Ok, this is my first blog so I'm hoping to "pop the cherry" on a good post. I recently read an article by Chris Furniss on how the Big N is moving away from the hardcore gamer, and was disappointed in his findings, not that I disagree, it was a well written informed article, but I found myself at a lack of a definition of a "Hardcore" gamer. Here's my dilemma; at what point do we become hardcore gamers to which the market doesn't cater to our "hardcore" demands for digital entertainment?
I am a history major at Saint Mary's University Halifax and in no way qualified to create a definition of the "hardcore" gamer. I like to think I know my stuff when it comes to titles of games and styles and believe that I've had a broad exposure to many types of games (I used to work in a Microplay Game store for 4 years I was lucky). I have two Nintendo themed tattoos including a full colour mushroom from Super Mario World and a triforce and Hyrullian tattoo in which the triangle for courage is filled with White U.V ink so it glows white under black light. Does the fact that I'm willing to mark my body with identifications from games make me a hardcore gamer?
I also have owned every mainstream system from the late 80's onwards, and currently own an Enamel Navy DS lite I imported from Japan, A Wii, and an Xbox 360. I buy the titles I like, and I rent the one's I'm not sure of, and if I add up the totals of how much I've spent over the last 5 years on Video games and accessories it will total over $12,000 Canadian. Does that make me a hardcore gamer?
I know I've logged over 350 hours in Pokemon Pearl alone, over 110 In Chromehounds and more than likely 400 hours in online Halo 2 matches with my friends. Not including the countless hours from RPGs from my days on the SNES and N64 and Gamecube and PS2 and Xbox so on.
That being said I'm sure many if not most of the regulars on the dtroid site can rival that or even make me look like a casual player, but the facts remain that I have invested considerable time and money into my pastime.
I don't know how to really say this other than "If being a "hardcore" gamer requires me to like every other shooter, mainstream sports game, and The PS3 even though it's library is lacking simply because it's Sony" I don't want to be a hardcore gamer anymore.
Without all the different experiences the Xbox Live feature gives me, and the thousands of hours of different games Nintendo has made, including such pseudo games as Nintendogs, Brain Age, even Wario Ware then I wouldn't be half the gamer I am today. What's so "hardcore" about Farming? But yet games like Harvest Moon span all platforms and are simply addictive, enjoyable experiences. Hell I even enjoyed Electroplankton and probably would have kept it if you could save your creations, and that was just creating grooves based on sounds from our childhoods.
Now I know I'll never experience on the Wii what I have on games like Halo where I'm with two of my friends, in a Warthog racing across Terminal with the enemy flag, tank breathing down our neck, rockets whooshing past us, but at the same time I'll never enjoy such basic fundamental experiences from my Xbox as I have had from my Wii like the times I've had with Wii Sports, or Super Mario Strikers where I can actually push the remote out and check an opponent, and for some reason it is much more fun to play Mario Kart 64 on my Wii with my friends than it is to play almost any other Next Gen console title multiplayer in the same room together.
The facts for me are clear. I know where my fun lies depending on my situation. If I want to get some head-shots or blow someone apart, Gears of War or Halo with my friends online will get my attention. But when I want a retro, new, or great multiplayer experience in the same room I'll turn to my Wii, and I think what Chris Furniss said was right in the regard that no we shouldn't be expecting games with headshots and grenade tags and T-bagging, but I think we can count on the Big N and third party developers alike to deliver more new and innovative experiences that keep all our old, traditional tried and true experiences alive and fresh in their own way. So really to be a hardcore gamer is to play the games from all over the spectrum, not just playing the titles someone else justifies with an M rating or stories of how it leads children to crime.
For the Record, I'm not a Sony hater, or a fan, I'd own one if it wasn't so expensive and had an online experience that offered something that Live Doesn't.
So that's my deal, you can't be hardcore WITHOUT trying new things to keep the old things fresh and being "Hardcore" to me means challenging it all, not just the accepted.
Oh yeah here's Chris's Article it's a good read, it inspired this post. Thanks for reading.