So, a lot of the new era video game junkies like to toss around the term “Hardcore Gamer” without seeming to put any thought into what it is they are claiming to be.  As an individual who has gamed obsessively in its many forms for a quarter century I try, unsuccessfully, to not be offended by these little upstarts who come along, play 10 different FPS video games for their Xbox and wants to claim the title.

Sorry, kid.  But you need more than that to join us over in the hardcore lobby.

But, “Hardcore Gamer” is such a subjective term, I think it’s time I narrow things down for everyone.

When you think of what is “Hardcore” you think of something that is extreme, or above and beyond what most would consider reasonable.  As somebody who has obsessively played all manner of games since I was 4 years old, I think I can approach this.  I mean seriously, a grown man of nearly 30 playing Pokémon at the Toyota dealership while waiting for an oil change is pretty unreasonable.  Yup, that’s hardcore.  You can play a “child’s” game in full public and not give a damn what people think about it.  Why?  Because you frickin enjoy playing Pokémon.  Why is there shame in that?

However, playing the latest game that’s all the rage doesn’t likely qualify.  All your friends are playing it, all the “cool” people are playing it.  The TV is telling you it’s hardcore to play it.  Doesn’t really seem hardcore anymore does it?

So, how does one know when they’re a hardcore gamer?  Forgiving the fact that I’ve used video games as my examples thus far, the community of gaming is pretty wide.  So, we need a simple, quick test to determine if you can even qualify for being hardcore.

Hardcore Gaming Disqualification Test

Have you ever been to a gaming convention?

Do you regularly play more than 1 style of game (IE Video Games, Pen&Paper, Card, Board, Live Action, Text Based, Miniatures, etc)?

Do you own an “embarrassing” game?  Have you played it in public or around your friends?

If you were trapped in a room and the only game in the room was “My Little Ponies Starlight Express” (could be for any of the styles above) would you try it?

There you go.  If you can’t answer yes to all of those, then you don’t qualify for being hardcore.  You are most likely a different flavor of gamer; but a flavor that isn’t over-the-top obsessed with gaming to the Hardcore extreme.

However, if you said yes to everything, you at least qualify for the next test.  Which I’ve not come up with yet.

So it goes.