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First Person Shooters (Games) Role Playing (Games) Entertainment Games

What Type Of Gamer Are You? 66

Thanks to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer (via for their article trying to characterize gamers into visual stereotypes. It starts: "It used to be that if you played video games more than casually you were labeled a nerd... Nerds, as an easily identified social group, don't exist anymore.", and goes on to describe "clans of specialist gamers" such as 'Survival horror junkie' ("Think goth kid from the '80s meets skate punk... the color for this season is black, black, and more black") or 'RPG obsessive' ("Little has changed with the outward appearance of role-playing game fans since the golden age of 'Dungeons and Dragons'") Is this simply lazy/offensive pigeonholing, or can you spot certain gamers on sight alone?
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What Type Of Gamer Are You?

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  • Is this a joke? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PurpleFloyd ( 149812 ) <> on Sunday August 24, 2003 @12:16AM (#6776002) Homepage
    First of all, while it's possible to identify what types of games people might play by their clothing and demeanor, the games are more an outgrowth of that personal style rather than the primary contributor to that style. For example, a Goth might be a fan of survival horror, and a frat boy might be a fan of sports games, but the reason they play those games is because of their personal style; they don't start out "normal," play those games, then develop a style based around that.

    Second, what in the hell is going on with the description of FPS fans? The author seems to think that anyone who plays FPS games like Counterstrike or UT2k3 will become a military junkie/extreme right wing survivalist. As a fairly avid Counterstrike player and someone so far to the left Noam Chomsky would call me a pinko commie bastard, I can say decisively that this is not true. Many of my friends play FPS games, and we certainly don't obsess over guns or military jargon. While people who have an obsession with all things military in the first place are probably drawn to FPS games, people who play FPS games casually or even competitively are not going to be transformed into military killing machines. Quite simply, the author is smoking some good shit. I want some.

    • I don't know, the author says that today's serious, dyed-in-the-wool gamers have their own uniforms and codes of conduct.. He's not trying to make sweeping generalisations and stereotypes -- he's just saying that you can usually visually identify the hardcore gamers. Hardcore Tony Hawk players are usually skaters themselves. Hardcore Ghost Recon players are usually interested in the military. That's all he's saying.
      • Re:Is this a joke? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by PurpleFloyd ( 149812 ) <> on Sunday August 24, 2003 @12:36AM (#6776053) Homepage
        I know several people who could easily be described as "serious, dyed-in-the wool" players of games like Counterstrike, Ghost Recon, and America's Army, and they don't act anything like the author describes (dressing in camoflauge, describing everything in terms of military jargon). Basically, they're normal people who spend time and money on military FPSes rather than stamp collecting or model trains. While some people who are "hardcore" gamers probably are identifiable, I'd say that there are far more who aren't. Next time you walk down the street, see if there's anyone you can peg as a "hardcore military game player" or a "hardcore sports game player." I'd put money on you not being able to find any. While many people game as a hobby, very few allow it to take over their life. The author's premise is totally off base.
        • Re:Is this a joke? (Score:2, Interesting)

          by jargonCCNA ( 531779 )
          Basically, they're normal people who spend time and money on military FPSes rather than stamp collecting or model trains.

          I wouldn't call that "dyed-in-the-wool" behaviour. That's just having a hobby. I'm a dyed-in-the-wool hacker -- I've been using computers for, literally, time out of mind (goofing around on VIC-20s is among my earliest memories. Possibly my first.) and it's all I can see myself doing. I'm skinny, lanky guy with elongated fingers and a mildly shitty back. I'm surprised my vision and wri
    • Feh.

      You have spoken correctly. I think if anyone plays some violent 1:1 fighter or FPS, and goes on a rampage, there's something seriously wrong with that person mentally. I play 1:1 fighters regularly (including the user-extensible fighter MUGEN []) and some of the ones I play are quite graphic. A person doesn't play a game and set out to emulate the game by going on a violent rampage, unless that person is mentally ill.

