Yes, They're Gamers, Too

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boholikeu:
The bolded statement really interests me because it seems like the same argument I'm trying to make here. Certain experiences are just better without the "game" part, and yet as developers figure this out and lessen the challenge, "gamers" complain that the industry is being dumbed down. It's not being dumbed down. These are simply games that aren't meant for the "challenge" gamer. Story-based games, for example, need to be beatable by everyone simply because why would you bother spending development time creating an engaging story if you don't expect everyone to experience it.

Edit: ahhhh nevermind, I think I see your point now. Basically you don't mind the existence of non-challenging games, you just don't think their fans should be called "gamers", right?

I totally object to non-challenging games. The whole point of a game is to present a challenge. When you set the bar so everyone can jump over it, the "game" part of an experience is just hours of your life you'll never get back as you sit between story segments.

If developers don't want the "game" sections to get in the way of their title's accessibility, they should replace them with a completely different form of interaction instead of just watering them down. It's hard to imagine what it would be like because videogames so rarely go there, but look at The Sims. There are no value judgements, no game over screens, just a bunch of virtual people and whatever you want to do with 'em.

That's my problem with this article taking the more inclusive stance, calling everyone who plays on a computer a "gamer" glosses over how the majority of people want virtual companions or virtual toys, interactive stories, and amusing simulations. Even if the word sticks maybe the point will get out anyway.

veloper:

Possibly. Game devs don't HAVE to be gamers, they can also be casual gamers or maybe even interested only in one aspect of gaming, like gfx,music or coding.

Whatever they may be, when the developers turns to easy games for casual gamers (idiot or otherwise), the real gamers get left out.

We are a minority now, even though there's more gamers now than in the 90s. If we do not label the casual gamers, but instead pretended to be part of the same group, then the industry would ignore us for no good reason.

No need to label the casual gamers because there already is a label for you: hardcore gamers. Calling yourselves "real gamers" is just as elitist as arthouse film geeks calling themselves "real moviegoers".

NamesAreHardToPick:

I totally object to non-challenging games. The whole point of a game is to present a challenge. When you set the bar so everyone can jump over it, the "game" part of an experience is just hours of your life you'll never get back as you sit between story segments.

If developers don't want the "game" sections to get in the way of their title's accessibility, they should replace them with a completely different form of interaction instead of just watering them down. It's hard to imagine what it would be like because videogames so rarely go there, but look at The Sims. There are no value judgements, no game over screens, just a bunch of virtual people and whatever you want to do with 'em.

That's my problem with this article taking the more inclusive stance, calling everyone who plays on a computer a "gamer" glosses over how the majority of people want virtual companions or virtual toys, interactive stories, and amusing simulations. Even if the word sticks maybe the point will get out anyway.

Hm, I don't quite get your point. You say you object to non-challenging games, yet you seem to be supportive of The Sims and such. Is it just that you don't like calling such titles "games"?

boholikeu:

NamesAreHardToPick:
If developers don't want the "game" sections to get in the way of their title's accessibility, they should replace them with a completely different form of interaction instead of just watering them down. It's hard to imagine what it would be like because videogames so rarely go there, but look at The Sims. There are no value judgements, no game over screens, just a bunch of virtual people and whatever you want to do with 'em.

Hm, I don't quite get your point. You say you object to non-challenging games, yet you seem to be supportive of The Sims and such. Is it just that you don't like calling such titles "games"?

You know role-playing games where you've got some awesome hero, but you need a key from an innkeeper and he won't give you the key until you go into his cellar and kill 10 rats? It's that kind of ridiculous hoop-jumping I take issue with. Press the attack button a bunch of times, maybe heal... why do game developers do that? I think everyone could agree that it's a pointless waste of time, if for different reasons.

For me it's because I enjoy abusing the rules of the combat system and fights that don't demand it are really dull. All the game developers need to do is swap those rats with zombie sorcerors, and I'm good to go. That's old-school gaming.

