A man in a black mask with a cigar looking surprised.

Adult Gamers: Are You Midcore Gamers?

Gamers are generally divided into three camps: hardcore gamers, just gamers, and casual gamers. Until 12:09 today, that was enough for me. Then I discovered a new categorisation.


You’ll often see me writing about the struggles of being an adult gamer.  Spoiled by an abundance of game time in our youth, we reluctantly put on big boy pants and venture off into the scary unknown world to earn a living for ourselves and our loved ones.

Noble though this quest may be, it invariably means cutting back on time for leisure, including video games.  The struggle is real.

Game time ultimately dwindles down, leading some gamers to embrace the change and become casual gamers, often on mobile devices, while some put the controller down forever.  Others play when they can, but accept that they do so not to be competitive, but to have fun.  A tiny subsection of the gaming population bucks the trend and remain hardcore.

Though many adult gamers yearn for the freedom to game as a hardcore gamer well into adulthood, when faced with the sacrifice of losing time with their loved ones for some time in front of a screen, they choose the memories with those around them.

I thought that covered all the bases until I discovered the existence of midcore.

Midcore is the rung on the ladder that the gamer scale desperately needs.  Midcore gamers are those who used to be hardcore gamers, but no longer have the time to game as they once did, yet still seek “serious” gaming experiences.  They still want a challenge and to develop their gaming skills, and often still want to experience the immersion they used to take for granted in their youth – but they want all of this in smaller doses.

The mobile gaming market has embraced the midcore gaming community, offering challenging portable video games with a level of depth unimaginable a decade ago.  Many AAA video games can also be enjoyed this way, offering short quests that can be completed in brief gaming sessions, allowing gamers to drop in and out as and when time permits.

In the 9 minutes that have passed since I first discovered this definition even exists, I have decided that I am a midcore gamer.

I don’t play video games just for the sake of playing a video game; a game needs to have the depth and substance to keep me coming back, but also needs to respect my time.  I need games to challenge me, but not to smother me if I return rusty after a month’s hiatus.  I need games to give me the option to master them, but not force me to do so to enjoy them.

The question is: what kind of gamer are you?

A casual gamer, stacking blocks while waiting for the bus?  Just a gamer, playing for fun?  A hardcore gamer, striving for perfection?  Or, are you too a midcore gamer, seeking dialled down hardcore elements on a restricted schedule?

Let us know in the comments below.