They're all out there, in your block, apartment complex, the malls, Game Stop, maybe even in your household, Gamers. By my definition, Gamers are defined as people who play video games; either once in awhile, on a regular basis, or every waking minute of their life. The point is, these people enjoy this art and sacrifice an unreal amount of dollars and time into satisfying their gaming crave. I remember back in the days, way back in the days, late 80's to 90's circa, Gamers were often accused of being outcast who had no real lives outside of playing video games. They were often said to be guys and girls who just couldn't hook up and lived sheltered existences together with their friends, Sonic the Hedgehog and Super Mario. This couldn't be anywhere further from the truth. We had plenty of ways to enjoy ourselves; such as skateboardin', roller skatin', and even hanging out at the beach. When I really thought about it back then, we actually had better lives than the jocks who were being ripped off for their cash by the popular chicks. Anyway, my point is, our lives are not completely motivated by video games, but we do love them a lot.
Video games happen to be a gamers form of entertainment. For a majority of my life, I preferred video games over everything else in regards to entertainment. They came before anime, the usual tv shows, and music, just to name a few. I've been playing them for decades and along the way I've encountered many types of gamers. What I would like to do is, describe the various type of gamers out there, and in the process, you can probably learn which category you fall in to, as I go over the many types of gamers to the best of my knowledge.
Gamer: This is indeed the category I fall into. Gamers are folks who play video games at an average to above average level. In my case, I'm far from hardcore. I try to balance in between my other hobbies such as American comics, Japanese Anime, music, and other things. I can sometimes go a couple of weeks without playing video games. I know, this sounds a little like a casual gamer, but I'm far away from that though, because I own several console systems and various handhelds, plus, when I get into my gaming groove I can easily play games all night, and hit the systems about a good 4 - 6 hours every day. The last ten days especially, I put at least 8 hours everyday into games. The next thing that makes me into a Gamer, is that I dabble in a majority of genres. I mainly prefer action/adventure, but I leap into RPG's, First Person Shooters, Fighters, Puzzles, and some Racing pretty often. I avoid sports, because I haven't played a sports game yet that can really hold my attention. But for the most part, I will say I'm a pretty well rounded and knowledgeable gamer.
Casual: These people play video games once in a blue moon, and they usually have to be invited. They'll take a trip to their peeps house and hit up something very easy to get into. Some of them may even own at least one console, and in several cases, it would be a handheld in their possession, especially if they go on trips or something. I have a friend who owns a Game Boy Advance, and he only takes it with him on his security shift when he's at the desk, and he only has a handful of games. He sometimes plays in my house, but I never recall him asking to play.
Hardcore: These folks play games like their lives depend on it, and in some cases have no other real hobbies. They own every game system ever made and are always buying new games, and in this day and age, downloading them on a regular basis( I saw a Virtual Boy for the first time in my life 4 years ago). Hardcore Gamers play all genres and probably don't have any solid favorites. Their knowledge in games far surpasses mine, they have a subscription to every gaming magazine and they read every last page from front to back. They try to attend E3 every chance they get, collect action figures along with comics and movies based on video games, and video games are the topic of all discussions. This may sound like a fairytale, but these people do exist and I have met several growing up. No joke, when I was in the Army and we left to Afghanistan, another soldier in my squad purchased a brand new TV and a PS2(despite already owning one back home in the barracks). You can't get anymore hardcore than that!
Social: People who love to play games online. These are the ones who live in the multi-player realm and just love that social atmosphere. The ones I know, they get their money's worth with games like Call of Duty 4 and Mario Kart 7. They just love playing with lots of people.
Loners: They don't like the multi-player online gaming experience. These folks prefer to play their games alone. I can relate to this, because let's take last week for example. I won't say which game it was, but I was stuck playing online for hours on top of hours. The reason I don't really care for this, is because I already finished the main game to what I was playing, and I wanted to move on to something else. When you're stuck in multi-player, I feel many other games are just passing you by.
Chumps: These are the types who play every single game they come into contact with on the easy difficulty only. They play this way so they can always win, and while they're running around blowing stuff up with very little resistance, they feel like they're the man. To include, they will "beat" a game like Contra 4 and don't even get an ending, but they will be satisfied with that. I get a really good laugh when they come into SNK fighters on easy and are still massively crushed by the AI, only to get rid of the game as fast as they got it.
