Gamer

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For other uses, see Gamer (disambiguation).
This article is about people who play games, especially video games. For for gamblers see, see gambling.
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A "gamer" is someone who plays interactive games, such as video games or tabletop games. Although the term "gamer" may commonly refer to video game players, the term may also be applied to players of other forms of games, such as tabletop games or physical games. Additionally, in some countries such as the United Kingdom, the term "gaming" refers to legalized gambling, which can take both traditional (tabletop) and digital forms (akin to video games), so in these areas gamers may also refer to people who gamble. The term also includes people who work on methods to gamify technologies relevant to gameplay.

There are many gamer communities around the world. Many of these take the form of discussion forums and other virtual communities, as well as college or university social clubs.

Videogamers[edit]

Further information: Video game § Demographics

In the United States, the average video game player is 30 years old and has been playing video games for over 12 years.[1] In the UK as of 2007, the average video game player was over 23 years old, had played video games for over 10 years, and spent around 11 hours a week playing video games.[2]

Female Gamer/Gamer girl[edit]

Main article: Women and video games

A female gamer/gamer girl is any female who regularly engages in playing video games. According to a study conducted by the Entertainment Software Association in 2009, 40% of the game playing population is female, and women 18 or older now comprise 34% of all gamers. Also, the percentage of women playing online had risen to 43%, up 4% from 2004. The same study shows that 48% of game purchasers are female.[3][4] Usage of the term "girl gamer" is controversial. Some critics have advocated use of the label as a reappropriated term, while others see it as nondescriptive or perpetuating the minority position of female gamers. Some critics of the term believe there is no singular definition of a female gamer and that they are as diverse as any other group.[5]

Gaymer[edit]

Main article: Gaymer

Gaymer, or gay gamer, is a term used to refer to the group of people who identify themselves as LGBT (gay, bisexual, lesbian, or transgender) and have an active interest in video games.[6] This demographic has been the subject of two large surveys, one by Jason Rockwood in 2006,[7] who noted the level of prejudice that gaymers endure,[8] and another in 2009, focusing on the content that gaymers expect in videogames, the results of which were not published.[9][10] The gaymers community provides a "safe place" for LGBT gamers[11] apart from the isolation they feel from both the heteronormative gaming community and the gay community.[12] They also believe that as homosexuality in video games increase, there will be an increased normalization of homosexuality in general.[12][13][14]

Dedication spectrum[edit]

It is common for games media, business people, 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.[15][16]
  • 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.[17] 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.[18] The types of game that casual gamers play vary, and they are less likely to own a dedicated video game console.[19][20] Notable examples of casual games include The Sims and Nintendogs.[21] Casual gamer demographics vary greatly from those of other video gamers, as the typical casual gamer is older and more predominantly female.[22] "Fitness gamer"s, who play motion-based exercise games, are also seen as casual gamers.[23]
  • 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,[24] 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,[25] and is a target consumer.[26] 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.[27] 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.[28]
  • Hardcore gamer Ernest Adams and Scott Kim have proposed classification metrics to distinguish "hardcore gamers" from casual gamers,[29] 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,[30] or to decry the entire concept of delineating casual from hardcore as divisive and vague.[31]

Professional gamer[edit]

See also: eSports

Professional gamers generally play video games for prize money or salaries. Such individuals usually deeply study the game to master it and usually to play in competitions.[32] 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 $100,000USD a year.[33] 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.[34]

Retrogamer[edit]

Main article: Retrogaming

A retrogamer is a gamer preferring playing and collecting 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 either on the original hardware, on modern hardware via console emulation, or on modern hardware via ports or compilations.[35]

Avatar[edit]

Main article: Avatar (computing)

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 user names is most prevalent in games with online multiplayer support, or at electronic sport conventions.[citation needed]

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 multi-player 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[edit]

A clan 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).

Gamer identity[edit]

The identity of being a gamer is partly self-determination and partly performativity of characteristics society expects a gamer to embody.[36] These expectations include not only a high level of dedication to playing games, but also preferences for certain types of games, as well as an interest in game-related paraphernalia like clothing and comic books.[36] According to Graeme Kirkpatrick, the "true gamer" is concerned first and foremost with gameplay.[37] Escapist founder Alexander Macris says a gamer is an enthusiast with greater dedication to games than just playing them, similar in connotation to "cinemaphile".[38]

People who play may not identify as gamers because they feel they don't play "enough" to qualify.[36] Social stigma against games has influenced some women and minorities to distance themselves from the term "gamer", even though they may play regularly.[36][39]

Demographics[edit]

