What is Gaming you ask? well let’s discuss the topic of what Gaming is.

So what’s a gamer?

A Gamer is someone who owns every major system and plays almost all major releases. But in reality is this physically possible for the average adult? Maybe when you’re in high school, but as soon as you have a job (even a part-time job), a significant other and some semblance of social life, playing that many games are next to impossible. 

Pong, an electronic version of ping pong, was the first widely played video game. It was simple: you moved a bar up and down to deflect the ball, which your opponent (either the machine or another player) would attempt to deflect on the other side. It became popular in the 1970s. Since then, gaming has grown increasingly complex with enhanced graphics, full-motion video, 3-D effects, and high fidelity stereo sound. Specialized input devices such as joysticks and steering wheels enhance the ability of the user to interact with the programs. Games designed for playing offline on individual computers are sold on DVD or Blu-ray media and can be downloaded from the Internet.

Second Life, one of the first massively multiplayer universe (MMU) games, uses a decentralized server architecture to meet the demands of up to several thousand online users simultaneously. In its most sophisticated form, a gaming interface can constitute a form of virtual reality. More recent developments include motion gaming, which responds to the movements of users, and virtual reality headsets, which enable an immersive experience

Most agree that true gamers enjoy something more than cheap games. For example, few people who play Angry Birds or Tetris for five hours a day would call themselves a “gamer” with a straight face (just like no one who eats nothing but McDonald’s every day would call themselves a foodie). On the other hand, “gamers” are usually associated with enjoying more artistic (Limbo, Journey), thoughtful (Braid, Portal), and/or big-budget (Mass Effect, Bioshock Infinite, Skyrim) video games.

These critically acclaimed games generally (not always) have either a very compelling and involved storyline, and/or immersive graphics, sound design, and musical score.

Dedication spectrum

It is common for games media, games industry analysts, and academics to divide gamers into broad behavioral categories. These categories are sometimes separated by level of dedication to gaming, sometimes by primary type of game played, and sometimes by a combination of those and other factors. There is no general consensus on the definitions or names of these categories, though many attempts have been made to formalize them. An overview of these attempts and their common elements follows.

  • Newbie: Newbie, (commonly shortened to “noob”, “n00b”, or “newb”) is a slang term for a novice or newcomer to a certain game, or to gaming in general.
  • Casual gamer: The term casual gamer is often used for gamers who primarily play casual games, but can also refer to gamers who play less frequently than other gamers. Casual gamers may play games designed for ease of gameplay or play more involved games in short sessions, or at a slower pace than hardcore gamers. The types of game that casual gamers play vary, and they are less likely to own a dedicated video game console. Notable examples of casual games include The Sims and Nintendogs. Casual gamer demographics vary greatly from those of other video gamers, as the typical casual gamer is older and more predominantly female. “Fitness gamer”s, who play motion-based exercise games, are also seen as casual gamers.
  • Core gamer: A core or mid-core gamer is a player with a wider range of interests than a casual gamer and is more likely to enthusiastically play different types of games but without the amount of time spent and sense of competition of a hardcore gamer. The mid-core gamer enjoys games but may not finish every game they buy, doesn’t have time for long MMO quests,[ and is a target consumer. Nintendo president Satoru Iwata stated that they designed the Wii U to cater to core gamers who are in between the casual and hardcore categories. A number of theories have been presented regarding the rise in popularity of mid-core games. James Hursthouse, the founder of Roadhouse Interactive, credits the evolution of devices towards tablets and touch-screen interfaces, whereas Jon Radoff of Disruptor Beam compares the emergence of mid-core games to similar increases in media sophistication that have occurred in media such as television.[
  • Hardcore gamer: Ernest Adams and Scott Kim have proposed classification metrics to distinguish “hardcore gamers” from casual gamers, emphasizing action, competition, complexity, gaming communities, and staying abreast of developments in hardware and software. Others have attempted to draw the distinction based primarily on which platforms a gamer prefers, or to decry the entire concept of delineating casual from hardcore as divisive and vague.

