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What kind of gamer are you, asks analyst

Loyalist or magpie? Lone ranger or wolf?

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

Industry analyst Sean Dromgoole has identified a range of gaming "types" as part of an attempt to explain who plays what games - and why. Wow.

First of all there are different categories of purchasers. Nearly half of us are 'marginals' or 'dabblers', according to Dromgoole - people who bought two or less games over the course of the last two months, and play for less than an hour a day.

Around 18 per cent are 'loyalists' who don't buy too many games, but spend a long time playing them. The reverse is true of 'magpies' (15 per cent). And finally, 19 per cent of gamers are 'hardcore' - they bought three or more games during the last three months, and spend at least an hour gaming each day.

Dromgoole's company, GameVision, went round asking all these types which was their "most wanted" game last month. The Sims 3 came out on top for marginals, while loyalists were keener on UEFA Euro 2008. Wii Fit was the top choice for dabblers, magpies and - hmm - hardcorerers.

According to Dromgoole, gamers can also be divided into different categories according to their attitudes. Most people (17 per cent) are 'pack wolves'. They like realism, violence, combat, competition and "hunting in packs", i.e. playing together online. So that means games like Counter-Strike, Battlefield, WOW and other MMOs. Around 80 per cent of pack wolves are male. Most of them are under 25, and they're most likely to be French or British.

'Rogue wolves' (13 per cent) share similar attitudes, but are aged 25 and over and prefer older brands such as Metal Gear Solid, Medal of Honour, Doom and Colin McRae. They play for around seven hours per week and aren't quite so keen to go online.

Are you a French lady who enjoys games where you get to plan, manage and create? Then chances are you're a 'creator', and a big fan of games like The Sims and Rollercoaster Tycoon. Creators make up 16 per cent of gamers.

Following close behind on 15 per cent are the 'scrappers'. Most likely to be male, young and British, these chaps are always up for a fight and couldn't really give a toss about structure or mental challenges in games. They like Call of Duty, Juiced, WWE and Quake, and wouldn't touch Civlization or Nintendogs.

For 'lone rangers' (13 per cent), it's all about "me versus the machine", "the challenge of completion, depth, projection of power" and so on. They're not keen on teamwork and prefer Final Fantasy and Resident Evil to the likes of EyeToy. They're most likely to be male, British and a bit older than your average gamer.

They probably don't get on too well with 'This Lifers' - old German women (in the main) who like games that involve collaboration, creativity, puzzle-solving and detective work. Think Animal Crossing and Harry Potter rather than Half-Life and Halo.

And finally there are 'Snackers'. Most likely to be old French women, these gamers enjoy titles that are easy to pick-up-and-play, especially if they had added benefits. Brain Training, for example. They're not interested in competing with others or complex storylines, so wouldn't play GTA or Doom.

All this info was presented by Dromgoole at the Edinburgh Interactive Festival today. GameVision regularly surveys 40,000 people across Europe, don't you know; he's not just making it up. So - are you a dabbling pack wolf with snacker tendencies, or a reformed hardcore scrapper who's now a loyalist lone ranger? And will you be updating your Facebook status accordingly?

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