Thursday, February 04, 2010

Types of Gamers

In my experience there are two types of gamers: sentimental gamers and experience gamers.

Sentimental gamers are those that bought a copy of Gunstar Heroes for their Genesis back in the day, kept the packaging and case and have a room dedicated to their games and assorted paraphernalia.

Experience gamers are the type Gamestop loves, and as far as I'm concerned a "newer" type of gamer. They purchase a game to play it to completion (for the "experience" of playing the game) and they trade in & up to continue experiencing new games at a minimal cost. They don't care about keeping a gray block of plastic with a sticker on it - or in the case of current-gen a DVD case with a disc. Honestly, I never really even knew people did this until around 2006. I mean obviously I'd heard of people trading in games, but 90% of the time with friends and acquaintances they'd only trade in those horrible games that they'd never play again, or once a system-cycle, trade in games from their old system towards a new one or preorder or whatever.

I used to be the former type, keeping every game I purchased, displaying all of my systems proudly, etc, etc. In the past two years or so, however, I started selling every non-current gen game and system I had. Also, over time I started becoming an experiential gamer because games were just CDs/DVDs in a jewel case and, well, accessibility to a cheap DVD burner and ever-cheapening DVD-Rs were much more appealing than potential buyer's regret. While having a "library" room full of carts and CD cases is visually appealing, I have other hobbies that are more aesthetically pleasing that I'd rather fill my empty real estate with (All you otakii know what I'm talkin 'bout).

So what type of gamer are you?


GunStray said...

I dont seem to fit in any of these types, or I probably would be in the subgroup, in between; The sentimental Freeloader, name is pretty much lol, since I mainly download games plus the factor of not spending money and the disposability makes it easier if not riskier.

NaKAhito said...

I beg to differ, as there are more than just these two classes you must remember the obvious ones casual and hardcore gamers. These two are probably what more are categorized as and usually is wrong as there are many categories in between for example, I am classified as an Avid gamer. It is a step below Hardcore and means that I play a wide range of games/genres and am good at most whilst Hardcore tick to the one game and dominate. You must remember that also even though many gamers trade their games back in, it's usually cause the game doesn't have any replay value..what's the point of playing it through the second time if it won't add to the story, give you an alternate ending or even just give you the satisfaction of completing all the goals achieveable? Games like Bayonetta might get a couple goes through just to pick up everything but after thats there's no real reason to play the game again. You alreayd know the story and if you like the gameplay you would just be sure to pick up more games in the future that carry upon that style of gameplay. I'm not disagreeing with you...just adding xD

Karasu-kun said...

@Gunstray: This whole blurb is actually from a comment I left at Kotaku, and I pretty much said I'm the same thing (though I left that part off here, because it seemed out of context XD). I got to that point around the end of the PS1's life cycle and into Dreamcast, and I kinda stopped around 2006 with the PS2. I used to be a total packrat and saved like everything, packaging, instructions, etc. When I started getting more and more into anime & "otaku stuff", those things take up way more space and I had to start socking away games in drawers and systems in the closet, under the bed, etc. I didn't have an overwhelming amount of storage space - still don't, lol. The other part was, I got a CD burner for my birthday in 1999, and high speed internet at college and at home during the summer. Collecting games themselves had kind of an on and off appeal to me, because while I liked the games themselves and the art on the packaging and such, really, what is a physical game more than a blob of grey plastic with a sticker on it, or a CD/DVD? So to experience as much as possible without paying that much I started getting games over IRC and eventually Bittorrent. The Dreamcast was especially easy to play burned stuff on because of the Windows CE architecture. ^^

But yeah, "free games" were a double-edged sword, because I'd get a whole bunch of games for like 2-3 systems and then play each for like 10 min, get bored or think, "I could be playing something else!" and then my attention would be split between 15-20 games. I bothered to get a SwapMagic kit for my PS2, played with that a bit and kinda got out of gaming for a while, mainly because of anime, otaku culture and Danny's site/community (you guys, lol).

So I more or less started offloading all of my games for more space/money to put into figures and such. I still have current gen stuff, but my sentimentality faded and I sold like, Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy II (IV), FF III (VI), and all of my old systems. I kind of started asking myself, "You don't even play your news games, when are you actually going to go back and play Super Mario 3 again?" And not only that, emulators can scratch any itch short of current gen systems if I feel like playing an NES game again. And I actually went out and bought a 360 almost 2 years ago now, but I just buy stuff now, for better or worse I'm no longer a "freeloader". =P

Karasu-kun said...

@NaKA: I encourage disagreement, especially with something that's based purely on my opinion. ^^; But I think we're talking about two different things here. I wasn't really talking about gamers in terms of what they play, or their level of play/commitment, but more of their spending habits and if they give a shit about keeping stuff around because they want to look at the spine of a DVD case on their shelf in satisfaction. Like I have two friends: They both make around the same salary but their ways of gaming are very different. The one has like a 27 inch TV, but he picks up the newest games, plays em to the hilt, returns em and gets more games. He doesn't care if he gets a bonus with a preorder, he just wants to play to experience.

The other guy has a room with library-like shelves with his games stored in alphabetical order, by system, with systems and paraphernalia (he used to work at different game stores here for like almost 10 years so he has a shit ton of posters and advertisements and such)put in strategic places, kinda like most readers would have their rooms set up with Saber figures and Nanoha posters, lol.

Actually, that's a pretty good analogy, I mean there are those people that just go over to crunchyroll or whatever or download fansubs, and merely want to watch anime for the story, or pretty colors or moe moe or whatever. And then there are those who are like me who have a makeshift museum of "goods" that overwhelm their living space because they love characters/anime/manga so much.

Though, through writing this, your argument does kinda mesh with mine pretty well. Because casual gamers, regardless of what they play, generally don't care if they keep their games, let alone collect figures and posters related to their games, etc. But, just like someone who watches an assload of anime every week/month/year doesn't necessarily collect figures or whatever (though I've yet to run into a hardcore otaku that doesn't collect those things ^^;) avid or hardcore gamers don't necessarily keep all their crap, or buy fan-related stuff, either.

Like I said, I think we're having two separate arguments here. I'm just talking about people that "play games to play games" versus those that enshrine their games because they feel a sentimental attachment to their purchases, and really either of those types can be "casual, avid or hardcore", their play style has no bearing on whether they want to keep a copy of Chrono Trigger in a glass case on display for 20 years or sell it on ebay. =P But I totally agree with your definitions of Casual, Avid, Hardcore.