Although I still think of myself as a typical gamer, the truth is I'm not. I'm part of the machine now, a member of the industry that I've been following for years, and like it or not, I left "normal" behind the moment I started getting paid to express my opinions. Most of my friends are in the industry, too; if they're not making games, they're selling them, advertising them or writing about them. None of those people are typical gamers anymore, either. When you do this for a living, it's easy to forget that the rest of the world doesn't arrange itself around game conventions, previews, and news posts. It's quite likely that this industry bubble in which I find myself would hopelessly skew my perspective were it not for two things: Facebook and my mom.
I keep tabs on a number of friends, old and new, via their Facebook updates, which provide tiny glimpses into their lives. In the case of my gamer friends - the kind of everyday gamers you'll see featured in this week's issue - I read about the game they played this weekend, the title they're really jazzed about buying and what's likely to wind up on their holiday wish lists. They don't buy consoles at launch, they don't know Tomonobu Itagaki from Shigeru Miyamoto (and couldn't care less) and they can't rattle off release dates as easily as telephone numbers. They're just folks doing what they can to fit gaming into their lives, somewhere in between their jobs, families, classes and other hobbies. You know, the way real people do.
My mom, meanwhile, only recently started paying attention to the fact that games even exist. She has a Wii (because she saw it on The Today Show) and Wii Fit (because I bought it for her), but still doesn't quite get the whole gaming thing. She asks me to explain games to her, and invariably when I do, her reaction is something along the lines of "So you just go from room to room killing monsters?" or "Why is it so dark? You can't see what you're supposed to be doing." And then she will go back to petting the fishies in Endless Ocean or bowling in Wii Sports, just like countless other Wii fans.
This is why the Everyday Gamer issue exists: to remind us of what being a gamer is really all about. You may not be a father, a GameStop employee, a brain surgeon or a college student, but you will likely see some of yourself in this week's articles, just the same.
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