Earlier, zohner posted on the hierarchy of geeks from an old chart created by the Brunching Shuttlecocks. While it mainly centered on items that typically might identify geeks, it did leave a big one out: video games.

Gone are the days when playing video games in your basement was a sign of social rejection. In today’s world, there’s something WRONG with a child who has no interest in gaming. Men play video games in social settings in the same manner as their fathers would have poker night. Teenagers use them as their way to pretend they are someone else (and actually try and convince other people over voice that they really ARE as badass as they claim).

What most people don’t consider is that there are actually different classes of gamer. These types are not so different from other diagnosis of behavior, and it is totally possible (and probable) that any one person would grow out of one class and into another. I shall now list these classes (as I see them) and also list the typical setting you will see them in:

“The Otaku
These ones are scary.

I should clear some things up first:  namely what the word means.  Otaku in Japan simply refers to someone who is a fan of typically manga (comics), anime, OR video games.  By this definition, most readers of this blog would fall into this designation.  In America, the term is a little more specific: one who is OBSESSIVELY into those interests.  These are the people who are dressed up as their favorite characters at Comic Con or conventions (sorry TardisCaptain).

In reference to video game classes, this player is obsessed with his/her (let’s face it, HIS) games.  Not just slightly; they have the wall scroll, they have the action figures, they have the soundtracks, they have the Japanese-only special edition v2 of the game that requires a modified PlayStation 1 to even load.

They play Japanese RPG’s almost exclusively, and praise them for a “high caliber of writing”.  Never mind the fact that said writing was originally in another language and directly translated into a dialect it was never meant for and is being displayed one line at a time to horrible music . . . it’s brilliant to them.

If Xenosaga, Final Fantasy, Lunar, Grandia, and Chrono Cross were the best games ever made to you . . . this is your class.

The Frat Boy
This class of gamer is a little harder to specify, as there are times when all gamers will fall into it’s classification. Schmidty, Squishy, and I are certainly guilty of it (even though we aren’t normally in this class).

This gamer isn’t driven by story lines or deep character development. In fact, most the time they don’t actually care about the game at all. Rather, they are drawn to gaming by the social interaction with others. Whether their playmates are in the same room or in another time zone, the scene is the same:
Lot’s of drinking (caffeine or alcohol)
Lot’s of loud talking, with no one actually listening to anyone else
Lot’s of “OOOOOOHHHHHH!!!!!” every time someone does something impressive (if you game, you know exactly what sound I’m talking about)
High fives, fist pounds, and (in worst cases) chest bumps

Halo is a favorite with this crowd, though it could be argued that Halo (and games like it) simply bring out the Frat Boy in all of us.

The Nintendo Fan
Never play anything harder than Banjo-Kazooie, Zelda, or Ratchet and Clank? This is you. It doesn’t mean you only play on Nintendo platforms, but you certainly subscribe to their model of gameplay.

The Squishy
I’m giving squishy his own category, cause I simply can’t think of a better name.
“I play, I enjoy, and screw you if you don’t like what I’m playing or how I’m playing it.”

The Jock
Ironically, this group is never (or at least rarely) actual jocks in real life. However, in the video game world, they reign supreme. They are also the most cocky, aggressive, and demented of the bunch.

Also known as the “twitch” gamer, these guys are PC-FPS players ONLY. In fact, these guys are the ones you see on forum boards picking fights with console FPS fans (the Frat Boys). They aren’t necessarily obsessed with their game, however they play it to win and can be real jerks about it.

You can see them playing any type of game, but it’ll be in the dark, with a headset, keyboard and mouse ONLY, and they are typically in the middle of hazing you.

I’m interested in hearing other people’s classifications of gamers. What type of gamer are you?

  • zohner

    What about the “reluctant addict”? You know the kind. They disapprove of video games and frown upon their husbands playing them. Yeah. I said husbands. I’m talking about mostly women in this category. They hate games until they actually play them. Then, all of a sudden, the kitchen will start on fire but they’re too busy trying to extinguish the fire in their kitchen on The Sims to escape to safety. These are also the people that will mock you for playing Super Mario Bros. for the better part of your elementary school/junior high experience then they’ll play for 43 hours straight, hitting you every time you try to take the controller away.

    There are a few categories of gamers that need to be mentioned here as well: the non-Japanese RPG gamer, ala KOTOR, the sports gamer, a.k.a. the Madden freak, and the RTS gamer.

  • I find most sports gamers fall into the Frat Boy category.