By "mainstream" I mean things like Mario, Pokemon, Legend of Zelda, Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy, World of Warcraft, Call of Duty, Starcraft, and I guess to a lesser degree whatever the new big hyped game everybody in gaming circles is talking about in recent time(relative to their release dates) like Skyrim, Smash Bros, Spec Ops: The Line, Splatoon, Dark Souls 3(sometimes I wonder if DS fans will ever shut up about comparisons to their game), Overwatch, Undertale(even though it's an indie), Mass Effect, so-and-so on. I mean by the time you're someone who cared about Fire Emblem before Awakening came out you already are in the sort of niche crowd.
I'm not really sure why but from near the very beginning I never really felt motivated to stick to the big names everybody and their mothers knew about. I did play LoZ and Pokemon Silver on the GBC, Mario Kart and Paper Mario on the N64, and played through FF1 & 2 a few times on the GBA, but in spite of how I enjoyed those games enough the hype was not real for more of it.
Somewhere along the line I ended up with particularly Japanese games (like I know Pokemon is Japanese, but let's be real here you don't really think about Pokemon being a JRPG, I guess it's something about the marketing direction) whether they were anime games like Fire Emblem and Megaman Battle Network or not-anime-but-you-know-it's-still-totally-Japanese games like Monster Hunter or Devil May Cry. My attention span basically forgot all about the big names for the most part even though I still bought games like Dissidia Final Fantasy and Smash Bros (both of which are spinoff-y) no matter how much hype everyone had going for it. (The only reason I really made the jump to buy Smash for 3DS is because it had 4 Fire Emblem characters in it by then IIRC.) So basically most times there's high profile gaming news that gets everybody in discussion I don't really end up having much to say about it.
I kind of feel like I'm not really a "true gamer" sometimes as a result. I've never even tried League and I probably only focus on a game every other month or two regardless of how much time I have on my hands. Backlog's still building up though...
well, DQ is only really mainstream IMO in Japan, and StarCraft is dying out... but little nitpicks aside, yeah, I get your point =P
I think the conecpt of a "true gamer" is kind of silly but I do feel like I at least understand where you're coming from. I say it's silly because there's no such real thing and one's definition depends on their own outlook or whatever, you can say that the people who play mainstream games aren't true gamers because they only see a small fraction of what there is and it's mostly casual stuff, they might not have an appreciation for a wide variety of games and such, lol
on the other hand maybe if you don't play many mainstream games you're missing out and don't really get what's the latest in gaming, you're only appreciating some niche stuff that isn't really representative of what's most popular/played by most other gamers...
so yeah, it's really just a perspective thing IMO
I've never gotten attached to any big main stream games as a series. I like OoT, but as a whole I'm not a huge LoZ fan. League and overwatch are a lot of fun, but only when I'm playing with friends. I'd never play them by myself. Community too toxic. Dragon quest is fantastic, and I've loved every entry, but you can hardly call that a mainstream game in America. There are a good few people that have never even heard the name dragon quest. Which is sad really, it's a great series. I guess the only really big mainstream series I got into is elder scrolls. I don't think I'll ever grow out of that though. The games are pretty fun alone, and connecting the lore of the world together is a blast imo.
I don't feel like I've gotten attached to them either. whether it's because everyone else is hyped/excited for them so I don't feel the need to be the same, or because I take for granted that they're around (especially those series that get games often, like Mario, Pokemon, Call of Duty, etc.), or whatever, I tend to not be as passionate about them as niche games, where it feels more like I've hit something special that others aren't really appreciating (and thus I feel more inclined to appreciate myself? idk)
communities can be an issue esp. given that most mainstream games these days have some kind of significant multiplayer component
kind of agreed on Dragon Quest, I mean, I've known about the series for a while but I still can't say I've played any lol
Elder Scrolls huh, only played a tiny bit of Skyrim but couldn't get into it XP
It hasn't diverted at all, really...
Okay, so I might play a few third-party games such as Harvest Moon (or Story of Seasons, now. that XSeed took it over) and I do have a handful of random stuff on my comp, but for the main part, the majority of my video game collection is Pokemon, LoZ, HM/SoS, Fire Emblem, a few older Sonic games, and Kirby games.
