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Title: Gamer  
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Subject: Women and video games, Gaming, Video game culture, Online dating service, AMD Dragon
Collection: Gaming, Video Game Culture, Video Game Terminology
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Video games

A "gamer" is someone who plays interactive games, such as video games or tabletop games. The term also includes people who work on methods to gamify technologies relevant to gameplay.

There are many gamer communities around the world. Many of these take the form of social clubs.


  • Videogamers 1
    • Types of videogamers 1.1
      • Dedication spectrum 1.1.1
        • Casual gamer
        • Core gamer
        • Hardcore gamer
      • Professional gamer 1.1.2
      • Newbie 1.1.3
      • Retrogamer 1.1.4
      • Female Gamer/Gamer girl 1.1.5
      • Gaymer 1.1.6
    • Avatar 1.2
    • Clans and guilds 1.3
  • Other gamers 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4


Types of videogamers

In the United States, the average video game player is 30 years old and has been playing video games for over 12 years.[1] In the UK as of 2007, the average video game player was over 23 years old, had played video games for over 10 years, and spent around 11 hours a week playing video games.[2]

Dedication spectrum

It is common for games media, business people, and academics to divide gamers into two or three broad behavioral categories. These categories are sometimes separated by level of dedication to gaming, sometimes by primary type of game played, and sometimes by a combination of those and other factors. There is no general consensus on the definitions or names of these categories, though many attempts have been made to formalize them. An overview of these attempts and their common elements follows.

Casual gamer

The term "casual gamer" is often used for gamers who primarily play casual games, but can also refer to gamers who play less frequently than other gamers.[3] Casual gamers may play games designed for ease of gameplay, or play more involved games in short sessions, or at a slower pace than hardcore gamers.[4] The types of game that casual gamers play vary, and they are less likely to own a dedicated video game console.[5][6] Casual gamer demographics vary greatly from those of other video gamers, as the typical casual gamer is older and more predominantly female.[7] "Fitness gamer"s, who play motion-based exercise games, are also seen as casual gamers.[8]

Core gamer

A core or mid-core gamer is a player with a wider range of interests than a casual gamer and is more likely to enthusiastically play different types of games,[9] but without the amount of time spent and sense of competition of a hardcore gamer. The mid-core gamer enjoys games but may not finish every game they buy, doesn't have time for long MMO quests,[10] and is a target consumer.[11] Nintendo president Satoru Iwata stated that they designed the Wii U to cater to core gamers who are in between the casual and hardcore categories.[12]

A number of theories have been presented regarding the rise in popularity of mid-core games. James Hursthouse, the founder of Roadhouse Interactive credits the evolution of devices towards tablets and touch-screen interfaces, whereas Jon Radoff of Disruptor Beam compares the emergence of mid-core games to similar increases in media sophistication that have occurred in media such as television.[13]

Hardcore gamer

Ernest Adams and Scott Kim have proposed classification metrics to distinguish "hardcore gamers" from casual gamers.[14] They assert that hardcore gamers:

  • Prefer action games
  • Are very competitive
  • Often have the latest consoles and/or high-end PCs
  • Are usually technologically savvy
  • Prefer to play games that have depth and complexity
  • Often seek out game-related information and participate in gaming communities

However, others have attempted to draw the distinction based primarily on which platforms a gamer prefers,[15] or to decry the entire concept of delineating casual from hardcore as divisive and vague.[16]

Although Ernest Adams and Scott Kim try to classify what is and what is not a hardcore gamer, the gaming community has many definitions of what is and what is not a hardcore gamer. Just like a core gamer, the hardcore gamers will play a variety of games on various consoles and PC games, completing each game to the end, and then pursue another game. This contradicts Ernest Adams and Scott Kim's belief that hardcore gamers prefer action games, which is the lowest weighted measure of what determines gamer dedication according to Gamasutra.[17][18] (Of course, not all hardcore gamers will be able to complete this task of finishing the game which is why they end up being core gamers). A hardcore gamer will remain up to date of the latest games and will have general knowledge of the latest games that are released. Hardcore gamers will also own almost all gaming consoles, handhelds, and PC games (including old or new consoles). [19] Even a retro gamer may be considered a hardcore gamer. Although this is just a general definition, there will be another individuals or groups who will define what a hardcore gamer is. The term hardcore gamer has changed numerous times throughout the years and will keep on evolving. It is still not clear cut what exactly a hardcore gamer is, but it is a fact that not everyone will agree to one definition of what a "hardcore gamer" is. [20]