  • hmm (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bobbozzo ( 622815 ) on Sunday August 24, 2003 @12:21AM (#6776018)
    Is this simply lazy/offensive pigeonholing...

    Imho, yes.

    I've played "shooters" (CS, GTA:VC (which I do NOT consider a shooter), Quake2, Doom(s), Hitman, 1942...), platforms (Prince of Persia 1 & 2, ...), "arcade sims" (NFS, Comanche, Apache, Falcon 2, Aces over the Pacific, Red Baron, subs, ...), some RPGs, ...

    I don't wear camo, cargo pants, or t-shirts, and my reflexes suck (I rarely do especially well at CS, but I still love it).

    I haven't (yet) played paintball, although I do shoot & hunt occasionally. Never even seen a Jane's book, although I have heard about them due to the Jane's flight sims.

    Sniper was one of the worst movies I have ever seen. Thank god I didn't pay for it. I loved Starship Troopers though.

    I don't know what a "Survival Horror" is (I've never seen any of the Resident Evil games, etc., but DoomIII looks like it will be fun, if that counts.

    Basically, the author couldn't think of anything to write, so he wrote this? And he totally left out sims (no, not The Sims, although he left them out too, along with RTS's).

    • I'm plotting out a game that's a cross between a sim and an MMORPG, just because I think it's possible.

      My taste in games is relatively diverse: it includes 1:1 fighters (SSF2 Turbo, Mortal Kombat, Samurai Shodown), run and jump platformers (Super Mario Bros. games, up through Super Mario World), side-scrolling beat-em-ups (Sailor Moon R), RPGs (Dragon Warrior, Destiny of an Emperor, Pokemon Crystal), text games (Zork), FPSes (Wolfenstein 3-D, Doom) and a number of others, like Ka-Blooey aka Bombuzal.

      Do I
  • by Attaturk ( 695988 ) on Sunday August 24, 2003 @12:40AM (#6776060) Homepage
    Takes a sterotype to know a stereotype. Now let's see...

    "It used to be that if you wrote tired copy for dodgy online 'journalism' you were labeled a hack. That was before the seedy and drunk took sweet revenge on corporate America with their Media degrees and bullshit fluency. But even with fat arses they still went unnoticed all too often; socially inept and most at ease alone in front of a monitor.

    Low tier journalists were - and still are - a lonely bunch."
    I used to be a journalist. I think I'm venting something here - humor me.


    P.S. I bet he hates being misquoted too. ;-)
  • by magores ( 208594 ) on Sunday August 24, 2003 @12:44AM (#6776071) Journal
    All this time, I thought I was hiding my RPG-geekness from the world, and now some guy has figured out the fact that I wear a loincloth and carry a 2-handed bastard sword actually means something!

    Shh... Don't tell those guys at work about this. You know, the ones that are wearing the camo pants and carrying big guns.

  • Shooter enthusiast, although I don't have the characteristic gut that was mentioned in the article. I almost got one, but that is because I spent a hot summer as a software engineer. The hot part is significant because it was too hot and humid to run/bike.
    From my LAN party experience, shooter enthusiasts are tall and skinny.
    My vice is Battlefield 1942, but I've been on the bandwagon since Doom 2...followed by Duke Nukem 3D, Shadow Warrior, and Unreal/UT.
    It is possible for gamers to have normal lives!! My
  • by Milkhorse ( 700543 ) on Sunday August 24, 2003 @12:55AM (#6776095)
    consoles destroyed the nerd strangelhold on gaming. 15 years ago when you HAD to have a PC to play the GOOD GOOD high tech games, being a nerd was a prerequisite to being a serious gamer, because you had to invest a lot of money in a computer that most people had no need for AND you had to havet the expertise to run it. Once consoles caught up with PCs in terms of gaming power(which wasnt too long ago), all of that ended. Now ANYONE can pretty much play any game they can wrap their brains around. I work for a "large multimedia rental chain" and I can tell you the people coming in to rent games are NOT nerds.
  • RTS'er (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 24, 2003 @12:56AM (#6776097)
    I can just picture an RTS'er like myself...

