I have to say, this is our biggest battle yet. This isn’t just a competition between better features or more players, this is a battle of the ages; bigger than Godzilla versus Barbie, or Rambo versus Bill Cosby. Heck, this is even bigger than Steven Seagal versus weight loss. This is all about the hardcore gamer taking on the casual gamer. Which one of these social groups does the video game community better justice? Which group of gamers are more likely to propel the industry forward? Are hardcore gamers fanaticism better suited for the industry than casual gamers’ lack of fanaticism? It’s time to put down the gloves and curl up the fists, because we’re about to get ready to rumble.
Round 1: Which faction does gaming more justice in the public media?
Oh, so you thought this was going to be a topic best suited for hardcore gamers, did you? Well, you were wrong. We’re covering topics that give both sides a fair chance at grinding their nails into each other. So for this topic, who does do gaming more justice in the public media? Hardcore gamers or casual gamers?
...are often known for being so fanatical that they’re usually declared as antisocial and misanthropic. In some cases that is kind of true. But in other cases, we have cases like the now 10-year-old, Victor M.. De Leon III, who goes to school, plays baseball and competes in tournaments for up to $20,000. He has been on 60 Minutes and was part of a documentary. And while that makes gaming seem cool – especially being represented by a prepubescent hardcore gamer who is probably better at making virtual headshots than doing his multiplications – there are the other extremes that bring hardcore gaming down to the gutter, alongside Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. For instance, if you Google “Gamer arrested”, you’ll find plenty of smear-news for hardcore gaming as opposed to Googling “Gamer rewarded”. The hardcore crowd also didn’t help themselves by bashing on Jack Thompson (or creating games where players had to murder an army of the over-zealous lawyer). Every time Jacky-boy uttered a single word of defamation against gaming, gamers were quick to respond with an equal manner of zealotry and hatred. Things got worse for hardcore gamers because there were a few occasions where they started imitating the likes of GTA; stealing cars and shooting people. So while the news might seem bad for hardcore gamers, you can’t really blame the news for hardcore gamers acting like fools. Sorry hardcore gamers.
...alternatively, are rarely known for making news. Except on the rare occasion of mingling with hardcore gamers during MMO expansion releases (i.e., for games like World of Warcraft). Otherwise they often represent gaming as grandmas playing Paint with Mario with their grandchild. The real casual gamer, however, is probably best described as the stay-at-home mom who enjoys a few games of Bejeweled online, or the college student who dabbles in a few hours a week of an MMO. The real casual gamer is hardly ever represented in a manner that makes gaming seem appealing, so much as they are represented as the gamer who seems out of touch with gaming. It’s a sad truth, but most people take casual gamers for being non-gamers, which is probably the biggest misconception about today’s gaming culture in general. But given that most casual gamers have nothing about them that stands out (hence, being casual) it’s tough for those kind of gamers to make video gaming look like anything more than a passing fad or “child’s play”. Casual gamers, unlike hardcore gamers, at least don’t smear the good name of gaming. I would definitely have to put my money on casual gamers for being the better representative of gaming, despite not really being representatives of gaming at all. But if you walk down the street wearing a Pac-Man shirt, at least people will think you’re representing something nostalgic. As opposed to walking down the street with a Grand Theft Auto IV shirt, in which case people will assume you’re a car thief who murders people and enjoys the company of hookers.
It’s time to vote now folks, which group of gamers do you feel better represents the public view of gamers and how gamers are viewed as a subculture within society? Take your pick, and pick wisely.
Time to vote!
Casual Gamers Vs. Hardcore Gamers