Gamers are very much like cats – there are many different breeds, yet the general public can’t be bothered to see as such. Instead, they all get generalised until one particularly amazing or irritating breed comes along, by which point, everyone knows its name.
Also, much like cats, gamers seem to get angry for no particular reason and despite their weedy appearance, can hurt like a bitch, so it’s in your best interest not to torment them or approach without basic knowledge of their breed. Therefore, to protect your personal wellbeing, I’m going to educate you in the most popular and most notable breeds of gamer, along with a handy scale (from 0-10) on just how dangerous they can be.
1) The Secret Gamer
Probably plays: anything not online. Who knows really?
These are the sorts of people who don’t share gaming experiences. No doubt they play games out of pure enjoyment rather than because they can take something away from it to flaunt in other peoples’ faces. If you’re not close to people in this category, then you’re probably blissfully unaware that they are part of the gaming community. Secret gamers are a rare breed who probably have numerous other hobbies and feel fresh air on a daily basis (no, opening your window does not count). If you insult their favourite game unknowingly, they may laugh alongside you and not threaten to rip your guts out. They may be some of the nicest gamers around, though are usually judged as jerks by others due to the seeming lack of interest about the subject. The way in which they may drop their guard is in debates about gaming itself – they won’t argue against the hobby, but probably won’t be able to provide very convincing reasons for it either, as doing so may give the game away (unless they do the complete opposite and describe how awful gaming is for society in order to cover up their secret enjoyment of it – much like homophobes are often gay).
Threat level: 1 – They’re unlikely to harm anyone, but may write rude things in their diaries about you if you insult gaming. Or at least think them.
2) The Casual
Probably plays: Wii Sports or The Sims.
People that belong in this category are those who barely count as gamers and are probably the worst enemies of hardcore gamers, or indeed the majority of the community. These people would probably think the majority of games are too violent or difficult for them to try and play – which most of them are, but the years have desensitized every one of us. Therefore, they stick to games which require no real strategy and an incredibly quick learning curve, though this was not always true. Years ago, casual gamers and hardcore gamers could live peacefully together with the likes of Tetris and The Sims, but the divide really came into show when Nintendo released the (in)famous Wii. Since then, many games were aimed for families, with other consoles following suit, meaning housewives received a brand new hobby. Since then, this breed has been shunned somewhat and are now destined to live with just themselves for company – think of them as the Siamese cats of gaming. Really they just need a hug…
Threat level: 6 – They don’t care enough about games to get angry, but come on, they’re mostly girls and we all know girls are vicious for no apparent reason half the time.
3) The ‘Girl Gamer’
Probably plays: nothing, her controller is too busy cushioned between her breasts.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about the average females who enjoy gaming – such as myself, they could easily fall into any group among this list, because we’re slowly outgrowing the gaming sexism (only because the males started to get their arses kicked). No, I’m talking about the girls you see all over the internet, the ones who have next to no clothes on, who probably think a ‘Call of Duty’ is to make their neckline that bit lower. Known by pictures alone, they have no knowledge of the gaming world, apart from the idea that having boobs and holding a controller makes you instantly sexy to all the nerds. Half the time, there are no wires coming from the console and the controller (in older pictures) isn’t plugged in, meaning that they lack the fundamentals that even my grandma understands. Sure, to males they’re nice to look at, but to the real girl gamers, they’re hilarious. I bet if a basement-dwelling nerd approached them after finding a picture, they’d turn their nose up in disgust and possibly start playing tonsil tennis with the nearest girl in order to deter them (though from my own knowledge of the male population, this would only make them more determined). If you are one of these girls, please take my advice: put on more clothes and talk Mario or Crash to a guy, you’ll be sexy as hell.
Threat level: 3 – they probably wouldn’t recognise an insult if it jumped out of an Abuse Box, and if they did, they have hundreds of guys ready to protect them, they’re the real threat here.
4) The Hardcore
Probably plays: Gears of War, Halo
People within this category are the complete opposites of casual gamers and usually consider themselves at war with them. Never mind that they’re picking wars against young girls and lonely mothers – when gaming is concerned everything is a battle for them. If the game they’re playing isn’t created using a highly respected engine or doesn’t feature some sort of intense story or combat, they aren’t interested. One mention of fitness or family fun will cause this breed to turn up their noses in disgust as it’s not ‘true gaming’. They can sit for hours and discuss the latest games, what makes for the best experience, how to shape the perfect character, though these are not to be confused with the Achievement-Whores (see below). Apart from the sorts of games that settle on their shelves, the best way to spot hardcore gamers is by the language they use – extremists may often use leet-speak to describe their feelings or celebrate victories or arguing about the lack of skill required for the latest games. They can also be seen hanging around competitions, queuing for midnight releases or around gaming conventions (though not everyone attending these are hardcore gamers), if you approach one of these places, please be wary of what you say.
