1.) Added User Submitted Categories 1 (bottom) 9/2/2010
2.) Added User Submitted Categories 2 (bottom) 9/7/2010
3.) Added new content to Competitive Gamer category (fighting games) 9/7/2010
The number one defining characteristic of today's society that differentiates us from a century ago is choice. It is easy to see by simply going into the grocery store to purchase some potato chips. Not only are there plain, ruffled, baked, and kettle cooked but there are also subcategories of those which include salt and vinegar, buffalo, garlic, BBQ, cheese, Cajun, sour cream and onion, southwestern, parmesan, and the list goes on. They even offer various types of salt: Would you like sea salt, lightly salted, or normal salt? Lays offers 52 different SKUs for potato chips. That's only Lays!
Businesses want the consumer to be bombarded with choice in the hope that they can't choose and they end up buying more than one, but they also want to reach out to people that previously did not like potato chips for whatever reason. The same thing is happening with videogames. As the videogame industry pushes for a larger user base they are trying new tactics and jumping into regions of the market that were never thought of being profitable before. Ten years ago, a cell phone only had a handful of games to choose from. Now there are thousands for sale on the iPhone. The industry is pushing into every conceivable direction with the hopes of opening new markets and with this we have seen the rise of vastly different gamers with totally different interests. Let's examine some of these gamer types and see how they fit into the industry.
The C|assic Gamer
These guys helped make the videogame industry what it is today. They started playing in the 1980's or earlier. They know who Billy Mitchell is (or more recently Steve Wiebe.) They grew up going to the local arcade with their buddies to try to one up each other playing c|assic games such as Donkey Kong, Missile Command, Q-bert, and Pac Man. This group is the least targeted by the industry since they are hooked for life anyway. Cigarette commercials don't target 40 year old life-long smokers, the same applies here. They enjoy a game that is very challenging; possibly it can't even be beaten. Some have broken off and have taken part in the various other categories but they will always be considered c|assic gamers. If you are in this category, pat yourself on the back. Good job and thanks for giving supporting the industry in its infancy.
The Competitive Gamer
This category has changed a lot over the years and is highly diverse. On one side you have the FPS guys that have been fighting competitively since the mid 90's, but it didn't really ramp up until around the time Unreal Tournament and Counter Strike hit the scene in 1999. Battlefield 1942 pushed the brawl even higher. When the original Xbox came out with full online multiplayer support then the consoles started to get a piece of the action and have steadily taken over the majority of FPS online competitive play.
Then there are the RTS competitive gamers. This has always been a smaller scene until SC became immensely popular overseas. Lately, this gamer has slowly been dying but with the release of SCII, new life has been pumped into the category.
There is also the crossover of competitive gamer and the MMO world. A lot of MMOs offer competitive PVP play. A great example is World of Warcraft with arena and battleground play. Although it is not as publicly recognized as the other categories, this is one to keep an eye on in the future.
*NEW* Due to popular demand, we also have the gamers that love to competitively play fighting games. These gamers may have started with Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat at the arcade and follow the competitive fighting scene with a passion. They enjoy beating down a friend and showing them who's really the better gamer or totally annihilating the annoying button mashers. These gamers live to kill that virtual man.
Most MMO players did not have their first gaming experience in MMOs but have traveled over via friends or curiosity. The typical MMOer usually devotes most of their gaming time to playing MMOs as they are rather time intensive. They usually forego other gaming platforms to spend more of their time in a single game world. These players enjoy injecting themselves into an avatar, progressing in power, and exploring new worlds. They are also a highly social group, but maybe not in the traditional sense. A c|assic gamer that played early MMOs is certainly a social person and loves to group while the newer generation prefers to go it alone and only group for major encounters.
This category has changed quite a bit over the years as well. The first MMOs were highly social games with forced grouping for leveling up. Now they are more casual and single player friendly. This has opened the genre up to a larger user base by allowing people to play without the need to create groups. However, the games still reward the wary by giving higher rewards to those who fight together to obtain an almost impossible task. The draw of team work and shared experiences has created a very diverse group of people in this category and it will only continue to grow.
The casual gamer has been around for a long time. Ever since consoles were released at an affordable price there have been people that play the games simply to relax, much like one watches TV. These people do not bother themselves with stressful competitive gaming, long time sinks like MMOs, or very challenging games. They enjoy a laid back experience such as a sports game, adventure game, arcade racer, etc. They probably buy between 2-5 games a year and put in around 5-10 hours a week playing. They are usually slow to adopt new gaming systems and are usually 1-2 years behind upgrading. This is the largest group of gamers.
This is a brand new type of gamer that just hit the scene a few years ago. These people enjoy a very quick game and only play to fill a very specific time slot or need (exercise, brain games, etc.) They may play on their computer while checking Facebook or during daily free time on their iPhones. They may have bought into the Wii hype and have a small collection of casual titles that they only play from time to time. They game because it's "the thing to do." This group also comprises of a lot of older gamers such as grandparents that play Wii for exercise or parents that use the Xbox, PS3, or Wii for Netflix but also play casual games. This is the new Holy Grail for the videogame industry. These people are at the very edge of a completely untapped and extremely large market, which is why I call them fringe gamers. Blame these people for some of the lame E3 announcements.