Games are stereotypically associated with young males, but the diversity of the audience has been increasing over time.[40] Among players using the same category of device (e.g., console or phone), patterns of play are largely the same between men and women.[40] Diversity is driven in part by new hardware platforms.[40] Expansion of the audience was catalyzed by Nintendo's efforts to reach new demographics.[21] Market penetration of smartphones with gaming capabilities further expanded the audience,[21] since in contrast to consoles or high-end PCs, mobile phone gaming requires only devices that non-gamers are likely to already own.[40]

While 48% of women in the United States report having played a video game, only 6% identify as gamers, compared to 15% of men who identify as gamers.[41] This rises to 9% among women aged 18-29, compared to 33% of men in that age group. Half of female PC gamers in the U.S. consider themselves to be core or hardcore gamers.[42][43] Connotations of "gamer" with sexism on the fringe of gaming culture has caused women to be less willing to adopt the label.[44]

Racial minorities responding to Pew Research were more likely to describe themselves as gamers, with 19% of hispanics identifying as gamers, compared to 11% of African-Americans and 7% of whites.[41] The competitive fighting game scene is noted as particularly racially diverse and tolerant.[45] This is attributed to its origin in arcades, where competitors met face to face and the barrier to entry was merely a quarter.[45]

Only 4% of those aged 50 and over identified as gamers.[41]

Casualization[edit]

Casualization is a trend in video games towards simpler games appealing to larger audiences, especially women or the elderly.[21] Some developers, hoping to attract a broader audience, simplify or remove aspects of gameplay in established genres and franchises.[46] Compared to seminal titles like DOOM, more recent mass-market action games like the Call of Duty series approach the status of interactive movies, being less sensitive to player choice or skill.[47] The press rarely calls attention to depth or features found in retro games but missing from new releases.[48]

The trend towards casual games is decried by some self-identified gamers who emphasize gameplay, meaning the activities that one undertakes in a game.[37] According to Brendan Keogh, these are inherently masculine activities such as fighting and exerting dominance. He further says that games women prefer are more passive experiences, and male gamers deride the lack of interactivity in these games because of this association with femininity.[37]