    Physical characteristics: The typical penny pincher, only spending their hard mined gold or vespan gas on what they really need.
    Other distinguishing characteristics:You can always point them out in a crowd...because they are always pointing at other people giving commands and hot grouping those with like characteristics.
    When not playing games, most likely to be: Framing their signed PGL card of Tillerman.
    Least likely to be: Anything unorganized, lacking any well balanced activities, or involving people who have no idea what they are doing (newbies).
    Favorite movies: Warcraft3 Replays
    Dream Job: Whip cracker, Hive Mind, or any general managing position.

    As you can see, I really had no idea what to put as in the case of this article...soooooo I just filled in the blanks with random crap! I should be a journalist too!
  • He missed by a large degree on age range for RPG fans. This may have been written by a high school student and seeing a narrow view of the world because its not even close to what I have seen. So much for research.
  • Everquest (Score:4, Funny)

    by cybermage ( 112274 ) on Sunday August 24, 2003 @01:22AM (#6776169) Homepage Journal
    Is this simply lazy/offensive pigeonholing, or can you spot certain gamers on sight alone?

    I don't know if it works for all types of gamers, but I've been able to recognize friends who've gotten into Everquest by their sudden, prolonged absense. Does that count?
  • But "hard-core" survival horror players aside....

    Anybody who lists Resident Evil among their favourite movies has GOT to have serious issues and an all-round hatred of life.

    Either that, or they REALLY need to see more movies.
  • pigeonholed (Score:4, Insightful)

    by evilWurst ( 96042 ) on Sunday August 24, 2003 @01:53AM (#6776275) Journal
    How many people like only one kind of gaming and have only one hobby? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

    Yeah, that's what I thought. This reads like it was written in the early 90s, and the "author" merely updated the names of a few games. It was narrow-minded then, and it's narrow-minded now.
  • We play the only games out : Quake 3 Wolfenstein Neverwinter Nights UT 2003 Windows XP It seems like a common trend ... Shoot people or hack people or kill hard drives.
  • by DarkZero ( 516460 ) on Sunday August 24, 2003 @03:47AM (#6776574)
    So people that like horror are goths, people that like things dealing with the military are gun-toting right wing nutjobs, and sports fans are obsessed with... sports. Wow, that's some great Comedy By Numbers you've got there, Mr. Taves. Did you pull it out of a "What type of movie-goer are you?" article from 1970 or did you take a trip to the library and find a "What type of reader are you?" article from an 1880 newspaper archive?

    I wish I could get a job plagiarizing the same oft-plagiarized hunk of bullshit that's been kicking around the journalism industry for longer than any of us can remember. I bet it's a really fun job, like being a taste tester at a cookie factory, or one of those jackasses that gets their name on TV by calling movies "thrill rides" or "a tour de force".
  • I've spent two years behind the counter, and I can't say I've met any of those people. No, not even the roleplayers. Some day everyone will cotton on to the fact that gamers are people. That's all. 99.999999% of gamers are office workers with happy partners and no social problems. And massive paycheques, from the look of it. They don't use games to make a statment about themselves; they're just having some fun.
  • I'n none of the gamers mentioned in the article. I do, however, spend quite a lot of time playing adventure games. After a few years in coma, it seems like this genre is coming 'round again, fortunately for me and lots of others. Yesterday I learned that Jane Jensen (the author of the fantastic Gabriel Knight series) is making an adventure game for The Adventure Company. [] And there's a new Tex Murphy adventure in the works too. Check The Unofficial Tex Murphy Website [] for details.
  • by MaverickUW ( 177871 ) on Sunday August 24, 2003 @05:50AM (#6776796)
    If you look up Mr Taves at the Seattle PI [] you'd find he's actually the video game columnist. And I have to add one thing, the article did a bad job of quoting the article.

