Gamer Labels: What are You?

Ever since the PS4 announcement was made last week, I have seen the gamer phrase “core gamer” on pretty much every video game news site, blog, or other media outlet in existence.  After seeing that, I started to think about all of the other gamer labels or terms out there that have really irked me in the past.  The one label I think people always misuse or get confused about is the “hardcore gamer”.  When I hear the word “hardcore” and video games I automatically picture games like Halo 4, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Ninja Gaiden: Razor’s Edge, and countless other ‘M’ rated titles that consist of blood, gore, slashing, shooting, cussing, and pretty much everything that embodies that rating.  So, that is what I think the majority of the industry sees as “hardcore” and those who play them are “hardcore” gamers.

Well, I think they have only part of that right because “hardcore” also means totally something different, such as “hardcore” Mario, Zelda, Metroid, or Donkey Kong fans.  These other “hardcore” gamers are the ones who clamor for a new game in their favorite series and will wait outside in the freezing cold at midnight at GameStop to pick up their beloved platformer, RPG, or puzzle game.  They are also gamers who have a ton of swag based on their favorite characters covering their bedroom and home from top to bottom, and they will even play their favorite game non-stop until someone pulls the plug and the Mountain Dew Game Fuel finally wears off.  These “hardcore” gamers don’t have to be ‘M’ rated game players either like I mentioned with Mario, Zelda, etc. because they can also consist of those who play WoW religiously or Skyrim 24/7.

What about that wee little other group known as the “casual” gamer? When people think of casual gamer, they usually picture a man or woman sitting on a bus, airplane, or in their car playing Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja,  or even Minecraft pocket edition on their iPhone or iPad.  Well, couldn’t they also be those who pick up their controller and play a little Call of Duty: Black Ops II every once in a while and then let the game sit for one or two weeks and collect dust before coming back to it, or would be they defined more as a “hardcore” -on- certain-occasion gamer?

This leads me to my main question for this article.  What is a “core gamer”? Is it someone who embraces both the hardcore and casual aspects of games and will play both types without raising a stink about it? Could a “core gamer” be someone who knows what it is all about and doesn’t need a label? I think labels in themselves are just plain silly when it comes down to it.  Society has already stamped gamers of all types as “geeks”, book-worms as “nerds”, and your basic clueless idiot as “dorks”.  I decided to (like a nerd) look up the definition for each of these labels and I was a little surprised at my findings.  When I looked up geek, the definition I found was “a person who is a computer or technology enthusiast,” which was no surprise.  The definition for nerd was no surprise either, because it said someone who is “bookish” and “socially inept”.  Dork was a label I figured would be between a geek and a nerd, or basically the best of both worlds, and I was pretty much on the money as it said a dork is someone who is “stupid or inept” and has “weird tastes in things”.

I decided to look up the definition for “core gamer” and found I was a little close to defining what one was, as far as being someone who embraces basically any type of game or genre imaginable, but does not have the time to go full throttle into a game and train for a competition like a “hardcore” gamer would.  This is where things took an interesting turn for me, because I discovered I was off on a rabbit trail when I thought I knew what the definition for “hardcore gamer” was.  The “hardcore” definition I took in was coined by young little dudes (like my son) who were playing shooters or other intense games shouting, “Whoa! Dude! Now that was hardcore!” whenever a guy they shot dropped dead or they pulled off some quick maneuver in a fighting game.

Basically, wherever we go and whatever we do, we will always run across some new kind of label coined by the young farts of this generation, or old school confused and messed up definitions by old farts like me.  After reading this and knowing what you know, what kind of gamer do you think you are? Tell me what you think by leaving a comment here on Leviathyn.com