In recent years there has been the discussion of what is a casual gamer and what is a hardcore gamer. Of course there have been simple answers to these questions such as, casual gamers being those who play in their spare time with the majority of the games being played on their phone. Hardcore gamers have been painted as the Call of Duty or World of Warcraft players who sit at their consoles or computers for at least 6 hours everyday. But then, where does that leave the rest of us?
Sure, you can call yourself casual or hardcore, but unfortunately these terms are just relative in my eyes. For example, someone who plays 5 hours a week on a console is more ‘hardcore’ than someone who played Words with Friends on and off all weekend. Conversely, someone who plays for 12 hours in two days is casual compared to some League of Legends pros who probably average about 8 hours a day of practice. It’s hard to gauge just exactly where the terms start and end with a fairly big gray area in between, but that grey area is where I feel the majority of gamers lie.
For a while now I’ve been struggling to find a term for those who don’t fit into either of these categories. A ‘causal hardcore gamer’; a ‘hardcore casual’? What name should we give them? Do they even need a name? Well, how about, ‘gamer’. Yes, just ‘gamer’. The terms ‘casual’ and ‘hardcore’ have been created to separate gamers into different fields because of the change in the way people see and play games. These fields were created when mobile gaming became a bigger market and has continued to grow in recent years. Some gamers these days are dissatisfied with being clumped all together and want to be recognized as perhaps ‘special’ or ‘different’ from their mom who played Tetris this morning.
I propose the use of the term ’gamer’. Why should what you play and how long you play it matter so much? So you play 6 hours more than someone who plays Angry Birds on the way to work, who cares? You are both doing fundamentally the same thing, you are interacting with a digital interface that allows you to take part in a function that was created for entertainment purposes. It’s all fine if you see yourself as a ‘hardcore’ or ‘casual’ gamer, but remember there are other people who are most likely above and below you who are all doing the same thing, playing games. We are all just ‘gamers’, I see no reason to divide ourselves into categories such as ‘casual’ or ‘hardcore’.
Do you consider yourself to be ‘hardcore’, ‘casual’ or something in between? What would your friends label you as? What do you think of these established labels?