PC gaming’s unsung heroes: the PC gamers you rarely hear about

Many of us have probably heard of the term "real player", which is often used by one part of the game population to fire another part. And with the proliferation of video games reaching more and more devices and boosting retail, the question of who qualifies as a "real player" will continue.

The thing is, real players come in all kinds. The Entertainment Software Association has found play large percentages of the populationincluding baby boomers in the US. And this range covers everything from young players who compete in online battle royale games to older players who play poker alone on their computers.

With this in mind, we want to show that PC games are a wealth of players who are not always what we think when the words "PC players" pop up. It's not all martial teens sitting at a desk with a $ 2,000 PC and 2 liters of Mountain Dew at the top.

Here are just a few examples of real PC players showing how broad the culture really is.

Shirley Curry, the "Skyrim Grandma".

(Credit: Shirley Curry)

The famous Shirley Curry

One of the most colorful pieces of evidence that anyone can be a player is Shirley Curry, better known as "Skyrim Grandma". Curry is a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother who lives in Virginia, USA and loves Skyrim.

She is a true YouTube celebrity with over 748,000 subscribers and over 14 million views at the time of writing. She is so legitimate and has the check mark confirmed by YouTube. (Something I do not have and am doing for a living!) Curry regularly shares her video game adventures, often on a journey through the almost endless world of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. She has had enough of an effect that Bethesda will even include NPC by Curry in The Elder Scrolls 6

In order to let you know that she's the right one, Curry even includes her system specifications in the description of her videos:

"My operating system: DogHouse Systems Model: Armor TL980 Hero Processor: Intel® Core ™ i7-4790K [email protected] 4.00GHz Graphics Card: GTX980 Installed Memory (RAM): 16.00 GB (I have purchased two more) System Type: 64bit Operating System"

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To top it off, she also lists the Skyrim mods she has installed. From time to time you can catch Curry trying out other games like Call of Cthulu and Deliver Us the Moon.

She may be the best example of a grandma player, but she is not alone. We saw another Grandmother enjoys an adventure in VRand Japan's own Gamer grandma locked things on the console.


Jack Black, or otherwise known today as "Jablinski".

(Photo credits: YouTube)

Celebrities also have gaming hobbies

A few years ago, the world saw the popular Terry Crews join the PC gaming battle when it was public announced that he is building a gaming PC, Crews has a long career split between his time in the National Football League as a defender and linebacker in the '90s and his acting career.

In addition to his fame, Crews still has a family life and he decided to build a gaming PC to share the hobby with his son. He took an X99 motherboard for an Intel Core i7-6800K and 32GB of RAM. He did not include the graphics card in his livestream, but he got himself a HTC Vive to immerse himself in virtual reality with his rig. He later confirmed that he had put the rig into operation,

Crews is not alone either. Jack Black has also committed himself to the gaming world when he announced this at the end of 2018 He would open a YouTube game channel, Over the following year, his channel did not do much to create game content. One focused more on old arcade games and one pretended to be streaming, but admitted that he had not figured out El Gato's game capture device. Finally, Schwarz has uploaded one Lego Star Wars video and a stream with PewdiePie Play Minecraft.

Regardless of whether they play in public, we can count many celebrities as PC gamers.

Farming Simulator 2019

Farming Simulator 2019 in action.

(Image credits: Google)

Players who are experiencing reality again

Skyrim Grandma and Terry Crews may be more well-known when it comes to people who are not supposed to be PC gamers, but there are still others who silently deal with PC games. We are talking about the simulation players.

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You can think more about players playing intense shooters, where crazy reaction speeds are a necessity. However, many PC gamers enjoy a calmer experience that allows them to experience a small portion of the reality that they might not otherwise have access to. Think of Flight Simulator, Train Simulator or Farming Simulator. All this puts players in a unique position to immerse themselves in realistic experiences that still bring them out of their daily lives.

Games like SimCity or Cities: Skylines allow gamers to design their own worlds and simulate reality from a bird's eye view. Given that many of these simulation franchise companies launch new games each year, it's safe to say that many PC gamers enjoy these games. And let's not forget how many people still build their ideal home and life in the Sims.


The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim in action.

(Photo credit: Bethesda)

The faithful modders

Shirley Curry is a great example of another type of player: the longtime, loyal player who has been holding games for a long time and uses modifications to keep the game up-to-date. Some games attract great attention from players and provide enough power to keep them going for years. Massive open worlds like Skyrim often manage this level of retention.

But even a game that offers hundreds of hours of content can only keep players' hearts in its vanilla form for so long. This is where players who really love their game fall back on mods. Players using mods can add new worlds to their games, add new weapons and equipment, and change the way the game world works to create new playful opportunities.

Some mods even allow players to add anything from new quests to full story lines with voice output. There are also mods that can revise and rejuvenate the sound and graphics of almost every asset in the game, even as the vanilla version's graphics get older. The use of mods can make these players stick to a game and stay away from the latest trends as they simply occupy the game world they love, or wait forever for the next (as many do) The Elder Scrolls 6).

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FarmVille 2

FarmVille 2 is one of the most popular browser games.

(Image credits: Zynga)

The overlooked browser gamer

One thing that most people would expect to be essential for PC games is a gaming PC. However, there are so many games for gamers who only need internet connectivity and modest hardware. Browser games make the hobby accessible to many players and can even attract users who would otherwise have little to do with games.

It is not much work to see how popular our browser games are still. We took a quick look at Armorgames and Newgrounds, places we visited frequently over a decade ago, and we can see they're still alive. Games like Sonny 2 are among the best browser games with long stories and compelling gameplay. Armorgames lists Sonny 2 with over 25 million games since launch in 2009 (personally, I've probably spent as many hours in this game as I've played in a turn-based RPG over the last decade). And newer games are still being played millions of times. Some browser games even serve as a starting point for franchise companies like Meat Boy and N.

Kids can jump online to play a bit of Agar.io as adults search for card games in the browser. (The writer's father has not been involved in video games since his time as a Dig Dug player in the arcades, but he has recently started a browser-based game of golf.) And these PC players are as easy to miss as you can get in playing at the library or on a laptop while waiting for their flight at the airport.

And last but not least, we should not forget that there is even a select mass of PC players who prefer to enable Motion Blur in their games. If not, why should game developers still offer this feature and enable it by default? Pooh,

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