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What's your definition of "Gamer?"

LigerLiger Registered User regular
edited February 2008 in Games and Technology
I'm doing some research for my final COM project (design and advertise a games expo) and I'm defining my target demographic. I figured I'd go straight to the source and ask you guys. <3

So: How do you define "gamer" and how do you see yourself fitting into that category/definition?

SOMETHING MORE SPECIFIC THAN 'SOMEONE WHO PLAYS VIDEO GAMES," plzkthx.

Liger on
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Posts

  • Magic PinkMagic Pink Tur-Boner-Fed Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Uh... someone who plays videogames.

    Is this a trick question?

  • LewiePLewieP Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Someone who plays video games.

  • GyralGyral Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    LewieP wrote: »
    Someone who plays video games.

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  • AxenAxen My avatar is Excalibur. Yes, the sword.Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Gyral wrote: »
    LewieP wrote: »
    Someone who plays video games.

  • VeeveeVeevee WisconsinRegistered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Axen wrote: »
    Gyral wrote: »
    LewieP wrote: »
    Someone who plays video games.

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  • cloudeaglecloudeagle Zhu-Li, do the thing! Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Gyral wrote: »
    LewieP wrote: »
    Someone who plays video games.

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  • ChewyWafflesChewyWaffles Registered User
    edited February 2008
    You're all being intentionally obtuse. Someone can play some Madden 2004 on their original Xbox, but I wouldn't necessarily call them a "gamer". A "gamer" implies a little more commitment than casually playing Madden 200X with a couple buddies on the weekends.

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  • DoronronDoronron Registered User
    edited February 2008
    I would also include those who play pen and paper RPGs, tactical games like Warhammer, and nonconventional boardgames (ie. Roborally vs. Monopoly)

    EDIT: Essentially any type of game that's likely to get you weird looks from your coworkers or fellow students.

  • Baka_ShadeBaka_Shade Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Someone who plays and buys video games, then?

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  • FiskebentFiskebent Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Someone who has the intention of one day getting around to playing Shadow of the Colossus

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  • Magic PinkMagic Pink Tur-Boner-Fed Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    You're all being intentionally obtuse. Someone can play some Madden 2004 on their original Xbox, but I wouldn't necessarily call them a "gamer". A "gamer" implies a little more commitment than casually playing Madden 200X with a couple buddies on the weekends.


    No, it doesn't. If you play videogames, you're a gamer. Period. If you played videogames once, you are not.

    You could further qualify gamer by using casual or hardcore or weekend or sports or whatever but that's just further niggling.

  • LewiePLewieP Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    They should also watch Firefly.

  • DashuiDashui Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Rapists.

    Rapists of freshly slaughtered ham.

    God damn gamers. Sick perverted creeps, all of them. I can't wait for the day Clinton becomes elected and bans that horrible fancy.

    Xbox Live, PSN & Origin: Vacorsis

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  • Magic PinkMagic Pink Tur-Boner-Fed Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Doronron wrote: »
    I would also include those who play pen and paper RPGs, tactical games like Warhammer, and nonconventional boardgames (ie. Roborally vs. Monopoly)

    EDIT: Essentially any type of game that's likely to get you weird looks from your coworkers or fellow students.


    I would disagree. Board gamers, Warhammer folks and RPGer's tend to all have different terms for themselves.

    Say "gamer" alone and most people would assume you're talking about videogames.

  • ChewyWafflesChewyWaffles Registered User
    edited February 2008
    Magic Pink wrote: »
    You're all being intentionally obtuse. Someone can play some Madden 2004 on their original Xbox, but I wouldn't necessarily call them a "gamer". A "gamer" implies a little more commitment than casually playing Madden 200X with a couple buddies on the weekends.


    No, it doesn't. If you play videogames, you're a gamer. Period. If you played videogames once, you are not.

    You could further qualify gamer by using casual or hardcore or weekend or sports or whatever but that's just further niggling.

    Nope. Disagree. My wife plays videogames occassionally, but there's no way I'd call her a "gamer". She's just a person who happens to play videogames. I'm a person that goes out of my way to play them.

