Video Game Hipsters

Attention: This is only a half-serious article, so read accordingly. Preferably in an outrageous voice

I remember one day, a year or so back, when I was hanging out with a group of my friends. We had just gotten back to my house, and were about to play some Double Dash via my Wii. As I gathered the controllers for everyone, one of the guys (not my friend, but a friend of a friend joining us for the night) asked, “You have a Wii?” I responded by [obviously] telling him yes, and that there were some really good games for the system, despite it being a huge disappointment to what my original expectations were of the system. He then shook his head at me and stated, “Casual gamers.”

Now, at the time I just moved on; didn’t really think about it. Fast forward to now, and seeing all this hate on Nintendo: they make “kiddie” games and only appeal to “casual gamers.” Though I was a huge protester of the Wii U, I never had any problems with it being a “casual gamer” system. And that got me thinking – why can’t I be both a casual gamer AND a hardcore gamer? Who came up with these terms? Because I played the original Mario Bros back when I was five, did that make me (and will always make me) a casual gamer? Does my love for innovative indie games make me a hardcore gamer? What if I like certain iterations of the Call of Duty franchise (I actually really like the Modern Warfare series), or like the blockbuster games like GTA5? Does liking or playing those games make me a certain type of gamer?

Much like the Apple vs. PC rivalry, I started to see this rift between casual and hardcore gamers, which was mostly instigated or brought up by the “hardcore side.” It seemed as though the hardcore group had become like the Apple fanboys – they buy Apple just to say they buy Apple, and are product snobs about it. The hardcore crowd seemed to be into themselves and wore it as a brand, rather than a way to resemble their gaming preference.

I bring all this up to ask one thing: why can’t we simply be called gamers? No negative or positive connotation to the word. Just “gamer.” Now, I’m a gamer who has preferences – I love multiplayer games, story-driven games, and colorful games the most. So it fits that three of my favorite games are Super Mario 3D World, The Last of Us, and Rayman Origins (I own the 360 version). But does playing any one of those make me either casual or hardcore? I’m looking forward to playing the newly released Blok Drop U; so does that make me a different type of gamer? Can’t I just love games, and have preferences to which ones look appealing to me?

I’m tired of these video game hipsters. I’m a gamer, and that’s where I define myself

~Mike

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