Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Case Against Gamerism

Sad to say, not only does the world at large continue to have prejudices, but so does the gaming world. I can't say that I haven't been guilty of it myself, and I'm certainly not trying to start any type of movement, but I thought I'd just discuss my feelings about what I call 'gamerism', or the disdain that 'hardcore' gamers may have for 'casual' gamers (admittedly, it goes the other way too).

'Casual gamer' means something different now than it did ten years ago. Back then, a casual gamer was just what the individual words mean: it's a gamer who plays occasionally and is not always up to date on gaming news. Nowadays with mobile and online gaming and consoles like the Wii and DS being marketed toward a family friendly gaming experience, there are a lot more opportunities to be a casual gamer, so there are more of them out there (myself included, in case I haven't mentioned my freelance writing job at JayisGames.com enough).

A 'hardcore gamer', on the other hand, is someone whose gaming is much more prominent in their day-to-day life. It has little to do with what genres they prefer (the same is true with a casual gamer) and more to do with . . . how they game, I suppose is an appropriate way of saying it.

As the title of this blog suggests, I am against this type of discrimination and don't understand the feelings behind it. Do hardcore gamers feel their images are threatened when casual gamers call themselves 'gamers'? Maybe despite the prejudices between gamers and non-gamers, hardcore gamers like the separation and don't want their way of life to enter mainstream society in any way.

Can't we all just be Friends?
Hmm . . . I think that last statement is where my theory stands. At least to me, casual gamers are a step between non-gamers and hardcore gamers. They still enjoy the entertainment proved by the electronic device of their choice without feeling like they need to spend much more of their free time gaming. Can't we all just share in the joy video games bring us? Can't we all just accept one another however many hours we devote to our common hobby? Can't we all just get . . . No, I'll just stop right there . . .

Please, if you're a hardcore gamer reading this, reach out to your casual brethren and accept them. I'm not expecting you to do so with open arms, just maybe a friendly wave. If not that, then at least keep your feelings to yourself from time to time. I'd be happy if I never heard a hardcore gamer look the other way at a casual game just because it's a casual game. Yeah, that's right, I'm scoffing at you! Psh!

[Disclaimer: Just my opinions, duh. I know I could've dug deeper into the issue and I didn't even try to define a 'gamer' in the first place, but I hate overly long blogs. So there ya go.]


  1. Entertaining read keep up the good work! But I believe the difference between a core and a casual gamer has to do not so much about the games they play but rather about the knowledge they possess about the medium. I think this is what creates the rift between the two types of gamers, with the advent of the smart phone and ease of access to the internet suddenly knowledge is at everyone's fingertips. Everyone is an expert, or so they believe. I consider myself somewhere between a core and a casual gamer. My knowledge of the medium runs deep, starting with the Colecovision and Intellivision. I drifted away from playing games and am now more interested with the history of the medium. What I believe angers core gamers is the lack of knowledge that both core and casual gamers lack despite that ease of access to the knowledge. I'm sure you've seen plenty of uneducated comments on various gaming sites to know what I'm talking about, I call them uninformed trolls. They sometimes start a flame war without the intent to start one. Anyway, that's just my opinion on this subject matter.

    Keep up the good work kyh!

    1. Thanks for the kind words, ShaunBane :) I understand the difference you mentioned and definitely agree that it exists, and I think that's a whole other separation among gamers. Hmm . . . maybe a Venn diagram is in order?
      It still comes down to a feeling of elitism on both sides. You shouldn't have to know everything and play every game to be a gamer, so either stop feeling like you do or stop expecting everyone else to. Of course, I have no problem admitting when I don't know something, which I know isn't so easy for everyone.