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  • RocketSauceRocketSauce Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    I would define gamer as someone who embraces the sub-culture of video gaming. Not just playing games. People who wear clothing related to video games, people who understand use of specific terminology and lingo.

    6 year olds can play video games, but I'd hardly call them a "gamer". Being a gamer means not only do you play video games, but you know a lot about them.

  • Magic PinkMagic Pink Tur-Boner-Fed Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Magic Pink wrote: »
    You're all being intentionally obtuse. Someone can play some Madden 2004 on their original Xbox, but I wouldn't necessarily call them a "gamer". A "gamer" implies a little more commitment than casually playing Madden 200X with a couple buddies on the weekends.


    No, it doesn't. If you play videogames, you're a gamer. Period. If you played videogames once, you are not.

    You could further qualify gamer by using casual or hardcore or weekend or sports or whatever but that's just further niggling.

    Nope. Disagree. My wife plays videogames occassionally, but there's no way I'd call her a "gamer". She's just a person who happens to play videogames. I'm a person that goes out of my way to play them.

    Great, she's casual; you're hardcore or dedicated.

    Still, both gamers.

  • GyralGyral Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    My sister once told me of a friend of her who only played WoW and nothing else. As in, he did not own any other gaming consoles or games. My response was "He's not a gamer. He's an addict."

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  • ChewyWafflesChewyWaffles Registered User
    edited February 2008
    Magic Pink wrote: »
    Great, she's casual; you're hardcore or dedicated.

    Still, both gamers.

    Meh.

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  • KeithKeith Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    I would define gamer as someone who embraces the sub-culture of video gaming. Not just playing games. People who wear clothing related to video games, people who understand use of specific terminology and lingo.

    Really? Because I own at least 10 systems and I absolutely hate "gamer culture", so you'd say I'm not a "gamer"?

    A gamer is a person that plays games. A gamer that thinks "you need to play certain games to be a gamer" is an elitist.

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  • midgetspymidgetspy Registered User
    edited February 2008
    A gamer is somebody who plays video games as a hobby. Somebody who spends a decent chunk of their spare time playing video games.

    I ride my bike sometimes and I'm not a cyclist. People who play Wii bowling once a week are not gamers.

  • DoronronDoronron Registered User
    edited February 2008
    Magic Pink wrote: »
    Doronron wrote: »
    I would also include those who play pen and paper RPGs, tactical games like Warhammer, and nonconventional boardgames (ie. Roborally vs. Monopoly)

    EDIT: Essentially any type of game that's likely to get you weird looks from your coworkers or fellow students.


    I would disagree. Board gamers, Warhammer folks and RPGer's tend to all have different terms for themselves.

    Say "gamer" alone and most people would assume you're talking about videogames.

    Only on PA. My experience has been that in high School, multiple college campuses, and the Real World, for anyone I've hung out with the term "gamer" meant someone who played nonconventional games (not sports, or family board games, or socially accepted card games) -- any type of nonconentional game -- not just video games. In fact, most of the gamers I spent time with didn't focus on any one form of gaming. They played them all.

  • ChewyWafflesChewyWaffles Registered User
    edited February 2008
    I would define gamer as someone who embraces the sub-culture of video gaming. Not just playing games. People who wear clothing related to video games, people who understand use of specific terminology and lingo.

    6 year olds can play video games, but I'd hardly call them a "gamer". Being a gamer means not only do you play video games, but you know a lot about them.

    See, this I can agree with. It extrapolates on the "commitment" language in my first post. You're not a gamer just because you happen to play a game occasionally.




    P.S. I don't really care that much, I'm just taking a break from work and found something to argue about ;)

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  • VoroVoro Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Magic Pink wrote: »
    Magic Pink wrote: »
    You're all being intentionally obtuse. Someone can play some Madden 2004 on their original Xbox, but I wouldn't necessarily call them a "gamer". A "gamer" implies a little more commitment than casually playing Madden 200X with a couple buddies on the weekends.


    No, it doesn't. If you play videogames, you're a gamer. Period. If you played videogames once, you are not.

