: Variety Is The Gamer's True Spice

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Variety Is The Gamer's True Spice

We all have our personal preferences when it comes to gaming, but can any true fan really stick to only one game, genre, or platform? It's a question that's difficult to answer; those who exclusively play MMOs or FPSs 40 hours per week will say they're hardcore (and clearly, they are), but does that voluntary restriction make them less of a gamer? I say yes.

Look, it goes well beyond experiencing different things. Those who claim to be gamers will also claim to be experts on the subject, and just because you sit there playing World of Warcraft or Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare a gazillion hours without sleep doesn't necessarily mean you're an expert. In fact, in my experience, it means you could know next to nothing about the industry and the best software available. In fact, if you really think about it, how can such people know much of anything? Sure, you can read up on stuff as easily as the next person, but with only second-hand information at your disposal, you can't label yourself an "expert" on anything. But of course, besides the MMO addicts, there aren't many people out there who only play one game, so perhaps this initial argument isn't viable. Perhaps the question revolves around those who only play one type of game.

Despite all the strides we've taken, despite all the genres sitting on store shelves, there are still plenty of gamers who simply refuse to play any title from a certain category. I've never been able to understand this. I really can't stand flight, fighting, and most music-based games, but does that mean I've never played an Ace Combat? Does that mean Soul Calibur IV isn't in my collection? Does that mean I've never picked up that nifty little guitar for Guitar Hero? Of course not. The bottom line is this, and I'm sure I've said it before: gamers play great games, regardless of the platform or genre. On top of which, there are benchmark titles that absolutely anyone who calls themselves a gamer should play, and that includes titles from all four major platforms today. You don't have to finish them. But simply putting your hands on the controller (or mouse/keyboard, whatever) should be a requirement when it comes to things like Grand Theft Auto IV, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Crysis, etc.

About six weeks ago, I did an editorial on the true definition of the term, "gamer." This is an off-shoot to that - in a way - because I've recently come across people who have explicitly stated they "won't play" any game from 'insert genre title here.' Essentially, they believe they'll never have any fun with any game from that category, so they won't bother, no matter what the critics say. But where's the open-mindedness in that? Shouldn't we realize that gaming continues to evolve right under our very noses, and that tomorrow's RPG will probably be nothing like yesterday's? Heck, that's already true. I still know gamers who will never touch a FPS for a variety of reasons, and this viewpoint absolutely baffles me. Now, there was a time when I'd play a ton of RPGs back in the PS1 days, but that in no way stopped me from sampling any number of the great titles back in that era. I still think the likes of Twisted Metal 2, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Metal Gear Solid, Gran Turismo 2, Resident Evil 2, and Wipeout XL are some of my favorites ever.

So here's the thing: if you're a game collector and you call yourself a gamer, I believe you're doing yourself a disservice by ignoring games you think you'll hate. So much has changed, and let's not forget that our personal tastes can change with time, too. To swear off any one genre, to sear off any one platform, or worse, to only play one or two games for months on end online, drops your stock as a "gamer" in my eyes. Of course, I am not saying everybody should play titles that all the critics love, but I am saying that the benchmark titles I mentioned earlier go beyond reviews. They're widespread phenomena, and there's a reason for it...you should discover that reason, love it or hate it. The next time I hear someone trying to lecture others on a genre they despise, without ever having played anything from that genre in the past decade, I'm gonna have some kind of breakdown. Spread those wings and try new things. Personal opinion is one thing, but some people just need to accept change and grow with the times; you hated Super Hang-On so you won't try Gran Turismo: Prologue? Oookay.

P.S. Any number of examples can be formed using the preceding formula. Try it; it's fun. :)

9/17/2008 Ben Dutka

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Comments (24 posts)

ThePoetRazel
Wednesday, September 17, 2008 @ 6:07:08 PM
Reply

I totally agree that a gamer should be open to all genres. But we should not say someone is not a gamer because they choose not to throw money, time and effort into something when they can't afford to.
It is, of course, those who attack a genre that cannot be counted as a gamer. Perhaps they could be considered a gamer of a particular genre but not an overall gamer.
btw, nice article title.