The All Rounder
This is the category most GameSpotters are in. These people have grown up with games and play them for fun, but usually do not pick only one small group to associate with. They enjoy a lot of different games and follow the industry. They may not check GS every day, but they are aware of the games coming out and have a wish list of games they want. They play games on all the major platforms such PC, console, and mobile games. They are true connoisseurs of games and will play whatever seems fun without prejudice. These gamers are living it up in the current industry which is pumping out a more diverse suite of games than ever before. They may have some genres that they care for more than others but aren't afraid to dive into any game at any time.
Fanboys- Limit themselves to only a specific platform for whatever reason
Elitists- Only play high end games such as Crysis and some don't even play games at all but build high end PCs only to benchmark.
Crazy Old Relative- Plays online poker non-stop.
MDer- Only plays games so they can drink Mountain Dew without guilt.
The Simmer- Has only and will only ever play The Sims, maybe Second Life as well.
User Submitted Types:
Collector (Jag-T1000)- Someone who enjoys collecting great titles. One to play, one to store!
[Insert Genre]er (Many people)- A gamer that mostly likes one genre of game, they aren't afraid to play others but particularly love a certain type.
Story Seeker (diesil)- These gamers play games for an interactive story. They love to see drama unfold on the screen and can't wait to dive back into the rich worlds that videogames create.
2Der (bardos-the-3rd)- Enjoys games that were made in the 2D era and closely follows the current 2D game market. Perhaps they even play amateur created games made with RPGmaker and others.
Troll (lavaar)- Enjoys talking about games with the intent to stir up controversy.
Soloist (couchtater12345)- Mainly likes a single player experience.
Social Gamer (beevee)- Doesn't give much thought to games but will play them as a social event. They may get together for a couple rounds of Wii or play an all-nighter of Halo while getting drunk.
Achievement Hunter (Cricket_Sloat)- Plays games simply to see the number next to their name increase. These people are looking for ever higher gamer scores and will stop at nothing to see that number go up up up.
Addict (2point5RSman)- Plays games only because they have a physical and chemical addiction (lol) to games. They may even hate games, but t-h-e-y m-u-s-t p-l-a-y...
Only Plays Carmen Sandiego (AquamanCC)- Only enjoys Carmen Sandiego.
Popular Gamers (electronic_eye)- Those that only play heavily hyped, usually AAA titles like C.O.D., Halo, Madden, etc. simply because "everyone else is."
Binge Gamer category (electronic_eye)- for people who don't play that often - either due to time constraints or because they wait (even unintentionally) till a game comes out that really piques their interest and then they have a few marathon sessions with it.
Proxy (Vicarious) Gamer (electronic_eye)-I actually know or know of people, quite a few really, who literally get their gaming fix by either watching other people play or talking to Gamers about their exploits.
Escapist (powerdragon2188)- Plays games to escape reality. When you are in a game nothing else matters, your worldly distractions disappear and you enter a wonderful land in which anything is possible.
Bad Choice Gamer (kazumashadow)- Constantly buys horrible games because...????
ROUND TWO User Submitted Categories!
Stereotypical Gamer (VidGamAnonymous)- Nerd who has no social life, plays video games all day in the dark, and gives gamers a bad name by acting creepy when they finally leave their house (basement.)
The Completionist (VidGamAnonymous)-Won't stop playing a game until it is 100% complete and could probably play the game blindfolded.
Rush Gamer (VidGamAnonymous)-Rushes through games only to beat it and doesn't care about the story.They usually skip cutscenes and only follow the main quests.
Console Modder (Tidal_Abyss)- These gamers can't have a stock system.Not even the official dress up accessories are enough for these people, they need to break out the soldering iron, wire snips, and paint can to truly make their gaming machine one-of-a-kind.
Anti-Sports Gamer (adc89)- Plays anything and everything except sports games.
Music Gamer (cool-mada)- Mostly likes rhythm games.Nothing is better than head banging in your mother's basement to music that was cool 30 years ago.
Visual/Audio Lover (Jazzer444)-They don't care for anything but sensory effects like high end graphics, audio, gore, etc. and game mechanics are only a complement at best.
Flash Boy (Arcterran)- A gamer that uses the school computers not for homework but to play endless flash games.This gamer hasmasteredNanaka Crash.
Bikini Gamer (bbgambini420)- Loves games with hot chicks as the main character and loves them even more if they wear tight fitting, skimpy clothing.This person has mastered rotating the camera juuuuust right in the Lara Croft games.
Super Nerd Gamer (mastermune89)- Only enjoys RPGs which strictly adhere to the DnD rule set.Watches the "Lightning Bolt video" to refine their LARPing skills.
Handheld Gamer (Drika21)- Only plays mobile games, either doesn't have enough home time or must always be on the move.
Multiplayer Gamer (superxtreme101)- Gamer that can't possibly play alone.They also need a nightlight if playing in the dark.
Recession Gamer (alvarious)- Can't afford to buy a lot of games so they play every game they get for as long as possible.
Artsy Gamer (DSfanatic5)- Loves games with wonderful visual art appeal.Their eyes simply can't be bothered to waste time viewing bland or uninspiring games.Some say these gamers even frame their flat panel TVs with rich mahogany and sip cucumber water while playing.
Griefers (CcDohl)- Play games simply to annoy and cause frustration to other gamers.These gamers enjoy ganking, camping, and generally disrupting a fun game.
Copy Cat (lion222550)- Buys the games that they see their console friends playing.
Thanks everyone, those are some great (and funny) additions. Start stringing some of these together and you may be able to more accurately describe your tastes!
Can you think of anymore?
So what are you?