Lately I've been hearing a lot of murmurs about what it means to be a "hardcore" gamer, and really just a gamer in general. I find such discussions annoying. Why contemplate on something so trivial?
I play a very wide range of games, and I play them very frequently and in earnest. I have the single highest trophy level of all my PSN friends, and I was at Gamestop at 12 am on October 18th, even though I had important things to do the following day.
I guess other people label me a gamer. And probably a hardcore one, at that. But I do all that because playing games is a primary hobby of mine; because it's fun. It's not like I'm actively working to be recognized as a gamer. I guess I just think it's silly to devote much thought to how you should label yourself, and even less so how others should label you. It's not much different from the good people out there acting on the idea that young girls typically have fragile self-esteem.
That has a lot to do with interpretation of the words, though; another common topic of discussion. What is a "gamer", after all? I would say it's quite simply a person who plays games. But then some ask "does FarmVille count? The Sims? What about Wii Sports?"
And then things get even more muddled when you add in "hardcore". Who the heck knows what that means? "Hardcore" could just mean you sit in your room playing Call of Duty all day. Maybe that is hardcore.
At least with "casual", the meaning is pretty clear. If you say you're a casual gamer, technically it means that you just play games for fun and giggles. But a reasonable interpretation is that you play games often or that you play games of the lighter, less intensive sort.