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AceTatsujin
Wednesday, September 17, 2008 @ 6:09:49 PM
Reply

Beautiful article. Really great way of describing things and giving info, supporting your statements and showing some examples. I wasn't into FPS last generation, hell I wasn't into many things honestly and I wasn't a pure gamer. But when you see things on Wii, on the 360 or the power of the PS3 ... that's just a WHOLE new thing and I dropped my jaw looking at those games, the strong frame-rates, the physics, mechanices, the options, features and how gaming expanded to a whole new level. And this is the result, Ben ... look at my list:-

http://www.otakixus.com/playstation3.htm

This is only partial of my collection. I'm focused more on the PS3 now because of those great games that I have, and the next games that are coming out. I'd love to expand my wallet, but I honestly try to pick out the ones that I know I'll be enjoying. I don't know if I call myself a gamer, but I cannot resist how awesome these games have become! And I picked up my list from there .. I roughly edge at around 15 PS2 games or less, and about 20 or so PS1 games. I can tell you I'm gonna probably rack around 40 or 70 PS3 games alone from the PSP if they keep releasing strong titles. Developers who put alot of effort into making an awesome title like MGS IV are worth my time and money.

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BigBoss4ever
Thursday, September 18, 2008 @ 1:06:40 AM

I love your owned list and the pre-order list. Both are very very similar to mine. Plus a few xbox 360 (Lost Odyssey, Blue Dragon, Gears Of War, DOA 4 ... ) Two thumbs up, nice website. :D

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Scarecrow
Wednesday, September 17, 2008 @ 6:12:48 PM
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I'd try every game out there if you could buy it for me.

I buy games which appeal to me, it's that simple.

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Dustinwp
Wednesday, September 17, 2008 @ 6:22:03 PM
Reply

The console war I believe is what spurs most of these peoples thoughts about certain games. It's really the only thing that's ugly about video games. It's like some people with religion. If you don't believe in the same things they do they will say negative things to try and convert you, so you think like them and not for yourself.
People should enjoy different things and form their own opinions, but respect other peoples opinions and stop saying games suck just because people aren't brain washed like you.

Last edited by Dustinwp on 9/17/2008 6:33:52 PM

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pavlovic
Wednesday, September 17, 2008 @ 6:31:40 PM
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I've never been an RPG player, I tried them back on the PS1 era and the last chance I give the RPG genre was with Mass Effect and get bored in about 30 minutes, but I respect the genre, there are a lot of people that love RPGs.

I've played the Grand Theft Auto series since GTAIII, inlcuidng those for the PSP. Never finished one. Not my type of game, so I didn't play GTAIV.

Back on the PS2 days, I couldn't stand any FPS because they made me dizzy, now I enjoy them and spend a lot of time playing them.

But I try to play as much games as I can, some are trashables and others are gold bricks.

I'm coming back to platforms very soon coff LBP coff



Last edited by pavlovic on 9/17/2008 6:32:56 PM

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AceTatsujin
Wednesday, September 17, 2008 @ 6:35:38 PM

-high fives pavlovic- haha! LBP <3

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Reccaman18
Wednesday, September 17, 2008 @ 6:41:57 PM
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The PS3 was the system that finally got me into FPS games. I never liked the first person view, but after playing resistance: fall of man, I have been hooked. I enjoy several different genres, including FPS, RPG, MMO, MMORPG, Shooter, Racing, platform, puzzle, action, action RPG, action adventure, music and rhythm and others. I cant think of any more!

I think LBP will be the PS3s next big system seller. Although, Resistance 2 could do the same.

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Jizmack
Wednesday, September 17, 2008 @ 6:47:42 PM
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I just want DSL

why do i have to be stuck with satellite internet...

Gamers like myself (I do consider myself a gamer) feel isolated when they cannot play with others at games unless special occasions. Although I have beaten games like Resistance on Superhuman with next to ease because I played it so much I know all the computer AI and am very good at dodging. =] The list of games I have completed start with the Famicon or Nes and work itself through the sega and into the Ps3 era.

Dedication and ability to complete and compete make us gamers

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DIsmael85
Wednesday, September 17, 2008 @ 8:12:27 PM
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I think I'll stick to gaming with my PS3, since most of my games are on it. Multiplatform games make there no need to buy unnecessary consoles.

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Jed
Wednesday, September 17, 2008 @ 8:33:24 PM
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I know what you mean. I cant stand it when somebody goes off bashing a game that they never even tried to understand, let alone play.

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Riku994
Wednesday, September 17, 2008 @ 8:53:58 PM
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I agree with all of this, but at the same time I disagree. I for example love RPGs, action games, stuff like that. I'll even pick up a racer every once in a while despite my obvious lack of skill at them. But the only genre of games I dont like and wont play are shooters, and its not BECAUSE they're shooters, I just dont like the concept of running through moslty linear stages with almost always one common goal, rescue this guy, kill another, etc. I am NOT saying all shooters are the exact same, but I am however saying I dislike them because to me they all seem to have a common goal. I've always loved old style games, picking up a sword and actually fighting, not being able to just shoot someone in the head and it's over. By all means I loves playing Halo, even though I suck at it and tried the story mode and could get nowhere due to this fact, and Battlefield: Bad Company was extrordinary looking, but I just can't sit there and play a shooter.