For someone else it's that fighting ANYTHING for this guy to get a key he's not even going to use is a bunch of nonsense. Supposing the inkeeper has some reason not to let the hero get a hold of this key, it's pretty intuitive (but harder to write up) how the player can get creative with convincing the guy to part with it. Appeals to his civic duty, gold, seduction, arson. Use a sandwiches to lure the old guy into a snare, then summon a giant manget and pull the key out of his hand. Oh wait, I'm getting in to Scribblenauts territory.

Anyways, when you've got two audiences who would appreciate radically different experiences, that's usually a good time to start using different words for 'em, right?

boholikeu:

veloper:

Possibly. Game devs don't HAVE to be gamers, they can also be casual gamers or maybe even interested only in one aspect of gaming, like gfx,music or coding.

Whatever they may be, when the developers turns to easy games for casual gamers (idiot or otherwise), the real gamers get left out.

We are a minority now, even though there's more gamers now than in the 90s. If we do not label the casual gamers, but instead pretended to be part of the same group, then the industry would ignore us for no good reason.

No need to label the casual gamers because there already is a label for you: hardcore gamers.

Only the specialists can be hardcore gamers. The rest of us are just "gamers". Outside are the casual gamers and non-gamers.
The biggest difference is the type of games the casual gamers prefer, opposed to gamers, including hardcore gamers.

Calling yourselves "real gamers" is just as elitist as arthouse film geeks calling themselves "real moviegoers".

There's nothing elitist about it. Casual gamers usually don't call themselves gamers. Casual gamer is a perfectly good label, that is easily understood by most, so I use it.

veloper:

Only the specialists can be hardcore gamers. The rest of us are just "gamers". Outside are the casual gamers and non-gamers.
The biggest difference is the type of games the casual gamers prefer, opposed to gamers, including hardcore gamers.

Hm, interesting. OOC what makes you a gamer but not a hardcore gamer? Cause it seems to me you already have a pretty specialized taste in games.

veloper:

Calling yourselves "real gamers" is just as elitist as arthouse film geeks calling themselves "real moviegoers".

There's nothing elitist about it. Casual gamers usually don't call themselves gamers. Casual gamer is a perfectly good label, that is easily understood by most, so I use it.

You seriously don't think there's anything elitist about calling yourself a "real" gamer? I mean, you just spent the last couple of posts talking about how games meant for casuals are only fit for "drooling idiots", and that they are ruining the industry. How is that not elitist?

NamesAreHardToPick:

You know role-playing games where you've got some awesome hero, but you need a key from an innkeeper and he won't give you the key until you go into his cellar and kill 10 rats? It's that kind of ridiculous hoop-jumping I take issue with. Press the attack button a bunch of times, maybe heal... why do game developers do that? I think everyone could agree that it's a pointless waste of time, if for different reasons.

For me it's because I enjoy abusing the rules of the combat system and fights that don't demand it are really dull. All the game developers need to do is swap those rats with zombie sorcerors, and I'm good to go. That's old-school gaming.

For someone else it's that fighting ANYTHING for this guy to get a key he's not even going to use is a bunch of nonsense. Supposing the inkeeper has some reason not to let the hero get a hold of this key, it's pretty intuitive (but harder to write up) how the player can get creative with convincing the guy to part with it. Appeals to his civic duty, gold, seduction, arson. Use a sandwiches to lure the old guy into a snare, then summon a giant manget and pull the key out of his hand. Oh wait, I'm getting in to Scribblenauts territory.

Anyways, when you've got two audiences who would appreciate radically different experiences, that's usually a good time to start using different words for 'em, right?

Well, I agree with that, but there are a couple things wrong with your solution of not calling them "games".

First of all, they are seen as games by most of the general public (and even most developers). Linguistically speaking, it'll be almost impossible to change the masses' perception of what a video game is, and even if all the hardcore gamers came out and corrected people that The Sims is not actually a game they'd achieve nothing more than making themselves look like a bunch of nit-picking geeks. I really doubt that we'll ever see computer software depts being divided into games, interactive movies, simulation, etc. sections.

