Not everyone is a gamer. Let’s just start there. But for some reason we still feel the need to categorize THE GAMER. Perhaps it’s because many of us have been trained from a young age by these games to level ourselves up, and one way to do this is to promote our own hard-coreness, and demote your old-school-ity. Suck it, n00b!

Nonetheless, we do push typing. In 2006 money was actually spent in market research to “type” gamers by the Park Associates. They decided game purchasers fell into six categories: Power Gamers, Social Gamers, Leisure Gamers, Dormant Gamers, Incidental Gamers, and Occasional Gamers. Of course, this research was done via an online poll, so no matter how you slice it you’re more likely to get game data that represents a different group than, say, people who do not spend time gaming online. I’m sure they did a lot of very professional surveys, really science-y and all. But of the 2000 or so people they managed to tally data from, human beings still deciphered the results.

Guess what, punks? I’ve logged many, many hours at GameStop. I’ve observed some gamers, and obviously I know some gamers. My typing is wise and powerful. Suck it, n00bs!

  • Type A: “The Biggest Hits Gamer”. This gamer shows up on release date and wants the new game. Not that fucking movie-licensed game! “No, I don’t want to wait one extra day I’m playing this shit right now.” They smoke games for breakfast. Owns: PS3, Xbox 360, Metal Gear Solid 4, Madden 2010, and a High-definition TV with the right fucking cables.
  • Type B: “I buy the Best”. Yeah they do. And they buy it in the plastic. Gamers of this type are identified by their random buys from nearly any platform. They want whatever has been rated highly, or whatever is over $100 on eBay. If you ask them what their favorite games are, they annoyingly have articulate things to say about all of them. Owns: PC, PS2, Suikoden 2, Portal, Okami, and some rare shit from Japan. Ask them. I bet they play imports.
  • Type C: “HOLY SHIT!”. I know. Not much help? Well this gamer buys games that have pictures of their heroes on the cover. They meander in when they happen to be in the mall, or they have money burning a hole in their pocket. It occurs to them to buy a game usually on a whim, or if The New Movie came out and advertised that it made a game too. Owns: Xbox 360, Wii, PSP, Naruto games, Dragon Ball Z, NBA Live, and probably the newest movie-licensed game.
  • Type D: “Has the Price Dropped?”. This gamer type usually gets lumped in the casual groups. They’re the most likely to beat any game they buy, because they’d really like to trade it back in and get new games while they still can. You see something under $10 with a cool cover? Hell’s yeah. I think these guys are pretty smart, because honestly, some of those games are fantastic. Owns: PS2, GBA, rotating selection of games like Max Payne, Oni, Metroid Fusion, and some WWE game.
  • Type E: “I Only Play With Friends”. This type used to be a LOT more common when there were thousands of MMOs to play. This gamer wants the co-op games, the MMOs, and the music games. Naturally, there are sub-groups to this type! There is “The WoW Player”–they own World of Warcraft and a computer. Anything else they own was bought in The Beforetime. Then there’s “The Co-Oper”–they own a Wii, Xbox 360, Lego Star Wars, Left 4 Dead, or like, Army of Two. You also have your “Music/DDR Player”. This group used to include the kids at the arcade who could do Max 300 on Expert without the bar. They own a Wii, Gamecube, Xbox 360 OR PS3, and probably Rock Band–they also bought songs for it.
  • Type F: “I Don’t Play Well With Others”. Again, this type has sub-grouping. You have your “Fraggers”, they own all of Call of Duty, Half-life, or Halo. They always have a favorite. They will fucking bury you. They probably even unlocked all those stupid ranks in America’s Army. The next type: “Pwners”, plays Warcraft 3, Starcraft, and/or Diablo 2. Still. The last group, “I am Undefined”, you don’t see often, they’re not in those fucking surveys. Their school is old, their core is hard. They own original systems like Atari, NES, and possibly even a NEO GEO. And they didn’t buy it at a yard sale like you did. They just kept it from when it came out. Usually though, these are PC gamers. They got into games to get away from people. Maybe they’re awkward, or maybe people don’t interest them. For whatever reason, they own a lot of the same games the rest of us buy, as long as it’s not fucking online, or requires goddamn friends to come over. They DO NOT own Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, they will never play WoW, and you probably don’t want to ask them how many hours they’ve logged in Civilizations, Legend of Zelda, or X-COM.

Overall, it’s less about what specific games people play. Many people ultimately own a lot of the same exact games despite being different gamer types. People are typically motivated by what they want, so the people these types represent are just that. Wants! You may find elite and casual gamers spanning throughout many of these categories. What type are you?

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13 Responses to “Typecast?”

  1. Rob Says:

    Interesting you should talk about typing gamers. A member of my family and I recently had a HUGE falling-out over what she characterizes as immature, pathetic, mindless (playing digital games at all, for any length of time, at any regular interval).

