Friday, April 25, 2008

The State of Gaming (The Hardcore Gamer Part 2)

Where were you on the Monday of February 12, 1990? On a Monday morning some of you were getting ready to go to school, some were getting ready for the 8am commute, and others were waiting for the game that would re-spark America love affair with video games. It is the game that people have grown up on, it is the game that seems to break all barriers. It is one of the best selling games of all time; Super Mario Brothers 3.
Super Mario Bros 3 Screenshot

Super Mario Brothers 3(also know as SMB3 for short) is the game that helped the average person remember how fun games could really be. Games like Galaga, Asteroids, and Pac-Man built the path to enjoyable and accessible games, while games like Super Mario Brothers ensured that games could stand the test of time. Super Mario Bros. 3 is still considered one of the first pinnacles in 2D gaming. The game took the simplicity of the original Mario Brothers, and improved on it in every aspect. From uncanny level design, to outstanding graphics, to stop on the dime control; Super Mario Brothers 3 had a little bit of everything. Super Mario Bros. 3 was such an opened ended game for its time. It allowed players to choose how to play the game. Some players could beat the game within an hour, while others could take the long route and collect everything and have the game take hours to beat. SMB3 allowed skill players 8 different worlds to test their skills. The game allowed skilled gamers added difficult with challenging levels and tough enemies, while letting the average player have little secrets like the warp whistles to item bars and mini games to keep the causal gamer interested. Photobucket
These are a few things that started to change the gaming world forever. Super Mario Brothers 3 set up a blueprint which many great games in the the future would try to successfully emulate. SMB3 bridged the gap of the Hardcore gamers and the Casual Gamer and brought both back into the gaming front.

Super Mario Brothers 3 brought people together in a way that arcades did in the 90's. It was once again alright for the skilled and the unskilled to enjoy the same game and take something different from it. SMB3 widened the gaming market just as Ms. Pac-Man and Pong did in the 70's and 80's. But what started to brew was something bigger than the skilled gamer and the casual; the new breed of gamer that has spawned from both, the hardcore gamer. This person is skilled enough not be mistaken for a causal gamer both their is something odd about them. The skilled gamer is the local legend.

He or she was the person other skilled gamers looked up to with respect, the hardcore gamer was the guy that talked more than he could fight. The hardcore gamer is all about the glory; they are the same type of people who care more about how many games they have than the ones the actually played. They are the people who play any game on Xbox 360 just for the Gamer Score. These people outside of the gaming world are known as the "One Uppers". They know less and talk more. What they don't know in knowledge they make up with more "stuff". Fast cars, beautiful women, big guns, and huge houses. Just as these people try to impress their coworkers and friends these hardcore gamers are trying to impress Gamers (the original skilled gamers) and the causal alike.

The hardcore gamers are the people who give gamers a bad reputation. Hardcore Gamer used to be an insult to all of us Gamers today, now it used to describe us. The Hardcore Gamer is born from competition and excess.

They try to be the best of the best without putting the effort, these hardcore gamers support poorly produced like Sprint Cars 2 and buy every Tony Hawk and Call of Duty but pass up games like Okami for no reason. The Hardcore gamer is no one friend and you shouldn't be categorized as one. The word Casual and Hardcore need to leave so games in the next five years can get better instead worse. In the end when developers, game designers, and most of all the people finally realize that we are all just gamers and games are made for all of us we as a whole well be headed in the right direction.