleep, eat and bathe in order to continue playing a game into well past midnight.
In fact, a gamer is often so obsessed with a game that they will avoid literally all contact with the outside world for days at a time in order to complete a particular game, level or merely level up their character. It is this obsession with gaming that characterizes the gamer subculture in such countries as South Korea even incorporating the concept of being a gamer into their mainstream culture as seen by their almost literal worship of the strategy game Starcraft.
On the other hand, it can be seen that the attitude of gamers eschewing normal social interaction in favor of personal isolation has resulted in the fact there are no physically distinguishing features differentiating a gamer from a normal individual. The gamer subculture does not adhere to any particular food, ways of dressing, or any specific ties outside gaming; the entire culture revolves around games, which is dependent upon games and moves from one popular game to another.
On the other hand, its massive popularity has resulted in it being ubiquitous in nearly every single country in the world with millions of people considering themselves a part of the gaming community. It is for better or worse a form of addiction that has taken on the guise of a subculture wherein people have quite literally devastated their lives for the sake of gaming.
Some have stopped caring about their spouses, going to work, going to school, or even thinking about their future. This is not an exaggeration but rather it is the dark aspect of the gamer subculture which mainstream society has accorded towards the majority of gamers when in fact it is applicable to only a few.