    You could further qualify gamer by using casual or hardcore or weekend or sports or whatever but that's just further niggling.

    Nope. Disagree. My wife plays videogames occassionally, but there's no way I'd call her a "gamer". She's just a person who happens to play videogames. I'm a person that goes out of my way to play them.

    Great, she's casual; you're hardcore or dedicated.

    Still, both gamers.

    So, back my school gym class we would do all kinds of exercises, play a few different sports, and run a mile each year. Does that make me an athlete? I'd say no. I'd also say that I'm not a chef, even if I cook my own food from scratch. In closing, I like RocketSauce's definition.

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  • KeithKeith Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    midgetspy wrote: »
    A gamer is somebody who plays video games as a hobby. Somebody who spends a decent chunk of their spare time playing video games.

    I ride my bike sometimes and I'm not a cyclist.

    Yes you are. You're not professional or competitive, but you're still a cyclist.

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  • RocketSauceRocketSauce Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Keith wrote: »
    I would define gamer as someone who embraces the sub-culture of video gaming. Not just playing games. People who wear clothing related to video games, people who understand use of specific terminology and lingo.

    Really? Because I own at least 10 systems and I absolutely hate "gamer culture", so you'd say I'm not a "gamer"?

    A gamer is a person that plays games. A gamer that thinks "you need to play certain games to be a gamer" is an elitist.

    I have a co-worker at work who owns a Wii. She plays a few games here and there. She knows nothing at all about any of the games she plays, or any games on any other system. I doubt she could even name another gaming system. My mom played Guitar Hero one time, and she's played Tetris and Bejewled. She is not a gamer.

  • Baka_ShadeBaka_Shade Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Okay, snarky comments aside, I can see where people would want to use this discussion as a platform for their opinion on elitist gamer culture. Rereading the question, though, the question isn't so much "define gamer" as it is "define the audience for a gaming convention". That's a very different thing, and while I stand by my previous post for the former, I think RocketSauce's is closer to the mark for the latter.

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  • Forever ZefiroForever Zefiro Frame Runner Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    I'd say a gamer is someone who plays games and if asked if they were a gamer would say yes.

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  • Death of RatsDeath of Rats Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Some of you are looking at this all wrong. Anyone who plays videogames (not game, as in one game, once) is a gamer. But there are different types.

    Casual gamers generally play a few games, but generally not ones that are terribly deep. They don't go out of their way to buy all the newest systems, to read all the latest news, and gametrailers.com generally isn't their stomping ground.

    Hardcore gamers are the exact opposite. They play all different types of games. They play deep games. They play their games all the way through.

    Collection gamers are gamers who aren't so different from Hardcore gamers. But they're a little deeper. They go through games to 100% complete them. They get all the achievement points. They level up all their characters to 100%. They defeat Ruby Weapon.

    Information gamers are gamers that are halfway in between casual and hardcore gamers. They play a lot of games, but to some extent they'd almost rather be reading about the game industry than playing games. They play games to see new ideas and technology. They'd be more happy messing around with Spore than playing WWII shooter #5039. They're all about the news, not the games themself.

  • KeithKeith Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Keith wrote: »
    I would define gamer as someone who embraces the sub-culture of video gaming. Not just playing games. People who wear clothing related to video games, people who understand use of specific terminology and lingo.

    Really? Because I own at least 10 systems and I absolutely hate "gamer culture", so you'd say I'm not a "gamer"?

    A gamer is a person that plays games. A gamer that thinks "you need to play certain games to be a gamer" is an elitist.

    I have a co-worker at work who owns a Wii. She plays a few games here and there. She knows nothing at all about any of the games she plays, or any games on any other system. I doubt she could even name another gaming system.

    So she's not a nerd. She doesn't care enough about video games to refresh GameSpot every five seconds to see what new JRPG or whatever the hell is coming out.

    Doesn't matter, she plays games and is a gamer.

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  • ChewyWafflesChewyWaffles Registered User
    edited February 2008
    Keith wrote: »
    midgetspy wrote: »
    A gamer is somebody who plays video games as a hobby. Somebody who spends a decent chunk of their spare time playing video games.

