Real Talk By: Vex
What is a hardcore gamer? Is there a correct answer, or is it all based on perspective? My interest in games began when I immigrated to the states and first came across a kung-fu cabin at a corner store. I would pretend to play it as my mom would buy her items, but didn’t truly get a taste till months later. I can remember getting an atari with Pole Position, Pac-Man among other games that occupied my time for months to come. I jammed out until the system kicked the bucket, it didn’t last long due to it being a used system.
All I knew is that I was entertained in a way that brought me a type of joy I did not comprehend till later in life. I enjoyed the challenge that each game presented. I was amongst the few blessed enough to get their hands on what would years later become a common form of entertainment.
As the years passed new systems came out with new and unique ways to stimulate my interest. Given my family’s financial situation I did not get a chance to play all the systems at home, but somehow ended up getting to play most of them. As time progressed I began to notice certain friends would only play a specific type of game while others would try to play every game released, giving birth to a term deemed hardcore. But what exactly is that?
At one point just having a system made you hardcore. As I met more folks in my adult life the term took a whole new twist depending on what you played on. I was no longer hardcore to these folks who thought my console lacked the horse power to render my tea-bagging on Halo in the same way Tarantino can paint violence on a cinematic canvas.
In some circles I would be labeled core while others would berate me for never owning a handheld. The list of labels go on for ages. Marketing and sites have not helped the matter neither. Truth is whether we immerse ourselves for hours or just dabble from time to time, we are all gamers. Hardcore or not, at some point most of us prefer this hobby over life’s ills. Hardcore or not we can all agree games are not as hard as they used to be, prompting me to play even less.
The thrill is not completely gone, yet I have noticed an overall decline in the time I invest. I’ve noticed it with my friends as well. The common cause seems to be the lack of innovation and challenge. The blame can be placed on different factors, but the fact remains the same. We need to be more responsible about what company gets our hard-earned dollars. In the scheme of things, the fate of our dear hobby lies in our hands.