The other problem is that you seem to be treating the word "games" as the title of a genre, when it really is a medium. That's why I can see "challenging games" start to become their own genre within the larger "games" medium, but I still think it's really unlikely that we'll see games about story, socialization, etc being pushed out. I mean heck, I dunno if you remember or not, but people said made the same arguments about SimCity not being a game when it came out, but lo and behold, 20 years later it's still considered a game by everyone except the most finicky luddites.

Very simple here. Jeet-Kune whatchawhosit has his standards so ridiculously high that no human could qualify as a gamer. (Including him, I bet he used a game genie.) Actually, what he's likely saying is that the only real gamers are professional gamers who devote themselves to the hobby at the expense of all other things in life and probably 99% of all games. These guys are also unanimously life-long virgins. And it's bullcrap.

But I have to disagree with you, Susan. Someone who Wii bowls once or twice a month for 10 minutes or occasionally whips out Bejewled on their iPhone on break does not qualify as a gamer. And certainly isn't Farmville players who will score an equal amount of cred in the gaming world as people who frequent sites like Neopets. (Good god, why would anyone want to rip that shit off?)

I've been gaming for 30 years. I may not be able to beat Mega Man without a miss, I wouldn't win any Street Fighter tournaments and my FPS k/d ratio is hardly impressive. But I am a gamer. I am devoted, I am knowledgeable and I care a great deal for this hobby. No one's Wii Bowling granny should ever be lumped in with someone like me. Call me a zealot if you want, but I'm not about to share the pulpit with someone who just picked up Peggle on a whim and has played it a grand total of three times.

I have a great idea for a yardstick for determining if you are a gamer or not. If you, in the last 5 years, have uttered the phrase "I just bought (insert system/game here) for my kids and now I like it too!" You're not a gamer. Come back in five years and we'll see if you have a common frame of reference.

(I sure use the term "Wii Bowling Granny" a lot.)

One again I ask, why can a movie-goer simply be a person who goes to movies, whether it be religiously or only occasionally and gamers must be people who play more than just two hours a week?

This double-standard makes the people standing up to the "gamer" term sound more and more pathetic by the minute.

NamesAreHardToPick:

I totally object to non-challenging games. The whole point of a game is to present a challenge.

And yet...

Merriam-Webster:
Game = activity engaged in for diversion or amusement.

So, challenge is one aspect of games, but it is hardly it's defining or even less its sole element.

Ericb:

Merriam-Webster:
Game = activity engaged in for diversion or amusement.

So, challenge is one aspect of games, but it is hardly it's defining or even less its sole element.

That's silly. You're saying that everything from books to knitting to movies to raving to binge drinking are all games. It's a very derivative use of the word. The exact same reference is packed with more specific uses.

* a physical or mental competition conducted according to rules with the participants in direct opposition to each other
* any activity undertaken or regarded as a contest involving rivalry, strategy, or struggle <the dating game> <the game of politics>

boholikeu:

Well, I agree with that, but there are a couple things wrong with your solution of not calling them "games".

First of all, they are seen as games by most of the general public (and even most developers). Linguistically speaking, it'll be almost impossible to change the masses' perception of what a video game is, and even if all the hardcore gamers came out and corrected people that The Sims is not actually a game they'd achieve nothing more than making themselves look like a bunch of nit-picking geeks. I really doubt that we'll ever see computer software depts being divided into games, interactive movies, simulation, etc. sections.

The other problem is that you seem to be treating the word "games" as the title of a genre, when it really is a medium. That's why I can see "challenging games" start to become their own genre within the larger "games" medium, but I still think it's really unlikely that we'll see games about story, socialization, etc being pushed out. I mean heck, I dunno if you remember or not, but people said made the same arguments about SimCity not being a game when it came out, but lo and behold, 20 years later it's still considered a game by everyone except the most finicky luddites.

