You know in the short time that I have had this blog up I have been asked by a few folks, what is a mid-core gamer? Mostly the question is asked by those who don’t know that there are different types of gamers, or those who know about the types but have a totally different definition for mid-core gaming. A friend of mine who asked me this question thought mid-core gamers where folks who only played really well known games only, you know AAA snobs. His thought was gaming, was like music there are those who only listen to Pop Music, and hard core people who like the lesser known stuff. So to him mid-core was Pop Gaming.
Actually here’s how I explain it. The video game industry, and various publications on video gaming are always trying to figure out who players are, how much they play, and what games fit them the best. Basically, by doing this they could more clearly define their customers, and ways of marketing to them. In the last few years especially with the proliferation of smart phone gaming they have narrowed it down to three basic categories: Casual Gamers, Mid-Core Gamers, and Hard Core Gamers.
A few years back it was initially just Casual and Hard Core gamers.
Casual Gamers are defined as: Those who play games of convenience (smart phone games) that can be picked up and put down quickly, and are played to occupy small periods of time. Think of games like Bejeweled, or Candy Crush. Most casual gamers are women who have very little time and/or interest in investing time in regular video games, not trying to insult “girl gamers”, but this is what studies have found.
Hard Core Gamers are: Those who live to game, it’s not just to occupy time, it’s a lifestyle. These are gamers who have hours to spend playing, sometimes play competitively online, and spend a lot of money on gaming. Minecraft players are the best current examples, they play for hours, wear Minecraft apparel, attend Minecraft conventions, and have a huge online community.
Initially the two categories above where the only two. The industry felt anybody who didn’t play regularly was just a casual player, but there where a lot of people who felt these two categories overlooked a group in the middle who loved gaming, but couldn’t make it a habit for one reason or another. So Mid-core gamers began to be recognized.
Mid-Core Gamers are defined as: Gen X males in their mid to late 30’s, who have been gaming as far back as NES or Atari, and who may have been hard core gamers in the past. These players have an interest in playing lagitimate video games, but due to work and at home commitments do not have the ability to play regularly.
I can tell you I fit this category, to a T. I don’t have the ability to spend all my time playing, but I do want to play real games. Many feel the industries placing more save states, and/or shorter levels or sub-levels in modern games is a way of the video game industry recognizing mid-core gamers. I can tell you the only way I got away with playing and finishing Assassins Creed 3 over 10 months was thanks to the constant save states and sub-levels.
There are also sub category’s of gamers too. Like Newbs (newbies), Retro Gamers (Hmm, I wonder what that’s about?), and Girl Gamers (mentioned above, but are a sub-cat of hardcore).
I kind of think of us mid-core gamers as the veterans. We watch the younger gamers throw themselves in full force, and just kind of remember what that was like. We miss being able to do it, but we realize there are more important things going on.