The nerd community media, by which I mean the social media sites that
generate humorous pictures and the media sites that comment on social media
and humorous pictures would have you believe that video game lovers are a
nation divided; that somehow a line can be drawn between “serious” or “real”
gamers and so-called “casual” gamers.
But what do these arbitrary divisions even mean?
The Internet would have you believe that “real gamers” only play multi-hour
marathons of games that require endless hours of game play to conclude. That
somehow you’re only a “real gamer” if you play Call of Duty or Assassin’s
Creed to the exclusion of sleep, nutrition and personal hygiene.
The Internet would have you believe that if it isn’t on a console like
XBOX360 or Playstation 3 that it’s not a “real” game. That somehow being
played on your phone or tablet makes it not a “real” game and makes you not
a “real” gamer.
The Internet says so, so it must be true, right?
To counter that, I’d like to introduce Exhibit A: my wife. According to the
Gamer Nerd Media, she falls squarely into the demographic that gets labelled
as the “casual gamer.”
Which is silly, because all that really means is that she prefers her iPhone
and iPad for gaming over consoles.
That aside, she’s as serious a gamer as they come. She puts a huge amount of
time and effort into levelling up and beating the puzzle and car racing
games she’s so keen on.
There’s two key metrics I can use to gauge her commitment to video games:
there’s the stream of profanity coming from her spot on the sofa when a
game’s not going her way, and there’s the email pings I get from my iTunes
account when she’s tired of the old games and bought a new one.
Not that she’s alone in the household. Like all guys my age, I grew up with
arcade games and home consoles.
But I don’t have time to sit on the couch and play my way through long,
“real” console games. There’s that whole “work for a living” thing, you
But that doesn’t mean I don’t get my game on anymore.
Far from it. I’ve put a lot of time into throwing birds at pigs, racing
laps, and, for several months, levelling up and unlocking all the rewards
and achievements on Jetpack Joyride on my iPad (please don’t send me
hatemail after you’re hooked on playing it).
Casual gamer? I don’t think so.