Being a gamer is a hobby. If you spend a couple hours a week playing a game as a hobby, then undoubtedly you should be considered a gamer. Hard core gamers on the other hand are a whole different breed.
Today, while I was driving home, I was getting excited thinking about how I could spend my evening. I knew that I would have about 2 hours of time to spend with my wife tonight as she typically gets home from Yoga on Thursday at 7:00pm and is thinking of going to bed around 9:00pm. I, on the other hand, got home at 5:40pm and can stay up as late as I want as I am not expected at work till 1:00pm tomorrow.
My mind was swirling with potential pixel paradises to visit and progress through. Should I attempt to get further in Trine 2? Should I work on leveling a character in Marvel Heroes? What about playing Bayonetta on the WiiU? Should I work on Guacamelee? Bioshock Infinite DLC? Go back to the Wonderful 101? So many options.
I got home and played a bit of clicker heroes as had become my habit and then prepared dinner as much as I could without it cooking. It was time to do what I wanted without consequence.
That feeling. That desire that you feel. That is what makes you a hard core gamer. When you crave the feeling of getting lost in a world imagined and created by others, that is what makes you a hard core gamer.
Its not being a screaming edge raider in WoW. Its not playing at tournaments for LoL. Its not finishing games like Dark Souls or Mega Man. And most certainly its not completing every level of Candy Crush. It is only the urge to spend your time playing any game you can get your hand on.
There is nothing wrong with this desire. No gamer should make you feel like you are a lesser player because you can’t do what they can in a game.
So you don’t earn the money from the tournament. So you don’t get your name on some leaderboard. Who cares? Did you get to play the game you wanted? Did you enjoy it? Is it your prime choice in entertainment? Then to me, you are a hard core gamer and that is all there is to it.