    Apparently, life is better (perspective?) when you’re NOT at home, and you will NEVER remember that last guy you fragged 49 times, or the day you got level 80, or when you finally defeated the last boss in Zelda.


  2. Kelly Says:

    I can see how your gaming credentials give you a good inside into gaming, but let me give you mine. I went to a good college where I was asked to do market research, read books on game marketing research on the video game industry. My college required the book Introduction to The Game Industry(978-0131687431 ). From what I was taught there were only four different types that have been discovered.

    1st: Conqueror-This is the gamer that loves domination and quick results. Most gamers are this type. They enjoy racing, sports, and fighting games.

    2nd: The social. This gamer loves to play either socially. They are casual gamers and dont take too much into consideration except that the games are fun. This type loves online games.

    3rd. The wanderer. This type loves to explore. They like to discover every little aspect of the game and dont feel complete until they find everything.

    4th. The innovator. This type is a default type that like to play games that do not fully fall into other types. The Sims is a good example. It is so completely different from every type that it belongs here.

    So this is what most of the Developed Game Developing companies go by. Since most gamers are type one, that explains why a majority of games on the market are type one games.


  3. kelly Says:

    True. Not everyone fits into one type. Usually people will have one type and a sub type. In many ways, the game is created around the type of gamer it is marketed to. Real Time Strategy games are type one, but they do expand on it to where it covers multiple types to bring in more gamers. In my list, I am a type three, in your list, I dont think I fit into any of your categories.


  4. Kir Says:

    I don’t play well with others. For me, though, it was because I wasn’t allowed any video games until I was in sixth or seventh grade, and I was given three single player games. I wasn’t really exposed to much of what was out there until late high school-early moving out. Alas… I am game-screwed.

    I’m catching up as fast as I can afford and handle. I’m a binger, though, so I have to limit myself or I get lost forever too easily.

    I love your comment on WoWers and “The Beforetime”! I think that made my day.


  5. J-Man Says:

    Hey, to those “I don’t play well with others” folk, Crystal Chronicles gives them an easy and fun way to kill everyone over and over again until their friends leave. Not to mention the fact that it was a much better game solo, using the gamecube controller.


  6. Arminies Says:

    nice article, i myself find i am a Big part of Category A and B mixed, you guys know me. Give me the game i don’t care what it is, i just want to play. I Love my Uncharted and my Half-life’s but there is something rather amazing on playing SotC and ICO for the 10th time and still finding it one of the best games around. With games like The Last Guardian and Heavy Rain in the Distance i see myself drifting from the gamer i was, kill kill kill, shooter shooter shooter. One of the games that primarily converted me was Fahrenheit/Indigo Prophecy and Portal.


  7. Dorothy Says:

    What about Dream Cast? I mean that was my first (of my own) system. I still have that and it is in probably as good shape as it was when I got it. Which was a present, yeah people who knew me well enough knew what to get me ^_^ I also own a PS2, Game Cube, and a 360 Elite. However, I don’t game much now coz I have a munchkin and I don’t have many ‘child friendly’ games. I rarely game online unless it’s on the PC and boy I got a “republic of gamers” computer. I got everything from Zelda to Frogger, to Crazy Taxi, The Orange Box, PSO episodes 1 &2 (for DC and xbox)to Leggo Star Wars: the complete saga (which is massively awesome and my kiddo plays with me). I also play Mass Effect and GTA games. I haven’t gone out on the day of to get a game (YET, I plan on doing that for MA2).
    I used to game loads of my day, but my day is taken up by doing the mommy thing. So what the hell category do I fit in?


  8. Cake-Pie Says:

    I’d say you’re definitely a type A, but you know what? You’re so extreme you also own really awesome innovative games too–just because you fucking own everything!

    <3 you honey but it sounds like at this time, you're not really a gamer anymore--you're a mommy! But I'd probably put you in "I Only Play With Friends" category because it sounds like when you do play, you play with friends or your child these days. I don't think I'd put you in a subcategory or that type. But from the sound of your gaming you're very casual.


  9. Derrek Says:

    hmmm, well, I own a game from every single category.

    I think you forgot a type G. For that guy that goes into the store really wanting to spend money but no game is good enough. ;P He owns the one good game from each of those categories and pretends to know what games are best.



  10. Katherine Says:

    I’m mostly Type B…you know me and my muthafuggin’ Suikoden II. (And I own VP! Although I haven’t played it yet. -.-;;)

    John’s more a type D guy. “I can get tons of great games for $20, why would I spend $50?”


  11. Cake-Pie Says:

    I totally agree, Katherine. You guys are totally pegged.


  12. Gamers type? (Part 1) *Guest Author* « Cake-Pie Says:

    […] was going to make a negative and/or sarcastic reply to Cake-Pie’s Post here, but a counter-article seems more constructive. Game companies shouldn’t waste time trying to […]

  13. online game Says:

    Very interesting and amusing subject. I read with great pleasure.


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Posted by Cake-Pie
Dated: 13th October 2009
Filled Under: Games, Old