What is a “Hardcore Gamer”?

There’s been a lot of talk recently on the matter of who is a hardcore gamer and who isn’t, be it in blog posts, articles, and even in public debate.

And truthfully, I think it’s a tired subject that needs to be put to rest once and for all.

The hardcore gamer is part of an odd, yet interesting demographic.  They’re targeted by console industries and publishers, and they’re constantly accused by a misled society for being lazy and unproductive.

But what is a “hardcore gamer”? How do we determine if someone is “hardcore” or not?

The reality of it is that there is no textbook definition of the term. Instead, it’s much more subjective and individual, often being determined on the beliefs of the self-proclaimed.

All too often, I feel that we sometimes go out of our way to prove how “hardcore” we are, even going so far as to attack others and question whether or not they fit under this same umbrella term. But why? Why does it matter to us if one matches our definition of “hardcore”? It’s this sort of egotistical vitriol that does nothing to help one’s credibility as a gamer, instead giving a fake boost to a weakened sense of self-esteem. It’s a bully mentality that does nothing and gets you nowhere.

And since it is a matter of opinion, this is my personal definition: If you’re reading this right now, chances are you’re a hardcore gamer. If you enjoy games, know them, research them, understand their intricacies, use them as a form of escapism or a social activity, then you are most likely a “hardcore” gamer.

No matter if you’re male, female, black, white, asian, Muslim, Christian, gay, straight…whatever sort of social status you might fall into, hear this: if you love games, if they are a part of your sense of self, and if you share in the same passion as the rest of us within the gaming community, then you most definitely qualify as a hardcore gamer.

And no one has any right to question or mock your dedication and love for gaming based on their own personal pretenses.

So lay down the arms and pick up the controller, my fellow hardcore gamer. It’s time to play some games.