299: Casual Gamers Are Better Than You


New member
Dec 7, 2009
I think it is a mistake to try and divide gamers into some black and white group when most probably fall into the grey. I play both kinds of games, and games like Tetris, which are casual now, were not considered casual when it came out.


New member
Jul 8, 2010
poiumty said:
So being dumb means being better, soccer moms' decisions are always researched, and ignorance is bliss.

After reading this, I feel dumber already. Guess that makes me "better". Thanks, shitty article!

Seriously, most fallacy-ridden thing i ever read. I'd probably have a rebuttal for each and every line of text if i tried hard enough, but since flamebaiting seems to be the thing with this article, i'm not gonna surrender to the light trolling attempt.
This reminds me on moviebobs 'Death of pc gaming' article.

Shock value, with a title to make me want to rage.

I disagree, whilst gamers may not like new ideas; it's most likely because most new ideas are tripe.

Most casual gamers are barely playing games in the first place.

The Random One

New member
May 29, 2008
The answer to a populace that will not accept anything unless it's gritty and full of swear words and has a number at the end of the title is not a populace that will accept anything as long as it's full of glitter. Both groups will judge on dumb preconceptions to judge games and support anything that's widely marketed to them.

The hardcore gamers' defence of their hobby is stupid, but the casuals probably wouldn't even admit Farmville is a videogame. And if a game wants me to play it for free and maybe pay money if I want special stuff, it'd better at least be better than [http://www2.kingdomofloathing.com/login.php?loginid=499d1a8ef6e749fcb641c673b3bda49c] the [http://echobazaar.failbettergames.com/] competition [http://www.forumwarz.com/].

Username Redacted

New member
Dec 29, 2010
I must say I'm surprised to see Jim Sterling writing here as I was only recently subjected to his Youtube videos by someone trying to make a similarly futile point about casual vs. hardcore audience as it pertained to the support of a specific title (i.e. game exists because of casual audience and balance changes to game should cater to them not hardcore audience). I was very much unimpressed with his POV and reasoning (I also really wish I had the ~4 minutes I spent watching his video back). The first mistake as several others have pointed out is his decision to speak in absolutes. Casual gamers are faeries and rainbows and are geniuses for playing nothing but low entry level freeware games. Hardcore gamers are evil idiots for not properly supporting intellectual properties, pirating things they do like and generally being douche bags. Riiiiight. Flamebaiting article at its finest and hopefully the last one we'll see from Mr. Sterling.


Slayer of Bothan Spies
Sep 28, 2008
My hatred for Zynga about Farmville has less to do with the fact that it's a dull button clicking waste of time than the fact that they got lucky as hell with their basically stolen dull button clicking waste of time. It had a better name, so it caught on.


New member
Nov 23, 2010
After reading this article I feel like I have been blamed for supporting the industry for over 15 years. Just because I am a 'hardcore' gamer or whatever you want to call us, I really cannot see the logic that we are not open to change. We have seen and supported the industry through years of change and innovation.

Since most of this article is based on a single person's subjective viewpoint and observation, I would like to say that from my experience, it is the casual gamer that is not willing to try new things. You ask your Bejewelled and Farmville player, soccer mum and granny to play something like DA or Mass Effect or Fallout and they sit there and tell you how they aren't gamers and 'are not into that sort of thing'. Surely an industry that is based on the pop cap model of making games, i.e. making ungodly amounts of money out of something that cost them £10 to make, is just going to set a precedent of 'we don?t need to make epic, story filled games, but rather we can make Zuma 40'...cough, yeah really innovative.

The article mentions Kinnect and all you hear in game shops is ?oh it?s like the Wii?. That?s not trying anything new, that?s just buying something on the basis of it being like the old, which the article just accused hardcore gamers of doing. Not to mention, it is us ?more tech-savvy? that have really driven the sales and took on board the Kinnect hardware. The fact we wanted to hack it to use it for something better than what Microsoft were doing with it, shows we like innovation. Yeah, we aren?t using it for its purpose, but we are sure as hell supporting it because we are going out and buying the thing.

I understand that it is extremely important for more people to get out there and try games, and the odd time sink here and there is awesome, but ultimately it won?t benefit the industry. All the people I know who play casual games leave them. They play them to death for 3 months solid and then get bored and not play another game. It's why all my non-gaming friends are selling their Wii's at the moment, because they got bored. The way I see it, is get these people to play the 'casual' games then get them onto something more substantial, something that will hold their interest and want to play more games for a longer period, rather than obsessing over Farmville and then forgetting it existed.

I also really do not understand the argument of "Now tell me, who is smarter? Bear in mind, of course, that the Farmville player is having just as much fun as you are, regardless of the experience's respective depths. I'd say it's smarter to dictate for one's self how much an experience is worth". That argument makes no sense. I do not find any enjoyment from playing Farmville. I tried it, I hated it, I moved on quickly. It?s not because I was predisposed and coming from a 'hardcore' standpoint where I don't want to accept change. I didn't like it because it bored me. So that experience was worthless to me, the fact it is free does not justify it being worthless to me. Whereas the hours I have put into building characters in Mass Effect, has in my opinion, brought me more than enough entertainment and enjoyment, to justify buying it.


New member
Jun 26, 2010
More Fun To Compute said:
diadia said:
Great article and a nice open discussion about the state of gaming and the gaming industry. I am enjoying reading the comments many people are proving one of his points right with their angry reactions. Don't take it personal guys but, from the perspective of a PC gamer who is not "hardcore" or even "core" this article makes a lot of sense and describes the way I and others like me see "hardcore" gamers and the state of the gaming industry.
I think that many of us have short tempers with Sterling because we know about his sensationalist tabloid journalist techniques.