    If you go to the article (which can be found here [] you will see that there is one additional line to the article. And I quote: "Scott Taves is a lifelong nerd who favors shooters and survival horror games."

    I don't think the article was meant to be taken at face value... (but if you search his other articles, he does pick Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness as a hot pick) but I think the ommission of that last line from the article on the website linked above does leave out something interesting and insightful.

    Just for the record, since the PI is my local large market newspaper (even though I'm 150 miles away), and my favorite of the two Seattle papers, I am writing a letter to the editor (by email of course) pointing out the backlash this article has created in the gaming community (as well as mentioning seeing if putting slashdot in the newspaper has a slashdot type effect). I'll let you know if it gets printed
    • I agree with your sentiments. This article is a tongue in cheek social criticism of gamer culture. If previous posters had bothered to read it, (which they don't seem to have, or not very well) they would have noticed this at once, as the entire article has a cheecky and jocular tone to it. One wonders if the person who posted this story also ran to the Humane Society after seeing Bonsai Kitten. (Yes, I have a cat)
      • I agree with your sentiments. This article is a tongue in cheek social criticism of gamer culture. If previous posters had bothered to read it, (which they don't seem to have, or not very well) they would have noticed this at once, as the entire article has a cheecky and jocular tone to it. One wonders if the person who posted this story also ran to the Humane Society after seeing Bonsai Kitten. (Yes, I have a cat)

        The thing is, it's not even a tongue in cheek social criticism. He took vague assumptions th
      • by PurpleFloyd ( 149812 ) <> on Sunday August 24, 2003 @09:58AM (#6777222) Homepage
        If it's social satire, where's the element of truth? Good satire needs to have a kernel of truth "stretched" to the extreme; think of Charlie Chaplin in Modern Times, being force-fed by a machine while he works on an assembly line. While factory owners never actually attempted to make their workers work and eat similtaneously, Chaplin still made a point: that factory owners were willing to sacrifice workers' basic decency for higher rates of production and more profit.

        I don't see a corresponding "basic point" here. Is the author trying to tell us that games can take over our lives? Maybe, but that doesn't seem to be a major social problem in today's society; for every one gamer who allows games to take over his or her life, there are many who treat gaming as a fun and relaxing hobby. While some people do treat this as a problem, the identification of this writer as the P-I's videogames columnist seems to rule that possiblity out. Still, the article seems to be written by a person who is somewhat afraid of computers, but wants to write something on the "gaming culture." There's no point that it tries to make; the only humor is weak and solely derived from hyperbole. Social satire should be funny and have a point; this posesses neither of those characteristics.

        As for the analogy with Bonsai Kitten, there's very little similarity. BK is a troll, designed to shock people into an emotional response. I see no evidence of this being similar; if it were going for shock value, it would probably describe gamers as somewhat similar to this []. If this is a troll, it's a fairly weak one: it doesn't appeal to any emotions, but rather simply makes you want to point out the author's errors and move on.

        While one does get the sense that the author is trying to be funny and perhaps a bit controversial, there's no content that makes me laugh or think. Instead, I get the same feeling you might get from a comedian whose jokes aren't getting a response. I think, "what a moron!" and move on; not the response that either a humorist or troll would look for. It doesn't matter whether you rate the article on humor value, shock value, or informative content: it fails on all three counts.

  • For those that don't get it, I'll spell it out: the entire article is a troll. It's not meant to be taken that seriously. It's just there to try to get a rise out of you. Happens all the time. The author wasn't actually trying to pigeonhole anyone...instead, it was just something fun, using common stereotypes...which, as we all know, are only sometimes true. It's like saying gay people are flamboyant. Maybe some of them are, but saying that doesn't mean they all just means that often, the hard-hard
  • FPS gamers who play games like Counterstrike, Quake series, Unreal and others can be identified easily. Look around for thin tall bodies with loose skeletal structures with jeans and T-shirts. Most often they come with long hair too. They all are slightly hunch-backed and can never sit straight in a chair. They've thin hyperactive arms and move the mouse around with the thumb and ring-finger only.

