Forum Thread: What type of gamer are you?

I consider myself a casual binge gamer. Wth, right?

I consider gaming a habit forming activity. I try to stay away from that type of activities as much as I can. However, once in a while I'll get my hands on a title that I just can't resist playing (CoD2, CoD5, MW2, Red Orchestra, Forze, some NFS, etc) and it begins. Sleepless nights, hours in front of monitor/tv etc etc. Once I'm bored or done with the game, I try avoid gaming as much as possible, sometimes even for months. Then I get another title I like and it all starts again...

What about you? Casual? Hard core? Somewhere in the middle?

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8 Responses

I think there are 2 of ways to classify a gamer in terms of casual/hardcore.

1. Casual/Hardcore in terms of hours spent  weekly. I would classify a casual gamer as someone who might play less than an hour every day. The type of game doesn't matter, just the time accumulated. If you spend hours gaming, be it a flash game, facebook game, console game, etc.. it is still time taken from anything else you could do. Casual would mean that your gaming time affects your daily life very little and doesn't cause conflict by overtaking other activities. People who play more than one hour a day and several on the weekend would the the hardcore gamers. Again, the type of game doesn't matter, but the time spent now is more critical. I think these type of gamers set aside gaming and consider it a critical item in their day, something that they consider not that easy to cancel for any reason. Your friend calls you to go out drinking? Sorry buddy, I'm in the middle of an epic two hour battle in Plant vs Zombies. Things like that would make you hardcore.

2. Casual/Harcore in terms of how a person immerses themselves in their games. Do you buy guides, look at gaming websites for specific titles, browse the forums for information and talk? All that research into your hobby makes you a hardcore gamer, where the game itself is not enough, you need more. Hardcore gamers are more strategic, they look up recepies, maps, tricks, examples, etc.. and enjoy this as much as playing the game itself. If you're a gamer that just plays games and never cared to look at any sites with information of your favorite game, then you're casual. The game in front of is enough, there is no more curiosity than what's sitting in front of you.

I don't think you can classify a person casual/hardcore by subject matter. Someone might be a casual street fighter 4 player, a person who doesn't memorize combos but doesn't mash buttons endlessly either, and plays for half an hr a day to get his fix. This gamer can be dwarfed by time and knowledge of a real dedicated farmville player in comparison. There are casual and hardcore sports fans. They exists for RPGs too. RPGs, considered to be hardcore, can be casual too, like the Mario RPG series. So even in the same genre there can be casual and hardcore players, but the only way to tell is by the amount of time and fervor a player has for the games they like to play.

Personally I consider myself to be on some soft of gaming cycle. When certain games are released, I might dive heavily into them, both in time and in the information gathered. So for example, when a game I like is released, the playing time for that month might average to around 10-15 hrs a week. This is as much as I can play a week without skipping on my responsibilities or neglecting my wife. Sometimes I mix them. I'm playing Alan Wake right now every other day with my wife sitting beside me, treating it like we're watching a horror film and having a lot of funny banter all throughout.

But there are periods where nothing out there interests me. In these times, my play time could go down to just 2-4 hrs a week. It happened a lot in 2009, a very dissapointing year because of the lack of quality releases.

Right now, I would say I'm hardcore, but I'd rather not tie myself down to a genre because my interests vary. I have female coworkers in their 50's at work that are fanatic about bookworm and puzzle pirates. Their knowledge and entusiasm would mark them in the hardcore category, in their own unique way.

Your habits seem healthy MK, we all go through those cycles. It's when you have withdrawals because you don't have any games to play that would put you in hardcore.

One more thing to add: Why is it that no one gives it a second though when someone says "I'm going fishing all day", but when you say " I'm going to play games all day", they don't give the same type of approval, even if both are hobbies to be done leasurely in your spare time.

Because no one goes fishing every single day.

And forgets to eat because they're so into the fishing.

;_; lol. I meant on weekends, like Saturday fishing trips. Because you can't fish or game all day on workdays unless you *cough* call in sick.

and forgetting to eat is simply Darwin's way of weeding out the weak ones. This is a positive.


Dunno about others, but sometimes I choose not to eat...

To add to reasons why no one thinks gaming is the same as fishing:

5 reasons it's not cool to admit you're a gamer from Cracked.

