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The Call of Duty and FIFA games are two of the world's most popular gaming series. Millions of people around the world go out in droves to buy these games and then spend hours playing them online. They find themselves glued to their controllers or keyboards night after night, and spend hours theorizing the best teams or loadouts to play with. These people surely do play games. But in my eyes, they aren't real gamers.

Gamers have a bad reputation in the mainstream media. There is an image that these are basement-dwellers, time-wasters, that gamers are aggressive and find it acceptable to shout slurs over voice chat. However, this is only a small percentage of people who play games. They just happen to be an angry, slur-screaming, online-only vocal minority.

Call of Duty is just one example of a game that can spawn bad mainstream stereotypes about gamers.

Call of Duty is just one example of a game that can spawn bad mainstream stereotypes about gamers.

I play games. I consider myself a gamer. As part of that identity, I socialize with other gamers. The vast majority of these people love video games. Gaming is a huge part of their free time, but they also have lives outside of games. They have families, they have jobs, and most of all, they are filled with kindness.

You see, the gaming industry is vast. While a movie-lover might be able to see every new release in a year, it would be impossible for a gamer to do the same. I devour games, I complete about a hundred every year, and yet this year, I didn't play Signalis, or Citizen Sleeper, or God of War Ragnarök, among dozens of other games I wanted to try out. There just aren't enough hours in the day. And still, while I can't play every game, I do play a lot of them.

That's not to say that Call of Duty or FIFA are the games that spawn these Doritos-scoffing stereotypes, they are just examples of games that can have this effect. To me though a gamer is someone who loves games, plural, and not someone who focuses all their time and energy on a very tiny section of the gaming library. They are CoD players, or FIFA players, but they are not really gamers.

FIFA 21 Arsenal players celebrating

There's nothing wrong with playing FIFA, but doing just that doesn't make you a gamer.

While I know people might be outraged at this, I don't see the difference between my statement and what other people have been saying for years. How many times have we heard, people who play Candy Crush aren't real gamers? Or those who love Animal Crossing aren't playing a real game? Video games are, of course, for everyone. Anyone can pick up and play a game. But say you love Star Wars, and you watch every film and show that comes out, are you a cinema-goer, or are you simply a Star Wars fan?

There's nothing wrong with only playing FIFA, with having the best FIFA Ultimate Team, with pulling new packs every week, or theory crafting the best teams. But doing all that doesn't make you a gamer. And you don't have to be one, it's not like the word comes with a lot of clout. Then again, you are also free to call yourself whatever you want. I'm not going to call the SWAT team on you.