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A gamer is someone who plays interactive games, usually video games, although games can also come in other forms, such as tabletop or physical games (in some countries, such as the United Kingdom, the term "gaming" can also refer to legalized gambling, which can take both traditional—i.e. tabletop—and digital forms—akin to video games).
There are many gamer communities around the world. Many of these take the form of Internet forums and other virtual communities, as well as in-person social clubs.
In the United States, the average video game player is 30 years old and has been playing video games for over 12 years. In the UK as of 2007, the average video game player was over 23 years old, had played video games for over 10 years, and spent around 11 hours a week playing video games. According to Pew Research Center, 49% percent of adults have played a video game at some point in their life. Those who play video games regularly are split roughly equal between male and female, but men are more likely to call themselves a 'Gamer.'
A female gamer/gamer girl is any female who regularly engages in playing video games. According to a study conducted by the Entertainment Software Association in 2009, 40% of the game playing population is female, and women 18 or older now comprise 34% of all gamers. Also, the percentage of women playing online had risen to 43%, up 4% from 2004. The same study shows that 48% of game purchasers are female. Usage of the term "girl gamer" is controversial. Some critics have advocated use of the label as a reappropriated term, while others see it as nondescriptive or perpetuating the minority position of female gamers. Some critics of the term believe there is no singular definition of a female gamer and that they are as diverse as any other group.
Gaymer, or gay gamer, is a term used to refer to the group of people who identify themselves as LGBT (gay, bisexual, lesbian, or transgender) and have an active interest in video games. This demographic has been the subject of two large surveys, one in 2006, who noted the level of prejudice that gaymers endure, and another in 2009, focusing on the content that gaymers expect in videogames. The gaymers community provides a "safe place" for LGBT gamers apart from the isolation they feel from both the heteronormative gaming community and the gay community. They also believe that as homosexuality in video games increase, there will be an increased normalization of homosexuality in general.
Newbie: "Newbie", (commonly shortened to "noob", "n00b", or "newb") is a slang term for a or to a certain game, or to gaming in general.
Casual gamer: The term "casual gamer" is often used for gamers who primarily play casual games, but can also refer to gamers who play less frequently than other gamers. Casual gamers may play games designed for ease of gameplay, or play more involved games in short sessions, or at a slower pace than hardcore gamers. The types of game that casual gamers play vary, and they are less likely to own a dedicated video game console. Notable examples of casual games include The Sims and Nintendogs. Casual gamer demographics vary greatly from those of other video gamers, as the typical casual gamer is older and more predominantly female. "Fitness gamer"s, who play motion-based exercise games, are also seen as casual gamers.
Core gamer: A core or mid-core gamer is a player with a wider range of interests than a casual gamer and is more likely to enthusiastically play different types of games, but without the amount of time spent and sense of competition of a hardcore gamer. The mid-core gamer enjoys games but may not finish every game they buy, doesn't have time for long MMO quests, and is a target consumer. Nintendo president Satoru Iwata stated that they designed the Wii U to cater to core gamers who are in between the casual and hardcore categories. A number of theories have been presented regarding the rise in popularity of mid-core games. James Hursthouse, the founder of Roadhouse Interactive credits the evolution of devices towards tablets and touch-screen interfaces, whereas Jon Radoff of Disruptor Beam compares the emergence of mid-core games to similar increases in media sophistication that have occurred in media such as television.
Hardcore gamer: Ernest Adams and Scott Kim have proposed classification metrics to distinguish "hardcore gamers" from casual gamers, emphasizing action, competition, complexity, gaming communities, and staying abreast of developments in hardware and software. Others have attempted to draw the distinction based primarily on which platforms a gamer prefers, or to decry the entire concept of delineating casual from hardcore as divisive and vague.
- Achievers, who like to gain points and overall succeed within the game parameters, collecting all rewards and game badges.
- Explorers, who like to discover all areas within the game, including hidden areas and glitches, and expose all game mechanics.
- Socializers, who prefer to play games for the social aspect, rather than the actual game itself.
- Killers, who thrive on competition with other players.
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