Earlier today I was watching Xplay on G4, and during the show they started answering questions that viewers had sent in, one of them was a serious question about what is a “true gamer”, which was promptly and sarcastically answered with a statement about your stereotypical COD player; the kind that leaves if the team is losing, if someone is better than them, they must obviously be cheating, etc. Now I know the show is just for fun, but why give such a stupid response to an actual serious question? In the end, it just makes all gamers look bad, and will only take away more respect from the show, from both non-gamers, and gamers alike. So instead I want to actually try and answer the question myself, and be more reasonable than just stating that gamers are all rage quitting assholes with no lives. So what is a gamer? We’ve all been asked that question at some point, and everyone almost always has a different answer to it. On a very basic level, a gamer could very well be described as; any person who likes to play a variety of video games for entertainment. It’s a simple definition that could cover almost any type of gamer, from the hardcore, the casual, and even the average joe.
Now a simple basic description of a gamer is fine, but it doesn’t begin to even touch the colorful and immensely wide variety of gamers out there, take for example the lowly casual gamer. From your mom and grandma playing bejeweled, to your dad and uncles playing wii sports, casual gamers are everywhere it seems, and unlike most of the hate they tend to receive from some of the more vocal and hardcore players, there is nothing wrong with them. Where is that magic line that separates a casual player from just your average one? Well that is a tricky question, and it really varies from person to person, but an easy way to answer that is to just ask them, how much time to you spend playing games, and what games do you play? If they really don’t play games often, or really only tend to play games along the lines of the pickup and play genre, like bejeweled, plants vs zombies, and Mystery Case Files, to name a few. Typically a more casual player just wants to play and have fun, without thinking too much or having to be really competitive, and nobody can blame them for that.
On the other end of the spectrum we have the hardcore gamer, the most competitive of the competitive, and they tend to be the most vocal of any others. So makes a hardcore gamer the grizzled veteran of a thousand virtual wars? There are a few things that could possible label someone as “hardcore,” such as the constant drive to get all the achievements/trophies for a single game, the need to have an insanely high K/D ratio in every match, or even just wanting to complete a game on the very hardest difficulty possible. The hardcore gamer often represents the type of player who will accept nothing less than perfection and is far more likely to rage about not getting it. In my experiences there are even further sub-types of hardcore players, but that is a blog for another day. However, I will say that more often than not, playing with hardcore players can be a blast, assuming they aren’t complete junkies for perfection. As vocal as the toughest gamers tend to be, the industry would be nothing without its largest support, the average player.
What makes an average gamer average? Well, it could be anything really, that is the beauty of the average gamer. From playing games like call of duty for the hell of it, to playing the mlg playlist on halo, the average gamer covers pretty much everything in between the hardcore and the casual. Sure it’s a generic cop out of trying to define the space between the two extremes, but there isn’t enough space in the blogs to give it any sort of real justice. In truth, if you don’t really know where you fit in as a gamer, it’s more than likely you are among the many, many average players, who all play all sorts of games for a wide variety of reasons. All around there are vastly different kinds of people, and it is amazing to see the rich community that games have created all across the world.
As surprising as it was, having watched xplay give a crap response to a serious question inspired me to write this wall of text, and I might go further into the different stereotypes with another blog at a later date. If anyone has anyone else has any complaints, or questions, feel free to fire away, I would love to hear your opinions about my thoughts.