In a recent interview, the Electronic Arts VP says the “gamer” word is obsolete, suggesting the term encourages identity politics in the industry.
While the Electronic Arts VP says the “gamer” word is obsolete (AdWeek via GameSpot), they quoted uncited polls that reportedly say only 14 percent of people that play video games actually identify as a gamer.
“The recent rise in more lo-fi live service games allows faster integration of culture than ever before,” Electronic Arts VP of brand Elle McCarthy said.
She added, “This is a huge opportunity for marketing and forces a more audience-first and fluid approach for brands looking to engage authentically. I often get asked about how brands can partner with gaming or talk to gamers – but there’s really no such thing as gamers at all and understanding that will be crucial.”
McCarthy went on to suggest that perhaps fewer identify as “gamers” now because they want to be in “positive gaming spaces.”
“Did you know that only 14 percent of players self-identify as gamers and that is as low as 6 percent for women? It might be the safety someone finds in playing with people like them, free from the shackles of identity politics that can factor less in positive gaming spaces than they do in the world,” the EA VP said.
Lastly, McCarthy noted that gaming has evolved beyond simply being a medium or an industry, and that there isn’t any on go to best practice for connecting with the “niche, multifaceted, and passionate communities” found within gaming.
The remarks from McCarthy are not a surprise after Electronic Arts announced a partnership with the ADL to combat “right-wing extremism” in gaming.
The term “gamer” is as old as the industry itself and has become synonymous with someone that plays video games – more recently certain people and groups have been trying to frame the term as something like a hate symbol, despite having nothing to back that claim up.
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