No one likes stereotypes, but sometimes so many people in a group live up to them that they stick. In this case, they also stink! Gamers have gathered all sorts of stereotypes over the years. Which are true? Which are totally out there? And how can you avoid falling into those categories?
- Debunking the Stereotypes
Thanks to popular media, when most people picture gamers, they see a smelly, overweight and reclusive man living in Mom’s basement instead of growing up, getting a job and becoming a functional member of society.
There are so many stereotypes surrounding gamer culture that it’s hard to know where to start. One study found that, when you look at them closely, they all break down into four distinct themes. The typical stereotype of online gamers is that they’re unpopular, unattractive, idle and have issues with socialization. When researchers compared interviews from gamers and non-gamers, they found that there was very little difference between the two groups.
Only one of these stereotypes tends to prove accurate — the complaints about gamers and hygiene.
- Addressing the Issues
Gaming conventions are notorious for poor hygiene and body odor. It’s become such a pervasive problem that it tends to appear in news articles every single year during convention season. Some of it is unavoidable. Even if they’re dressed as monsters, robots or anime characters, convention attendees are still human. And when they’re active and warm, human beings sweat.
That’s a biological fact, but it isn’t why gamers and their conventions tend to smell so bad. Hygiene at these events takes second fiddle to absorbing as many panels and photo-ops as humanly possible from the moment the con opens until you collapse from exhaustion. It’s bad enough that it’s even become a meme, with con attendees carrying signs proclaiming that if you can afford to attend a convention, you can afford to purchase deodorant.
We get it — you’re trying to do as much as possible in a very limited amount of time. But good hygiene doesn’t just help you. It helps ensure that everyone around you can have a good time, too. No one wants to get a face full of gamer funk when they’re at E3 trying to snag an autograph from Todd Howard.
- Practice Good Hygiene
Breaking the stereotype of the smelly gamer is easier than you might think. All you need to do is practice good hygiene. That includes things like brushing your teeth, showering and washing your hair and clothes. However, there’s more to it than that.
Good hygiene also includes washing your towels and sheets regularly. Sheets should be washed about once a week. Bath towels need to be washed after three uses or so, to make sure that the damp material isn’t harboring bacteria or other microorganisms. You’ll probably be able to tell when you need to wash your towels because they’ll start to smell, but even if they smell fine to you, they might not smell fine to others.
- Make It Fun
Breaking the smelly gamer stereotype doesn’t have to be boring. There are plenty of products out there that you can try to spice up your shower routine.
Xbox released a branded deodorant and shower gel line in 2019 that smells remarkably like a mix of Mountain Dew and Axe Body Spray if you like that sort of thing. If you need a pick-me-up, why not opt for some caffeinated soap, which has been popular with gamers since ThinkGeek (RIP) introduced it in 2003.
For the tabletop gamer, there are bars of soap on sites like Etsy that contain an entire set of D&D dice which you can collect as you use the soap. Or, you can buy a bar of soap in the shape of a D20, or one that makes it look like a gelatinous cube ate your dice. They have scents like Blacksmith’s Shop and Arcane Library, putting you deep into your favorite universe.
The possibilities are endless and it’s worth the cost if it spares even one person from dealing with your BO.
- Break the Stereotypes
Gamer stereotypes have been around for as long as there have been video games. Thanks to popular media, they will continue to color the opinions of the masses unless we do something to change it. So use good hygiene. Make it a habit and improve the gaming world for yourself and everyone around you.