Professional gamer

Professional gamers play video games and deeply study the game to master it and usually to play in competitions.[21] A pro gamer may also be another type of gamer, such as a hardcore gamer, if he or she meets the additional criteria for that gamer type. In countries of Asia, particularly South Korea and China, professional gamers and teams are sponsored by large companies and can earn more than $100,000USD a year.[22] In the United States, Major League Gaming has contracted electronic sports gamers with $250,000USD yearly deals.[23]


"Newbie," (commonly shortened to "noob", "n00b", or "newb") is a slang term for a novice or newcomer to a certain game, or to gaming in general.[24][25]


A retrogamer is a gamer preferring playing and collecting retro games—older video games and arcade games. They may also be called classic gamers or old-school gamers, which are terms that are more prevalent in the United States. The games are played either on the original hardware, on modern hardware via console emulation, or on modern hardware via ports or compilations.[26]

Female Gamer/Gamer girl

A female gamer/gamer girl is any female who regularly engages in playing video games. According to a 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 playing online had risen to 43%, up 4% from 2004. The same study shows that 48% of game purchasers are female.[27][28] Usage of the term "girl gamer" is controversial. Some critics have advocated use of the label as a reappropriated term, while others see it as nondescriptive or perpetuating the minority position of female gamers. Some critics of the term believe there is no singular definition of a female gamer and that they are as diverse as any other group.[29] Some female gamers have been subject to sexual harassment while engaged in online play or tournaments.[30]


Gaymer, or gay gamer, is a term used to refer to the group of people who identify themselves as LGBT (gay, bisexual, lesbian, or transgender) and have an active interest in video games.[31] This demographic has been the subject of two large surveys, one by Jason Rockwood in 2006,[32] who noted the level of prejudice that gaymers endure,[33] and another in 2009, focusing on the content that gaymers expect in videogames, the results of which were not published.[34][35] The gaymers community provides a "safe place" for LGBT gamers[36] apart from the isolation they feel from both the heteronormative gaming community and the gay community.[37] They also believe that as homosexuality in video games increase, there will be an increased normalization of homosexuality in general.[37][38][39]


An avatar, username, game name, alias, gamer tag, screen name, or handle is a name (usually a pseudonym) adopted by a video gamer, used as a main preferred identification to the gaming community. Usage of user names is most prevalent in games with online multiplayer support, or at electronic sport conventions.

Similarly, a clan tag is a prefix or suffix added to a name to identify that the gamer is in a clan. Clans are generally a group of gamers who play together as a team against other clans. They are most commonly found in online multi-player games in which one team can face off against another. Clans can also be formed to create loosely based affiliations perhaps by all being fans of the same game or merely gamers who have close personal ties to each other. A team tag is a prefix or suffix added to a name to identify that the gamer is in a team. Teams are generally sub-divisions within the same clan and are regarded within gaming circuits as being a purely competitive affiliation. These gamers are usually in an online league such as the Cyberathlete Amateur League (C.A.L.) and their parent company the Cyberathlete Professional League (C.P.L.) where all grouped players were labeled as teams and not clans.

Clans and guilds

A clan is a group of players, most of time founded by a leader or an administrator. Other names for clans are guilds. Clans can also make tournaments and play for real money. Sometimes a clan can be a kind of professional or semi-professional gaming team that make money out of tournaments.

Other gamers

Although the term "gamer" may commonly refer to video game players, the term may also be applied to players of other forms of games, such as tabletop games or physical games. Additionally, in some countries such as the United Kingdom, the term "gaming" refers to legalized gambling, which can take both traditional (tabletop) and digital forms (akin to video games), so in these areas gamers may also refer to people who gamble.

