Hardcore Gamer vs. Casual Gamer
Hardcore Gamers vs. Casual Gamers, which bucket do you fall into?... Actually, a better question to ask is what is your definition of a Hardcore Gamer compared to a Casual Gamer? Would you consider someone who games on the Wii a casual gamer because they have to interact with the system in order to control it? Or would you just say they are a casual gamer because the Wii doesn't cater to the same types of games that the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC do? There's a lot of different ways that people perceive what a "hardcore gamer" is so I thought I'd take a second to run through what I see as the different types of gamers.
First of all the titles of "hardcore" and "casual" are pretty stupid. I know that there are some people that take their video games a little too seriously and get defensive if you try to tell them that Halo is better than Call of Duty, or whatever the argument may be, but lumping people into two categories is offensive to those of us that aren't like that. In my eyes there are more than just two different types of gamer. You obviously have your ridiculous fan boys who, no matter what you tell them, will still tell you that Black Ops sucks because they toned back quick scoping, or that Halo is dumb because everyone jumps around like rabbits. And these are the same people that will defend their argument until they are blue in the face even though it's the most pointless argument in the world. These are the people that will call you a "fag" for playing the Wii instead of the Xbox 360 or the PS3, and pardon my use of the word, but if you've ever sat on Xbox Live for any period of time you know what I'm talking about. These are the people that make those of us that enjoy games in all capacities, look like assholes.
That leads me to my next category. I don't really have a name for these people other than just "Gamers". These are the people that just love playing games no matter the system, no matter the skill level, no matter the quality of the graphics or what not, they just love playing the games that people work so hard to create. This is where I fit in. These are the people that don't care about a review of a game, they just care if the game is fun or not. These are the people that actually try to strategize while playing Call of Duty instead of just yelling about how they had sex with your mother last night, or whatever creative racist comment they can come up. We enjoy the games that people make and we enjoy playing them. It doesn't matter if that game is on the Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, PC, iOS, Android or whatever random system you can think of, if it's good, we'll play it.
The "casual" gamer is a little harder to break apart into separate categories, but I still feel that there are different types of casual gamers. On one end you have the casual gamer that only plays "casually" because they don't have the time. Whether that's because of work or family obligations or whatever the case may be, they just don't have the time to sit down and play through a lot of the games they might want to. This doesn't mean that they don't play on the Xbox or the PS3, it just means they simply don't have the time. The other group of people are the ones that don't like playing games on the consoles or the PC, but still consider themselves a "gamer" because they love the games on their portable devices (phone, iPad, whatever). This would be my definition of a "casual" gamer if I had to choose one. They really have no desire to play games using a controller, or they just aren't coordinated enough to figure them out. Whatever the case may be, they prefer to game on their phones while on the go than at home in front of the TV. It also could be because a lot of the games on the consoles and PC these days are extremely complicated if you haven't grown up playing that type of game. With tons of buttons on the controllers and so many things happening on screen at once, it's a wonder how anyone can keep up with some of the games that come out these days. This may also include those people that will only play the motion control games like the Wii, Microsoft Kinect or the Playstation Move, but I still feel that those gamers are in a category all to themselves, the "Party Gamer" if you will. The type of people that don't really play games, but really get into them if there is a group of people around playing (my fiance is one of these).
In general I think it's unfair to lump all gamers into two categories of "Hardcore" and "Casual" because there really are all sorts of people playing all sorts of games. I know personally I do not want to be lumped into the same category as the people yelling racist remarks on Xbox Live or complaining about minor tweaks that a developer made from one game to the next, I just want to play a fun game with people that want to do the same. And it's usually the people that aren't very good at the games that are the ones screaming at everyone else or complaining, so I actually find it kind of funny to play against them, but don't put me in the same bucket. Keep your "hardcore" and "casual" titles to yourselves and just enjoy the fact that we all have a common interest in video games. And while some of us may not be as good as others, it's no reason to take my mother into a back alley and do unexplainable things to her while I watch...