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Jizmack
Wednesday, September 17, 2008 @ 9:31:19 PM
Reply

great site tatsujin

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MetalHead09
Wednesday, September 17, 2008 @ 11:06:35 PM
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well ben i agree with you to an extent. i dont restrict myself to any one genre, many many different games appeal to me but i only have sonys console because they have my trust. i dont trust microsofts system because ive heard way to many horror story. (side note, i have bin pondering an xbox 360 lately. quite a few games look pretty darn good.) so is sticking to one console that i know will work and keep me satisfied makes me less of a gamer?? and what you said about online games. when socom comes out i plan on starting my clan ImN again and i focus a LOT on my clans success so it basically takes up all my online gaming time so does that make me less of a gamer to?? i have to disagree with that but i also dont go around calling myself an "expert" either. im not saying i wouldnt try new games or online games, ive bin playnig cod4 online until the socom beta started.

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orangpelupa
Thursday, September 18, 2008 @ 12:13:44 AM
Reply

not all gamer have the money to buy all the good games...

i love games but beause i only have slow PC, Xbox 360, and PS2. i cant play MGS4, i also cant play crysis with high quality.

but im still lucky, my friend is saving money for PS3 :D
when he buy PS3, i can play mgs4 there >_<

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Scarecrow
Thursday, September 18, 2008 @ 1:22:03 AM

There we go, not everyone has the money to be buying all three consoles or to be trying out just 'bout every good game out there.

When I say I don't care for Bioshock I say it for many reasons. FPSs is one of those genres I've never liked at all since the ps1 days. Resistance: FOM is actually the first FPS game I've owned(well besides playing Golden Eye on the N64).

Anyway, that and the fact that I can't be spending $60 all the time. I buy the games which appeal to me.

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Advent Child
Thursday, September 18, 2008 @ 1:45:23 AM
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Unfortunately I can't entirely agree with you Ben. I do not play sports game. I have played a few need for speed games a little bit, but I have never owned one. And the only other sports game I have played was a football game back on the Nintendo 64. Simply put, I don't care about sports. So why would I care about sports games? I also have never played any music game. I just have no desire to. I have my plate full with the other hundred games in my collection.

*edit* Actually I would also like to add that I have never touched a Grand Theft Auto game after GTAIII, but that is much more for moral reasons than any other.

Last edited by Advent Child on 9/18/2008 1:47:05 AM

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Tim Speed24
Thursday, September 18, 2008 @ 10:16:14 AM
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This line of thinking is flawed. One should acknowledge other genres and systems exist and that some people like them. But we shouldn't have to play all of them to be considered an avid gamer.

It's like saying "You can't be a music fan because you only buy country CDs, you should buy Heavy Metal, Classical, Blues and Rap Cds to say your a true music listener."

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, September 18, 2008 @ 12:21:59 PM
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Some of you are missing the point. Nobody says you need to play all genres on all platforms all the time. Just like nobody needs to listen to all types of music all the time.

But yes, in order to call yourself a true fan of any entertainment industry, you should at least SAMPLE all possible offerings, if only for a few minutes. Otherwise, saying you "don't like something" is the same thing as saying "I THINK I don't like something." How could you possibly know?

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 9/18/2008 12:22:21 PM

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MetalHead09
Thursday, September 18, 2008 @ 1:36:06 PM
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ok now that makes a bit more sense.

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Riku994
Thursday, September 18, 2008 @ 2:22:22 PM
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Yeah that does make sense, but I have tried sports games before and Ive sampled different shooters, and they just dont appeal to me.

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Minishmaru
Thursday, September 18, 2008 @ 5:16:51 PM
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Hey Ben! I finally bought a 360 pro this past Monday! with the price drop and considering I bought a refurbished 20gb instead of the 300 60gb I'm pretty happy. I got SW:Force Unleashed for it and i'm gonna rent Too Human as soon as it gets returned to the local Blockbuster :)

So now i can be called a PS360 owner XD Bring on the variety!!!

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, September 18, 2008 @ 7:39:22 PM

Great! Buy Gears now and be happy. :)

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DcIronfist
Thursday, September 18, 2008 @ 5:45:44 PM
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The good news is that most of this sampling can be done for free with demo's coming out on the store. I do try to sample all the demos, even if I am pretty sure I'm not into the game, just because you really are not sure till you try it :)

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