Since the dawn of video games in the 70’s, there has been a separation of people who play them that are considered by many to be “hardcore” or “casual” gamers. In the first couple decades of video games, someone who was considered “hardcore” typically played much of the now-classic titles like Pac-Man, Tetris, Donkey Kong, Centipede, and the other arcade games of their time. In today’s world, however, the environment is quite different. Today, many people who spend much of their time playing Call of Duty or Halo in their lives consider themselves a “hardcore gamer”. Which leads many people inside and outside this mixed-up label to wonder: just what exactly is a hardcore gamer?
When most people think of “hardcore” games today, they think mostly of Rated M first-person shooters, with loads of gore and violence. If a game like Donkey Kong was released in today’s world, it probably would be ignored by much of today’s gaming population. What I’d like to know is why an E rated game such as New Super Mario Bros. Wii or Super Mario Galaxy can’t be hardcore to today’s average gamer. Sure, they’re much more happy and colorful (avoiding the more commonly used derogatory term in there, by the way) than the darkness of war and death in other titles. Still, I personally believe they can be considered hardcore. According to the Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, the definition of the word hardcore is “a militant or fiercely loyal faction”. In other words, anyone who plays video games with dedication is, by definition, a “hardcore gamer”. Does this mean my grandmother is a hardcore gamer because she spends 3 hours a day playing Wii Sports? Not necessarily. I don’t play too many M rated titles, yet I still consider myself a core gamer. Many of my favorite games are published by companies like Nintendo or Capcom, who aren’t typically known for making excessively violent or gory titles. Yet, I can still be a hardcore gamer, as I play games like those with dedication. To the 360 and PS3 fanboys who believe that you aren’t a gamer if you play Nintendo: you have no idea what a true gamer is. If the only game that you ever play is Modern Warfare 2 or Halo 3 multiplayer, just to be able curse at each person who kills you like an immature 12-year-old (which there are many of, by the way), I don’t consider you hardcore. You have to have a passion for games, not just play the same one over and over while very often ruining the experience for others by acting the way many of you do.
In summary, I think many people need to have a more open-minded view about what they consider to be “hardcore games” and “hardcore gamers”. Just because someone doesn’t play that many “BOOM, HEADSHOT!” games doesn’t mean they aren’t hardcore too. If you really like video games, keep up with gaming news, and actually treat them like a great entertainment medium, I truly believe that you should be, and are, considered a true hardcore gamer. Also, I’ve got no problem with you playing FPS’s obsessively. Just don’t mock the others that don’t.