Wolfgang Baur (the_monkey_king) wrote,
Wolfgang Baur

Gamer Famous

There's a term that always goes around the game industry at the conventions: "gamer famous". It came to mind as I was reading Stephen Fry's brilliant (but looooong) entry on fame.

The thing about gamer famous is, you're really only famous in a tiny, tiny little world. Say "Gary Gygax" to 1,000 people at the supermarket, and maybe 25 will know what you are talking about. Maybe. Say "Monte Cook", and maybe 5 know the name, in a game-crazy town like Seattle.

Say my name, and I'll be thrilled if one does ("Hi Mom, thanks for shopping!").

Change the venue to a supermarket in Japan, and no one knows any of those names. Fame depends on location, on the society around you. And so "gamer famous" just means you're a game designer who happens to be at a game convention, where people know your work. It's odd, but in a pleasant way, because at the end of the con you can go back to your anonymity.

I have a certain amount of pity for those famous people who are too well known to go anywhere in their native country without being recognized. And Fry does a nice job of dissecting why perhaps pity is the right response for some of these folks.
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