The term gamer refer to players of video games. It is commonly used to identify those who spend much of their leisure time playing or learning about games. The following is a list of different types of gamers.

Casual Gamer[]

Main article: Casual gamer

"Casual gamer" is a loosely defined term used to describe a type of video game player whose time or interest in playing games is limited compared with a hardcore gamer. Casual gamers can conceivably consist of any people who show more than a passing interest in video games, therefore it is difficult to categorize them as a group. For this reason, games which attempt to appeal to the casual player tend to strive for simple rules and ease of game play, the goal being to present a pick-up-and-play experience that people from any age group or skill level could enjoy.[1][2][3][4][5] Casual gaming demographics also vary greatly from those of traditional computer games, as the typical casual gamer is older and more predominantly female,[6][7] with over 74% of those purchasing casual games being women.[8].

Hardcore Gamer[]

Main article: Hardcore gamer

Hardcore gamer is a widely used term applied to describe a type of video game player. There is currently no unanimously agreed upon definition for the term. Some describe hardcore gamers as those whose leisure time is largely devoted to playing video games. This type of gamer prefers to take significant time and practice on games, in contrast to a casual gamer. Many hardcore gamers pride themselves on mastering the rules or use of a game, although this is not a strict requirement. Conflicting opinion argues that it is not so much the time spent on games however, as casual gamers can spend hundreds of hours on games without ever mastering them. Competition is another defining characteristic of hardcore gamers, who often compete in organized tournaments, leagues, or ranked play integrated into the game proper. In this light, professional gamers can be seen as an extreme example of hardcore gaming.


There is often confusion about what a hardcore gamer is. The term is often used to differentiate between types of hardcore gamers by such things as the amounts of time invested playing, the amount of money spent on gaming, how competitive the player is, preference for player versus player or player versus environment, game style or gameplay preference, or even the type of computer or console equipment used.

Of hardcore gamers, Nintendo's Charlie Scibetta said "They're usually the early adopters that want to get the latest version of something, and they'll be the ones that put it through its paces the hardest and give us all kind of feedback and tell us what they like and don't like."[9] :O jjsdbgueskdgbsghgbsgbzsgs gy sgek

Sometimes the term depends on a player's skill level as opposed to time invested in the game. This makes the definition a bit hazy, as some players are really good at certain games despite only intermittently playing them, whereas some players invest a lot of time into games but struggle to master them. Some hardcore gamers often refer to themselves as a Video Game Enthusiasts, for which their Hobbies and/or interests are revolved around Video Games, such as; Collecting rare games and consoles, figurines, and video game apparel.

Relationship with casual gaming[]

In general, hardcore gamers have a disdain for games or consoles targeted at casual gamers; the Wii for example.[10] Although Nintendo had strong casual gamer support during the seventh-generation era, it has attempted to re-target its "core" gamers with titles such as MadWorld[10] and the handheld console DSi.[9]

Certain hardcore gamers are sometimes inaccurately labeled as casual gamers, often in a derogatory way, because of this differentiation even though they prefer playing games which are designed for hardcore gamers.[citation needed] This is common among MMORPG players where there is a demand for many different gameplay styles (e.g., solo play, quests, PvP, raid content, crafting) within a single game but limited developer ability to deliver all of them.[citation needed]


Main article: Newbie

This is gamer slang for a player who is new or inexperienced. Two derived terms are "newb", a beginner who is willing to learn; and "noob", a derogatory name (an alternate spelling for noob is n00b).[11] The latter term was considered as the one-millionth English word by the Global Language Monitor.[12]

Pro gamer[]

Main article: Pro gamer

A Professional gamer plays video games for money.[13] (The term electronic sports is used to describe the play of video games as a professional sport.) Whether a professional gamer is a subtype of the hardcore gamer largely depends on the degree to which a professional gamer is financially dependent upon the income derived from gaming. So far as a professional gamer is financially dependent upon gaming, the time spent playing is no longer "leisure" time. In countries of Asia, particularly South Korea and Japan, professional gamers are sponsored by large companies and can earn more than $100,000USD a year, in addition to the following that some obtain.[14]. In the United States, Major League Gaming has contracted Electronic Sports Gamers with $250,000USD yearly deals.[15]

Import Gamer[]

Main article: Import gamers

A gamer who enjoys playing or collecting video games produced internationally. The most common imports are from Japan, although some European and Japanese gamers purchase games from North America. Depending on the gaming platform involved, these gamers may use devices such as modchips, boot disks, and/or Gamesharks to bypass regional lockout protection on the software, though some prefer to purchase imported consoles. A number of these gamers import games that fall into genres generally not released outside of Japan, such as dating sims or anime/manga-based licensed games.

Retrogamer, classic gamer, old-school gamer[]

Main article: Retrogaming

"Retrogamer" is a gamer preferring playing and collecting retro games - older computer, video, and arcade games. The term retrogamer is used mostly in the United Kingdom and Europe, while the terms classic gamer, or old-school gamer are more prevalent in the United States. The games are played either on the original hardware, on modern hardware via emulation, or on modern hardware via ports or compilations.[16]

Girl gamer[]

Main article: Girl gamer

A girl gamer describes a female who regularly engages in the playing of video games, role-playing games, or other games (colloquially referred to as "gaming"). This can be from the most casual interest to the most serious professional gaming.

