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what makes a gamer Hardcore

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Im curious to hear opinions. Is it a person that plays 4 to 8 hours a day like a job? Is it someone still playing a game 20 years after its release? Is it a person that can make a living in a game from trading or being pro? Is it someone that plays through all the shitty games and not just the good ones? Or is it just someone that doesnt play casual games.

Id like to have everones two cents.

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I'd define it as the importance it has on your life. Someone could play video games for 6 hours a day yet think of it as a hobby he could replace just as easily with anything else. Someone else might only play video games 2 hours a day but still care about it more than anything else.

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It's a gamer for whom the game(s) means a lot. He is genuinely interested in the game(s), enjoys playing it and spends considerable effort and time to do so. Eventually he gets very skilled in the game(s) and knowledgable about it. Applies either to a certain one particular game, or to games in general.

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Well, there's the market definition of "hardcore gamer," which is basically anyone who will pick up the new CoD or Madden on release day. It's also kind of a stereotype in the gamer community, I think, especially among oldschool gamers, about these lunkheads who only seem interested in what's new and what's "manly."

Personally, for me, it's anyone who's willing to pick up and try a game outside of their comfort zone. Even if they don't like it, even if they suck at it, the willingness to try new (or old) things is what I consider to be "hardcore." For instance, if you have someone who plays nothing but Madden and CoD, but they're willing to pick up Mega Man and give it a shot, I respect that. Basically, as a gamer, I'll embrace anyone who doesn't take the route of, "lol that game is old, why would anyone play that piece of crap?" or, "What? There are colors other than brown and grey? You don't use GUNS? GHEY!"

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If you want striking generalization, I would say PC/Console gamers are hardcore gamers, since they buy new games and hardware. But my cents would be similar to Phml. What is your attitude towards games makes the difference. Just to pass time, or getting new experience? Do you see it out of curiosity, or playing it and adding it to your vast collection? And there is the competition side, too.

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I'm interested in why length of time being a "gamer" makes any difference to how it qualifies as being "hardcore." e.g. "Someone who plays games 20 years and is still going on." Why 20 years? Not 19 years?

Does the type of game matter, too? A 6 year old who plays Minecraft religiously can't be called "hardcore" even though it dominates their life far more than the 27 year old who still plays Counterstrike competitively once in a while?

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Nomad said:

A 6 year old who plays Minecraft religiously can't be called "hardcore" even though it dominates their life [...] ?

I think he can, for example if he really persists to play the game, very easily comes up with effective strategies and enjoys exploring more of them.

Looper said:

Taking some aspect(s) of playing games to the extreme.

This is a good point too. The aspects can be movement skill, speed, precision, strategy (involving technical knowledge), exploiting bugs, collecting high scores... I consider all Doom speedrunners and slaughtermappers/slaughterplayers to be very hardcore.

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For me its some one who plays a variety of different game generas and having a lot of knowledge about video games in general.

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Anyone that plays on the PC and spends a ton of money on upgrading that PC to play games. Anyone that plays elsewhere, like on consoles, is not hardcore, but a pussy.

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doomgargoyle said:

Anyone that plays elsewhere, like on consoles, is not hardcore, but a pussy.


Hmm...but what if someone throws money on console mods, accessories, hacking, reads a lot of magazines, knows all the tricks for the latest games etc. ?

Also, what about arcade players? Some of them were doubtlessly considered hardcore, due to the many quarters and/or time they spent in an arcade room, actively playing (lurkers obviously didn't count, unless they were lurking simply because they were broke ;-)

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Yeah, it's silly to assert that "hardcore" is limited to a specific platform.

It's silly, period, for this hobby and interest gatekeeper bullshit. All niches seem to have this; comics, games, music, etc. "You can't like X if your interest doesn't meet or exceed Y threshold" is just elitist bullshit. It's at its worst when gender is brought into the mix.

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"Hardcore" has nothing to do with skills or even knowledge. I've known "hardcore" gamers who only ever played Super Mario, and they never actually managed to beat it, but they kept at it because it was their favorite thing to do. "Hardcore" doesn't care if you know exactly how many hit points Death has in Symphony of the Night, or if you know how to count sub-pixels. "Hardcore" doesn't care if you've beaten Street Fighter 2 using only low kicks.

The only thing that makes a hardcore gamer "hardcore" is that they enjoy their games enough to consider them their hobby. And yes, that does mean that those teen moms with their third-hand iPhone 3GSs playing Words With Friends every chance they get are in the same league as the guys that beat Doom 3 blindfolded with their toes.

All that really matters is that a hardcore gamer is willing to see video games as more than just something to do while waiting the five minutes to get in to your hair appointment.