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Professional gamer

Professional gamers generally play video games for prizemoney or salaries. Such individuals usually deeply study the game to master it and usually to play in competitions. A pro gamer may also be another type of gamer, such as a hardcore gamer if he or she meets the additional criteria for that gamer type. In countries of Asia, particularly South Korea and China, professional gamers and teams are sponsored by large companies and can earn more than US$100,000 a year. In 2006 Major League Gaming contracted several Halo 2 players including Tom “Tsquared” Taylor and members of Team Final Boss with $250,000 USD yearly deals.

Retrogamer

A retro gamer is a gamer who prefers to play and often enough collect, retro games—older video games and arcade games. They may also be called classic gamers or old-school gamers, which are terms that are more prevalent in the United States. The games are played on the original hardware, on modern hardware via emulation, or on modern hardware via ports or compilations (though those ‘in the hobby’ tend toward original hardware and emulation).

Avatar

An avatar, username, game name, alias, gamer tag, screen name, or handle is a name (usually a pseudonym) adopted by a video gamer, used as a main preferred identification to the gaming community. Usage of usernames is most prevalent in games with online multiplayer support, or at electronic sports convention.

Similarly, a clan tag is a prefix or suffix added to a name to identify that the gamer is in a clan. Clans are generally a group of gamers who play together as a team against other clans. They are most commonly found in online multiplayer games in which one team can face off against another. Clans can also be formed to create loosely based affiliations perhaps by all being fans of the same game or merely gamers who have close personal ties to each other. A team tag is a prefix or suffix added to a name to identify that the gamer is in a team. Teams are generally sub-divisions within the same clan and are regarded within gaming circuits as being a purely competitive affiliation. These gamers are usually in an online league such as the Cyberathlete Amateur League (C.A.L.) and their parent company the Cyberathlete Professional League (C.P.L.) where all grouped players were labeled as teams and not clans.

Clans and guilds

A clan, squad or guild is a group of players that form, usually under an informal ‘leader’ or administrator. Clans are often formed by gamers with similar interests; many clans or guilds form to connect an ‘offline’ community that might otherwise be isolated due to geographic, cultural or physical barriers. Some clans are composed of professional gamers, who enter competitive tournaments for cash or other prizes; most, however, are simply groups of like-minded players that band together for a mutual purpose (for example, a gaming-related interest or social group).

Now let’s get into the stereotypical view of Gaming.

Women and men play video games in approximately equal numbers. Despite this similarity, video gaming is still strongly associated with men. A common justification for this stereotype is that, although women might play games, they should not be considered “true” or “hard-core” gamers because they play more casually and less skillfully compared to their male counterparts. In this contribution, we review the existing literature on gender and gaming to investigate the male gamer stereotype in terms of its accuracy, persistence, effects, and future perspective. We conclude that the stereotype varies in accuracy depending on the definition of “gamer.” We further argue that the persistence of this stereotype can be explained by the fact that almost all professional and highly visible figures in gaming culture are male. On the other hand, female players who achieve a moderate level of competence are rendered invisible or are actively marginalized. We argue that the effects of the male gamer stereotype can be harmful to women, precluding them from the positive outcomes of video game play such as enhanced access to fields of science, technology, and engineering.

Let us look a very rough statistical analysis of the two genders playing Video Gamers.

 larger studies show game players back in 2012 to be 53% male, 47% female. More and more women are getting into the game every year!) The number of gaming men and women is close to the actual ratio of men to women in this study who play games.

OK, but what about within the genders? These graphs don’t tell us how many non-“gamer” vs. undecided gamers there are. More men are self-professed gamers, and the “unsure” camp is even. Not a huge difference here.

The bottom line on the battle of the sexes: although you’re more likely to play games if you’re male, your gender has little to do with whether or not you consider yourself a gamer.

Gaymer

A gaymer, or gay gamer, is a person within a group of people who identify themselves as LGBT (gay, bisexual, lesbian, or transgender) and have an active interest in video games. This demographic has been the subject of two large surveys, one in 2006, which noted the level of prejudice that gaymers endure, and another in 2009, focusing on the content that gaymers expect in video games. The gaymer community provides a “safe place” for LGBT gamers, apart from the isolation they feel from both the heteronormative gaming community and the gay community. They also believe that as homosexuality in video games increase, there will be an increased normalization of homosexuality in general. “Gaymers are the future of video games” said Hamed Hosseini, who is married to Mahar Buar, in Valve’s gaming convention.

How old are gamers?

So is your game-playing mom just as likely to call herself a gamer as your teen sister? Let’s find out.

