Gamer Comedy

There seems to be a lot of ‘gamer’ or games-based comedy around. Giving yet another nod to one of my favourite games-related sites, The Escapist, it seems that there is something about the gaming world that goes hand in hand with comedy potential. On The Escapist alone I am a keen follower of two of the video series, and have watched at least one episode of all the others. This is before we delve into the depths of YouTube and the many other gaming sites out there.

A discussion with a friend brought out a few theories on why it is gaming comedy works- not only with gamers, but those who aren’t as fanatical about electronic entertainment. Number one- the gaming world does seem to have a lot of ‘in-jokes’. If someone says ‘Boom, headshot!’ then a majority of people around will recognise it as a phrase related to a game- they don’t need to know it’s traditionally linked to CounterStrike, they just know that it’s something to do with a game. Instantly recognisable characters are the sign of a strong series, and they don’t come much stronger than Mario or Sonic. Just say ‘blue hedgehog’ and at least one person around will say ‘Sonic’. And at least two others would have been about to say the same. That’s point two.

Point three- and this was my friend’s point, not mine- was that the stereotype of ‘a gamer’ is comedic in itself. Depending on your take on gamers (and often your age), the image of a stereotypical gamer differs; the tragic loner with NHS glasses clutching a bag of multi-sided dice and a D&D monster manual; the geeky kid with straggly hair who has callouses on his thumbs from too many hours on a J-RPG; or, as my own experience has shown, any person who will understand ‘DRM’ (and probably be angered by it), ‘telefrag’ and/or ‘epic lag’. Any of these stereotypes can (and do) seem funny to different groups of people, either as the tragic nerd, the lonely outsider or the person with a lexicon full of acronyms and words that sound like they’ve been thrown together.

Gamers seem to like taking the mickey out of games too; whether in a positive or negative way. Parodies of game scenes abound, or taking game characters to new and weird heights- the Bollywood Master Chief video was a highlight of the gamer April Fools this year.

So it seems that for the most part, comedy based around game culture is generally well received and can even win awards.

Just as well really. Because a little something called Rogue Tactics is set to go live in the not-so-distant future….

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~ by Tegan on April 28, 2010.

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