FFD: What makes a gamer “hardcore”?

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FFD15062012

A comment I read this week got me thinking. People throw around terms like “hardcore gamer” like it’s got a clear definition, but does it? What makes someone a hardcore gamer as opposed to, say, a casual gamer? Is it someone who reads Lazygamer every day and then plays games until 2am every night? Or do they have to play a certain kind of game?

Wikipedia defines a “hardcore gamer” as:

Hardcore gamers prefer to take significant time and practice on games, and tend to play more involved games that require larger amounts of time to complete or master. Hardcore gamers may take part in video game culture. Competition is another defining characteristic of hardcore gamers, who often compete in organized tournaments, leagues, or ranked play integrated into the game proper, an example of this is Major League Gaming, an Electronic sports organization that often holds events for hardcore First-person shooter games such as Quake. There are many subtypes of hardcore gamers based on the style of game, gameplay preference, hardware platform, and other preferences.

That definition is pretty general and doesn’t really clarify the issue all that much. Surely a person doesn’t have to take part in competitions to be considered hardcore?

So perhaps we should look at the kind of games they play? There probably won’t be much argument that someone whose only ‘gaming’ involves Angry Birds on their phone is not a hardcore gamer. Would an avid Simmer qualify as hardcore? Or someone who enjoys strategy or other simulation games over shooters?

To me, the lines look rather blurry. When does someone go from being a person who enjoys games, to being a “hardcore gamer”?

How would you define the term?

Last Updated: June 15, 2012

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