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Social Opinion Game Dev EA brand boss Elle McCarthy says the term ‘gamer’ is outdated

IbizaPocholo

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Dec 1, 2014
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ibiza

That’s the view of Electronic Arts‘ VP of brand, Elle McCarthy, who told Adweek that “the convergence of gaming and everything in culture” means almost everyone is now a ‘player’.

“Gaming is no longer a medium or an industry, it is simply ‘interactive’. You can now interact with almost everything through play—from an interest area like interior design to a movement like Black Lives Matter or exploring your sexual identity,” she said.

According to McCarthy, “there’s really no such thing as gamers at all and understanding that will be crucial” for marketers hoping to engage in the interactive entertainment space.

“The recent rise in more lo-fi live service games allows faster integration of culture than ever before,” she said. “This is a huge opportunity for marketing and forces a more audience-first and fluid approach for brands looking to engage authentically.”

McCarthy claims just 14% of players describe themselves as gamers and the figure drops to 6% for women.

“There are no best practice rules for how to engage with these niche, multifaceted and passionate communities,” she said. “Trying to target gamers is like saying you’re targeting people who like music or people who breathe in air.”

McCarthy joined EA in February 2020 with a remit to breathe new life into the near 40-year-old brand
 

martino

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Apr 25, 2013
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i read ea then
 

NickFire

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Mar 12, 2014
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Quote: “I’m currently working on the brand purpose strategy to spread positivity through our products and give back through social impact.”

Translation: I make up word salads to hopefully turn your attention away from our horrible loot boxes (card packs) that pray on people's weaknesses while raking in millions / billions.
 

Matt_Fox

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Jul 24, 2019
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Quote: “I’m currently working on the brand purpose strategy to spread positivity through our products and give back through social impact.”

Translation: I make up word salads to hopefully turn your attention away from our horrible loot boxes (card packs) that pray on people's weaknesses while raking in millions / billions.

Throw the buzzwords up in the air and hope they land favourably enough to justify a six figure salary :messenger_grinning:
 
Oct 26, 2018
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“the convergence of gaming and everything in culture”
Depends if someone plays games as just that - games. Of if they play games blending in pop culture, politics and personal life into it.
 
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Crew511A

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Apr 1, 2021
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how do you interact with black lives matter through play? wut

I wouldn't even try to answer a question like that. This is what happens when:

1. You put people in high places of companies that don't understand the industry they are in.

2. You put too much value in degrees and titles. This person is probably very well "educated" but this entire statement is just idiotic. We're in a contest to see who can pander the hardest, but what everyone forgets is that blue checkmark crowd doesn't really play video games...or read comics...or watch sports. And so on.
 

Thabass

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I don't necessarily disagree with her on "player", but I also don't think gamer is outdated or anything. I guess it's more PC than anything to call us players nowadays and honestly, it does make more sense than calling us gamers.

That said, I feel like you could use these interchangeably and not really lose any context on whom you're speaking about.
 

Zannegan

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Feb 20, 2018
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I've never liked or identified with the term, but not for any of the reasons listed above.I spend a lot of time gaming, but it's one of my hobbies, entertainment. I don't see it as a core part of my identity. I can agree that "player" is more apt, but at the time it was already taken, and really, who cares?

The perspective (or lack of it) shown off above is just saddening. Besides, no matter what they call us, to Elle and her ilk we're all just cattle anyway.
 
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LegendOfKage

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Mar 6, 2018
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Oh, look! It's another wealthy elitist who thinks the way to inclusivity is telling telling people what to think and say, and also deciding how they should choose to identify. Real inclusive there.

“there’s really no such thing as gamers at all and understanding that will be crucial.”

What about sanctimonious hypocrites? Are those a real thing?
 
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elliot5

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Apr 22, 2021
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Why? Is it better if we're called "Video gamers" instead? Is it because of the gamergate thing? If so, I don't care. Don't let people who hate you define what you call yourself.
no i've never liked it even as a kid. just sounds nerdy.
 
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tkscz

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From a marketing stand point, everything she says contradicts or has no proof of working, to the contrary , it's normally shown to fail.

“Gaming is no longer a medium or an industry, it is simply ‘interactive’. You can now interact with almost everything through play—from an interest area like interior design to a movement like Black Lives Matter or exploring your sexual identity,”

For something to be gaming, there must be a game to play. Rules, gameplay, challenge of some sort. When I kiss my wife, I'm interacting with her, but she isn't a game, ergo not gaming. Social movements and commentary should not be considered a game either. This is a nonsense statement that doesn't state how they'll sell their product, which ARE games, unless EA decides to make more than video games. Not only that, but the type of people she's speaking of have been proven to be all talk and no wallet. They tend not to buy video games, just talk about them (usually negatively).

“there’s really no such thing as gamers at all and understanding that will be crucial"
While I don't care for the phrase, it is a self given title for anyone who consider themselves enthusiast of games, video or otherwise. Essentially their audience.

