The world of gaming is massive. Gamers come in a wide variety, just like the games they play. Behind the scenes, a constant debate occurs. The discussion is not over whether to buy on Steam or Epic Games Store, about Nintendo’s innovation, whether PC is the master race, or if Sony’s Playstations are superior to Microsoft’s XBox console series. This dispute revolves around the gamers themselves, not the hardware. What does it take to be a gamer? What does it mean? Are there certain requirements to be included with that unique group of individuals? You might be surprised.
First person shooters. Take up that automatic rifle and rush onto the battlefield. Join comrades, either online from a remote location or seated directly at your side. Spraying a volley of bullets at the zombies to cripple them as they meander closer is an adrenaline rush. The overwhelming dread as the perimeter of the screen flashes crimson. When the enemy is too close, tap for melee and run for cover to regenerate a shield. Is this what it means to be a gamer?
Mobile. Construct a town and help it flourish by collecting resources and managing tasks. Assemble the strongest team to challenge a random opponent. Fortify a base to defend from an attack at any moment. The need to sign in daily to complete a simple task or collect gifts, while resisting the urge to spend real money for perks. All of those puzzles to solve and numbers to tap toward creating a work of art. Is this the definition of a gamer?
Massively multiplayer online game. Thousands of people connected to the same server. Their diverse characters fill the same world as yours. To interact or not to interact? Grind out that experience to gain levels. Assign the best gear and perfect skills, in a favorable order, to dish out the highest damage, grant the most powerful heals, or absorb the most damage of the party. Are these the true gamers?
Competitive. The rush and thrill of wanting to be the best against hundreds of opponents. Hours of practice and training. Not only to quicken reaction time, but the body as well to keep the mind sharp. Turning up at an event. Absorb the energy in the air of every challenger’s desire to come out on top. Pure competition, so be prepared to take risks. Taking it to the next level. Is this what it takes to be a gamer?
Casual. A means of escaping real life. Lover of a well written story. They might choose to play a game on the easiest difficulty to enjoy the tale without frustration. Loading up a game may not be their first priority, but their passion rings deep and true. Playing online or together is about connecting with friends, near and far, not winning. The first to remind everyone that it’s just a game. Should this be what makes you a gamer?
Puzzlers. Brain teasers. Overthinking is the enemy. The answer is obvious. It might jump out and bite! The accomplishment of solving that difficult puzzle, often in a deceptively relaxing atmosphere, is unmatched. An exercise for the brain more than the fingers. Is being a gamer so simple?
Strategy. Train the perfect amount of melee troops versus ranged troops. Coordinate attacks to invade an enemy base. Collect resources to craft defenses and fortify walls in preparation of an impending assault. Manage multiple bases and expand until you dominate. Does this sound like a gamer to you?
Survivor. Not satisfied with the comforts other video games provide where the player finds hearts and potions to spare them from death. No, death is waiting around every corner, either from the elements or starvation. The survivalist thrives on starting empty handed. Quite possibly bare naked at the beginning while being hunted. Fight, or flight? Use hands, sticks, and stones to gather enough material to craft clothing and better tools. Tame wild animals, and breed them. Collect supplies to engineer a house before the horde arrives. Against the odds, prosper. Is this what defines a gamer?
Role Playing Games. Character customization at its finest. A sense of adventure. Immersing yourself in the story of a fictional character that you bring to life. Every choice defines them, good or evil. Each decision could alter the fate of the realm or universe. Control which traits and stats to enhance, and which ones to leave behind. Lock picking, dexterity, or charisma? Compare weapons. Take away the best and sell the rest. Is this real gaming?
Tabletop. What’s this? Pen and paper? Cards and cardboard? The game is in your hands and at your fingertips. Often accompanied by lengthy instructions that may not make sense until the situation they describe arises. Board games and card games plus their must have expansions. Gather friends around a table and introduce them to a good time. Build up a team, either in ten minutes or ten hours, to explore dungeons and dragons. Roll the dice for a critical hit and maximum damage. Strategize that next move meticulously, and then move a pawn one space forward. One more time, is this really what it means to be a gamer?
You might be thinking, “Whoa, hold up! That’s a lot!” So, what does it take to be a gamer? Any of this. Maybe you fit into one of these categories. Maybe you fit into multiple, or even all of them. All of us are gamers. We’re not a special breed anymore. There are dozens of genres and subgenres of games. Competitive gaming is being introduced into schools! Embrace your gamer soul, whatever you choose to play. You’re a gamer through and through. You’re one of us.