Another Glorious Day in The Core

O'rly? well I never thought of playing that.

Something unprecedented is happening. Not happened, but happening. The Fanboys are forming a coalition, a new form of government (I’m not going to pretend I understand politics so I won’t make a fool of myself trying to come up with a snappy topical joke based on the UK government). We don’t seem to be fighting as much as we used to, it’s more like “I say, is Uncharted 2 as good as they say old chap?”… “Why yes it is, very very good story and direction with some simply spiffing cinematography. What do you know about Halo Reach? That game looks like it could be wonderful”. That’s wrong, we never used to talk like that. What happened to the days of chanting “Where’s your dualshock gone? Where’s your dualshock gone?” or “Installed any good updates lately?” and let us not forget the Sony fanboys favourite “huhuhuh how many Xboxes you had now?”. The Battles of old are becoming nothing more than war stories, tales of wit and one-upmanship. We are now united against a common enemy and we have a new name: “The Core.”

Now to first be a member of “The Core” you need to have been a fanboy. After that, there are a number of ways to get into “The Core”.

  • You need to know what “The Core” is.
  • You need to have been to a midnight launch for a game or console.
  • You need to get excited by E3.
  • When you have had only £40 left and no food, you spent it on a game.
  • You buy the special expensive limited editions.
  • You look at the same gaming sites more that once a day just to see what’s new.
  • You know the words to at least one cut scene from three different games.
  • You need to know why the cake is a lie and not just overheard a member of “The Core” mention it.

The Core Needs you

Now, I could list those all day but if you can also add another one to the list consider yourself in “The Core”. I won’t do the fanboy thing again you can read all about that here.  Back to the coalition, the fanboys are uniting for what is the first time in ever. It’s like one of those episodes of Star Trek where two people that don’t normally get on are in a shuttle accident, then stranded and forced to unite to overcome an enemy that’s chasing them through the woods, or the Transformers episode where the Autobots and Decepticons team up to fight an ancient foe. But what is this new enemy? Casual gamers. Why though? It makes sense for the fanboys to fight amongst themselves, it’s what we do: Halo’s better than Killzone, Xbox is better than PS3, don’t tut Sony fanboys you should know which side of the fence I come down on by now. This isn’t what this is about; this is about our fight against the casual. What did they ever do though? They don’t make comments like I just did, they hardly ever buy games, they don’t know why a rubber chicken with a pulley in the middle is funny.

Don’t make the assumption that I’m just ragging on the Wii gamers, while I do feel dirty every time I touch one, Super Mario Galaxy 2 is making me go “ohhhhh, errrrr, No NO Lee don’t do it” but what with all the new games coming soon there is a very good chance I might cave at some point in the next twelve months; a good game’s a good game at the end of the day, and it seems a little hypocritical (longest word I’ll use, I promise) of me to claim to be a gamer and not play the good games regardless of what console they are on.

Dad, it's my go now

Gamers’ Dads are like the Lords of casual gamers, I call them “Dad Gamers”, now I don’t mean gamers who are dads… I mean my dad and your dad. The worst thing about it is they don’t know it, they genuinely believe that they are proper gamers because they got a mêlée kill in the tutorial at the start of the game – yeah well done dad you pressed B on the guy who was conveniently looking the other way when the huge metal door opened behind him. My Dad had a Mega Drive that Adam and I basically claimed as soon as it was out of the box and had its RF lead plugged in but, fair is fair, my Dad did play games back when they were in 2D form and back then in 1991 he probably referred to himself as a gamer. Sadly for him it didn’t last. Mega Drive would have been his last and, after that, I don’t think he has gamed much between then and now except with the odd dabble on Command and Conquer for the PC at various points in the C&C history. Then he bought an Xbox not long after seeing me play Gears of War back when that came out. You ever played Gears with your dad? Let me tell you, it’s a painful experience; there is just something about the right analogue stick that confuses the hell out of them. For dads, the right analogue stick has two settings: sky or floor. Now, Gears is a fairly slow game with regards to movement, but he borrowed Assassin’s Creed II from me not long ago and trying to get him to grasp the concept of looking where you’re running was alien to him, it was “How do I get up there?” and “Why does he keep jumping off the walls?”.  “Try to not press the jump button dad” I’d answer him while trying to work out if I’ve been round visiting long enough yet “Ohh which one’s jump?” /facepalm. There’s a Crypt in Assassin’s Creed II where you have four floor trigger pads which activate four separate timed runs and my step mum phoned me up to ask me to come ’round to do it for him. All I could hear in the background was my dad going “No, no I can do it, oh you fu.. cun.. bas.. boll..” he was in such a rage he couldn’t even swear properly. Is this what’s going to happen to me as I get older? Am I going to forget how to use the right analogue stick? Am I going to forget how to swear? Am I going to be looking at the floor getting shot wondering why the screen is slowly turning red? Is me considering that I might want a Wii the first step in the process to becoming a casual gamer?

