Where there is culture, there is the opportunity for subculture, groups of people who create a separate identity within and often in contrast to the dominant culture of a society. In a large society, such as America, there are many cultures and subcultures. One such is the gamer subculture, people who can be identified by their affiliation to online, tabletop, collectible card and role play games. Gamers are predominantly male, but include a wide variety of ages. If there is a large enough gamer population in an area, there is often a store to support their interests. One such store is Olympic Cards & Comics in Lacey, Washington.

This paper introduces Ken Gelder’s six criteria of subcultures, then examines subculture and fandom in order to provide a better context for understanding the gamer subculture. Supported by data gathered via observation and a survey (Appendix A), the paper outlines the structure of the Olympic Cards & Comics gamer subculture before describing how they fulfill each of Gelder’s characteristics. In the interest of being thorough, the paper also offers alternatives to subculture and examines why the gamers and Olympic Cards & Comics do not meet those classifications.



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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.

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