Words have different, more specific, meanings depending on the context they're used in. When a chemist talks about "water" in a molecular analysis, he doesn't mean that dirty crap coming out of the faucet at home. His JOB is to be a nit-picking geek about the composition of substances and thanks to people like that we don't die of lead poisoning or feline aids after taking a shower.
Why shouldn't the gaming press and especially game developers and producers be nit-picking geeks in the same way about what's in our video games? I mean I hope to hell that a development team understands the difference betweent their project being a "simulation" or an "interactive movie" or a "game".

One thing that gave me hope recently was the western reviews of Demon's Souls. Over here (having the benefit of seeing its immense popularity with asian gamers, regardless of low review scores in Japan) almost every publication gave it awesome marks because it is amazingly designed as a hardcore challenge. Even though there's no distinction in the language used, you can tell it's there. Very few places considered the harsh difficulty a flaw with the game, even though it would be absolutely unacceptable in a title aimed for kids ... or in a LOT of games, actually. DS has a lot of brilliant little features that make the dick-shrivelling level of fatality playable and even fun.

NamesAreHardToPick:

Words have different, more specific, meanings depending on the context they're used in. When a chemist talks about "water" in a molecular analysis, he doesn't mean that dirty crap coming out of the faucet at home. His JOB is to be a nit-picking geek about the composition of substances and thanks to people like that we don't die of lead poisoning or feline aids after taking a shower.
Why shouldn't the gaming press and especially game developers and producers be nit-picking geeks in the same way about what's in our video games? I mean I hope to hell that a development team understands the difference betweent their project being a "simulation" or an "interactive movie" or a "game".

Because unlike the chemist in your straw-man argument, game developers are dealing with entertainment not life/death public health issues.

Anyway, most (good) developers understand what the "focus" of their game is, be that challenge, socialization, story, etc. That's one of the reasons why the best story games usually aren't that difficult, and the best challenge games include a story only as an afterthought (if at all). The difference is that most developers also include all those different focuses under the blanket term "game" because that is what the general public has come to call pretty much all entertainment software.

NamesAreHardToPick:
One thing that gave me hope recently was the western reviews of Demon's Souls. Over here (having the benefit of seeing its immense popularity with asian gamers, regardless of low review scores in Japan) almost every publication gave it awesome marks because it is amazingly designed as a hardcore challenge. Even though there's no distinction in the language used, you can tell it's there. Very few places considered the harsh difficulty a flaw with the game, even though it would be absolutely unacceptable in a title aimed for kids ... or in a LOT of games, actually. DS has a lot of brilliant little features that make the dick-shrivelling level of fatality playable and even fun.

They didn't give it high marks because it was a hardcore challenge; they did so because it was a well made hardcore challenge. Everything in that game was geared towards being a good challenge without being frustrating. That's why it plays so well.

Don't worry though. I know you feel like challenging games are in danger of being sidelined right now, but it'll never happen. The only reason there is such a focus on other types of games is because A)Technology is finally at the point where games don't just have to focus on challenge as their sole entertaining feature (and so you see a lot of developers experimenting with storytelling, socialization, even artistic expression), and B) The general public isn't as "literate" in video games as they are in movies/books/etc. As the average player gets better you'll see difficulty return as well.

Also, OOC what's your favorite genre? I'd be happy to suggest some difficult games if you don't mind checking out some stuff from smaller developers.

boholikeu:
Because unlike the chemist in your straw-man argument, game developers are dealing with entertainment not life/death public health issues.

Anyway, most (good) developers understand what the "focus" of their game is, be that challenge, socialization, story, etc. That's one of the reasons why the best story games usually aren't that difficult, and the best challenge games include a story only as an afterthought (if at all). The difference is that most developers also include all those different focuses under the blanket term "game" because that is what the general public has come to call pretty much all entertainment software.

So the only subjects it's okay be intellectual about are those where lives are on the line? I disagree. The amount of time spent and depth of interaction in videogames makes their design and evaluation extremely practical subjects.

I've played a lot of sandbox games and simulations that have had brutally hard and frustrating "game" sections. Burnout Paradise is as pleasant as fingernails on a blackboard if you want to collect the cars, it was especially bad before you could restart an event in-progress and would have to drive to the finish even on a totally lost cause and then back to the starting location. LittleBigPlanet makes you perform some hardcore stuff to collect all the materials for create mode. Sim Animals Africa plays a lot like Whack-a-Predator if you're trying to keep your daughter's prized meerkats safe and sound.