Women in gaming[]

The role of women in the games industry- as professionals and as consumers- has received extensive academic and business attention[attribution needed] in the past few years[when?]. Women represent approximately half the population but buy a small share of all video games.[citation needed] Finding the reasons for, and changing the content and how games are advertised to attract and change the percent of women buying games drives a lot of professionals to research and find solutions to improve the gaming industry. Many available articles argue for the improvement of the gaming industry to appeal to a more general audience and for females in particular [17].

The great majority of the people, who work on game development teams are males [18], particularly in the technical fields such as programming. Various reasons for this have been debated[attribution needed], but some companies[attribution needed] have made a concerted effort to recruit more women to create more balanced teams. The motivation behind these efforts is sometimes ethical, sometimes culture-based, and sometimes based on the desire to create games that will appeal more toward women.[original research?]

StudiesTemplate:Which? have shown that women tend to play games with less emphasis on violence and more focus on cooperation. However, a study done in 2002 by Jupiter/ IPSOS , found that teen females spend 30% of their gaming time playing action/adventure genres.[citation needed] The same question asked to adult players finds that women spend 26% of their gaming time playing the same genre of games.[citation needed]

Girl gamers as a demographic[]

According to a survey done in 2004 by the Entertainment Software Association, 25 percent of console players and 39 percent of PC game players are women. Also, 40 percent of online game players are women, these numbers, however, include casual games.[19] According to another study conducted by the Entertainment Software Association in 2009, 40% of the game playing population is female, and women 18 or older now comprise 34% of all gamers. Also, the percentage of women now playing online has risen to 43%, up 4% from 2004. The same study shows that 48% of game purchasers are female (Entertainment Software Association)[20]. Despite this large and growing number, many gaming companies and also many gamers[attribution needed] fail to accept and acknowledge females as gamers and as consumers or employees in the gaming industry.[citation needed] In recognition of the importance of this issue, the International Game Developers Association (an association of companies and individuals in the games industry) has formed a special interest group on Women in Game Development. This is an active field of discussion and a topic in many conferences in the video gaming industry.[citation needed]


  1. Magrino, Tom, GameStop: Casual gamers spurring hardcore holiday sales, GameSpot, Sep 11, 2007, Accessed 3 May 2008
  2. Boyes, Emma, GDC '08: Are casual games the future?, GameSpot, Feb 18, 2008, Accessed May 3, 2008
  3. Surette, Tim to target casual gamers, GameSpot, Aug 11, 2005, Accessed May 3, 2008
  4. Surette, Tim, Casual gamer gets serious prize, GameSpot, Sep 12, 2006, Accessed May 3, 2008
  5. Thorsen, Tor, Microsoft rolling out Xbox Live Arcade, GameSpotMay 11, 2004, Accessed May 3, 2008
  6. Wolverton, Troy (2007-08-23). "Women driving 'casual game' boom". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved 2007-10-13. 
  7. Tams, Jessica,Gamer Demographics, Emarketer, April 13, 2007, Accessed May 3, 2008
  8. "Casual Games Market Report 2007". Casual Games Association. 2007-10-29. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 Paul Govan. "All hail the Nintendo DSi". Retrieved 2009-04-09. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 Ben Carrozza (April 8, 2009). "It's a mad, MadWorld in Wii hardcore game". Canwest News Service. Retrieved 2009-04-09. "Two years after its release, the Nintendo Wii has a reputation in hardcore gamer circles as a party favour at best and a glorified toy at worst." 
  11. Anna Vander Broek (2009-04-23). "Gamer Speak for Newbs". Forbes. Retrieved 2010-02-16. 
  12. Moore, Matthew (6 May 2009). "One millionth English word could be 'defriend' or 'noob'". Retrieved 2010-02-16. 
  13. 'Fatal1ty' article at CBS News
  16. "NES Classics: retro gaming, at a price: Page 1". Retrieved 2008-04-14. 
  17. Rosen, Jill. “The gender divide: video-gaming has been largely a man’s- or boy’s- world, but with games by and for women, that’s starting to change.” Sun. Baltimore September, 2008, Md.:C.1. Print.
  18. Garner, Beth. "GDC Q&A: Women's advocate, industry hero, Sheri Graner Ray." 14 March 2005: n. pag. Web. 19 Nov 2009. <>
  19. Merripen, Clarinda. "Increasing The Bottom Line: Women's Market Share." Game Developer. 01 Feb 2005. 16. eLibrary. ProQuest LLC. ART INSTITUTE OF SEATTLE. 11 Nov 2009. <>.
  20. The Entertainment Software Association - Home Page. Web. 19 Nov. 2009. <>

See also[]

  • Video game culture
  • Gamer
  • Import gamers
  • Player (game)