Brett’s “Gaymer Q&A”: When did nerdy become cool?

**Hello again Gaymers, it’s Brett, your fearless conductor of a fancy blog train barreling headlong toward Issue Town and Frivolity-burg, and you’re here for the fourth installment this little ongoing series called Gaymer Q&A, which well delve deep into the rich world of Gaymer life and culture.  Also jokes! In short, it will fall somewhere between a long measured stare at a Jackson Polluck painting and a C-C-C-C-COMBO BREAKERRRRR!.  Enjoy! Opinions of this blog post do not necessarily reflect those of GaymerConnect and are my own, a cis-gendered gay male who is also a dervish of declension and conjurer of conjugation with a million hit points and maximum charisma.**

Q: When did “nerdy” become cool?

A:  It’s been about a decade now since it became fashionable for just about every celebrity, model, sports star, and adorably quirky girl to proclaim that they are “nerdy” at times.  But this certainly wasn’t always the case.

During the 80’s, there were any number of movies and TV shows that cashed in on a generation’s fascination with video games (ones other than Pong.)

Take this Goonies-esque movie starring a young Fred Savage, The Wizard, where a bunch of kids go on a road trip to win some big video game competition by playing Mario 3.

Two things:

1) When the hell did trailers basically show the entire plot of the movie?

2) The “wizard” kid in the movie gets the whistle in Mario 3 stage 1-3 by ducking on those white blocks, falling behind the screen and running to the end.  Without ever playing the game before?  I call super mega bullshit.

But this movie gives you the impression that not only are video games cool, but you should want to be cool badly enough to buy some ridiculous crap like the Nintendo Power Glove.



Now contrast that with the classic goof-around movie Revenge of the Nerds, where I’m pretty sure they also play that godawful “It’s Hip to Be Square” song.  See the clip below for John Goodman screaming “NERDS!” at the top of his lungs.

The nerds are by no means cool, and having a movie where the nerds are the protagonists was just another way for Hollywood in the 80’s to produce a movie where scrappy unlikely underdogs win out at the end of the day (also montages!).

As the 90’s came along, video games weren’t so new anymore, and the adults who had considered it ok to have “Pac-man fever” had started to have kids.  Those kids weren’t as interested in their parents’ old cabinet arcade games, theirs was the age of the NES and SNES, of GameBoy and GameGear, and crazy offshoots like Jaguar64 and Virtual Boy.

And sure there were movies involving video game IPs, but they were direct translations of what the video games would be like if played by live action actors.  Between 1993 and 1995, “Generation Y” kids were treated to the following adaptations of their favorite games: Mortal Kombat, Super Mario Bros.Double Dragon, and Street Fighter.

Here’s the theatrical trailer for Mortal Kombat, and I think the soundtrack is possibly one of the finest for any video game movie.

So gaming itself wasn’t cool, and the stories in games were only really cool when someone took them and and splattered them all over the big screen with some funky special effects.  If you were an adult in the 90s, it is unlikely that you heard anyone bragging about their prowess in Final Fantasy Tactics, but if you were a kid, you probably dreamt of going on Nick Arcade.

I grew up in the 90’s, so I got the better part of that experience.  Almost all of my friends played video games, and being a gamer didn’t mean you were a nerd.  I’m almost certain that no actors or famous models were copping to playing Sega in their spare time, although I do like to imagine that Claudia Schiffer was playing Shinobi instead of doing a rail of coke off her photographer’s unit.  (Ms. Schiffer, if you’re reading, I don’t mean that. Call me!)

Claudia Schiffer


To sum it up a little clearer, here’s a the breakdown:


Playing video games -> cool

Being a nerd/underdog -> kinda cool


Watching video game adaptations -> cool

Being a nerd/underdog -> not so cool


Now in the year 20XX, we live in a strange new world where every mildly popular guy or gal will drop a video game reference to up their cute nerd quotient.  Internet lists like this article, help to promote the idea that actors, rappers, and even some chick from America’s Next Top Model are gamers with some “cred” (puke).

Look at this equation below for an explanation:


At some point in the 2000s, celebrities realized “holy poop nuggets, EA made like 10 kajillion dollars last quarter!” and decided they too needed some of that video game moolah.  Thus, it became a thing to publicly voice your support for things like Madden, Halo, WoW, and the Sims.


I don’t mean to make this all about money either.  Although the degree to which actors and celebrities have been interviewed about their gaming or nerdy sides has certainly increased in the last 10 years, the variety of more easily accessible games has increased as well.  We now walk around with smart phones that are far more powerful than those heavy grayish-beige plastic boxes that we put other smaller plastic slabs into in the 90s in order to play games.  It makes sense that things like Angry Birds, Words with Friends, and just about any Zynga game have served to bring more of the general populace into the gamer fold.  People like this girl.



So because games are now not only embraced by celebs but also widely accessible via your iPhone or Samsung Galaxy Nexus Axiom Quasar SS (coming Q3 2014), it’s easy to be a gaymer or nerd.  Well, easy to pass yourself off as one for the social cachet.