Masters: They are pros through and through. Masters will not stop playing a game until they have conquered all difficulty levels. Perfect example would be the Master Ninja level in the Ninja Gaiden Sigma series. These individuals also put the very same effort into fighters, in order to learn everything you can possibly learn. They buy the guides and spend hours on top of hours practicing, and battling the AI on the highest difficulty. I use this strategy as well for fighters, and if you're going to be playing fighting games online. Then you have to be committed because there are a lot of fantastic players out there who will kill you quick. But I do not consider myself a master. Usually, I'm satisfied with winning on normal unless circumstances dictate I have to go higher than that; Super Contra and Axelay immediately come to mind. And yes, I was hooked enough to Ninja Gaiden Sigma 1 and 2 to beat them on Master Ninja.
Console: They usually stick to console games, either because they can't afford to keep updating their PC's, or they just plain don't want to. I fall into here, because I just don't want to. I have a very big TV, and my games look too cool on there. Plus, I will always love handhelds. And speaking of handhelds, I know of several that's all they play and own, because they like to take their games with them everywhere they go.
Computer: They stick solely to this, and I have seen some serious game machines out there. These guys have no problem updating every several months. I had a room mate who spent a bundle hooking up his PC, and the games I saw him playing were pretty amazing.
Genre: Personally, I can't do this. I won't say I can never do it, but it's too far fetched to even think about it. Genre Gamers stick to only one genre of games and they hardly, if ever, bother with any other genre. I know a few people who only play fighters or FPS, but the gamers who truly reside in this category are RPG gamers. I think they have way too much time on their hands. RPG's can take up to 25 hours and some times a lot more to finish. Now, I did mention above that I prefer action/adventure, but there's a difference between enjoying a genre more than others, and rarely, some times never, leaving a specific one at all.
Old School: The gamers who fall into here mainly prefer the older systems, and they're very passionate to the 8 &16 bit eras, the era I'm from. They're very quick to point out games were tougher back then, which is why they prefer it. Some of them, the newest systems they have are Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo which I do think is pretty cool. But in all honesty for the most part, I don't like these gamers. Many of them have this elitist attitude like all games back then were great and everything now sucks. And when you have a conversation with some of them, you learn that they've never went pass the PSone, yet they have all these opinions on today's systems and games despite never, ever, playing one. They actually aggravate me a lot.
New School: This era began during the PS2 and Dreamcast run, when systems really began to show what they were capable of graphic wise; Full Motion Videos(FMV's), 3D Graphics, Voice overs, Cut Scenes; this is what they grew up with and to them this is gaming. The gamers who fall here, have very limited to no knowledge of the games that came before this. As a result, they really don't care for them, but they can't be faulted for when they were born. Who cares if they never played Pong, and if they did, they didn't like it? I didn't even like Pong back then.
Fan Boys: Despite what some would tell you, Fan Boys existed long before the Playstation and X-Box wars. The seeds of war were planted back during the days of Atari and Colecovision. However, it was the Nintendo and Sega wars of the late 80's to mid 90's that truly escalated the thing.
These folks are classified as gamers because they play games. Personally, I don't feel they are, because they choose to take sides and bark all day about which system is the best. Now ok, I can understand if they can only afford one system, and they chose the PS3 because they loved the PS2 so much or vice versa in regards to X-Box 360. But some of them can afford both, and choose one out of some type of loyalty and rip the other one and its fans, which comes off way too annoying.
A true gamer plays games. If they tried to play a system like the Nintendo Wii in this case, and nothing truly stuck out to make them want the system, then that's a different story. At least they tried it first, before they started tossing insults at the system.
After many years of experience, and dealing with other gamers professional or otherwise, these are just terms that were coined over time. The Chumps and Fanboys categories aren't meant to disrespect, that's just the way I and some others see it due to the various people we have met. Don't take anything I said here serious, like I said, it's just one guys take on people who play games. To those who follow my write ups, I hope you enjoyed reading something different for a change. Now I wonder, what should I tackle next?
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