25th Aug2019

Are Nerds Still the Best Gamers?

by James Smith

I consider myself a fan of online gaming, but to be honest, all that really means is that I own a PS4, and sometimes play it. I wouldn’t say that I’m some kind of uber-fan though, and nowadays, I’m more than likely to be found playing online casino games than online MMORPG games. It’s just what happens as you get older. Which begs the question: who makes the best gamers? Back in the day, online gaming (of any sort) was exclusively the realm of nerds.

But pro-gaming has made some serious strides over the last few years, with tournaments and prizes becoming absolutely huge. Some of the best pro-gamers can even scoop up millions of dollars in prizes, and beyond: in 2013, the US State Department opened up their professional athletes’ visa programme to include professional gamers. One American university has even started a half-million dollars scholarship programme for professional gaming teams.


The Best Gamers: A Case Study

To decide who makes the best ‘gamers’, we need to define the type of ‘gaming’ in question. For me, I would say that gaming falls into two categories – multiplayer games, such as Fortnite and Dota2 – and online casino gaming – Poker, Slots and more. The best ‘type’ of gamer for each might be very, very different.  Let’s look at it this way: Nerds tend to always win at things online. But this may not be accurate anymore. Poker players are not all nerds, unless you consider Christian Ronaldo a nerd. Winning at casino games is no longer the territory of nerds either as the proliferation of online casinos and the pure luck of the games, make it an ‘everyone has a chance’ scenario.

So, let’s take a deeper look at the type of gaming, and the type of best player associated with it.

Multiplayer Online Games

Possibly the most popular type of gaming with the younger crowd, this category includes all of the games you’ve probably heard about – according to TwitchMetrics, the most streamed games include Fortnite, League of Legends, World of Warcraft, Overwatch and more.  All of these games have certain things in common: they’re multiplayer, strategy-based and allow for player creativity. They also take dedication to understand, level up and really make progress. What I’m trying to say is, they require hours of strategy building and implementation, not to mention hard work and dedication.  As such, nerds probably do make for the best type of these gamers. Without generalising too much, they’re generally the sort who have the stamina, depth of understanding and hours to dedicate to playing these types of games.

Online Casino Gaming

This is more the realm of the older crowd, and those who appreciate getting a little something other than kudos for their efforts. I’m talking, of course, cold, hard cash. Online casino players are more concerned with skill and strategy than in investing hours and hours of background research and ‘levelling-up’ time. They just want to get playing and winning as quickly as possible. They’re also much less likely to spend hours and hours on just one game: though they may have a preference for, say, table games over slot machines, they’re more likely to play a certain amount of individual games within the table games category, than sticking to just one game, like Multiplayer fans do.  As such, this type of online gaming fan probably won’t be that nerdy.

The Verdict: are Nerds the Best ‘Gamers’?

As I’ve gone into above, nerds might still reign supreme when it comes to the question of who’s the ‘best’ gamer. The question is, what does ‘gaming’ mean?  I’d think that ‘nerds’, or however you choose to define fans of online multiplayer games, probably are still the best gamers. They have the skill, strategy and hours to dedicate towards honing their gaming craft, and really investing in it. Online casino players, on the other hand, are much less likely to have hours and hours to dedicate, and for them, it’s more of a fun activity to do within their leisure time. Multiplayer fans, on the other hand, see gaming as a way of life.

Although in reality, maybe it’s best to leave the labels, and just enjoy whichever kind of games you play online.

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