Kevin Butler VP of Awesome Marketing

Is this why I hate casual gamers?

…Sorry I had to take a moment then to reflect on what I’d just said and it’s ok though, that’s not it.  Kevin Butler said it best at E3… “Every gamer is a true gamer: motion gamers, sitting gamers, everyone. And though we may pledge fanboy allegiances to different flags deep down inside we all serve one master, one king and his name is gaming. Forever may he reign!” I can’t believe I’m quoting Sony’s VP of Sharpening things, he must be right.  Maybe casual gamers are people too? *sigh* I honestly think I would prefer to be questioning my own sexuality right now; I’m not being homophobic with that, I’m just saying I like the bewbs… but sometimes I look at Kinect and think “Yeah that could be good.” I fear for what I am becoming.

Hang on! Wait! That’s it! “Casual gamers are people too” yes, they are people! Happy people with lives and wives and children and they are all far too pretty and too rich. Yes… yes… I can feel the anger. Look at them with their stupid large open plan living rooms and friends, look at their controllers on the posh expensive oak coffee table made from the hull of HMS Victory. They have four of them and four nunchuks because they like to play “together”. Granddad and grandma like to come round and watch them play games and say things like “Ohh what a lovely Sunday we are all having, shall we go and walk the dogs later?” God I hate them. I hate their perfect lives. I hate that everything they own is white, I hate that they know how to keep white things clean without them eventually getting grubby, I hate the island in the middle of your kitchen, I hate your John Lewis corner sofa, I hate your Logic 3 Wii charge station, I hate standard definition, I hate bowling and yoga and I hate I HATE! The “un” in Ant ‘n’ Dec.

Yes that’s it, I feel the hate flowing inside me. Join me fellow fanboys, Ant ‘n’ Dec will be the first to suffer when “The Core” rise from the ashes of burnt Nintendo marking campaigns. So stop looking at Kotaku and try to put on your Spartan helmet or night vision goggles, pick up your golden Lancers and plastic guitars, fill your backpacks with Coca-Cola, load your Vault-Tec lunch boxes with Haribo and join me in the streets. Feel a sense of pride and shed a tear as we sing our anthem. Fear us causual gamers for we are “The Core”.

This was a triumph…

Last five articles by Lee



  1. Kat says:

    I was gonna read this tomorrow but couldn’t help myself. I lolled much!

    Not sure I make it into The Core sadly so I might be a casualty of the war if those Wii-folk get to me :/

  2. Adam Adam says:

    I lolled too :D

    I say we keep the hawt ones, try to teach them stuff and kill the rest. Or at least kill their grandparents, or maybe just go around on a sunday and embarrass them all to the point of suicide by shaming their best scores on something and then spill some Red Wine pretty much everywhere in their house, because they’re bound to drink Red Wine….

  3. Kat says:

    Red wine will do great damage to their white worlds. As will their blood! Buahahahahaaa.

    (too much?) :D

  4. Ste says:

    I loved this article. Made me think about my Dad and his gaming habits. He cant play any games that require him to do things quickly, he just hasnt got the muscle memory skills. Back in the NES days he used to be pretty good at Mario but nowadays in the land of 3D platforming he just doesnt stand a chance. He likes to try his hand at RTS games. He wasn’t too bad at Age of Empires 2 when that came out. We used to have a LAN with 3 PC’s set up on it so my brother, my Dad and I would have regular matches, it was great. More recently he brought himself Napoleon Total War but its too complicated for him. Anyway, I digress. I don’t consider myself a member of the core as I’ve never been a fan boy but I could answer most of those other questions and to be honest I’d quite like to spill some red wine (or blood, Kat!) on some white furniture! Maybe I can be hired as mercenary for the cause?? You could pay me in mad l00tz

  5. Bendybadger says:

    Lol-tastic article. Made me wii a little.

    Maybe they should do Core Special Editions of games? Now a spartan helmet with night vision inbuilt as well as wireless communicator headset would get me rushing to the shops.

  6. Lee says:

    @bendybadger – i’d buy that

  7. M@thew says:

    Great piece Lee lee! Caught myself giggling a number of times. Kudos to Markuz for the header picture too! :)

  8. Pete says:

    When war breaks out can I be Switzerland and remain mostly neutral? ;)

  9. MrCuddleswick says:

    If there is a fence, and Girls Aloud are on one side, you’d better believe I’ll be on that side with them. Possibly dressed as a cocktail waiter.

  10. Mark R MarkuzR says:

    If there is a fence, and Girls Aloud are on one side, you can be sure I’ll be sliding a long stick with a camera attached under that fence in the hope of some serious upskirt action… and selling it to Darren Lyons!