Here's the summary:

  1. Can't shake the "lonely, anti-social virgin" stereotype. (2/3 of online gamers are women, except you'd never know it because they stay far far away or use male pseudonyms so they don't have to put up with 13 year old male hormones.)
  2. Industry thinks you're all 17-year-old douchebags. (Note all the boobies in every game. And even RDR where one of the achievements is to kill a woman.)
  3. Video game storytelling is at level of B-movies. (Top games are just somebody kills a bunch of people to win.)
  4. Still obsessed by shiny gadgets. (People are mad about Alan Wake because it's not rendering perfectly?)
  5. Serious entitlement issues. (Stealing/pirating everything.)

On the other side:

10 Video Games That Should Be Considered Modern Art.

I saw that cracked article earlier this week. I think it's a good topic but the reasons he picked are all over the place. Only point 1 actually goes with his argument. The topic is "resons it's still not cool to admit you're a gamer", right? Then the reasons should deal with who you are admitting to and why it's not 'cool'. With that criteria, let's look at his reasons:

1. Virgin/loner stereotype. This is a valid argument. If others that you might admit to being a gamer perceive you as having a negative social life because you're a gamer, then yes, it might not be 'cool'. Whether the stereotype is valid or not it's still there and the perception of you by others is affected by this view. So if it matters to you about how 'cool' others think you are in what you do in your free time, then it's probably safe to heed this advice.

2. The industry thinks we're a bunch of teens. What's the point of this reason? it doesn't have anything to do with why it would be 'cool' or not to admit you're a gamer to someone. What does the industry's image of their demographics have to do with someone's issues with being accepted. This point is more a rant against the type of games out there, and that's a different topic altogether.

3. B type storytelling (aka, welcome to Alan Wake). Again, what's the point of this and what does this have to do with someone else's perception of you as a gamer? This point is another rant against the state of the industry but it doesn't go with what the article is originally about.

4. Shiny Gadget syndrome. How does this accept perception? The example he gives is how gamers raged when Alan Wake was revealed to be lower resolution. This is a gamer within gamer culture, outside of the scope of the 'gamer who is trying to be accepted as cool by a nongamer' topic. These type of complaints are never uttered by a non gamer as a reason why gaming is not 'cool'. This is an insulated reason that stays in the gaming world, just as any other hobbies complain about certain aspects of what they enjoy.

5. Pirating. Again, where is this point going? if you add reasons 2-5, you could see the writer's aimed rant against gamers themselves, which he is a part of. He complains about what he hates about his own gamer culture and the current state of video games but never addresses on how this sideways critique answers the original topic of the admittence of a gamer in the view of other non gamers. Only the first question manages to stay on topic. The rest? that's what you get if you were to write something without an outline at 2 in the morning.

Using the word 'Admit is another mistake. Admit is a negative word. It already assumes gaming is a negative, not if it is a negative or not. No one uses the word admit for a positive action or behavior, it is only used negatively.

The articled was flawed by the beginning by addressing if gaming is looked as 'cool' to others. If you are still in the point of your life that you need to find 'coolness' affirmation of your hobby by others then you're looking at some serious self esteem and maturity issues.Other's perception of you is also influenced by how you act towards what you do. If you're coy and shy about your hobby people will think you have something to hide or all is not quite right with what you do. If you are confident without being overbearing, then people will think that you have fun and enjoy your hobby, whatever that might be.

I don't know if games can be considered Art or not. They are certainly not garbage but they don't have the maturity that hundreds of years can give you (with the written word or paintings) or even just a hundred years (films and tv). Video games are just 30+ years old, less than twenty if you revise the timeline to start when games evolved from just game play to game play + story.

If I were to classify games right now I wouldn't say they are Art, but an Experience. With the standard definitions of art (novel, painting, movie, tv series, etc..), you are talking about things that are static. They are done, separate from you. The only interaction between you and the artistic piece is your take in what is already there.

Games are more like an experience because it's a collaboration between matter (the game) and subject (you). The experience can only be as good as you make it. In a game, even with linear gameplay, there are choices you make, and as you play you create experiences and memories. If you ask 100 people how they played one game, even just Mario or tetris, and they'll tell you a 100 different unique personal stories.  Whether games themselves (without the experience or input of the user) can stand by itself as art is debatable since this industry is so young.

btw, that was a really good article you linked to, 10 video games that should be considered art. I think people shouldn't care if they are or not. Just like wanting people to think you are cool in the other article, everything eventually is sorted out by time, no need to push things.

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