I know you feel like challenging games are in danger of being sidelined right now, but it'll never happen.

Actually most of my ranting here is from watching my kids' frustrations as they play videogames. I'm sick and tired of picking out what I hope to be virtual "stuffed toys" for my daughter to play with only to find that aside from screenshots with adorable names and tickling animals, the thing's about as cuddly as a real lion. Similarly, my son loves sandbox titles where he can just mess around with characters as if they were a bunch of action figures and make up his own little rules and goals instead of dealing with a lot of imposed structure. Unlocking stuff to use and places to explore requires a trip back to the "game" part of the title though and usually the challenge/frustration factor is way too high.

The only reason there is such a focus on other types of games is because A)Technology is finally at the point where games don't just have to focus on challenge as their sole entertaining feature

Also, OOC what's your favorite genre? I'd be happy to suggest some difficult games if you don't mind checking out some stuff from smaller developers.

I meant to put this in my last post, but it really matches what you're saying... I think a lot of game design feels like it's still coming from the 8-bit era, back when graphics were bad enough that the only people they would attract were the ones who came for the "game" being represented... lance throwing knight vs hordes of undead, etc. Now with the capability for movie-quality graphics they're getting a lot of attention from people who are more interested in their capacity for visual spectacle... I think one of my friends is like that, he's been really serious about gaming only since PS3 and you can just see him jump for joy whenever a game's got brilliant graphics.

2d or 3rd person shooters & action games, adventure games (roguelikes), racing, flight games... I've started playing tower and hero defense games recently too. I have a weak spot for anything with mecha or a lot of neon.

Sure, if it is a game, they are gamers! I mean, if you play any sport that makes you an athlete. Bowling, Table Tennis, and miniture golf are all sports.

I dont know why everyone wants to be called a "gamer" so much, its like they think being a "gamer will get them a friggn prize or something. And everyone else avoids the title like it is a pitfall trap that you will die a slow painfulk death in. its just a title, if you play ANY game, you are a gamer/ and the opposite is true if you dont. I will reiterate, IT IS A TITLE! IT MEANS NOTHING!!!

NamesAreHardToPick:

Ericb:

Merriam-Webster:
Game = activity engaged in for diversion or amusement.

So, challenge is one aspect of games, but it is hardly it's defining or even less its sole element.

That's silly. You're saying that everything from books to knitting to movies to raving to binge drinking are all games. It's a very derivative use of the word. The exact same reference is packed with more specific uses.

No, what I'm saying is that that are more defining elements to a videogame, like the rules or the interactivity.

boholikeu:

veloper:

Only the specialists can be hardcore gamers. The rest of us are just "gamers". Outside are the casual gamers and non-gamers.
The biggest difference is the type of games the casual gamers prefer, opposed to gamers, including hardcore gamers.

Hm, interesting. OOC what makes you a gamer but not a hardcore gamer? Cause it seems to me you already have a pretty specialized taste in games.

The hardcore pick a challenging game, learn every strategy, every trick in the book and more, play the game alot and talk about it.
The hardcore gamer can be a harcore Starcraft player or hardcore stalker, or WOW or COD4, etc. The hardcore can be dedicated to bunch of games, but not to games in general, because there isn't enough time to master everything out there.

Some gamers, like me, are the "tourists". I play RTS, FPS, TBS, RTT, RPG, etc. and learn enough of a game during play, to become competitive or go through the game on hard difficulty settings. The best part of gaming is figuring out the game. When I've figured it out, I will move on to the next interesting game, often before I completed the previous game.
That's different from the completionists who will stick to a game till the final cutscene.

veloper:

Calling yourselves "real gamers" is just as elitist as arthouse film geeks calling themselves "real moviegoers".

There's nothing elitist about it. Casual gamers usually don't call themselves gamers. Casual gamer is a perfectly good label, that is easily understood by most, so I use it.

