Its being a while, I wonder what is your current take on the hardcore gamer. Like how do you define them, and are they still appear to you as as cringe as ever? It is in my habit to not ask about trendy topic rather I love the obscure ones.
I stopped being a hardcore gamer sense 2006, when my first gaming PC had its graphic interface phased out a year later. And I have no money to spend on consoles. This, however opened massive new possibilities as I dig through the past with emulator. It fundamentally changed my perspective on gaming.
I’m curious how digging through the past with an emulator changed your perspective on gaming.
The Hardcore Gamer is the tool of the Game Industry. The word ‘hardcore gamer’ is just a marketing buzzword the Game Industry uses in order to sell you terrible games and terrible accessories.
Above: It is… green. It’s for hardcorez gamerz ONLY
When I refer to hardcore gamers, I am talking about an easily manipulated group of people. I am talking about marketing and the effect that marketing has on people.
Back during the 16-bit generation, there was ‘console war’ between Super Nintendo and Genesis. As these kids grew up, they realized that both systems were awesome and both had great games. They realize, only after they get older, that they were controlled by marketing.
I would be someone classified as a ‘heavily experienced gamer’, a defacto hardcore gamer, by strict use of the word, since I play PC gaming from present from the 1980s, play with consoles here and there, and spend much time exploring libraries of older consoles. The Game Industry’s marketing departments have no use for me because I am ‘too informed and experienced’. Today, Sony’s marketing department is saying that ‘hardcore gamers need to buy the latest VR equipment so they can truly be hardcore’ or something like that. But the VR craze is very cyclical. It appears and disappears every decade or so. In ten years, there will be another VR craze, and it will die just like the last one.
The typical ‘hardcore gamer’ is late teens and early twenties, has little to no knowledge of gaming history, has experienced maybe one or two generations, and is addicted to hype. You know what ‘hype’ is? It’s marketing. People who consume hype are those who consume marketing. Let the game come out. After a week or two, it will either be good or bad. But no. They just drink hype all day everyday.
The best way I’ve found to ‘wake up’ a hardcore gamer is to point out PC gaming master race. “You think your little PS and Xbox makes you a hardcore gamer? No! It makes you a casual gamer!” *They gasp when they hear the words ‘casual gamer’. Oh! That is not them! No siree!* “The PC can play all these console games and do so in BETTER GRAPHICS. Plus, the games are much cheaper. You can mod the games. You don’t have to pay for online.” This is when they realize they have been a tool for the Game Industry.
An interesting proposal would be to examine the marketing campaigns of the past generations. In Generation 2, Atari’s marketing campaign was to show how games were fun. You would see people playing the games and smiling, having their friends and family over, everyone laughing. The Atari marketing is what Nintendo adopted for the DS and Wii. In Generation 2, Nintendo kept going the POWER route. “Now you’re playing with POWER!” even though it was the year 1988. and you were dealing with hardware that came out in 1983. I think the 16-bit console war was the origin of the hardcore gamer as a marketing idea. You were the ‘extreme’ gamer, the cool guy, and cool guys are hardcore gamers, and hardcore gamers always buy the latest games and spend all day playing them only to buy more and more and more! Generation five, six, and so on keep using the ‘hardcore gamers!’ marketing.
Much of the console competition is marketing competition. Sony and Microsoft being behemoths can really throw money into the ‘hardcore gamerz!’ marketing campaigns. The Xbox Franchise itself, complete with green X, is a ‘hardcorez gamerz’ marketing identity.
Nintendo is a video game innovator and maker of many gaming classics. Wouldn’t a player of Nintendo be a ‘hardcorez gamerz’? No. The marketing campaigns were of such to pidgeon hole the Nintendo system into… something else… something that the ‘hardcorez gamerz’ would never touch. The Gamecube, for example, got stigmatized as the ‘kiddie console’. The Wii got stigmatized as the ‘casual console’.
How does the book industry market itself to its best readers? Why, you are a book reader! You are sophisticated! You are cultured! You are more intelligent than the rest of the population! But that only keeps working if you buy more books! Here are the latest books you need to buy! In reality, these constant book readers are dorks. But to the book industry, no, they create a self-image of their best customers to be something else… something god-like.
The hardcore gamers are dorks who have too much time on their hands (which they spend discussing games and reading about games all day, everyday). But the game industry will market a more appealing self-image to them.
Do you think candy industry is going to market a self-image to its best customers that they are fat and unhealthy? No. They market that their best customers are ‘fun loving’ and ‘exciting’… because they eat a ton of candy.
Most people’s world of video games is a 2d world where they only know about what games are coming out, how they are all awesome, and boy, they need to pre-order them to get those goodies! But if you look at video games in a 3d world, you see everything is just a product on the shelf and there is so much marketing involved. They THINK they see the marketing, but they do not. If you are pre-ordering a video game and not willing to wait a few days to see if it is any good, then they have you. If you have a back log full of games you never play, they have you.