It’s a funny thing, real nerds don’t like being called nerds.  Most of them had enough of that growing up, being teased for liking science or having basic literacy skills.  Take this story for an example.

I once had a job as a lifeguard in high school, and during my breaks I would read fantasy novels in the employee break room.  One of my older co-workers saw me reading some RA Salvatore novel and asked me if it was for school.  After I replied that it wasn’t, she seemed genuinely confused and then asked why I was reading it.  I explained that it was part of a larger series I liked and that it was compelling, but she had already stopped listening, given a heavily lilted “that’s weird,” and left the room.

Half Gem old


That was my experience of pursuing things in the nerd spectrum, and it certainly wasn’t rosy.  So whenever I hear someone proclaim through social media or even in person that they are “such a nerd lol!”, I assume odds are that they just enjoy the attention it brings when they say that.


Being a gaymer does not make you a nerd, and vice versa, and while it is nice to hear the mainstream embracing the things you thought/think are cool, it can be frustrating at times.  Simply playing Angry Birds or Fruit Ninja does not make you a hardcore gaymer.  Neither does remembering Duck Tales or Jem make you a nerd.

For the record, I like all of those things, but I don’t particularly care for dilettantes thinking they’re cute by labeling themselves as gaymers or nerds.  Subcultures aren’t exclusive country clubs, but everybody hates a tourist, especially when they have no real interest in the culture.

I welcome everyone to join me and other gaymers in enjoying our passions, but I invite them to realize that there’s a difference between Xzibit tweeting about being on Xbox Live and me spending two hours trying to craft a great D&D campaign for the next tabletop night with my friends (complete with maps of course).

P.S.: There are many non-poser gamers who are also famous.  Take Felicia Day

How’s that for nerdy?

– Brett


Brett’s “Gaymer Q&A”: I’m tired of seeing boobs, where are the man bits?

**Hello again Gaymers, Brett here and you’re here for the second installment this little ongoing series called Gaymer Q&A, which well delve deep into the rich world of Gaymer life and culture.  Also jokes! In short, it will fall somewhere between an argument between Ayn Rand and Noam Chomsky and an animated gif of a puppy falling into a tub of frosting.  Enjoy! Opinions of this blog post do not necessarily reflect those of GaymerConnect and are my own, a cis-gendered gay male who is also a dervish of declension and conjurer of conjugation with a million hit points and maximum charisma.**

Q: What if I’m tired of seeing boobs, where are the man bits?

A: Ah boobs, thank God for making women have them on their bodies and having straight men, lesbians, transmen, and pretty much the whole gaming world want to see them in motion so friggin’ much.  Because of this whole “boob” phenomenon, we have a whole host of games which are premised on the protagonist (or even antagonist) having a quite ample bosom.

(I understand many Gaymers aren’t tired of boobs at all, so this is my love letter to you)


Lara Croft


Dead or Alive Beach Volleyball series (now with enhanced boob physics)

Valentina from Mario RPG (when you hit her, her bazooms actually jiggle)

Morrigan (basically Elvira with her own game franchise/anime/etc, way to go Japan)

Ivy (Dominatrix template + whip + gazongas)

Also, if you think I’m being too much with those photo choices, try Google Image searching any of these characters and see what comes up.  A giant wall of boobs.  Many from deviantart.  Shocking.  So aside from our lesbian and transmale Gaymers who have a virtual bevy of boobies to ogle in their favorite games, what about those of us who want a little sausage in our game gumbo.

There actually is plenty of man meat for Gaymers to enjoy, you just have to be looking in the right places.

Fighting games

Yep.  Almost every fighting game has some muscley dude with his shirt off and anatomically impossible muscles.  Ever watch Dragonball Z? That’s the amount of crazy big muscles you can see in fighting games.  Zangief is a particular favorite amongst the bear crowd.

SquareEnix games

If you like guys who will ignore the hell out of you and brood while you consistently help them out, you’ll love any SquareEnix RPG.  The most popular mopey hunks are Squall and Cloud, and boy do they love to be indifferent and quiet about their lives/feelings/killing dudes.  If this sort of co-dependency with soft featured boys gives you a raging emo-boner, here’s a bit of Squall giving a 1000-yard stare to some ocean.


God of War games

If you’re looking to be “inspired” by someone who has a little more of an assertive approach, look no further than Kratos.  He’s super muscley, definitely a top, and would fulfill all of your domination fantasies.  Plus, you don’t have to worry about his ex-wife or kids showing up and ruining things because he already killed them that one time (and many times over in flashbacks).  He’s like that angry looking Latino guy who sits in the back of the club with his back to the wall, maybe you can tame his wild ways.  Oh Kratos, I wouldn’t dare defy the God of War…


Uncharted games

Although I couldn’t play Multiplayer in Uncharted to save my life (See: a decade worth of being terrible at shooting games that aren’t Goldeneye64), its protagonist, Nathan Drake, is quite a looker.  He’s basically young Indiana Jones in a slightly updated wardrobe.  He’s the kind of rugged explorer who shaves just enough to keep a finely manicured level of scruffiness and probably reads Details for tips on what dudely wax will most volumize his hair.  Also he travels alot and is potentially rich.  Check please!



