Video Game

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A video game is a game played on a computer, including PC, Mac, various consoles, handheld devices, smart phones, etc. Video game industry goes back at least to the early eighties, with certain mainstays like Tetris maintaining popularity over the decades. Stereotypically, video game fandom is comprised of straight white males, aged 17-35. This is indeed a demographic category to which many game studios choose to market their games. However, female fans, fans of color, and queer fans have always existed and are becoming more visible, leading to some game-makers explicitly courting them as audiences.

Video games can be divided by mechanics, by genre, by platform and countless other ways. Some controversy exists among gamers about what qualifies as a "game" vs. a "puzzle" or a "toy", see this SE.gamedev thread.[1] It is worth noting that the discussion linked is unusually civil, open and well-argued by video game fandom standards.

Gamers have gained somewhat of a negative reputation due to phenomena like trash-talk on MMO servers, griefing, misogynistic attitudes (including but not limited to the Fake Geek Girl meme), and having drawn on the long-standing stereotype of nerds or geeks as being friendless losers living in their parents' basement. Yet video games are continually increasing in the complexity of their porgramming, writing and art, and have gained some recognition as works of art or political commentary. Indie games are a rising market and previously excluded fans (see also Race and Fandom, Homophobia in Fandom) are speaking up and becoming more visible.

Popular game franchises that have endured over the years: Mario, Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy, and many game adaptations of larger sci-fi or fantasy canons like Star Wars (see Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic) and DC Comics.

Romance in video games

It's a fraught topic. Some gamers decry romance as being a less important aspect of games, pinning the proliferation of romantic subplots on pandering to female gamers. Game developers have also been known to express frustration with the high focus which some fandoms place on the love interests of an upcoming game. Shipping wars abound.


Main Page: List of Video Game Fandoms


Some fanworks are unique to gaming fandom. A baffling variety of game mods ranging from elaborately painted cosmetic skins to added gameplay content, up to and including mods large enough to spin off into their own game, such as Dear Esther.

Other forms of fanwork also exists: cosplay, fanart, fanfic, kink memes and etc.


  1. What makes a game a game vs something else like a puzzle or a toy?