Remember the Myers-Briggs personality test that we all took in school or for a particular employer? The one that had 16 different combinations? Well, it is time we put gamers to the test. Luckily, I am here to help you, and there aren't that many combinations in the gaming world. I've broken up the gaming population into five gamer personality types: casual, sociable, moderate, addicted, and hardcore. Most gamers fit perfectly in one of these categories, though a few are not easily grouped.
There are those who hardly even consider themselves gamers, those who devote their life to video games, and everything in between. Each of these gamer personality types is quite distinct from the others, but they are all equally important to the gaming community as a whole. They each have something to contribute to the overall picture of gaming, creating a fantastic masterpiece not seen in any other entertainment medium.
The "casual gamer" level is where most folks enter the world of gaming, even if just for a brief period. These are people who actually have a life outside of video games, but still like to spend some of their free time delving in electronic entertainment. In large part, these are exclusively PC gamers, as they are not inclined to buy a dedicated video game machine. Here are some of the signs that indicate that you're a casual gamer:You don't mind quitting in the middle of a game. The majority of your gaming time is spent playing free online games or shareware. You actually have something to do on Friday nights other than staring at a computer screen.
After doing some basic research and surveys, it seems that gamers who stay in this level are of the extravert/sensing variety on the Myers-Briggs scale (ESFP, ESTP, ESFJ, ESTJ). These are the really outspoken types, and often the ones who were the popular kids in high school - the ones who mocked those of you in your school's computer club. But don't hate them; they make up a vital part of the gaming community. This is the level that connects the hardcore gamers to the general public who probably don't even consider themselves gamers. It's also the stepping stone for new gamers who will eventually move up on the "gamer personality scale".
Casual gamers rarely spend money on video games. They play free games online at sites like Yahoo! Games or Pogo, and/or download free shareware games, such as old arcade games (Pac-Man, Space Invaders) or addictive, time-killing games (Lemmings, Minesweeper).
Most gamers start at this level, and a good number of them stay here. But there are also plenty who decide that they really like this genre of entertainment and start devoting more time and money to gaming. And when they do, they move up on the gamer personality scale.