You seriously don't think there's anything elitist about calling yourself a "real" gamer? I mean, you just spent the last couple of posts talking about how games meant for casuals are only fit for "drooling idiots", and that they are ruining the industry. How is that not elitist?

Should a man who takes his cabriolet to the race track for a weekend be offended, because I don't call him a racedriver too?
There's nothing wrong with making the distinction between gamers and casual gamers.

I think it comes down to time spent.

Say i used to skateboard, well i would have said i was a skateboarder because i spent about 5-6 hours a night skating...

I used to game pretty hardcore and spend about 6-8 hours a night atleast when i was home from work gaming (that's a lot when you get in at 6:30 :P ). For that time i'd have called myself a gamer. I don't think it serves to label yourself as something just because you do it some of the time. To me if you are going to bother to label yourself at all then it should be something you do as a primary thing and not something you just occasionally do. However this shouldn't be read as me taking offence to people who do label themselves as several things, it's just that i feel it's a bit ambiguous personally.

Also in reply to something further up, i will buy a game and clock it the same day, then move onto the hard mode and go for every challenge, i still wouldn't call myself much of a gamer these days. I would've classified myself more of a gamer when i was clocking 10 hours a day atleast on css and competing in competitions. Anyway you could argue shades of grey until heat death happens, casual gamer or not it's all good (:

Nimbus:
I suck at Megaman too. I can't even beat number 2. I mean, I got to like the third stage of Wiley's castle, but...

Then I played Megaman 9. I can safely say, fuck that shit. I don't need that much stress in my life. I have exams for that.

I own at MM: Legends 1 and 2. Does that count? =P

I love the fact that there are games like farmville out there. Because my father plays it is now understands why I choose so much time behind a Mastersystem as a kid ... or even now my girlfriend's recent interest on the game as well as some Wii titles means I get to spend hours having fun with Fallout 3 (or 1 and 2 for that matter) and she knows that I'm just having fun.

Furthermore, on the internet, we love to talk about games as some form of electronic entertainment but chess and even monopoly are games too ... of course most of us wouldn't call the chess club a bunch of gamers.

All in all, great article. The escapist as taken this position on "gamers" before and I'm glad it sticks with it!

NamesAreHardToPick:

boholikeu:
Because unlike the chemist in your straw-man argument, game developers are dealing with entertainment not life/death public health issues.

Anyway, most (good) developers understand what the "focus" of their game is, be that challenge, socialization, story, etc. That's one of the reasons why the best story games usually aren't that difficult, and the best challenge games include a story only as an afterthought (if at all). The difference is that most developers also include all those different focuses under the blanket term "game" because that is what the general public has come to call pretty much all entertainment software.

So the only subjects it's okay be intellectual about are those where lives are on the line? I disagree. The amount of time spent and depth of interaction in videogames makes their design and evaluation extremely practical subjects.

I've played a lot of sandbox games and simulations that have had brutally hard and frustrating "game" sections. Burnout Paradise is as pleasant as fingernails on a blackboard if you want to collect the cars, it was especially bad before you could restart an event in-progress and would have to drive to the finish even on a totally lost cause and then back to the starting location. LittleBigPlanet makes you perform some hardcore stuff to collect all the materials for create mode. Sim Animals Africa plays a lot like Whack-a-Predator if you're trying to keep your daughter's prized meerkats safe and sound.

Actually most of my ranting here is from watching my kids' frustrations as they play videogames. I'm sick and tired of picking out what I hope to be virtual "stuffed toys" for my daughter to play with only to find that aside from screenshots with adorable names and tickling animals, the thing's about as cuddly as a real lion. Similarly, my son loves sandbox titles where he can just mess around with characters as if they were a bunch of action figures and make up his own little rules and goals instead of dealing with a lot of imposed structure. Unlocking stuff to use and places to explore requires a trip back to the "game" part of the title though and usually the challenge/frustration factor is way too high.

