Although so many of us play games, we all enjoy them in our own unique ways. In the past few years, I’ve noticed how some of my close friends have different gaming habits. And now, I have compiled this short list of some of the ways they play their games.
*Disclaimer: This list in no way represents every “type” of gamer. Also, most may fall into a mix of a few of these categories, maybe even none at all.
The Forever Gamer
You put a tremendous amount of hours into one particular game, although the game of choice may change every few months or couple of years. This game becomes your “second job.” Hours played in this game may even be converted from hours to days, months or sometimes years. Online multiplayer games are common (DOTA 2, Fornite, CS:GO, WoW). Something repetitive or maybe a massive open world to explore (The Sims, Animal Crossing). You may even be obsessed with one simple indie game (If you were to add up all of my hours in The Binding of Isaac on PS4, Switch and PC. Let’s just say it would be a whole lot of hours). You may change it up with a new game here or there, but you’ll always come back home to that “forever game,” whatever it may be.
Your console and/or PC is full of un-downloaded, unplayed games. You own a Netflix-sized library of games. Most of these games were bought on sale (some may have been free or part of a bundle), but many will never be played or even installed. A large physical collection of games, possibly even some special collector’s deluxe editions (unopened), may accompany your giant digital library. As a collector your gaming habits can usually go one of two ways: (1) you may jump from game to game, never completing any of them, (2) or you will one day realize “It’s time to play some of these games,” and will attempt to tackle the entire library. However, option two may just be sifting through the library each night trying to decide on which game to start, but never actually choosing one (as most of us do with our Netflix, Hulu, Disney+ and other streaming services every night before bed).
The Casually Addicted
You won’t touch games for months on end. However, once a game comes along and gets your attention, you can’t stop. You take breaks throughout the day just to get some minutes in. You find yourself making excuses to get some play time in. When you’re not playing your game, you are thinking about playing it. Your short gaming bursts end up being hours and hours of play time. Beating or just playing the game becomes an obsession, until it’s finally time to take a break from games all together, or uninstall. But don’t worry, you’ll find another gaming obsessions soon. Maybe, you’ll jump back into the previous one.
The Game Jock
Not just a sports gamer. You purchase the latest installment of the same franchise each and every year (Madden, FIFA, NBA2K, Call of Duty). Starting on day one you spend hours and hours playing, until it’s time to do it all over again next year. Franchise mode or ultimate team in a sports game. Countless online matches in a Call of Duty-type game (some never even touch the campaign). You will remain loyal and purchase the same, updated version each year. (Best Buy used to trick me into trading in last year’s version of Madden and FIFA for a discounted price on the new one. 2020 was the first year I didn’t pick up Madden, sorry John Madden but I barely played Madden 2020).
The Group Gamer
You own a console, but mostly as an entertainment center. It’s your DVD (or Blu-Ray) player, it’s where you watch your shows and possibly your jukebox. However, whenever people are over you suggest a fun multiplayer game (Overcooked, Jack Box Party Pack, Goldeneye, Mario Party, Smash Bros). It’s the new LAN party, where we can all play together on one TV. You start downloading party games once you know you’ll have people over soon. To you, the best gaming is done with friends, IRL. The way it used to be with pizza, soda and tons of snacks.
The Game Jumper
You have never rolled credits on a game. Each game’s story ends whenever you are over it and ready to move on to the next one. You constantly crave new experiences, and become bored once a game becomes familiar. You’re more of a game sampler than a story buff. You go all-in on the latest game, until the next one comes out. You keep telling yourself, “Don’t worry, I’ll come back to [current game].” But deep down we all know you never will. (I left The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild about two years ago, and I keep telling myself I’ll return after “this next game”).
The Trophy Hunter
You’re not finished until you find every single item, complete each mission and unlock every secret in a game. You don’t mind multiple play throughs, when necessary. On Playstation there is an end goal and it’s a platinum trophy (I only own one of these from Marvel’s Spider-Man, which wasn’t too hard to achieve). For other consoles and PC it may just be looking for a 100% or a certain amount of hours in a game. Either way, you will not put the controller down until you have unlocked every achievement listed.
I wanted to leave the list open so I could add in more “types of gamers” later on. I even thought of two opposing forces in gaming while writing this: The Punisher vs The Simple One. The Punisher is someone who only plays on the hardest mode possible, you love to torture yourself. The Simple One just wants to digest the story in easy mode and isn’t into the tough, brutal battles. In this area there’s also The Normie who always plays on “normal mode” (aka the way the game was intended to be played, because yes, I’m A Normie).
As I said earlier, this list does not make up every “type of gamer.” This is just a small list based on some of my friends and my own gaming habits in the past. For most of us it isn’t that simple. No one is truly one “type of gamer.” We are all different. We go through phases. In fact, I have been a bit of each of these types at some point in my gaming life.
Back in high school and college, I was more of a Game Jock, playing whatever sports game was out that year the current Call of Duty or Assassin’s Creed.
Later, I noticed myself rarely beating games, so I shifted toward trying to beat games before moving on (now I make myself finish a game unless I’m really not digging it). I also love trying out new game genres which I would have never played before. I’m getting into more RPGs and some JRPGs, while still getting addicted to indie games all of the time.
I do miss the days of playing games with friends on the same couch. The internet is great for online gaming and connecting with far away friends. I don’t really care for talking to strangers in games though. I prefer playing online games where I don’t need a headset (Overwatch, Gran Turismo, and recently Fall Guys).
I do miss the days where I would play through an entire game with my friend in one weekend, while eating giant bags of candy and drinking tons of soda. I remember going to EB games/Gamestop and looking for whatever cheap, co-op game we missed that we could quickly beat and trade-in towards the next one (we played the hell out of Army of Two back in the day).
If you want to add your gaming style/habits below, please feel free to do so. If you fall somewhere in this list, what type of gamer are you? We all have our own gaming habits, but in the end it doesn’t really matter how you play your games as long as you enjoy them.