First, let’s look at how many people in each age group play games. A whopping 43% are 26-35. The chart says there were no 66-75-year-olds, but there was actually one that’s represented. (Gold star for you, whoever you are! Way to represent.

Most game players who took the survey are 18-45. But looking at the bigger picture, age seemed to be correlated with the likelihood of calling themselves a gamer.

Holy cannoli! Look at the difference between the youngest and (almost) oldest group! The vast majority of kids who took the survey are self-professed gamers. As the age groups progress, more uncertainty and non-gamer preferences show up. (Our one respondent for the 66-75 set is a proud gamer, but one response can’t represent the entire population – so we’ll focus more on the 56-65 set. Sorry, gamer friend.)

The younger a game player is, the more likely they are to consider themselves a gamer.

How many hours do gamers play?

The data in this survey is pretty consistent to what you would probably guess: the fewer hours of games played every week, the less likely someone would consider themselves a gamer.

For those who play 30+ hours of games every week, to quote a respondent: “If it walks like a duck, and it quacks like a duck”… it’s probably a gamer. No big surprises here.

How about the average number of hours played? Self-professed gamers play the most hours at an average of 15-22 hours per week. (That’s 2-3 hours per day! A fun way to relax after a hard day of work.)

The non-gamers played the least out of the bunch with an average of 4-9 hours per week. The undecided were right in between at 8-14 hours per week.

What types of games do gamers play?

I personally enjoy Adventure/Action, Alternative, Fantasy and Sci-fi/Horror. Let’s take a look at some Analytical statistic’s on the types of games Gamers play.

You may have to squint to see the difference between these columns – each one represents a different game genre. Blue is the proportion of those who play that type of game and consider themselves a gamer. Green are non-gamers.

The popular choice for outspoken gamers here is Alternate Reality Games (ARG) – games that take place on a variety of platforms and follow real-world events, often shifting direction based on the actions of the players. It’s a very immersive style of gaming as the lines between the game and reality are blurred.

A close second for gamers is, yup – First-Person Shooters (FPS). These are games where your field of view is from the main character’s perspective and usually involves weapon combat.

Role Playing Games (RPG) round out gamers’ third choice. Each player takes on a character that has specific skills, and players may work with or against each other to achieve certain outcomes. Where FPS’s are usually limited to a screen, many RPGs can be played virtually or as a tabletop game.

Trends among “non-gamers” here show a variety of casual games: Word, Puzzle, Hidden Object, Trivia, Card, and even Sports.

What’s really rad is that “gamers” and “non-gamers” alike play the full gamut of genres. No matter what you call yourself, play what speaks to you!

What platforms do gamers use?

The modern rise of the term “gamer” seems to focus on virtual games – games played behind a screen. But don’t forget that there’s a whole world of fun in tabletop gaming. And with mobile thrown into the mix, we’re seeing the rise of new game fans.

As time has progressed so too does technology and with the advancement of new technologies comes an opportunity to create new more improved consoles and devices.

Let’s take a look at a rough graph of what general platform most gamers would use to game in 2018.

Infographic: The Most Important Gaming Platforms in 2018 | Statista

And from this we can tell that PC has become the most popular platform to which gamers game on and I don’t blame them, a PC (either a desktop or a laptop) is more compatible as software can be installed/upgraded, the upgradability, the use of mods is easier to implement and so on.

Finalization

Ultimately, this data is a very small square on a huge tapestry of a growing gaming community. Everything I stated here only paints the picture of the 377 respondents to my survey, and may not represent all game players in our vast gaming world. In an economy where gaming is beginning to overtake the movie industry in revenue, all game players – from the business traveler playing mobile games to pass time at the airport, to the leveling-obsessed college student – are part of a movement that picks up speed with every game released and every device invented.

That means you and me, game-playing friend. Beyond labels, this is really about a community of people who enjoys time spent with a friend across the country, a loved one next to them on the couch, or just a quiet night with a good puzzle. No matter whether you think you’re a gamer or not, we all love good company, a good story, and a good challenge.

What do you think about the survey data? Is it consistent with your experiences, or is it upside down? How do you enjoy spending your game time?

Did you find this Article interesting? Did you take anything from this? If you did please post your opinions below – Thank you 🙂

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