No such thing as a gamer: Captain Kirk

The chief scientist behind some of the world's most powerful graphics cards has declared that the 'gamer' no longer exists in today's society.

NVIDIA chief scientist Dr David Kirk, in Sydney last week to promote NVIDIA's GeForce 6800, said games had become so pervasive in the modern world that the 'gamer' label was no longer relevant.

While gaming enthusiasts still existed, Dr Kirk said the mainstream adoption of games, and women's increased participation, had given rise to the 'casual gamer'.

He cited US research that claimed gaming had become a more accepted pastime by middle-aged people, and that they had started to adopt gaming as a leisure activity.

One reason for this was that games were becoming "more compelling", said Dr Kirk.

The rise in games based on existing products/stories/people had attracted a more mainstream audience, according to Dr Kirk.

The fact that there are games that have movie characters creates a personal connection, he said.

"Those make the game experience more part of the rest of the experience. The media properties are tied together."

"It appeals to older people who wouldn't have really been captivated by the [game] story or the quality of the graphics," he said.

However, Dr Kirk said 'more compelling' games were not the same as 'more interesting'.

"If you're a movie critic, it's not that it's particularly clever, or a particularly better story than it was before.

"But that tie-in actually matters."

Movie merchandising, for instance, had been a major factor that had taken gaming to the masses, according to Dr Kirk.

"You can have a Spiderman ring-tone on your cell phone. You can have a Spiderman game. Watch the Spiderman movie.

"It's all Spiderman, all the time."