Anatomy of a Hardcore Gamer

Practically everyone you know has by now played some form of video game, thanks to a combination of cheap handheld gaming devices, games on cellular phones, and the constantly expanding social networks that provide built-in gaming alongside the surfing for status updates and incriminating photographs. Very few of us, however, can genuinely consider ourselves among the ranks of the hardcore gamers, the so-called elite denizens of the gaming universe. Though there is some disagreement over what exactly constitutes a hardcore gamer, both the video game industry and the public have come to associate the term with someone who (a) eats, drinks and poops video games; and (b) has a tendency to be rather active, both vocally and otherwise, in the video gaming community as a whole. These are the guys (and girls) who have finished every level of Kill Everything in Sight, on Dear God in Heaven Save Me difficulty. These are the folks who have found every last secret item and dungeon, often by logging hundreds of hours that saner people would spend on less important things like eating and sleeping. One wonders what makes a hardcore gamer, defines him or her as one of our virtual entertainment elite. Having known a few hardcore gamers in my lifetime, and being repeatedly humiliated by their superior skill, I suppose I can offer a few insights into this modern human...

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