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?