Ever been in a room with a group of so-called gamers and find yourself judging each one based on gamer stereotypes? No? Well that’s fine, because I’ve taken the time out to categorize them all for you. Here are the most basic of gamer types, stripped down to their bare essentials. Know of, or belong to, a gamer type not listed here? Feel free to leave suggestions in the comments!
The Jock Gamer – They play Madden and Call of Duty exclusively. They own an Xbox 360 because it’s “cheaper” and it’s what all their jock gamer friends own. They dress normally and live normal lives. They don’t play video games when real sports are on, but part of why they watch real sports is to see how their players in the video games will fare after the game. They bought a Wii for their wife and/or kids.
The Casual Gamer – They only own Nintendo products, other than the PS2 they don’t have hooked up. They are always up your ass about new DS games they’ve “discovered” that are so cool. If they’re web savvy, they also own a Nintendo DS storage device (the CycloDS and R4 Revolution seem to be the most popular) and steal games and use cheat codes yet never actually beat any of those games because they have hundreds. Like the jock gamer, they dress normally and lead normal lives. They love Wii Sports and the games they mention to impress people are Okami and Katamari. They only discuss games around you, and not around their “normal” friends.
The Hardcore/Elitist Gamer – They only own Sony products, and consider the PS3 superior hardware. They also call the PSP the “handheld for grown-ups.” They play games you’ve never heard of and often mention sites like Play Asia and love words like “localization.” They may even know Japanese. They wear t-shirts for video games you’ve never heard of, or that you’ve heard of in passing when discussing the power of the PS3. They can name all the Square Enix composers and which game they worked on, often citing scenes from Final Fantasy games. They are often disappointed when other people want to play multiplayer games with them and they find out they own the 360 version.
The Hipster Gamer – They only play the “hippest” games, like Mass Effect, Minecraft, and Undead Nightmare (which is the only reason they bought Red Dead Redemption – honest). They used to only shop at thrift stores but now they only shop at Threadless. They love Rock Band and Guitar Hero and celebrated loudly when it was announced that there would be compatibility with real instruments, showing that “real musicians” don’t have to be ashamed to play rhythm games.
The Quirky Gamer – They actively try not to play any games made since 1997. If they do play one, it’s just so they can complain about how it’s not as good as the original, which was only available in Japan on a console you’ve never even heard of. Their favorite game is also something obscure, or the original Smash Bros. They loved chiptunes before the genre even had a name, and dragged you to a few sweaty basement concerts. They feel bad for you using those controllers with all those buttons.
The “Gamer” Gamer – They talk a good game about video games, much of which they’ve read in the latest issue of Edge or Electronic Gaming Monthly. They know the names of all their local GameStop employees. They’re very concerned with popularity – they’ve beaten all the games people love to beat and spurn all the games people love to hate. They always refer to themselves as gamers, though a true gamer will tell you that gaming is what you do, not what you are.
The Girlfriend of the Gamer – The girlfriend of the gamer has it tough, because she really wants to be a part of the boys’ club. She tries really hard to fit in and express interest in video games. Her boyfriend will usually buy her a DS or something and try to get her into Professor Layton or other “girl-friendly” games, stopping short of buying her Cooking Mama and asking her to go in the kitchen. He’ll even buy her some game-related t-shirts to help make her feel like she fits in. If she discovers a video game, she’ll talk to you incessantly about it. If you care about her boyfriend, you should tolerate it, no matter how dreadful.
The Old Man Gamer – He sits on his arm chair and rants about how games these days are nothing compared to how they were “back in the day,” and tries to regale you with boring tales of when he played…his Nintendo. He only plays Dynasty Warriors and refuses to get any new consoles because “they’re just going to come out with another one soon anyway, so what’s the point?” He’s just as bitter about everything else in life, and once you realize that, you’ll feel a lot less bad about being subjected to him. Friends and loved ones gave up trying to please him long ago and bought him a Wii so they would have something fun to play while he complained.
The Collector Gamer – They own every system available and have hundreds, if not thousands, of games. They’ve only finished a small percentage because they’re always playing a dozen games at a time and anything that gets complicated gets shelved for months or even years. They act normal and can actually blend in with other normals. They buy and sell collector’s editions and limited editions as well as regular games that have suddenly become rare, and have their finger on the pulse of game prices 24/7, selling games at places like Goozex. They watch it like people on the New York Stock Exchange – they can tell you what’s up, what’s down, and when to sell, sell, sell.
The Pedantic Gamer – They know everything about everything, even if it’s from Wikipedia or Games Press. They wear t-shirts from video game events and obscure websites and probably work several jobs. They’ve heard all different video game music types, and have probably seen one of each live just to be able to join in on any discussion. They are passionate about the games and music they actually like, but it’s hard to decipher the real from the studied. They write mean-spirited articles about different types of gamers and probably aren’t sure about calling themselves “game journos.”
The Socially-Adjusted Gamer – When I meet one, I’ll let you know what they’re like.