Yaoi/Bara Games

This one is definitely the easiest, as yaoi and bara games are, like their straight counterparts, very loosely games and most certainly porn.  If you want to see cartoon peckeroos that are mind (and ass)-boggingly, as well as galloons of simulated ejaculate, this is where you park your mouse hand.  The one problem with either yaoi or bara games is that most of them are only in Japanese and largely story based.  Many of them are relationship-building games in which you make certain dialog choices to certain characters which affect the story.  The ultimate goal in these types of games is to have graphic virtual sex with your favorite character in the game cast.  You accomplish this by saying nice things, giving them stuff that they clumsily mention that they’re interested in, and doing chores with them.  Sound familiar?  Anyway, this is probably the least pornographic image I could find from a bara game called Ie Tatemasu (“Let’s Build a House!”)



There are probably more examples but my hand [ed: Hey! NSFW!] hands are tired.  Til next time Gaymers!


– Brett



Brett’s “Gaymer Q&A”: Why Does My Roommate Hate Me?

**Hello fellow Gaymers, my name is Brett and I would like to present you the first installment of a potentially ongoing series called Gaymer Q&A, which we’ll delve deep into the rich world of Gaymer life and culture.  Also jokes! In short, it will fall somewhere between a college paper about heteronormativity in Anglocentric gender roles and a knock-knock joke that ends in a fart noise. Opinions of this blog post do not necessarily reflect those of GaymerConnect and are my own. Enjoy!**



Q: Why does my roommate hate me? >_<

A: To start off, my roommate and I live in a small apartment in the upper part of Noe Valley in San Francisco.  We are both gay.  Gayer than a box of birds on Christmas morning being opened by Elton John’s gayest nephew, Tristan.  However, there is a critical difference between my roommate and I, gaming.

If you asked my roommate, who for the purposes of this story I will call Ricky, whether he played video games, he would screw up his face and give a condescending “No…ugh.”  When asked the same question, I might launch into a long fanboy rant about Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past, why the newest offerings in the Marvel versus series have fallen short, or about how I would drink Psychonauts creator Tim Schafer’s bathwater if I got the chance (he always manages to see me somehow!).  The critical difference is that my roommate and I do not share the opinion that gaming is an acceptable thing to do as an everyday activity or even a normal thing to do on a weekend.  It’s not because Gaymers are anti-social, as I tend to go out a bit more than my roommate, but it reflects in general how average gay men view gaming culture.

When I say “average gay men,” I must stop myself because, in our current age, no one individual is average.  Lady GaGa told me herself.  So among the range of individual,  fiercely fabulous, and unique queers that I have encountered in my life, about 5 – 10% of them would offer up that they like video games.  That’s roughly the percentage of gay men or women in any American population.  So Gaymers are the “gays” of the gays.  Let that one soak in!  It makes sense then that there would be a bit of a gap culturally between that 5 -10% and our gay and lesbian friends and relations who don’t know the difference between Pokemon and OgreBattle.

How that plays out between Ricky and I is that I play video games regularly on our shared TV, and he sometimes watches but mostly says “This game is really dumb, I always see you doing the same thing.”  And the funny part is that he actually likes a lot of video games.  He and I had a whole conversation about the joys of Donkey Kong Country, Mario Kart, and the Megaman series.  The main problem is, while I love those games and would love to play them, I don’t have the original systems they were played on.  And those classic games, the ones that my roommate and many other non-Gaymers love, are often slow to be recreated or emulated on the newer-gen systems.  Our apartment has my PS3 Slim, but it is incapable of playing my roommate’s one PS2 game, Megaman Anniversary Collection.

So thanks to Sony’s lack of interest in/commitment to any sort of backwards compatibility, my roommate cannot play the one game he actually owns and has any interest in playing.  He blames me, as I haven’t petitioned Sony recently to put the game up on the Playstation Network for purchase, and even then he wouldn’t purchase it out of principle.  Whereas I might go so far as to try to emulate the game collection some other way, my roommate simply won’t invest any more time or money into the pursuit.  For him and many non-Gaymers, the whole video game thing is a relic of an earlier era, and is best remembered in a time where they actually owned and operated the systems that played those games of yesteryear.

I understand the frustration, but for some reason I continue to try to carve some enjoyment out of contemporary gaming, even as it slowly chips away at or has totally abandoned genres which I grew up with (see 2D fighters and point-and-click adventure games, respectively).  I continue to keep tabs on the new consoles and game franchises while browsing Grindr.  And I still enjoy playing a good JRPG early on a Saturday morning instead of sleeping in after a night out in the Castro.

I guess that’s what makes me a Gaymer, and that’s why my roommate hates me.


– Brett