    I ride my bike sometimes and I'm not a cyclist.

    Yes you are. You're not professional or competitive, but you're still a cyclist.

    Dude...really? Only in the broadest sense of the word. In common usage, saying that someone is a "cyclist" implies a greater level of commitment than the average person to ride a bike in whatever context. They take biking seriously. Now apply that to gaming.

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  • midgetspymidgetspy Registered User
    edited February 2008
    Keith wrote: »
    midgetspy wrote: »
    A gamer is somebody who plays video games as a hobby. Somebody who spends a decent chunk of their spare time playing video games.

    I ride my bike sometimes and I'm not a cyclist.

    Yes you are. You're not professional or competitive, but you're still a cyclist.

    Maybe at the moment when I'm riding the bike I'm a cyclist, but in general, in my life, describing me as a cyclist would be incredibly misleading though perhaps technically correct.

  • walnutmonwalnutmon Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Keith wrote: »
    I would define gamer as someone who embraces the sub-culture of video gaming. Not just playing games. People who wear clothing related to video games, people who understand use of specific terminology and lingo.

    Really? Because I own at least 10 systems and I absolutely hate "gamer culture", so you'd say I'm not a "gamer"?

    A gamer is a person that plays games. A gamer that thinks "you need to play certain games to be a gamer" is an elitist.

    You hate gamer culture; posted to a forum on one of the major game culture hubs, under "games and technology"

    Perhaps this makes sense in your anti-gamer anti-dimension.

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  • KeithKeith Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Keith wrote: »
    midgetspy wrote: »
    A gamer is somebody who plays video games as a hobby. Somebody who spends a decent chunk of their spare time playing video games.

    I ride my bike sometimes and I'm not a cyclist.

    Yes you are. You're not professional or competitive, but you're still a cyclist.

    Dude...really? Only in the strictest sense of the word. In common usage, saying that someone is a "cyclist" implies a greater level of commitment than the average person to ride a bike in whatever context. They take biking seriously. Now apply that to gaming.

    See, you think the term has to accurately describe their entire being.

    When I was younger, I rode a bike everywhere. I didn't "take biking seriously". I didn't care about different bicycle types or tires or crap. I was still a cyclist.

    You're trying to find a label instead of a term.

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  • NevaNeva Registered User
    edited February 2008
    Keith wrote: »
    midgetspy wrote: »
    A gamer is somebody who plays video games as a hobby. Somebody who spends a decent chunk of their spare time playing video games.

    I ride my bike sometimes and I'm not a cyclist.

    Yes you are. You're not professional or competitive, but you're still a cyclist.

    Dude...really? Only in the strictest sense of the word. In common usage, saying that someone is a "cyclist" implies a greater level of commitment than the average person to ride a bike in whatever context. They take biking seriously. Now apply that to gaming.

    Pretty sure that goes back to the whole elitist thing. I think a lot of the conflict in this thread would be resolved if people understood the definition of "er". Really, I don't know what the OP was hoping for, but I'm pretty sure he's going to end up disappointed.

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  • KeithKeith Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    walnutmon wrote: »
    Keith wrote: »
    I would define gamer as someone who embraces the sub-culture of video gaming. Not just playing games. People who wear clothing related to video games, people who understand use of specific terminology and lingo.

    Really? Because I own at least 10 systems and I absolutely hate "gamer culture", so you'd say I'm not a "gamer"?

    A gamer is a person that plays games. A gamer that thinks "you need to play certain games to be a gamer" is an elitist.

    You hate gamer culture; posted to a forum on one of the major game culture hubs, under "games and technology"

    Perhaps this makes sense in your anti-gamer anti-dimension.

    I hate gamer culture, not video games. I enjoy playing video games, but I don't find it necessary to have a shirt that says "I killed the 8 robot masters" or whatever the hell so that maybe some random person will see it and think "hahaha i know what that means i play video games too"

    it's a hobby, not a lifestyle.

