'Hardcore' and 'casual' are no longer adequate in defining gamers research says

Bottom line: Are you a hardcore gamer or a casual gamer? In today’s diverse gaming environment it’s becoming harder to split off into one or the other group.

I used to consider myself a hardcore gamer. Then came a wife and kids and other responsibilities, and I just do not have the same amount of free time for it that I used to have. So “hardcore” doesn’t really fit me.

However, I still do play video games when I get a chance. I watch some streamers on Twitch when I’m not playing or streaming myself. And I frequently write about the subject. So, the term “casual gamer” does not really fit me either.

Gaming and esports analytics firm Newzoo has seen that the gaming landscape has changed drastically. It spent a year studying gaming habits and has come up with eight new “personas” to better define today’s gamers.

The personas are based on various metrics ranging from the amount of money spent on gaming to how much esports are watched. The eight personas Newzoo came up with follows (survey breakdown in parenthesis).

  • The Ultimate Gamer (13%) — You love nothing more than spending all your money and free time on games.
  • The All-Around Enthusiast (9%) — You live a balanced gaming life in your playing, viewing, and buying habits.
  • The Cloud Gamer (19%) — You’re most likely an early adopter of game streaming services and will only spend money on hardware when necessary.
  • The Conventional Player (4%) — You own tons of gaming hardware and would rather spend your time playing games than watching other people play games.
  • The Hardware Enthusiast (9%) — You keep up with all the latest hardware trends and probably have a $5,000 extreme-build rig with RGB lighting everywhere.
  • The Popcorn Gamer (13%) — You don’t play games all that much, but you like watching others play.
  • The Backseat Viewer (6%) — You used to game a lot, but you got older, and life happened, so you get your kicks from watching esports and people play other games.
  • The Time Filler (27%) — You play games to pass the time, when you have time, and you rarely touch a PC game.

Interestingly, most of the respondents were The Time Filler — the casual gamer of old — and were a median age of 38 with more than 50 percent in the 51-65 age bracket.

Newzoo has posted an abbreviated quiz based on its gamer survey if you are interested in where you fall in its “Gamer Segmentation.” Unsurprisingly, I am an All-Around Enthusiast. Its summary of the all-arounder fits me to a tee.

“The all-around enthusiast is an avid gamer who plays [and watches] for many hours a week. They may not be as dedicated as Ultimate Gamers, but games are still serious business for this persona. They are typically fulltime workers, so paying for the newest titles — as well as hardware — is not an issue. All-Around Enthusiasts enjoy a holistic gaming experience by combining playing games, viewing game content, and owning dedicated gaming hardware.”

Where do you fall in Newzoo’s Gamer Segmentation, and do you agree with its assessment? Let us know in the comments.

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