I see it all the time nowadays. Hardcore being used as a title for gamers like it means something, kinda like ELO on League of Legends or karma on Reddit. Touhou aimed at hardcore shooter fans, Etrian Odyssey being aimed at hardcore dungeon crawler fans, same with Dark Souls and anything else that loves to show you the game over screen whenever it feels like it. Sure, I get what it means, but it spawns a problem.
I’ve previously written on how gamers have a sense of entitlement, and this ties in to a degree with the bad parts of gamer mentality. Self-proclaimed “hardcore gamers” who like to berate and insult people for their taste in games and playstyle. Now, I’m a glutton for difficulty, but at the same time I can appreciate less-challenging games like Phoenix Wright or even Columns on the Genesis. I don’t consider myself hardcore at all because saying you’re a hardcore gamer hardly means anything.
Because of the mentality of certain hardcore elitists thinking they’re better than anyone else, you can get trashy comments like one from a while back where apparently, Duke Nukem Forever sucked because it was designed for “Casual Console Users”. Please remind me what Dark Souls and Demon’s Souls was originally released on. An unneeded elitist comment that contributes nothing positive.
Comments like that however cause damage to the PC gamer community and the hardcore gamer community. It further adds fire to the Casuals vs Hardcores circlejerk which is about the same as an alignment debate on a forum about pen and paper games. A pointless drivel about something aimed at ages 12 and up.
However, I’m not saying that all hardcore gamers have this problem. There is no positive connotation with the term “Elitist”. The biggest issue with human intelligence is that the higher it is, the less stupid things you tend to say, unfortunately high intelligence is not required to voice an opinion. Many of the more vocal people on the internet and talking heads tend to be complete fools, which is what people not in the community will see before everyone else.
The elitism some have can get out of hand to an extreme level in online gaming, with slurs, insults, and griefing against people who don’t play in the single-most optimized way possible. This doesn’t just happen in videogames, but also in more traditional gaming like Magic the Gathering and other card games, and even sports where the elitism is multiplied tenfold. I personally have witnessed people try to get specific users banned or otherwise punished for not playing a specific way. Before I quit League of Legends, I was on the inverse of this and someone honestly reported me for using a “broken Lux build” after I crushed him six times in a row, quite hilarious. Ironically he claimed it was for “Unskilled player”.
If you ask gamers their opinion of certain online communities, you will find quite a few complaints directed at the top players who toot their own horn like they were Gabriel at the end of the world. This of course will result in someone coming in, seeing the comments, leaving, and telling everyone “Apparently LoL is full of elitist bastards who ban you for not doing a good build” and other misconceptions that further downgrade the opinion of the targeted game.
I’m not much of a quitter, but I find that people who drive off and insult players because they don’t take games as seriously as they do are among the worst in a gaming community. Trolls can be muted, bug abusers can be banned, but you can’t make a rule against being an elitist asshole. You can however choose to not act like that and give other gamers a bad name.
A fistbump to the hardcore players who are genuinely humble about their hobby.