Regardless of how progressive and open-minded much of the world is desperately trying to be, one assumption which is still struggling to be changed is that of the gamer. Gaming has long been a popular pastime, and the industry continues to grow stronger with even more players each year, and yet, there is the assumption that all gamers are the same.
The gamer stereotype often concerns teenagers or young adults spending all of their waking hours on games, being slothful and unsociable in their behavior. Gamers are often thought of as overweight, pale people with bad skin and typically unattractive, sinking into either overly violent games or exploring a fantasy world with other gamers online instead of exploring the real world.
Well, we’re here to debunk the theories that all gamers are the same. Putting aside the aesthetic stereotypes as, of course, not all gamers look the same so it is a ridiculous presumption – but a common one nonetheless – we’re going to explore the many different forms of gamer, proving that not only do different gamers like different types of games for different reasons but also that anyone can become a gamer.
The Thrill-Seeking, Skillful Gamers
Newzoo’s 2019 market report says esports will surpass $1 billion in revenue for the first time and that the global esports audience will surpass 450 million people worldwide pic.twitter.com/mha9AoTebe
— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) February 12, 2019
A chart that shows the massive amount of revenue that eSports now earns, showing how popular competitive gaming is among players and viewers.
With the rise of online gaming came competitive gaming and the ability to earn rewards through playing online. The popularity of online play has increased to the extent that some triple-A games that had single-player modes in the past are being released as online-only titles, with Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 being a recent high-profile example.
These thrill-seeking gamers have just one goal: to win. It’s why the genre of Battle Royale-themed games – where massive fields of players battle online until only one remains as the winner – have become so incredibly popular. These gamers care little for a story, characters, or exploration; all that matters is if the gameplay is good, balanced, and allows them to battle others online to show that they are the best. This has, in turn, led to the rise of competitive gaming and eSports as an industry, with being a very good gamer online potentially leading to a profession.
Thrill-seeking gamers could also be classed as skillful gamers as the emphasis of their play is to display their skills online. The more skillful gamer will seek ways in which they can improve at the game before delving into the real-play arena, such as through playing the campaign, but more and more are being fluxed into competitive play immediately, needing to hone their skills on the fly.
But the skillful gamer doesn’t always seek the thrills of overcoming others online and will often seek financial reward for their skilled approach to gaming. In the world of online slot gaming, skillful gamers will try out the free-to-play versions of slots to learn its style and gameplay before gunning for jackpots and big wins in real-money slots or slots of other themes. They will use their acquired skills to better their chances in the game while seeking the thrills of rewards.
The Casual, Part-Time Gamers
We have cut our global games forecast for 2018 to $134.9 billion. The #mobile games market’s growth has decreased, but this is partially offset by the booming console market! Get the details: https://t.co/jSKNUt7p5T pic.twitter.com/ARa1TYV8Hi
— Newzoo (@NewzooHQ) November 2, 2018
A chart showing how dominant mobile gaming is in the market, raising questions as to why mobile gamers are, more often than not, considered to be casual gamers when they have such a huge influence.
The term ‘casual gamer’ is often thrown around as an insult by thrill-seeking, skillful gamers, who go all-in to land every possible win, to insult players who make mistakes or don’t win very often. But just because they don’t have the same level of skill or commitment to a game doesn’t mean that the casual gamer is any less of a gaming fan.
Generally speaking, any gamer who isn’t competitive and is just in it for the fun of playing a game is considered to be a casual gamer. Despite its huge online play appeal, the Call of Duty player base is said to be mostly made up of casual gamers. They’ll most probably see an advert for a game, like what they see, and then buy the game to play when they have a spare hour or two during the week. The casual gamer will perhaps by two or three triple-A priced games each year, but make up a valued part of the market.
Many people within the gaming community also consider mobile gamers to be casual gamers due to mobile games generally being in the freemium model, and yet the mobile gaming audience makes up nearly half of the global games market. People enjoy having the convenience of opening their phone to have a quick crack on Angry Birds or continue to explore the realm of RuneScape. Mobile games, like video slot games, are quick, easy, and convenient, offering doses of joy and excitement without the need to display too much skill.
The casual gamer is someone who enjoys games and uses them to be entertained when they have some spare time. They’re not fully committed to taking on thrill-seekers or even match their returns and are instead just happy to play a game and see what happens.
The Variety Gamers
— VG247 (@VG247) September 12, 2017
A chart to show the massive number of games released to Steam each year, which a variety gamer is more than willing to explore.
Variety gamers don’t tend to spend enough time on one game to become overly skilled on it, aren’t overly competitive or thrill-seeking, but do play more games that casual gamers as they want to enjoy many more experiences and challenges.
Thousands of new games are released across consoles and computers every year, with even more coming to mobile devices. Variety gamers know this and want to experience something that suits all of their many interests. One day they could be battling dragons on Skyrim, the next they’ll be playing a few rounds on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
A lot of the modern gaming audience are variety gamers but are far less spoken about than the groups which commit to one game for a very long time. Game libraries, be they on a console, computer platforms, or for slot games, are varied so that they appeal to a wider audience, but thanks to their desire to try new games, variety gamers can benefit the most from the massive number of titles available to them.
Variety gamers are the ones who can recognize a good game from a bad game, identify which games have fun mechanics and a good story, have enough overall skill that they can hold their own competitively, and are most likely to find hidden gems within the huge game libraries.
There are, of course, many other forms of gamers in between these three, but showing the thrill-seeking, the casual, and the variety gamer displays the extremities of the gaming community and proves that not all gamers are the same.
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