What is a “Hardcore Gamer”?
According to Urban Dictionary:
Let’s break the entire thing down, for the sake of argument and to prove my point – HARDCORE GAMERS DO NOT EXIST (and if you believe they do – you fell into marketing bullshit)
Someone who plays video games as a primary hobby. They tend to spend large amounts of time playing games, often in excess of two or three hours a day.
The problem here is “two to three hours a day” – for me, I don’t usually play games on the weekdays, but rather weekends. But if you tabulate the amount of time one plays “Angry Birds” or “Farmville” – it might end up tabulated to a couple hours.The difference between “Hardcore Gaming” and “Casual Gaming” is rather or not you have “video games” as your primary hobby. I can tell you right now – it is one of my many hobbies. But as you probably have seen in the archives – my other hobbies include watching professional wrestling and talking non stop about game shows. Especially Game Shows – Am I “A Hardcore Game Shower”?
Does this mean by playing “The Sims Social” – I am qualified under “Hardcore Gamer”?
Hardcore gamers tend to care less about graphics then casual gamers. While some specialize in a single genre, they typically have fairly diverse taste in games, frequently playing a wide variety of games from different genres. They’ll often seek out obscure and older games, based on word of mouth or positive critical reception. Hardcore gamers put good gameplay above all else, and don’t mind if a good game has poor (or even nonexistent) graphics, sound, characters and plot.
So a “Hardcore Gamer” is somebody who only cares about rather or not a game a game has “good gameplay” instead of anything else. But what exactly is “good gameplay”?
Gameplay is any mechanism used in the game for the player to interact with (ie “saving” “killing” “collecting” or “getting from point a to point b” or “surviving”).
The term “Good Gameplay” is arbitrary – as is people’s opinions on video games. Some would argue that the best “FPS Game” is Goldeneye 64, others would say older games like Doom and Quake and others would say newer games like Half Life 2 or Battlefield 3.
And just like “critical reception” – that too is different. As explained by my DmC review – I happened to really love the game, and major reviewing websites (IGN, GameSpot) and minors (GiantBomb, Destructoid) as well. But the “critical reception” could be “terrible” because of the previous fanbase not liking the direction of the game.
Sure, there are 9s and 10s for a game – but does that mean people will go out and pick up the game?
For most people – No. Unless the game matches some of their tastes in previous games. Resident Evil 6 is a fine example of just because a game got “okay scores” doesn’t mean people would enjoy it.
But to “The Hardcore Gamer” – YES! YOU WILL BUY IT! And that’s where the marketing thing comes in… because if you believe in “10/10 Game of the Year” as being the only reason to play a game. You’ve created a sub-segment in culture, and thus can be marketed.
Like this really old commercial from Blockbuster Video in which you can be “coached” into playing games better – by someone who is “MORE HARDCORE” than you (because he’s played all the 10/10 Game of the Years)
Or because we’ve now found out that “10/10 Game of The Year” includes Gran Turismo – and there so happens to be a Gran Turismo game coming out. And we found out “Hardcore Gamers” will buy anything that has critical acclaim – PREORDER THE GAME NOW KIDS! GET YOUR PREORDERS!
SIDENOTE: I hate preorder bonuses – it’s DLC that should be available to the user, but won’t be unless you blindly gave the $60 ahead of time. The only way it’s justified is if you can purchase the preorder bonuses later via Xbox Live or PSN.
And because “Halo” is such a “AAA” game – we can now market a soda to get those “Hardcore Gamers” to spend money. Do you REALLY think Mountain Dew wants to be “The Gamer Drink”? It’s part of Pepsi-Co, they just want you to buy them up to make a profit. By associating this new “Cherry Citrus Mountain Dew” to gamers – we are promoting a video game (with money associated by Microsoft/Bungie) and we are making “Hardcore Gamers” believe this drink is geared towards them. When in reality, it’s a ploy to get you to spend some of your “gaming dollars” on a 12-Pack of Fizzy Drink.