I do possess a few gems such as Xenoblade Chronicles and a handful of virtual pet games, but I've actually gotten away from the latter because there hasn't been any good, quality virtual pet games (aside from nintendogs) since the GBA/early DS era. :/
FE used to be pretty niche though
HM/SoS isn't mainstream, and Kirby is in a middle-area IMO: it's fairly popular but it lacks the weight of say, 3D Mario games, new Zelda games, etc.
To be fair to the video game industry, I never was really the "mainstream" market to begin with. The younger incarnation of myself loved Advance Wars (a major hit for TBS fans, not a big splash elsewhere), Tales of Symphonia (decent splash to put Tales on the map in North America), Master of Orion II, and Romance of the Three Kingdoms games. And the Super Robot Wars games. Can't forget those fanservice machines (in both senses of the words: crazy attractive OCs and every attack you could imagine out of your favourite mecha series). Liking a popular game is less for me about being part of their market than it is the game industry (by chance) creating a game that I really like.
As to the last part about losing the identity of a "gamer", I think it's less that and more about the approach to gaming. I view it as a similar circumstance to the way people use "otaku" these days in that you are not required to love all the mainstream anime in order to define yourself as one. Instead, I view it as how much the media becomes a part of your personality. A self-proclaimed gamer is likely defined by their games. They see what they play as an expression of their identity.
didn't fully understand this (what else is new)
I don't see otaku as that, otaku to me really applies to Japanese people, and would be like... ppl who collect lots of manga/light novels/anime/figures and are really into that and put most of their time/money into that stuff
if you do that in America you're closer to being a weeb though weeb has more social connotations in terms of like, how you speak and interact with others and loving Japan
I don't identify as either for instance because I'm not Japanese, don't like Japan or Japanese culture, hate a lot of aspects of anime/manga/etc. (e.g. super moe stuff, lolis, ecchi, and other creepy things), but I still like certain manga and anime a lot and I play a lot of Japanese video games, so it's not like I don't interact with stuff created from Japan but I don't feel I'm absorbed in it and generally try to not get too deep into its weirdness >>;
I play the big nintendo titles. That's mostly my mainstream games along with Overwatch. I like niche RPGs (Trails, Devil Survivor) which is the main thing that diverged me from mainstream. Recently fighting games have been the big thing which aside from smash and street fighter is pretty niche.
which fighting games, BlazBlue?
as for me, I consider myself a diverse gamer, meaning I play a fair amount of both mainstream games and niche games. this is because in the end both are games to me so if they're good and appeal to me in some way then I probably want to play them. that's just how I am, I don't really discriminate games based on whether they're for a mainstream or niche audience, though ofc I do discriminate based on my own tastes, preferences, etc. since that's only natural, I want to play things that I will enjoy lol
- I play most big Nintendo franchises, with some exceptions, these are pretty mainstream (Mario of all types, Pokemon, Zelda, Smash, the list goes on)
- I play some spin-offs and lesser franchises. Examples like... Chibi-Robo for 3DS, Code Name S.T.E.A.M., Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE
- I consider Ace Attorney and Danganronpa fairly niche (though I guess AA is growing out of that in a way, but then again the games don't even get physical releases anymore in North America...)
- Along with basically any other VNs
- I am pretty big into niche RPGs like Ys, Trails, Summon Night, and whatever else pops up that catches my interest, maybe not SERIES but lots of individual games
- Indie games, again, not series but I've played a fair amount of niche indie games
- FE is in that middle-ground between niche and not right now, but it's kind of more mainstream IMO. but back in the day it was pretty niche and I could say I was about that
- Tales is also kinda middle-ground, in a way it's niche, but compared to a lot of other JRPGs it's not
- FF I'm not really into (though XV has piqued my curiosity) so I'd say I diverge from the mainstream there, with it being one of the most well-known JRPGs (Pokemon exists too but ppl don't think of that as a JRPG as much, and Persona hype is more of a new thing and I've only played 4 so idk how I feel about that yet)
I think that gives a fairly good idea so I'll stop there for now lol