In response to "Hardcore Maleness" from The Escapist Forum: Interesting point, but is there really a need to remove the terms in favor of something neutral? It wouldn't change anything, there would still be that definite line between the two. Even if new terms don't come up most people will still consider the difference to be there because they want to. Because they want to feel powerful and stronger, just as you said. It's their problem that they are too narrow minded to accept others. Everybody wants to be unique and as with games they do it under the cover of hardcore and casual differentiability.
I also agree that games should be judged by content, not cover. The reason why I won't play a Barbie game is not because it's all pink and filled with ponies but because it's a terribly bad game. Same goes for the most bloody and weapon loaded shooter, if it sucks beyond repair I won't touch the damn thing.
Hum. An interesting interpretation. Games can be seen as a struggle to show masculinity and dominance. I see this only as one part though. There is an oblivious struggle to identity oneself as the most male among certain games (especially those feature over-masculine protagonists and played by teens who call each other 'gay') but there is also the deep rooted fear within the individuals whop play games. For many years, gaming has been had stigmas and negative connotations and it has had to be hidden. Its ranks are populated by social outcasts and misfits. I think that gamers actually isolate themselves in order to protect themselves from others, from those that disapprove. Just look at the resistance of gamers to 'casuals' and 'non-gamers'. "hardcore" players regularly try to crucify these people for no other reason then because 'they're not one of us'. It seems irrational since a larger player base encourages mainstream use and acceptance of games as a legitimate medium, but gamers still resist others. I see it as a mechanism to try and exclude others as a reflection that the other will potential destroy the uniqueness of there hobby, or intrude on there exclusive group. Thus casual vs. hardcore is more a competition of 'self' vs. 'other' and gamers trying to maintain their identity in a world where in the future the term 'gamer' will be meaningless. The quest for masculine is present of course, as you detailed but it is only one interpretation and one factor making up the culture of gaming.
In response to "The Magic of Spike and Timmy" from The Escapist Forum: Like another user said, these same "psychographs" can be applied to various fighting games as well, although the definitions aren't quite as clear-cut.
"Spikes" in the fighting game community would be what are best known as "tier-whores", the people who do research and use no other characters but the best ones. They study, apply, then study again, then reapply what makes these characters the best in the game so the wins can pour in and increase their standing on the leaderboards. :P
"Johnnys" are most akin to the antithesis of the "tier-whore" mentioned previously (who currently doesn't have a handle, at least not to my knowledge) who'll only play the worst characters in a fighting game. This usually happens for one of two reasons: 1.) the player wants to prove that the character actually isn't as bad as everyone says he/she is (often with nil results), or 2.) the player wants to show that with proper practice and analysis of the combat engine, the so-called "worst character" can actually give the "best character" a good challenge. They'll have a much harder time winning the match, and the player knows this, if they can win or at least get kinda close, all the better.
"Timmys" are a bit of the happy medium of the fighting game community; they like to pick characters that appeal to them, either through gameplay (i.e. how the character "feels" when played) or something as minute as simple aesthetics. if he/she happens to be one of if not the best character in the game, great. If they aren't, that just means extra research. The key fact is that the player enjoys playing the character he/she wants to play, how he/she want to play the character.
By the way, mostly Timmy myself. I may not be the greatest, and I may not win, but if I can use that Blue spell to blow your strategy straight to hell, or at least make you struggle for a turn or 2, I'm happy.
I think they missed a rather important profile. "The collector". He buys cards but possibly never plays with them, as he simply enjoys their possession because he appreciates the art or the rarity. I'm definitively of the type. I tried collecting all black rares for two years or so, even though I barely played the game. And I still own my collection of about 100 of them.