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As I read these forums on an almost daily basis I constantly see conversations based around casual gamers versus hardcore gamers and it always tends to come up with argument based on difficulty, etc. I did some searching on the internet and I found a pretty good definition for a lot of these people.
Definition: Hardcore Gamer.
A very vocal, arrogant minority of gamers that assume that the gaming industry revolves (or should revolve) around them.
Consider their own skills, and preferences and, those of their peers, to be the only acceptable use of a recreational medium.
Often use the term "True Gamer". An arrogant, idiotic term invented by insecure people to justify their own gaming style.
The irony is, the gaming industry was born from the notion, that these are games, pinball dating back as far as the 40's was designed for people to relax and enjoy. Pong brought it home, followed by other game systems that were designed for fun and recreation.
However, like all hobbies, there will always be those "stop having fun guys" that ruin it for everyone else.
People who feel that the industry belongs to them.
People who fail to realize that there will always be a place for them but really just want it all. If casual players get their way the whole industry will collapse and the world will end.
People who adopted the medium as their own and decided that they were the only ones worthy.
Refuse to accept that, like board games, video games are made to be enjoyed.
Hardcore gamers are no less ridiculous than a "pin the tail on the donkey" elitist, who shows up to a birthday party with their own pins and blindfold, won't shut up about you're "spinning all wrong" then looks shocked, as to why the rest of the guests find them socially repulsive.
Hardcore gamers are generally cliquish, rude, snide and belligerent.
When they aren't attacking casuals, they're attacking each other for the same reasons.
"Yeah you beat that boss but, I did it without using half my abilities, blindfolded, with no healing items, on hardcore extreme killer blood-hell mode!"
This comes from a culture where sarcasm is way more important than ideas.
To be hardcore, a game pretty much needs to be "difficult".
That's all hardcore games really are. Tedious and long, and dragged out and hard.
Because the life of a hardcore gamer generally isn't very taxing, they can turn to games to "challenge" them.
Often times they'll wax on about how casual gamers are gradually killing the market, while ignoring the fact that the market has always had room for both players and, that some people have a life to kick their ass. That, when they sit down to play a video game, it's not so damn important that a player needs to turn it into some perfectionist job you don't get payed for.
That maybe, a person who doesn't piss away 90% of their time being dedicated to a single game or genre of game have just as much right to play and enjoy those titles as the next person.