    The RPG types are generally heavier in build, mostly with fat, and lean too close to the monitor. Not as impuls
  • Is it just me or are all these articles written to categorize gamers really insulting? Perhaps it is because the authors really don't know that much about gaming in the first place?
    • Perhaps it is because the authors really don't know that much about gaming in the first place?

      More likely, the author started to like playing games and didn't want to risk being called a 'nerd' so he wrote an article about it for therapy.
  • Nerds, as an easily identified social group, don't exist anymore

    Lad- err, Gentlemen of /. I present to you evidence to the contrary - Me. QED
  • I don't know if this has happened in other parts of the world, but here in Germany a couple of years ago a simple game called "Moorhuhn" started a real craze. The objective was to move the cursor with the mouse and shoot down birds. You know, the quick and simple game that gets you hooked for a long time.

    It was downloadable for free from the internet (not anymore) and was played by almost everyone to an extend where severe productivity losses occured since many people played it at work.

    So, the type of
  • "Is this simply lazy/offensive pigeonholing"

    Yes. "or can you spot certain gamers on sight alone?"

    Maybe, but the people I know, who play games, look nothing like any stereotypes.
    Obviously everyone is different, trends occur but they are NEVER the RULE.
  • That i like FPSs, the shirt with a tent that says "camper" or the "I see fragged people" shirt is a dead give away. That and me and my freinds can be over heard chatting about "juicy gibbs".

    That and you can hear me screaming "OMG you fsking CAMPER!" from my room between 1000db flack bursts.

    And you can tell that I am a RPGer since I hum the Final Fantasy win theme after aceing a test.

    Wearing my geekyness on my sleeve...
    • And you can tell that I am a RPGer since I hum the Final Fantasy win theme after aceing a test.

      Heh, so I'm not the only one. However, I don't tend to think of that alone as being any more hardcore than someone humming a song by a band you like a lot. (You seem to display more of the "traits" that the article puts forward)

      Around these parts (rural New England) I don't see too many hardcore gamers at all. The people I know who play the most games (myself included) all seem to be basically "normal." And I
  • by atholbrose ( 143681 ) <> on Sunday August 24, 2003 @03:19PM (#6778714)
    Once, I was standing in the game store talking to the clerk when nobody was around. In came a big stereotypical biker dude -- leather vest, chain wallet, big bushy beard, do-rag, the whole nine yards. He comes up to the counter, and the clerk says "Can I help you?"

    In a gruff voice, the guy says "Yeah. I heard that Animal Crossing came in today. Can I pick one of those up?"

    I asked. I HAD to. It was for him.
  • Not to beat his article to death point by point, I will just take about the Sport Gamer. The author states that Sports gamer is least likely to actually play any sports. It seems that very recently, the LA Times did an article about all the Madden fans the NFL has. One guy in particular plays on average 6 hours a day during the season, and 8 or more during the off season. NFl players even have tournaments that end superbowl week.

    Of course, this article could have just been a lame troll.

    (not that lame
  • Is this simply lazy/offensive pigeonholing
    Yes. The offensive part is obvious. The lazy part is highlighted by the fact that many genres of games are completely ignored.
  • What a joke.

    I know quite a few females that would argue strenously against that position. Quite a few *hot* females.

    Maybe it's journalists that don't go on dates anymore?

  • Since I like RPGs and shoot-em-ups. I should have long hair...rings around my eyes...and camo pants and talk military style.

    Also I have no chance of going on a date with "a real live girl" (maybe a dead one) or take long walks, yoga or help old ppl.
  • Um... well, after hearing a second or two of music from just about any Japanese adventure/RPG, I can usually rattle off the composer and the game it came from.

    Other than that, the only trait my gaming friends and I share is the propensity for calling each other by profane and sometimes blasphemous epithets. What category are we?

"Yeah, but you're taking the universe out of context."