Am I a Stereotypical gamer? What is a stereotypical gamer?
I can certainly tell you what I’m not and that is a “hard-core gamer”, someone who spends large amounts of their free time playing video games — I admit I used to do this much more when I was younger.
Back in my Commodore Amiga and early PC days I would spend huge amounts of time playing games such as Railroad Tycoon, Civilization, UFO: Enemy Unknown – mainly because I lived in the middle of nowhere, so I had the time to play these long-running, time-consuming games — this was obviously before I had access to the Internet as well as I now spend a chunk of my time ‘surfing the net’.
In the early days of being on the Internet, I stumbled upon the new concept of online gaming, specifically MMORPGs – it was great! These games such as Ultima Online, Asheron’s Call and Everquest 2 brought a whole new element to gaming, that of interaction and co-operation, this added so much more to a game for me as it meant that there was a more tangible sense of how much you were achieving in comparison to others — it certainly made it a lot more competitive.
These online games also covered the period when I was a student, so I had the time on my hands to play them fully, this obviously changes once you leave that wonderful academic environment and start working — I basically stopped playing online games for a couple of years, kept myself busy with the some good single-player games with a strong narrative such as Half-Life 2.
Then last year in 2007, I started gaming again on two fronts, I bought an Xbox 360 for some console gaming and also started playing World of Warcraft (WoW) after long dismissing it out of hand (mainly due to the style of graphics admittedly). I don’t get a chance to play that much these days though, I find too many things to do online outside of gaming. I usually play WoW an hour a day on average, but luckily games are being made to accommodate the more casual gaming style, certainly if I’d had to dedicate as much time as you had to dedicate to the early MMORPGs I wouldn’t still be playing WoW after nearly 9 months, perhaps that’s one reason for its huge success.
So back to the original point of stereotypical gaming, there probably isn’t a stereotypical gamer these days now that it has become much more mainstream, what with World of Warcraft and the Nintendo Wii appealing to people you perhaps wouldn’t have associated with gaming in the past, all of which is a good thing in my opinion — I mean anyone can play board games without being classified as this or that, so I see video games as an evolution of that and am pleased to see them becoming more mainstream, so I no longer have to be a classed as a “hard-core gamer” anymore, I’m a casual gamer just like anyone else!
Do you think there are still stereotypes? Do you fit the stereotype of a particular type of gamer yourself?
Simon Barker is the founder and editor of Zath and has over 25 years’ worth of experience of using computers and technology in general. He can normally be found researching or testing the latest in technology products.
He has provided IT consultancy services to both home and small business users for over 15 years, building PCs, fixing hardware/software problems and providing comprehensive training.
Simon always likes to get the best out of the technology products he is using, by both making informed purchasing decisions and also optimising how they are used to get the most benefits possible.