    Loved this article, because it’s true really isn’t it? The XBox fanboys are uniting with the Sony fanboys in mutual loathing of the Nintendo Casuals who believe that “gaming” involves a few press ups and a couple of rounds of 100 pin bowling “with the lads” a few times a month. “The lads”, of course, being “anyone in the vicinity when they feel like roping someone in to look like a bit of a knob with them. I understand why the industry is aiming a lot of their new IP and tech at the casual gamers because they are, undoubtedly, those same people who buy cycle machines and Ab-Flex doofers with the intention of getting fit. They buy it, use it for a week, give the stuff away to their mate for a tenner and then six months later have the SAME idea again… and so the cycle begins. The casual gamer spends without thinking, games without caring and stops without achieving anything. Up The Core.

  11. Samuel The Preacher says:

    “Up the core” sounds like a crude euphemism. I must remember to use it as such, just to spread confusion and mixed understanding…

    I’m with Pete… neutrality seems the correct posture in this particular conflict, and besides… I’m tired of all the fanboy conflicts. I’ve been through this shit before; Atari and Commodore, Nintendo and SEGA, Sony and everyone else, Microsoft and Sony. Even Microsoft Windows and Macintosh have pulled their squabbling over into games from time to time. Besides which, I’m a hardcore gamer who likes his Wii. I do not much care for the majority of the library, but the handful of games worth playing on the system are succulent, exquisite, and bursting with flavoursome juice. To play them is akin to sinking your teeth into a ripe pear, and exulting in the sudden ejaculation of fruity liquid. The joy you can get from a Zelda or a Metroid is somehow all the sweeter than the gain from any good game on the 360. Perhaps it is mere perception… the scarcity more of a factor than I previously considered. That doesn’t make them any less a worthy pursuit though.

    I play games. I prefer to play good games than bad. I am accustomed enough now to know to a reasonable degree of accuracy which games fall into each of those broad brackets, so I mostly endeavour to avoid the bad ones, much as a sure hand at grocery shopping knows to pick up the firm produce, and leaves the ones with the saggy bits and brown sections left on the shelf. If someone else then picks up that spoiled article and places it into their basket, and presumably later into their mouth, I don’t much find it impacts on me personally. The same applies to casual gamers funding such ignoble pursuits as a sequel to Imagine Babies, or whatever.

    On the other hand, there is something to be said for this sudden complexity in fanboy warring. It’s an evolution that might bear keeping an eye on, for when it eventually escalates as all human conflicts to an armed battle. It never hurts to remain abreast in new developments, even if indulging in neutrality.

    My overall lack of concern for the issue to one side, I have to admit that your article was as ever a fun read Lee. Heh.

  12. Lee says:

    big thanks for all your comments guys, glad you liked it. True to my word i have a medal of honor beta key for xbox or ps3 for anybody who wants it.

  13. Lorna Lorna says:

    I can’t tell you how much I loved this article. Okay. I can and so I have :D Genuinely laughed out loud for much of it and it is true. There still are the occasional flare ups over certain games and review scores but (perhaps since Sony’s big console issues saw the light of day on Watchdog and the whole date thing) by and large things have calmed a little….long live the “core.” We just need a Gunnery Sgt Hartman to whip everyone into shape and confiscate our doughnuts.

    You’re incredibly right with the hate list…the open plan living areas and happy, thin, grinning people with their white furniture – fuck them. Adam hit on a classic idea though…red wine bombs ftw!

    Quote of the year: “…look at their controllers on the posh expensive oak coffee table made from the hull of HMS Victory.” :D You’re a mad genius, don’t ever change!

  14. Edward Edward says:

    I loved this article too. The thing about dad gamers? I think I know that way too well now…

  15. Richie blucey says:

    As a bloke who had owned plenty of systems since the Speccy, runs a gaming website and writes for GL, I guess I’m ‘Core’ and that’s all well and good. I don’t mind casual gamers, heck, they can even have the Wii. I’m not fussed.

    I get a bit miffed when non-gamers give it loads about gaming being a waste of time. It’s a hobby and hobbies are time-killers. Be it watching football, going out and getting pissed or whatever.

    Good read, Lee.

  16. Rook says:

    FInalluy got around to reading this. The phrase ‘ dad gamer’ frightens me, because I never want to try to teach my dad to play games. I’d ask him to lift the controller and then lose it as I explain to him, “no that’s the tv remote… no that’s the dvd remote… no that’s your cigarette… no, aaaahhhh”.

    I don’t mind the casual gamers, as I long as I get to play my games, then they can do what they want. I’ve tried not to be a fanboy by owning all the current consoles, but the xbox 360 is the one for me above all the rest. Achievements and gamerscore FTW.

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