Mountain Dew – YOU AREN’T A HARDCORE GAMER UNLESS YOU DRINK THIS GAME FUEL
You – But I am a Hardcore Gamer! I can stand risking Type-2 Diabetes in order to be COOL TO THE CORE!
And then game journalists like Geoff Keighley have to report on this, as if it has any meaning to video games. And because he is a “critically acclaimed game journalist” – you’ll have to trust his word AND DID YOU SEE THOSE DORITOS AND MOUNTAIN DEW? HE’S SUCH A HARDCORE GAMER!
And the vicious cycle continues – now there is a dividing line where “The Hardcore Gamer” can no longer trust journalists because they are just “PR Marketing”, when in reality – that’s what made them a Hardcore Gamer in the first place. Game Journalism hasn’t changed since the days of Nintendo Power – it’s always been promoting video games.
Even when you picked up a Video Game Magazine in the 90s – GamePro, EGM, whatever, look at the advertising at the games. Notice how many of the advertising in the magazine are for video games and/or are things geared towards “The Hardcore Gamer” (which in reality, is just “A Gamer”)
Advertising pays for part of the magazine, just like how advertising pays for part of a website.
And then we can talk about Jeff Gerstmann getting “fired” for the Kane & Lynch review, but instead I’ll let you hear it from his own words –
“The Hardcore Gamer” is no longer succumbing to “propaganda”, and if that’s the case – they can only rely on “Word of Mouth” for their game suggestions.
But trusting “The Word of Mouth” is trusting your friend isn’t prejudice towards or against a game company – and that they have the same tastes in games as you do. I trusted “word of mouth” when I picked up Anarchy Reigns – and the multiplayer is fantastic, but the single player leaves much desired. And when I say that – they got a bit mad at me. People’s tastes in games are different.
And you know me – GO PICK UP WHEEL OF FORTUNE FOR PS3 BECAUSE IT’S A GAME SHOW, AND I LIKE GAME SHOWS
But to some – “It’s enjoyable, but eventually, like any game show game – you’ll run out of puzzles and then it’ll get boring.”
It’s also trusting the “Word of Mouth” isn’t doing it as “a character reviewer” and can actually tell you the pros and cons of a video game, without poorly acting as a whiny annoying asshole.
BUY THE QUOTE TEE TODAY!
Speaking of “Quote Tees” –
The stereotypical hardcore gamer is out of shape, and has poor hygene. They spend a lot of their disposable income on video games, consoles, or PC upgrades, and a large percentage of their free time either playing video games or discussing them, online and off. They wear either black clothing, or T-shirts with geeky pop-culture references, often to video games. Their social skills may be sub-par, and they may be less likely than others their age to have many friends, a jobs and a girlfriend/boyfriend. Some of these stereotypes are negative, and they certainly don’t apply to all hardcore gamers, but there’s a fair amount of truth to them.
Which can actually be said about most “geeks” in general – don’t forget wearing fedoras and having an unhealthy obsession with “My Little Pony : Friendship is Magic”. But let’s debate the final parts.
may be less likely than others their age to have…
With the dawning of “The Internet Era” – many people are making friends online – many of them aren’t even gamers. They just share a hobby like kayaking, skeet shooting, “voting republican” among others. They might not have that many “friends” in their town that they can personally hang-out with, but they might have just as much friends on the internet to talk to.
Which makes no sense, considering the first part is “they have disposable income for video games and computer parts”. How do they get the money to fund their addiction? Lottery Winnings? “Donations” from those who do have jobs?
and a girlfriend/boyfriend
That could be said to just about anybody and some people are “single and loving it”… GOD I’M LONELY :(
So in conclusion…
Hardcore Gamers are not “those who want a challenge” nor “those who are REALLY good at fragging people in online games” – they are a marketing ploy by companies to get you to believe that such people exist so you can spend more money on a “Gaming Subculture” which doesn’t really exist either, because everybody plays games differently.
So stop bragging – and start having “fun” with video games.
“Was not sponsored by Gamer Grub for this rant”