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Yeah, I'd say it's someone who treats games as a hobby and an interest, not a pastime. They like to think and talk about games and gaming hardware when they're not even gaming. They might spend a significant portion of their disposable income on said games and gaming hardware, considering it a good investment. They treat games as an art form, or at least a form of entertainment that's meaningful and rewarding.

95% of people who bother to register on sites like Doomworld, basically.

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I'll admit that it's a bit arbitrary. If we split it between non-gamer, gamer, and hardcore gamer, I'd say the hardcore gamer the "gamer specialist". Anyways, I'd call a speedrunner a hardcore gamer. Or somebody who plays a competitive game at a high level, or at least actively tries to get better at it. Somebody who enjoys a game enough to extensively mod it. Hell, somebody who seriously plays quite a few mods. A gamer might play through Morrowind, a hardcore gamer might play through those large-scale mods like Tamriel Reborn. The dedication to do things like that takes you beyond the range of the average player of whatever game. That would all only apply for those games, of course, but still.

One could also play a wide range of games. Or learn a lot about games while not being particularly good at any of them. Or somebody who has been playing games pretty often for quite some time and considers it a part of their life, even if it's not in stupidly long sessions. I'd say that's all being a hardcore gamer about gaming, rather than a hardcore gamer about a game or certain games.

Like I said, it's definitely an arbitrary label, but it's not a baseless one. These sorts of people definitely exist and they have a different relation to gaming than the average person, it's just not easy to define rules for this sort of thing.

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doomgargoyle said:

Anyone that plays on the PC and spends a ton of money on upgrading that PC to play games. Anyone that plays elsewhere, like on consoles, is not hardcore, but a pussy.


Shut up, dumbass.

Hardcore gaming just means you take videogaming seriously as a hobby and not just an occasional time-waster.

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When your friends and relatives tell you that "you play too much with videogames", you know you're the real deal.

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I would say there needs to be an element of obsessiveness, possibly to the detriment of other pursuits although not necessarily to an unhealthy degree. I think ability comes with it too. Anything less than this I would use to describe a gamer without the "hardcore" prefix.

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I suppose a "hardcore gamer" is someone who is enthusiastic about the medium at large and its potential. Someone who plays only a narrow selection of games and has a religious hatred for anything else would not be a "hardcore gamer" despite often being the self-appointed title used. A "hardcore game" would perhaps be one that is very demanding of player attention, time and/or reflex. There are many games designed for casual play often mislabeled by some as being "hardcore" - I'd say Thief or Dwarf Fortress is more of a hardcore game than Call of Duty or Skyrim, but stereotypical Xbox Live players might disagree with me (they're wrong!).

j4rio said:

registering on the official forum of the game as "Hardcore Gamer"

Only problem with that joke is that the current official forums are over on Bethesda's end and Doomworld was never officially associated with the games at hand anyway. Once corporate run but now independent, it has always been an unofficial community.

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Anyone that takes the time to really immerse themselves in not only games, but the workings of the industry. Further, you have invested an extensive amount of your time, playing, making, discussing, following, and/or studying video games.

Also, where is hardcore_gamer's input here?

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Maybe he felt he wasn't hardcore enough (as a gamer, at least).

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I remember at the local arcades, there were always some games which were popular (had a lot of players) as well as several players being able to finish them on one credit, or knew some secret code (e.g. pretty much everybody knew Bubble Bobble's "POWER UP!" and "ORIGINAL GAME" title screen codes...I still remember them and could do them with my eyes closed O_o ), so you could say I grew up amongst "hardcore gamers" as well as being one myself, in a sense.

OK, there were many "casuals" as well -people that just came in, played a few coins, and left. If someone spent under an hour in an arcade room, he was probably a casual, but there was an entire pervasive subculture, a divide between people "that knew their shit" and people who didn't. In such an environment, it was easy to become "hardcore" yourself, if anything, to be able to emulate the "cool kids" that could finish game A or B on one credit. Strategies/tactics would be copied, playing styles would be observed. etc.

Besides, there was no Internet or even gaming magazines with hints & tips at the time. Home consoles were rare back then in Greece (Nintendo only officially landed in Greece in 1989 I think, Sega somewhat earlier), so your entire "video gaming world" was your local arcades. Sure, there were computer games and dedicated magazines, but they didn't even come close to the real thing.

Something that I miss from the arcade era, was the possibility (or rather, obligation) of showing off your skills right then and there in front of a live audience breathing down your neck. If you could complete or at least play any game far enough, that was guaranteed to gather you a small crowd and some "street cred". IMO, recording demos, streaming live "let's play"s etc. doesn't come close to the excitement of the real thing.

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