Belying these trends, games including The Sims or Minecraft have some of the largest audiences in the industry while also being very complex.[46] According to Joost van Dreunen of SuperData Research, girls who play Minecraft are "just as 'hardcore' as the next guy over who plays Counter-Strike"[49] Dreunen says being in control of a game's environment appeals equally to boys and girls.[49] Leigh Alexander argued that appealing to women does not necessarily entail reduced difficulty or complexity.[50]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Entertainment Software Association - Industry Facts". Theesa.com. Retrieved 2010-07-16. 
  2. ^ "Facts and Figures". Askaboutgames. Archived from the original on 13 Jun 2007. Retrieved 2010-07-16. 
  3. ^ "The Entertainment Software Association - Industry Facts". Theesa.com. Retrieved 2010-07-16. 
  4. ^ "Facts and Figures". Askaboutgames. Archived from the original on 13 Jun 2007. Retrieved 2010-07-16. 
  5. ^ Heather Barefoot (30 October 2013). "In Defense of the Casual Gamer". Escapist magazine. Retrieved 9 March 2014. 
  6. ^ Alexander Sliwinski (2007-05-08). "Gaymer.org looks to trademark 'Gaymer'". Joystiq. Retrieved 2011-06-05. 
  7. ^ Sliwinski, Alexander (2006-06-10). "First-ever survey of gay videogamers". Washington Blade. Archived from the original on 2006-06-18. 
  8. ^ Sliwinski, Alexander (2006-06-08). "Gay video game player survey". In Newsweekly. Archived from the original on 2009-01-01. 
  9. ^ Fahey, Mike (2009-10-08). "What Do Gay Gamers Want From Their Games?". Kotaku.com. 
  10. ^ Hyman, Jamie (2009-09-03). "Orlando student conducts gay gamer survey". Orlando Watermark. 
  11. ^ "GaymerCon wants to provide a "safe place" for LGBTQ gamers". ArsTechnica. 
  12. ^ a b Gina Tron. "Gay geeks unite against homophobia in video games". vice.com. Retrieved 25 November 2013. 
  13. ^ Lydia Sung (July 19, 2009). "Sunday Musing: Homosexuality in Video Games". Neoseeker.com. Retrieved 25 November 2013. 
  14. ^ "How Not To Address Homosexuality In Gaming", by Mike Fahey
  15. ^ "Masonry on the Internet". Web.mit.edu. Retrieved 2012-05-19. 
  16. ^ Anna Vander Broek (2009-04-23). "Gamer Speak for Newbs". Forbes. Retrieved 2010-02-16. 
  17. ^ VentureBeat
  18. ^ Heather Barefoot (30 October 2013). "In Defense of the Casual Gamer". Escapist magazine. Retrieved 9 March 2014. 
  19. ^ Magrino, Tom, GameStop: Casual gamers spurring hardcore holiday sales, GameSpot, Sep 11, 2007, Accessed 3 May 2008
  20. ^ Boyes, Emma, GDC '08: Are casual games the future?, GameSpot, Feb 18, 2008, Accessed May 3, 2008
  21. ^ a b c d Sarrazin, Vincent. ina global. Institut national de l'audiovisuel http://www.inaglobal.fr/en/video-games/article/casualisation-video-games.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  22. ^ Wolverton, Troy (2007-08-23). "Women driving 'casual game' boom". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved 2007-10-13. 
  23. ^ "Plethora of Fitness Titles Lined Up For PlayStation Move#". PlayStation LifeStyle. 2010-04-19. Retrieved 2010-04-22. 
  24. ^ "Iwata Asks: E3 2011 Special Edition". Nintendo. p. 7. Retrieved 2011-06-09. Iwata: the definition of a core gamer is much wider, namely, someone who has a much wider range of interests, someone who enthusiastically plays many types of games that challenges different creative directions. 
  25. ^ Scott Jon Siegel. "Are you a mid-core gamer?". joystiq.com. 
  26. ^ Campbell, Colin (2005-10-10). "GameStop". Edge. Future. Archived from the original on 2007-12-03. Retrieved 2008-02-07. 
  27. ^ "Iwata Asks: E3 2011 Special Edition". Nintendo. p. 7. Retrieved 2011-06-09. Iwata: On the other hand, I certainly do not think that Wii was able to cater to every gamer's needs, so that's also something I wanted to resolve. [...] The keyword for our presentation at this year's E3 is "Deeper and Wider". With Wii U, I would like to offer this proposal with that concept. 
  28. ^ "Core gamers, mobile games and the origins of the midcore audience". Polygon. Retrieved 2013-08-13. 
  29. ^ Adams, Ernest. "From Casual to Core: A Statistical Mechanism for Studying Gamer Dedication". Gamasutra. Gamasutra. Retrieved 17 June 2014. 
  30. ^ PC Authority
  31. ^ Forbes
  32. ^ Daniel Schorn (2006-08-06). "'Fatal1ty' article at CBS News". Cbsnews.com. Retrieved 2010-07-16. 
  33. ^ "A Brief Look At Professional Gaming". kuro5hin.org. Retrieved 2010-07-16. 
  34. ^ "MLG Awards $1.75 Million in Contracts for Top Pro Gamers (press release)". Major League Gaming. December 18, 2006. Retrieved November 18, 2015. 
  35. ^ "NES Classics: retro gaming, at a price: Page 1". arstechnica.com. Retrieved 2008-04-14. 
  36. ^ a b c d Shaw, Adrienne (October 2014). "On Not Becoming Gamers: Moving Beyond the Constructed Audience". Ada (2). 
  37. ^ a b c Keogh, Brendan. "Hackers, gamers and cyborgs". Overland. 
  38. ^ Macris, Alexander. "Publisher's Note: The State of Gaming". The Escapist. 
  39. ^ Shaw, Adrienne (June 16, 2011). "Do you identify as a gamer? Gender, race, sexuality, and gamer identity". New Media & Society 14: 28. doi:10.1177/1461444811410394. 
  40. ^ a b c d Nofziger, Heather. "Platform, not gender, drives gamer differences". 
  41. ^ a b c Duggan, Maeve. "Gaming and Gamers". Pew Research Center. 
  42. ^ http://www.pcgamer.com/researchers-find-that-female-pc-gamers-outnumber-males/
  43. ^ https://www.superdataresearch.com/blog/why-all-gamers-matter/
  44. ^ McPhate, Mike. "Women Who Play Games Shun ‘Gamer’ Label". The New York Times. 
  45. ^ a b Bowman, Rich. "Why the Fighting Game Community is Color Blind". Polygon. 
  46. ^ a b Swift, Johnathon. ""Dumbing down"". Gamasutra. 
  47. ^ Stewart, Keith. "22 years on, Doom retains the ability to shock". The Guardian. 
  48. ^ Pepe, Felipe. "Amnesiac Heroes: Why are we abandoning gaming history?". Gamasutra. 
  49. ^ a b Harwell, Drew. "More women play video games than boys, and other surprising facts lost in the mess of Gamergate". The Washington Post. 
  50. ^ Alexander, Leigh (August 16, 2013). "Too many gamers think diversity means dumbing down – it’s time to forget that outmoded view". Edge.