Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Geek Rant Topic 03: Hardcore Gamers or "No True Gamer"

When all else fails, you call Mousa the 14, that one ranting geek.

I have a passing interest of gamers. And by that I mean I watch these guys on a regular basis. Danny Floyd and The Overthinker have helped refined my view of gamers, Same with this guy. He is awesome.

With my influences out of the way, time to talk about the core gamers. You see, Hardcore Gamer is a term that has lost it's meaning nowadays. I remember once upon a time, in a more innocent time, I had friends who considered themselves to be hardcore gamers and I was labeled casual. This was appropriate, I didn't play as much as them. They played a lot. They got 100% completions, they knew how to "wave dash", they knew how to combo, all that stuff. They were real hardcore gamers. They kept up with releases, knew the rumors, knew what was fake, cared about graphics and all that stuff. They cared about all that stuff. Me? I could barely keep up.

However that golden age of true hardcore gamer has gone and the name has been passed on to a different sort of gamers,a vocal minority who make it into the news, who get all the coverage. The ones Sony and Microsoft are pandering to. These new "Hardcore" gamers were of a different breed. They took hardcore for something completely different. They were immature, some young, some middle aged, but they were all insecure and masculinity obsessed guys. They took hardcore to be "Masculine", "Virile", "EPIC", all that jazz. They wanted these things and these things only:

1) First Person Shooters or anything similar. Sometimes Third person actions will do so long as it's dark and edgy.
2) Military Games
3) Games to be Darker and Edgier and Grim and Gritty.
4) The Women needed to be Hotter and Sexier
5) Their protagonist needed to be a personality deficient musclebound white guy with a perma-stubble and an attitude.
5a) Or the Protagonist was the first guy's personality deficient armored and faceless cousin who presumably looks like the first guy.
6) Everything needs to be Brown and Gray, no Primary colors because that's gay!
7) The setting? Only Battle torn or post-apocalyptic will do.

I described more games than I care to count and while games that fit this mold aren't necessarily bad, I mean, Prototype is pretty good, I have no real qualms with the Call of Duty games besides the fact they're not my thing, and apparently Everyone Loves Metal Gear Solid. My problem is that the industry seems to be bending over backwards for this immature crowd's standard because... I don't know. They're the most vocal? They're older and therefore have more disposable income maybe? The point is that Sony and Microsoft seem to be bending over backwards against innovation, original characters, and using the entire color spectrum in order to make similar stuff that, on occasion, isn't all that interesting or catering to a group too small. These guys aren't the real Hardcore gamers, they think they are but they aren't.

These faux Hardcore gamers are an insecure bunch, most of who grew up with gaming and now they refuse to believe their favorite media isn't growing up with them. They refuse to believe that their game systems are toys and when they game they play with toys! It's not an insult, it's a fact, but they take it as an insult to their maturity, their age, and their intellect. And ironically, they regress by going over the top with high school varsity football homophobic macho testosterone fueled machismo in a rage and immaturity so great they make Chuck Norris look like a little girl. It's sad really that these are the guys we stick the modern day "hardcore" label to.

My annoyance grows more only because you can just tell these are the hardcore gamers Sony and Microsoft are pandering to. Have you seen a Playstation3/Portable ad lately? Those things are an insult to our intelligence as geeks and as true hardcore gamers. You haven't yet? Go look one up, YouTube is readily available and all, go on, I dare you. Adding "Sassy black boy" in the search descriptor might help too.

You back? Seen them? Now you see where I'm getting at here. Th tough guy attitude, the "hip" lingo, it's like they're not even trying. They think gamers are the Faux Hardcores and ergo treating us like we're idiots.

If I sound like I'm ragging a lot on Sony and Microsoft, it's because I'm really not seeing this issue with Nintendo. Sure they have their problems, what with all the shovelware, the excess in mindless kiddie games, all that stuff but it still dishes out a lot of good games with a palette that is wider than what Sony and Microsoft tend to make themselves out to be. Yeah they have their kiddie stuff, their moderate stuff, their stuff that uses the entire color spectrum, But you cannot deny what their claim to fame is and that's trying to pander to the Faux Hardcore gamers.

Why is it those faux hardcores and portions of the gaming industry don't realize that being a "hardcore" or "casual" gamer, (or, shall I say "Skill Players" and "tourists" to be more accurate) has nothing to do with the type of games you play but how you play them. The guy who does the gamer taxonomy I linked above already talks about that. It's about either you play games because you want to develop a useless skill because you derive fun form being an expert or because you just want to have fun

Anyhow, that's my thoughts on the Faux Hardcore gamers, how they have destroyed the definition of a true Hardcore gamer, and why they matter. Now if you will excuse me, I must rustle up some cash, I need to find me a backwards compatible PS3.

-Good Bye, Good Luck, and Imagination Is Your Greatest Power.
Mousa The 14

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