See also


  1. ^ "The Entertainment Software Association - Industry Facts". Retrieved 2010-07-16. 
  2. ^ "Facts and Figures". Askaboutgames. Archived from the original on 13 Jun 2007. Retrieved 2010-07-16. 
  3. ^ VentureBeat
  4. ^ Heather Barefoot (30 October 2013). "In Defense of the Casual Gamer". Escapist magazine. Retrieved 9 March 2014. 
  5. ^ Magrino, Tom, GameStop: Casual gamers spurring hardcore holiday sales, GameSpot, Sep 11, 2007, Accessed 3 May 2008
  6. ^ Boyes, Emma, GDC '08: Are casual games the future?, GameSpot, Feb 18, 2008, Accessed May 3, 2008
  7. ^ Wolverton, Troy (2007-08-23). "Women driving 'casual game' boom". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved 2007-10-13. 
  8. ^ "Plethora of Fitness Titles Lined Up For PlayStation Move#". PlayStation LifeStyle. 2010-04-19. Retrieved 2010-04-22. 
  9. ^ "Iwata Asks: E3 2011 Special Edition". Nintendo. p. 7. Retrieved 2011-06-09. Iwata: the definition of a core gamer is much wider, namely, someone who has a much wider range of interests, someone who enthusiastically plays many types of games that challenges different creative directions. 
  10. ^ Scott Jon Siegel. "Are you a mid-core gamer?".  
  11. ^ Campbell, Colin (2005-10-10). "GameStop". Edge. Future. Archived from the original on 2007-12-03. Retrieved 2008-02-07. 
  12. ^ "Iwata Asks: E3 2011 Special Edition". Nintendo. p. 7. Retrieved 2011-06-09. Iwata: On the other hand, I certainly do not think that Wii was able to cater to every gamer's needs, so that's also something I wanted to resolve. [...] The keyword for our presentation at this year's E3 is "Deeper and Wider". With Wii U, I would like to offer this proposal with that concept. 
  13. ^ "Core gamers, mobile games and the origins of the midcore audience". Polygon. Retrieved 2013-08-13. 
  14. ^ Adams, Ernest. "From Casual to Core: A Statistical Mechanism for Studying Gamer Dedication". Gamasutra. Gamasutra. Retrieved 17 June 2014. 
  15. ^ PC Authority
  16. ^ Forbes
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ Daniel Schorn (2006-08-06). Fatal1ty' article at CBS News"'". Retrieved 2010-07-16. 
  22. ^ "A Brief Look At Professional Gaming". Retrieved 2010-07-16. 
  23. ^ "MLG Awards $1.75 Million in Contracts for Top Pro Gamers | Major League Gaming". 2006-12-18. Retrieved 2010-07-16. 
  24. ^ "Masonry on the Internet". Retrieved 2012-05-19. 
  25. ^ Anna Vander Broek (2009-04-23). "Gamer Speak for Newbs". Forbes. Retrieved 2010-02-16. 
  26. ^ "NES Classics: retro gaming, at a price: Page 1". Retrieved 2008-04-14. 
  27. ^ "The Entertainment Software Association - Industry Facts". Retrieved 2010-07-16. 
  28. ^ "Facts and Figures". Askaboutgames. Archived from the original on 13 Jun 2007. Retrieved 2010-07-16. 
  29. ^ Heather Barefoot (30 October 2013). "In Defense of the Casual Gamer". Escapist magazine. Retrieved 9 March 2014. 
  30. ^ Magrino, Tom, GameStop: Casual gamers spurring hardcore holiday sales, GameSpot, Sep 11, 2007, Accessed 3 May 2008
  31. ^ Alexander Sliwinski (2007-05-08). "'" looks to trademark 'Gaymer. Joystiq. Retrieved 2011-06-05. 
  32. ^ Sliwinski, Alexander (2006-06-10). "First-ever survey of gay videogamers".  
  33. ^ Sliwinski, Alexander (2006-06-08). "Gay video game player survey". In Newsweekly. Archived from the original on 2009-01-01. 
  34. ^ Fahey, Mike (2009-10-08). "What Do Gay Gamers Want From Their Games?". 
  35. ^ Hyman, Jamie (2009-09-03). "Orlando student conducts gay gamer survey". Orlando Watermark. 
  36. ^ "GaymerCon wants to provide a "safe place" for LGBTQ gamers". ArsTechnica. 
  37. ^ a b Gina Tron. "Gay geeks unite against homophobia in video games". Retrieved 25 November 2013. 
  38. ^ Lydia Sung (July 19, 2009). "Sunday Musing: Homosexuality in Video Games". Retrieved 25 November 2013. 
  39. ^ "How Not To Address Homosexuality In Gaming", by Mike Fahey
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