The only reason there is such a focus on other types of games is because A)Technology is finally at the point where games don't just have to focus on challenge as their sole entertaining feature

Also, OOC what's your favorite genre? I'd be happy to suggest some difficult games if you don't mind checking out some stuff from smaller developers.

I meant to put this in my last post, but it really matches what you're saying... I think a lot of game design feels like it's still coming from the 8-bit era, back when graphics were bad enough that the only people they would attract were the ones who came for the "game" being represented... lance throwing knight vs hordes of undead, etc. Now with the capability for movie-quality graphics they're getting a lot of attention from people who are more interested in their capacity for visual spectacle... I think one of my friends is like that, he's been really serious about gaming only since PS3 and you can just see him jump for joy whenever a game's got brilliant graphics.

2d or 3rd person shooters & action games, adventure games (roguelikes), racing, flight games... I've started playing tower and hero defense games recently too. I have a weak spot for anything with mecha or a lot of neon.

Ah, well I pretty much agree with you about sandbox/kid's games/etc and unlockables, although I would stop short of saying these shouldn't be considered games at all.

I don't know how old your kids are, but you might want to consider Spore for your son. You do have to "unlock" each creator (IE you need to get to the creature stage for the creature editor, the space stage for the space editor), but in this case it actually works out because the editors get progressively more complicated. A child would be overwhelmed if they started out with the last editor, so spacing them out really seemed to be a good decision. Aside from that, nearly all the game mechanics were built to be conducive to creativity, so a player is generally not punished for a cool-looking but impractical creature. I think the game might be pretty cheap now, too. Scribblenauts is another good sandbox one, because basically the entire game is available from the start screen. Again, there are some levels/player skins to unlock, but none of this would hinder your sandboxing.

As for you, I was going to recommend roguelikes to you, but it seems like you are already into that scene. =) I find indie games in general to be more harder than the average mainstream game anyway, and they're usually free or pretty cheap.

veloper:

boholikeu:

veloper:

Only the specialists can be hardcore gamers. The rest of us are just "gamers". Outside are the casual gamers and non-gamers.
The biggest difference is the type of games the casual gamers prefer, opposed to gamers, including hardcore gamers.

Hm, interesting. OOC what makes you a gamer but not a hardcore gamer? Cause it seems to me you already have a pretty specialized taste in games.

The hardcore pick a challenging game, learn every strategy, every trick in the book and more, play the game alot and talk about it.
The hardcore gamer can be a harcore Starcraft player or hardcore stalker, or WOW or COD4, etc. The hardcore can be dedicated to bunch of games, but not to games in general, because there isn't enough time to master everything out there.

Some gamers, like me, are the "tourists". I play RTS, FPS, TBS, RTT, RPG, etc. and learn enough of a game during play, to become competitive or go through the game on hard difficulty settings. The best part of gaming is figuring out the game. When I've figured it out, I will move on to the next interesting game, often before I completed the previous game.
That's different from the completionists who will stick to a game till the final cutscene.

Interesting. Sounds like I kinda bounce between your two definitions.

veloper:

veloper:

Calling yourselves "real gamers" is just as elitist as arthouse film geeks calling themselves "real moviegoers".

There's nothing elitist about it. Casual gamers usually don't call themselves gamers. Casual gamer is a perfectly good label, that is easily understood by most, so I use it.

You seriously don't think there's anything elitist about calling yourself a "real" gamer? I mean, you just spent the last couple of posts talking about how games meant for casuals are only fit for "drooling idiots", and that they are ruining the industry. How is that not elitist?

Should a man who takes his cabriolet to the race track for a weekend be offended, because I don't call him a racedriver too?
There's nothing wrong with making the distinction between gamers and casual gamers.

That analogy doesn't really work well because I wouldn't call anyone outside of professionals "racedrivers".

Anyway, looking at it again I suppose there's nothing wrong with distinguishing between gamers and casuals, but it is elitist to look down on casual gamers and call them "drooling idiots".

boholikeu:

That analogy doesn't really work well because I wouldn't call anyone outside of professionals "racedrivers".

