Note: This article was written with York University in mind, meaning it makes a few references to Societies and places that might not make as much sense otherwise. Also, the badass artwork was drawn by a dude called Drinks; who has a DeviantArt account. Check him out and stuff.
Playing video games as a hobby is big. Bigger than you'd expect.Enthusiasts span so many social scenes and preferences, you can never be sure if the person you're chatting to is one of those 'Gamers' you hear so much about. But never fear! I'll share with you some of my never-before-seen research on some of the many species of Gamer in existence, and where to find them in York. Happy Hunting!
"Retro Gamer" (Nostalgia Oldschoolus)
Clinging on to the remnants of Gaming's past, Retro Gamers eschew the modern releases for the nostalgic games of their youth. Depending on how old the Retro Gamer is, what qualifies as old-school enough varies. As a rule of thumb, if you play it on a cartridge, you're in the right era.
Appearance: The Retro Gamer proudly displays graphic tees displaying their gaming heritage. Alas, no one considers a t-shirt that says "Two Girls, 1-Up" to be tasteful. Ever.
Games of Choice: The classics of yesteryear (Mischief Makers [N64], Snatcher [MSX], Super Metroid [SNES])
Indie Games that embrace retro elements (Cave Story [PC/WII], La Mulana [PC/WII], Braid [360/PS3/PC])
Where Found: Trawling Gamestation and the Market for rare Second-Hand gems. But since game stores are stocking games from old platforms less and less these days, Retro Gamers are most likely resort to eBay instead.
Do Say: "I still own a Super Nintendo."
Don't Say: "Music in Videogames is just beeps and bloops."
"The Competitive" (Metagameus Antiscrub)
These guys don't just play games for fun, they play to win. The best scores, the best Kill:Death ratio and of course the best computer are all accolades to be reached - and then rubbed in the faces of those beneath them. Not bad people, just rather over-enthusiastic (and often 'sore winners').
Appearance: The Competitive tends to put comfort over fashion in their standard attire. If it's black or baggy, they own it.
Games of Choice: First Person Shooters (Team Fortress 2 [PC], Halo Reach , Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 [360/PS3/PC])
Fighting (Super Street Fighter 4 [360/PS3], King of Fighters XII [360/PS3], Blazblue: Continuum Shift [360/PS3])
Where Found: Competitives are more prevailant online than in real life, but we have our own group of them as Frag Soc.
Do Say: "What's your Gamerscore on Xbox Live?"
Don't Say: "Dude, it's just a game..."
Japanophile Gamer (Pokii Kawaiius)
Overlapping with the other popular nerdy interest in watching Anime and reading Manga, the Japanese Gamer has a heavy interest in all things from the land of the Rising Sun. But sometimes they can take it to an extreme and be a bit incomprehensible to others. But don't fear! I'm sure they have the best intentions... most of the time.
Appearance: Females wear bright colours to attact mates. Males may lean towards the overly tight or overly elaborate. Large gatherings of Japanese Gamers result costmes reflecting widely worshipped figures in their society, including "Naruto", "Link", and "Solid Snake".
Games of Choice: Japanese RPGs (Final Fantasy IX [PS1], Persona 4 [PS2], Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep [PSP])
Where Found: If York had an Arcade, they'd be there. Otherwise found in Oriental restaurants. Weekly gatherings at the Anime & Manga Society.
Do Say: "Goku could totally destroy Superman in a fight."
Don't Say: "Superman could totally destroy Goku in a fight."
Casual Gamer (Socialite Neophyte)
Will only play games from time to time, maybe even keeping the hobby a semi-secret. But when it comes to their game of choice, a whole different side is revealed; one that played Plants Vs. Zombies for 15 hours straight one weekend... Male variant is actually somewhat less prevalent these days, and favours the latest FIFA or Call of Duty release to Wii Sports and Super Smash Bros.
Appearance: Masters of blending in, they look just like everyone else.
Games of Choice: Multiplayer/Party Games (Mario Kart Wii [WII], Rock Band 3 [To Be Released, PS3/360/WII])
Sports (FIFA 2011 [MULTI], NBA Jam [MULTI], Pro Evo 2011 [MULTI])
Where Found: Find any large group of people, and there'll be a Casual Gamer hid among them somewhere. Can be found playing a DS or PSP while on the bus or train, secretly hoping someone will ask them what game they're playing.
Do Say: "Let's have a few drinks at my place and play Wii Sports."
Don't Say: "You wouldn't be interested in this game; it's kind of obscure."
High Fantasy Gamer (Tolkinus Eladrin)
The Proto-Gamer; this species has been around before video games even existed. Often enjoying the escapism of fantasy settings as opposed to competitive elements or an inherent sexy/gore factor. They tend to keep to themselves a lot, but are friendly enough.
Appearance: Trenchcoats. Big-brimmed hats. If it's imposing and dramatic, it'll be favoured. They'd wear full-plate armour to lectures, if they could get away with it.
Games of Choice: Western RPGs (Fallout New Vegas , Mass Effect 2 [360/PS3], Dragon Age: Origins [360/PS3])
Traditional and Paper Games (Dungeons & Dragons, Magic: The Gathering, Scrabble)
Where Found: Fairly shy towards those outside their Species, most are found in hobby shops (such as the Travelling Man), while a few select individuals may be found in open fields, hitting eachother with foam weapons. Approach these with light caution, lest you be mistaken for an Orc and (harmlessly) clubbed into submission. Can be found as part of the SciFi & Fantasy Society, natch.
Do Say: "Is that a d20 in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?"
Don't Say: "Sci-Fi and Fantasy are pretty much the same thing, right?"
"The Neckbeard" (Repulsus Trollia)
A thankfully minor Species, the The Neckbeard takes their Gaming hobby to the point of elitism.
Appearance: Poor amount of attention paid to appearance (and possibly hygeine); identifiable by a scraggly beard going beyond the chin and starting to take over the neck. Consequently, there are extremely few female Neckbeards. It is unknown if this is the cause or the result of Neckbeard behaviour.
Games of Choice: Varies, but The Neckbeard will be guaranteed to say a harsh thing or two about the games you enjoy.
Where Found: Incredibly rare to find in the wild; will barely ever stray from their cave. However, they are incredibly prevailant on the Internet. Will either be extremely hostile or extremely skittish if approached.
Do Say: ~Data Unknown~
Don't Say: Most discussion will incite sudden rage or fear in a Neckbeard.
And here's the article in Published form. It's abridged somewhat: