Are gamers really all foul-mouthed 14-year-olds?

“Lol, stfu fag. ur ghey.”

Welcome to the common perception of gamers. But where does it come from? After all, I doubt many people reading this site are under 18 – some, sure, but the majority? I doubt it. We’re fairly obviously mostly highly literate, reasonably cultured, unlikely to break out the homophobic or racist insults…

Level Capped is wondering exactly the same thing today, after realising that whilst his beer enthusiast brother is happy to talk ale to all and sundry, he doesn’t feel the same way about gaming:

I think it would be easy to blame gamers themselves. Many of them are foul mouthed, trash talking, entitled brats who are well known to spout racist, sexist or homophobic slurs at their opponents, and these vocal few are tarnishing the image of the greater crowd, right? Well, I suppose so, but they’re cardboard standees; they’re blanket stereotypes which are used as examples when some non-gamer is looking to make a point that they have already decided needs to be made. This minority is extrapolated freely to represent gamers as a whole, and I think we can all agree that this is absolutely wrong…and insulting. The point is that there shouldn’t be an opportunity for these crusaders to make this decision that gaming needs to be “dealt with” in the first place, and for that impetus, I think we need to look higher up the chain.

It’s an interesting question, and Chris goes through the various arguments and counter-arguments well. I’m particularly on board with his questions about why the gaming industry isn’t doing more to show the hobby as being something grown-ups do.

Of course, one of the major problems is that there really are a LOT of the trash-talking foul-mouthed assholes, and in the era of YouTube, they’re pretty damn visible. True too that a lot of gaming writing of the less “lol nub” kind still tends to be pretty inaccessible to non-gamers – but the same is true of golf, poker, and Eastern Medievalist Architecture, and none of those fields have the same reputation. Arguably even other “disreputable” hobbies like hip-hop or Mixed Martial Arts have a better reputation than gaming. Why?

What do you think? Are gamers actually mostly trash-talking 14-year-olds, and we’re the exception? Or is there something else going on?

_Quote taken directly from Chris Smith’s post on Level Capped.

Find Level Capped’s homepage at