Anyway, looking at it again I suppose there's nothing wrong with distinguishing between gamers and casuals, but it is elitist to look down on casual gamers and call them "drooling idiots".

Wonderful, so that's out of the way now.

Actually, I didn't call the casual gamers themselves idiots, but rather the casual games they play, simple enough for idiots. If expressing my opinion on a product is still too elitist, then I'm content to be leet.

I notice a lot of conversations going on here, so I think I'll just say my piece and see what happens.

Do I defend the title "Gamer"? Up to a point. Someone who picks up a game of Tetris, plays it for a day, and then proceeds to declare they are part of the "gaming community" is not a gamer. Just like if I were to fire a gun once does not make me a soldier, anymore than knowing how to wield a sword makes me a samurai warrior.

I think the deal isn't about so much the title "Gamer", but about the sub factions, and types of gamers that are in each faction. I guess the best place to explain this would to be myself.

I play games at a pretty constant rate. I usually find myself playing usually 1 per day at least. And I am well rounded in my gaming habits. However, I despise sports games. Does that mean I think sport players are not gamers? No, I just don't like to play those games. They are not what I look for in a game (except for NFL Blitz for dreamcast, that was awesome).

Now, that is what I like, but what about someone who plays Farmville? Do I consider them a gamer? Yeah, a CASUAL GAMER. See, a sub faction. It may seem like I am looking down upon them, but I am not. It is just a way for myself to properly remember what they have experienced as a gamer, and what would be appropriate for me to discuss with them.

Just as a professional chef doesn't discuss the complexities of a dish with someone like me, I as an above average gamer do not discuss a large amount of games with a casual gamer.

The fight was at one time about "true" gamers and whatnot, but that round is over. Now for the hard part: Splitting that "Gamer" tag into a bunch of smaller gamer factions.

veloper:

boholikeu:

That analogy doesn't really work well because I wouldn't call anyone outside of professionals "racedrivers".

Anyway, looking at it again I suppose there's nothing wrong with distinguishing between gamers and casuals, but it is elitist to look down on casual gamers and call them "drooling idiots".

Wonderful, so that's out of the way now.

Actually, I didn't call the casual gamers themselves idiots, but rather the casual games they play, simple enough for idiots. If expressing my opinion on a product is still too elitist, then I'm content to be leet.

Fair enough, but there's a bit of a difference between saying something is too simple and saying something is simple enough for idiots. The latter implies that the product's audience are idiots, whereas the former is fairly neutral. This coupled with the fact that you keep complaining that casuals are ruining the industry leads me to believe that your disdain extends beyond just the games they play.

I say anyone who enjoys video games as a form of entertainment is a gamer.

I agree with the article, but it really annoys me when people think that they're "hardcore" gamers JUST because they have a 2.00 k/d in Modern Warfare 2, and that I'm not because I don't even own the game. Those people are not true gamers to me, because they don't even play for enjoyment, they play for bragging rights. They're elitist bastards.

I don't have 2 hours to spend right now to read 6 pages of comments, so I'll just write my two cents and hope that it's not redundant and someone will read it:

I fully understand why some people don't want to recognize Farmville players as "real gamers".

If I hop on a skateboard and manage to not break a dozen of bones during the first few hours and I call myself a "skater", the real skaters would laugh at me.
If you spasm to a beat, that doesn't make you a dancer yet.

It's as simple as that.
When I want to play with others, I'd rather have real gamers who pose a challange.

Why call everyone who plays a gamer?
Do you call everyone who has read a couple of books a bookrat?
Do you call everyone who has seen a movie a movie geek ?

No, so why should people wasting their time on Farmville be called gamers?

Ditch that shit, it smells too much like "political correctness".

Personally, I'd say gamers are those who are truly passionate about gaming. Casual dabblers may be fished in droves, but so long as the medium is but a lark to them, they're no gamer.

It's a bit like the difference between a bookworm and somebody who reads a book from time to time. A film enthusiast and somebody who sees a movie every once in awhile.

Framed from this perspective, how could there be any doubt where the label should apply?

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