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Video games were long seen as being for children. This has been the topic of many debates about video games: are they good or bad for childrens' development? Should children in hospitals be given video games? How does the violence in video games effect children?

And let's be clear, this was specifically about young boys.

If you were a young boy who loved video games and grew up with the medium you loved under constant criticism, how would you respond? At the very best, you'd be exhausted of defending your hobby. At worst, you'd fight back so long and so hard that you'd internalize the fight as part of your identity. A gamer is someone who defends the institution of gaming, you might say.

But forget about video games. Think about the social position of the young boy. It is a position of being simultaniously oppressed (young) and priveleged (male). The "young boy" group has legitimate reasons to feel oppressed: grown-ups are always seen as knowing best even when they're obviously wrong. And when it came to games, they were always wrong. How frusterating. Then the young boy grows up. Adult men are a very priveleged group. They grew up and kept this violent defense of the institution of gaming that was born out of an oppression that no longer applied to them.

The right thing for this boy-become-man to do is to let it go. They no longer need to fight any fights against oppressors. It should have turned into a dialog among peers. But for many that battle against "adults" has become a battle against "outsiders". While boys once fought against oppressive adults, when they become men and enter a position of privelege they become the oppressors. They become what they hated, but secretly always wanted to be. Now "gamers" are men in positions of privelege lashing out using the tactics they learned as an oppressed group. Those tactics only work against oppressed groups, by the way. That's why gamers target women.

Gamer culture has become what it hated. The answer isn't to let old oppression grow into new oppression. It's time to let go of oppression. Gamer culture grew out of a need to defend the institution of gaming, which no longer needs doing. The need is gone, but the pain remains. It's time to let go of gamer culture.

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