Threat level: 9 – be extremely aware of this breed, as they always have weapons nearby in order to try and neutralise the casual breed.
Probably plays: everything, so long as it has achievements.
Otherwise known as trophy-whore, many people who fall into this category start gaming due to the enjoyment it provides – much like you and I do (unless you fall into a category which doesn’t, but that’s self explanatory), but carry on for a much different reason. Years ago, this breed was almost completely unheard of, as the majority of games were designed without extra goals to accomplish. However, now it’s incredibly difficult to find a wide range of games that can be played without the ‘bing!’ of an unlocked achievement, unless you head for Nintendo consoles of course (though even these are joining in recently). Developers include them to have a sense of replayability and make the virtual world seem more packed than it really is. Unfortunately, some people took the Pokemon approach to this idea, setting out to collect them all and not stopping until they do so. Fascinating enough is the skill and time poured into doing so, as many games have seemingly impossible tasks listed, but then again, I’d still rather spend all that time socialising with oth- who am I kidding? I have no social life; I’m too busy collecting achievements.
Threat level: 4 – usually this breed stays hidden in the shadows, offering each new game their broken souls, but get in their way and you’ll probably know about it.
6) The Know-it-All
Probably plays: keeps up religiously with new releases, while still playing all the retro games.
Most likely found on forums and commenting all over the internet, these gamers seem to have lost the real reason their hobby exists. Rather than actually playing the games, they seem to lurk around, waiting for someone to ask an innocent question or get a seemingly insignificant fact wrong, ready to offer a detailed paragraph in reply. Becoming the best gamer doesn’t have anything to do with the level of skill or amount of effort to people in this category, it’s all about how much knowledge you can fit in your brain. Along with facts about the game in general, know-it-alls will have knowledge on the history of the game (or series) as well as the developers and gaming in general. Ask them and they will probably list you every console ever to exist as well as a detailed explanation of why Princess Peach has blonde hair (they’ll never fail to mention that she wasn’t Mario’s first girlfriend either). If ever you need a walking encyclopaedia of the gaming world, be sure to befriend someone of this breed, you’ll never receive incorrect information again.
Threat level: 2 – the only real threat these people provide is the ability to bore you to death with knowledge you don’t care about.
7) The (online) Lurkers
Probably plays: Diablo, World of Warcraft
These people must spend an absolute fortune on internet, not only paying for their usage, but also for internet fast enough to support their needs. Whereas many people use the internet for naked women and hot gossip, Lurkers remain on it only to carry on gaming. Sure, everyone may go online occasionally, what’s better than slicing your best friends head off and teabagging once they’ve collapsed? No, this breed is a lot different, they never seem to sleep and if you do happen to see that ‘billybob1337’ is offline, you should consider yourself lucky. Much like other breeds, their time is spent levelling up their character or fighting to the tops of leaderboards, though this isn’t everyone’s main purpose. No-one knows exactly why the grand world of the internet excites them so much, only that they never seem to leave. They’re not doing any harm though, but rather enjoying what the developers have offered for them, however, many people do confuse them with their sub-breed, which easily aggravates them.
Threat level: 3 – much like bees, if you leave them alone, they’ll leave you alone. But, they can become frustrated by the sub-category of:
Bonus: The 12 Year Olds*
Probably plays: Call of Duty, Runescape
Please note that for the majority of the time, this does not include people who grief, as this is done for the entertainment of the general public, whereas 12 Year Olds are the only ones who think they’re hilarious. Everyone else hates them. Many of the people in this category are also lurkers, though this does not mean that all lurkers are 12 Year Olds. If you’ve ever played a popular (usually first-person shooter) online, you’ll have run into one of these. They’re the type of people who appear to know a lot about your mother, have a wide swearing vocabulary and reckon everyone is homosexual. This breed seems to spend their whole time trying to push everyone’s buttons and bragging about how good they are, even when you kill them in the easiest way possible. However, any remark you make back at them is laughed off, everything is a big joke, but you know that as they grow older, they’ll look back on these moments and cry themselves to sleep. The best thing you can do is mute them or ignore them as best you can, as their voices alone will slowly grate on you, ruining your whole gaming enjoyment. More often than not, they’ll stay as background noise and eventually leave due to lack of attention.
Until then, do the gaming community a favour, grab a weapon and find one of these people.
Threat level: (perceived)10, (actual)0, unless you’re extremely sensitive about your mum or sexuality. Best left alone.
* not everyone in this category is 12, they can be any range of ages, though many of them haven’t hit puberty yet.
Important note: This article is not to be take 100% seriously, Cubed Gamers do not condone any violence towards anyone, no matter how annoying people in these categories may seem. One day, they’ll realise who they are and learn to laugh along with the rest of us, but until then, be aware of the threat levels provided.