What Should the Definition of a Gamer be?

Posted November 4th, 2013 by Miss Mediocre

Traditionally, it was not a very difficult task to define what a gamer is. The number of different machines on which you could play games on was limited and having access to a gaming machine was quite a privilege. Prior to the nineties, only a small amount of people owned one of the earlier games consoles. At that point, the easiest way to get involved with some fun gaming action would have been to visit an arcade and play the various classic games there. If you were old enough to experience this in the eighties, you’ll undoubtedly be familiar with some of the timeless classics, such as Kong and Space Invaders.

By the time the nineties arrived, the prices of consoles reduced as their quality improved. The Sega Megadrive and the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) were launched around this point, and offered a standard of gaming like never experienced before. At this point, someone who played these consoles and/or arcade machines was considered the definition of a gamer.

The definition of a gamer remained the same for around a decade, while the next generation of consoles were launched. We saw the rise of the Nintendo 64 and the PlayStation 1, which were far more sophisticated than anything we had ever seen before. Around the same time, the first handheld devices began to emerge. Nintendo released their Gameboy, and these became so popular that its players were considered to be gamers, much like the console players. Some time later, the next generation of consoles came out: the PlayStation 2 and the Xbox.

About a decade ago, we began to enter the next age of console gaming, which was mainly marked by the rise of online gaming. Being able to connect to other players over the internet has opened up a world of possibilities in the gaming industry, and this became the area in which the ‘hardcore gamers’ veered towards.

The most recent major shift in the general gaming industry was initiated by the launch of Apple’s first iPhone. This was the start of the smartphone era, and they have developed significantly since then. As they have improved, they have been able to support more powerful and sophisticated games. Not only are the games more complex, the smart phone technology allows for HD graphics too. The fact that smartphones are always connected to internet means that players can compete in games against people across the world! Being able to access games from a mobile device has appealed to people who would not otherwise buy and play games. As the mobile gaming industry continues to grow, its players are becoming recognized as ‘gamers’ in a similar way to console gamers.

The trends in the market are also helped by the high prices which it costs to buy and update games. Buy a game on the PlayStation 3 and you could easily end up spending £100 once you have bought all of the update packs. This is unaffordable for many, which has led to more and more people trying out mobile games, which can often be trialled for free and purchased for a couple of pounds.

The surge of internet-connected mobile games has allowed the rise of mobile gambling apps. People wanting to make a bet can easily place a wager instantly from the convenience of their mobile phones. The days are gone where you have to go down to a bookmaker shop to try to win some money. Today, there are so many mobile casino apps available for you to choose from. If you visit mobile-casinos.org.uk, you can find some detailed information on the best casino apps on mobile phone. There is a whole range of different online gambling apps available, depending on what you are into. There are loads of apps for playing bingo, poker, casino games and placing sports bets. Just take a look around on sites like www.boomtownbingo.com/bingo-mega-review it’s almost an epidemic of choice.  As time goes on and smartphones continue to replace computers, these apps are only going to increase in popularity we will see more and more of them appearing on the app market.

With an ever evolving gaming landscape, it is difficult to put a specific definition on what a gamer is. We need to accept gaming in all of its forms.

2 Responses to “What Should the Definition of a Gamer be?”

  1. dusty

    very well written, i believe everyone is a “gamer” to some extent…everyone…

    if u look at the term athlete and then look at how many people could qualify as an athlete such as the different sports (hockey, basketball, soccer-futbol, football etc.) levels of sports (recreational, semi pro, pro) and other events (snow boarding, ping pong, and even now video games) you can see that the definition of an athlete is very broad.

    now if u take the term “gamer,” you could start at the standard video game genre that most people think about, and then sub categorize it by hardcore and casual, but a lot of people forget about people that play other types of games, such as board games, card games, tabletop games, all of these are typically considered “games” thus the people that partake in these games should be considered “gamers” just on a differernt medium.

    sry again for long posts, i guess im just agreeing with you and stating that labels can be placed on anything and its all a matter of individual perception. when enough people share the same perception or view about a particular topic is when you see the mainstream label take effect. I like to view everyone as a gamer because we all do or have played a type a game that has kept us amused at one point in time or another, even if it was on a different medium other than video games…. =D

  2. Miss Mediocre

    dusty : I’m glad to hear you enjoyed the post and your comparison of athletes and gamers is right on!

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