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  • mogdemonmogdemon Kansas, USRegistered User regular
    edited February 2008
    My working definition is someone who frequently spends their spare time/money on games or things related to gaming--someone for whom gaming is a pretty high priority compared to their other hobbies. Someone can enjoy playing video games, but if they usually spend their time/money on other things I probably wouldn't call them a gamer. It follows that those who are more devoted to the hobby are going to have a wider variety of games, consoles, etc. It's not necessarily that they're elitist, it's that they spent their latest paycheck on a new game rather than, say, a new wristwatch.

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  • RocketSauceRocketSauce Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Keith wrote: »
    Keith wrote: »
    midgetspy wrote: »
    A gamer is somebody who plays video games as a hobby. Somebody who spends a decent chunk of their spare time playing video games.

    I ride my bike sometimes and I'm not a cyclist.

    Yes you are. You're not professional or competitive, but you're still a cyclist.

    Dude...really? Only in the strictest sense of the word. In common usage, saying that someone is a "cyclist" implies a greater level of commitment than the average person to ride a bike in whatever context. They take biking seriously. Now apply that to gaming.

    See, you think the term has to accurately describe their entire being.

    When I was younger, I rode a bike everywhere. I didn't "take biking seriously". I didn't care about different bicycle types or tires or crap. I was still a cyclist.

    You're trying to find a label instead of a term.

    Gaming is a sub-culture, and sub-cultures are defined by those who are in them and embrace them. If the gaming sub-culture ("Gamers") decide what it takes to be a "gamer", then they are correct. Just because a 10 year old who plays Mario Sunshine says he's a gamer, does not make him one. Just as anybody who plays a video game does not automatically get their intitiation card into the gamer subculture.

    Little kids who ride their bikes around the neighborhood can call themselves cyclists, and you make think they are. But people who are in the cycling sub-culture are the ones who define what a "cyclist" is. And since you've already said you are anti-gaming sub-culture, I don't see how you're even qualified to be saying who is a gamer and who isn't.

    The OP asked us to define what a Gamer, and as members of the sub-culture, that's exactly what we're doing.

  • JWashkeJWashke Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    I like Mogdemon's definition best so far. I don't really like to use the term Gamer because I think it does imply some sort of elitism but if I had to I would define it as someone who ranks playing video games as a high priority among their hobbies. That could be someone who loves to play Peggle for a few hours everyday or the person who waits in line for 12 hours for Halo 3.

    I see it as how you prioritize your hobbies and free time. Though overall I prefer to avoid the term all together and if someone asks my hobbies I say I like to play Video games and leave it at that. I don't feel the need to apply a label to my hobby.

    Edit: People like Rocketsauce are the exact reason I won't label myself as a gamer. It's not an exclusive club, I play games, I post about them on forums and even go to gaming conventions, but I don't feel the need to be accepted by some larger sub-culture.

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  • RocketSauceRocketSauce Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    JWashke wrote: »
    I like Mogdemon's definition best so far. I don't really like to use the term Gamer because I think it does imply some sort of elitism but if I had to I would define it as someone who ranks playing video games as a high priority among their hobbies. That could be someone who loves to play Peggle for a few hours everyday or the person who waits in line for 12 hours for Halo 3.

    I see it as how you prioritize your hobbies and free time. Though overall I prefer to avoid the term all together and if someone asks my hobbies I say I like to play Video games and leave it at that. I don't feel the need to apply a label to my hobby.

    It absolutely emplies elitism. That's what sub-cultures do. They see some kind of fringe activity, they make it their own, and they define it to give them a greater sense of purpose by excluding others. Hip-Hop and Rap used to be sub-cultures, but then became mainstream. The idiot white kid doing freestyle on his Xbox 360 mic is not a "rapper", but it's become so mainstream, some people actually WOULD think he was, himself included.

    Gaming has become mainstream as well, so it's harder for people to figure out the line between the mainstream side, and the sub-culture side.

    If some kid does pushups, pull-ups, and runs all day, and wears boots and fatigues, that doesn't make him a Marine. Being part of that culture requires more than just going through the motions.

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