GamesBeat

The Big Bang Theory: Symptom of a larger problem, perception.

The sitcom The Big Bang Theory is extremely popular, so much so that the show has been renewed up through the year 2014. Garnering at the series high point over 12 million viewers. I'm not here to bag on anyones taste or rip on the show. If you like the Big Bang Theory then fine, I wouldn't insult your personal taste. However, I would have you take a closer look at the shows writing and characterization of these people and understand that they are conveying a very poor representation of the modern "gamer". Now I understand that many of these characters aren't just gamers, they are genius physicists who work at Caltech or something like that. However, they also have ritualistic Halo nights, even a Wii Sports bowling team. They play games regularly and even have those awesome Dell XPS computers that are shown at just the right camera angle. Keeping in mind that this show is also a sitcom and designed to entertain I wont fault the writers for presenting an exaggerated version of these people.

Exaggerated or not, they are still delivering a misrepresentation of who we really are. One of them, so shy that he can't even talk when girls are around, the other who is so impressed with himself that he has a girlfriend  has to tell everyone all about it. Of course the worst perpetrator is also the series most popular character, Sheldon. Sheldon, who is so socially inept that he doesn't realize when he is insulting his only friends, and so anal retentive he has to knock three times, a series of three times. Many of these things get big laughs from viewers and that insistent laugh track that plays through every episode lets everyone know its OK to laugh at these ridiculous characters. I up until a point believed that Sheldon was the worst we would have to see, I was proven wrong with the introduction of Amy Farrah Fowler. A new female friend of Sheldon's who is basically just the female version of him but I believe even more overly exaggerated due to the fact that she is a woman. To make a character completely non-threatening, the writers have made her as awkward as they possibly can, a woman who has to go shopping for casual clothes. I understand, that these people are many things, not just gamers. But, there are so many nerd culture references made during the program that it's just all been lumped into one giant mess. While some may find these references and the reverential way they treat some of our favorite properties to me it always comes off as patronage.

There was an episode of South Park some years ago where Cartman was so insanely mad when someone just assumed that he enjoyed Family Guy. Often times when discussing games with friends or family members i often hear "you must really like that show Big Bang Theory, it matches up with you so well." Now I don't get upset or anything like that, I just let people know that the TV show wasn't really made for me, it was made for people who still don't understand who we are. Peoples who's perceptions of what a gamer is hasn't changed, and because of things like The Big Bang Theory never will.

I don't hate the show, I even laughed once when Sheldon was trying on tuxedos and came out with a lavender blue prom suit. The situation was just so wholly ridiculous I couldn't help myself. To those who continue to watch the show remember, this is what they think of you, this is what all their viewers see you as. This is what the perception of a gamer has become.


Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 2.00.11 PMGamesBeat 2014 — VentureBeat’s sixth annual event on disruption in the video game market — is coming up on Sept 15-16 in San Francisco. Purchase one of the first 50 tickets and save $400!
blog comments powered by Disqus

GamesBeat is your source for gaming news and reviews. But it's also home to the best articles from gamers, developers, and other folks outside of the traditional press. Register or log in to join our community of writers. You can even make a few bucks publishing stories here! Learn more.

You are now an esteemed member of the GamesBeat community. That means you can comment on stories or post your own to GB Unfiltered (look for the "New Post" link by mousing over your name in the red bar up top). But first, why don't you fill out your via your ?

About GamesBeat