“The recent rise in more lo-fi live service games allows faster integration of culture than ever before,” she said. “This is a huge opportunity for marketing and forces a more audience-first and fluid approach for brands looking to engage authentically.”

lo-fi live service games? Can someone let me know what that is and how well it's actually done? I've never heard of that... genre(?) before. Also, is she trying to say widen our audience? Audience-first is not what EA was ever known for, not only that, her words contradict each other, if they want to stop aiming at "gamers" then it would shrink the audience or try to replace the audience they already have, not widen it. And what does she mean by "fluid approach for brands looking to engage authentically"? This entire quote feels like word soup to sound more "with it" with the activist and/or ERA crowed. Like, she doesn't know what she's saying, but it sounds like it'll sell to them.

McCarthy claims just 14% of players describe themselves as gamers and the figure drops to 6% for women.

Where did she get these statics? How large was the studied group? What were the backgrounds of these groups? This number feels like it was pulled out of thin air.

“There are no best practice rules for how to engage with these niche, multifaceted and passionate communities,” she said. “Trying to target gamers is like saying you’re targeting people who like music or people who breathe in air.”

As pointed out before, the title is self given for those who feel like they are enthusiast. People who spend more than $1500 building PCs. People who have posters and figures of their favorite video game characters. People who spend hundreds of hours on a single game. Music listeners have a name for that too, audiophiles. People who make listening to music a hobby rather than just for the enjoyment of melodies. Breathing air isn't even related.
 

Optimus Lime

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Dec 24, 2010
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She's right. Gaming is now so ubiquitous and commonplace, it is no longer a subculture - or even an enthusiast culture. It's right there in the mainstream. There are no 'gamers', just as there are no 'TV-ers' - it's weirder to NOT be one than it is to be one.
 
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That’s the view of Electronic Arts‘ VP of brand, Elle McCarthy, who told Adweek that “the convergence of gaming and everything in culture” means almost everyone is now a ‘player’.

“Gaming is no longer a medium or an industry, it is simply ‘interactive’. You can now interact with almost everything through play—from an interest area like interior design to a movement like Black Lives Matter or exploring your sexual identity,” she said.

According to McCarthy, “there’s really no such thing as gamers at all and understanding that will be crucial” for marketers hoping to engage in the interactive entertainment space.

“The recent rise in more lo-fi live service games allows faster integration of culture than ever before,” she said. “This is a huge opportunity for marketing and forces a more audience-first and fluid approach for brands looking to engage authentically.”

McCarthy claims just 14% of players describe themselves as gamers and the figure drops to 6% for women.

“There are no best practice rules for how to engage with these niche, multifaceted and passionate communities,” she said. “Trying to target gamers is like saying you’re targeting people who like music or people who breathe in air.”

McCarthy joined EA in February 2020 with a remit to breathe new life into the near 40-year-old brand
What a moronic generalization. You can target AUDIOPHILES, and that's an important segment within the music market, same thing for any other kind of product or service. Everyone can READ, but you can target people who are into books and specific genres. Same thing goes for gaming. Not all people who play some games are GAMERS, that's a very distinctive demographic. That VP is unbelievably ignorant and probably thinks she's going to mark a trend or something when the only thing she'll get is hurt the brand by losing engagement by the users who really bring in the money to their business: Gamers.
 

StormCell

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Dec 11, 2018
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Doesn't she have better things to do like improve the EA brand because the consensus among GAMERS is not looking good for EA.

I used to think this until one day I was at someone's house. These are/were new friends of mine, so I hadn't really ever engaged in discussion with anyone in the room about video games. Dude was playing AC: Valhalla, which I hadn't played, and I sort of tested the waters a little by calling out some very recognizable Ubisoft game features that are part of their template and such. I said it in a way that could be confused with praise, but the room bought it hook, line, and sinker. "Ubisoft are gods of gaming" "Ubi is a powerhouse" "One masterpiece after another how do they do that"

These guys aren't your diehard crowd. There's a lot of games that never make it onto their radar (ie. never heard of Stardew Valley, doesn't know what it means to be Near to Automota, etc), but you can bet they know about GTA, Fartnite, COD, and all the Assasin's Creed games. They rush out to buy the latest Madden/FIFA game. They think NBA 2K is the best basketball game ever and can't believe how much DLC support the devs are giving each game -- "It's incredible!"

I've given up on traditional gaming like I've given up on a classic rock revival. Some things just change and never recapture their former glory.
 

tkscz

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Oct 17, 2011
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EA would love nothing more than for "gamers" to fuck off. They just want casuals who don't mind their scammy gambling.
Pay attention to what she's saying. They aren't aiming for casuals. She's specifically aiming for the activist, twitter users and ERA. These are people who normally don't buy video games and see "gamers" as toxic white cis males and thus see inhernt evil within the medium, thus their continued attempt to remove variety from games and replace it with what they deem fit. The average person does not think like these people do.