But we would be interested in hearing your problem with the game industry and how it relates to failings in the customer base for their games. From the article there seemed to be arguments that certain types of promising games they are making are not selling enough copies because of negative people on web sites. Another is because console and PC gamers are sticking too much with games that they know will be good because they have had their fingers burned too many times by highly recommended games that turned out to be a waste of money.

Do you agree with these points and how do you see improvements in other newer markets?
Ah I see well I don't read enough of Sterlings stuff to know about his sensationalist tendencies. I mostly thought the article raised some good points about why the industry seems to be focusing more on casual games and putting a lot of money and time into marketing to those people. I also agreed a little with his discussion on the negative attitude of many (not all) gamers have. I can see why people took his comments personally but I think we all have seen/heard of those negative, angry, biased gamers or gamers who pirate games then complain about what companies are putting out and so ...I dunno. As an almost outsider of the gamer world/life I don't know enough to be super knowledgeable but I liked the article and thats why lol.


New member
Dec 15, 2008
I have a problem with the whole "they play for free" argument. These free games take little to no talent and money to make. Its a hollow experience. I can read bad fan fic for free online or I can pay for a well written book by someone who takes pride in the craft. Im all for people playing farmvile if that is what they want to do but its not fair to act like its the same as a true game. They are 2 different animals. Now as for me Im gonna fire up Marvel vs Capcom 3 and kick someone in the face


New member
May 23, 2010
I can't believe how almost every foundation of this statement is just plain untrue. Core gamers are the ones who are good for the market and who have a knowledge of what is good and how the industry should develop, supporting the truly good games. Casual gamers don't buy what they like, because they don't even know of the games they like. They just buy whatever's best advertised and in this way bring the industry down to more and more of these garbage games. Casual gamers don't even play the best casual games ffs..
Also, some arguments that have been posted here before. I can't be arsed writing more now since I'm tired. This article wasn't even worth my time..


God Damn Sorcerer
Dec 25, 2010
This is Jim Sterling we're talking about. He's always pretty edgy when it comes to game politics (you should see his thoughts on PC players and pirates). It's weird how his words seem to actually be accusing me of being a scornful, game-stealing dickbag even when I know I'm not.
And, uhh, on that note: more Video Game Show What I've Done would be awesome. It cracks me up every time :D

Edit: Not that I don't agree with him on some points. I'm going Swedish for this one.


New member
Apr 15, 2009
Veloxe said:
I don't think this is so much that the "hardcore" or core gamer is resistant to change but that we know what we like and at $60 a pop we tend to stick with what we like instead of taking the risk (unless I find a game in a bin for cheap obviously). Ya it might seem like the "casuals" are all about change and accepting new ideas but I think it's more just the developers making games for a demographic that already has it's tastes.

In a couple years I can totally see the conversations about how the casual market is stagnant with the release of "Dance Central 4: Warriors of Prance" or the umpteenth millionth Wii Fit clone and console Farmville. They are new and are embracing what they enjoy, it's not so much that they are embracing creativity or artistic merit, but that they just embrace things that are different from what the hardcore/core gamer does.
That's a good point. You can already see that happening with Guitar Hero and Rock Band. They were new concepts that were both embraced, but now that they have had sequels, they don't seem new or innovative anymore.

Also, I would buy Warriors of Prance in a heartbeat, and not leave my prancing grounds for days.


The end is nigh.
May 24, 2010
So casual gamers are better because they are willing to spend their money on things they don't actually know anything about, while at the same time they are better because they like to play free games while we are willing to pay money to companies we know and trust?

You need to go back to high-school English and learn how to craft an essay with a valid thesis and information that is consistent with the point you are trying to make.

More importantly is someone who reads a free magazine in the doctor's office (let's assume it's something really stupid and trashy... like farmville but in magazine form) and reeaally enjoys it, because they are ignorant, are they better than someone who enjoys the works of particular authors and is willing to spend their money on those books?

Ignorance is never better.


New member
Oct 24, 2008
AgentBJ09 said:
I can see where you're coming from, but I do try and buy those games if I can. I have recently found copies of Blood and Ultima Complete, but those are never cheaper than 39.99 for a physical copy in any condition no matter where I look. I'm not a big fan of virtual games, but they're far cheaper in this regard.
For a collector it makes sense to pay so much for a physical copy of an old game, but if you do it to "support the industry" or the guys who made those games chances are that you are mistaken. However supporting GoG for making the best old games known to a larger public is fine I guess.

If you wish to link the articles you were talking about, I'd like to see them.
Well first copyrights length weren't always what they are today:
For an in depth view of the implications of copyright you should read the "Free Culture" book, don't be misled by the title, it's not an apology of wanton piracy:
Then there's the various cases and studies that goes against the general consensus on copyrights. I don't deny there may be cases where illegal downloads did cause harm but that's not because "piracy is wrong". There are other factors like how close to the fans the authors are, what public does the game appeal to, what other games are around at the time of release and so on and so forth:

To be honest, I really like FPS games. However, my favorites within this genre are those that are 100% FPS, or those with some secondary elements of play, like RPG elements or puzzles.

Borderlands and Serious Sam are my modern favorites, while Heretic, Quake, and Blood round out the older ones.
You are a true FPS fan, and I apreciate that you are not a graphic whore. The ones labelled "hardcore" today are the GoW and CoD fans... hardcore? more like hard-headed to me :/
Personally I also play RTS games along with the reflexion, adventure, space, rpg, platform, fighting, simulation and racing games of any period. Not to boast, but people are quick to label themselves the "ultimate hardcores" and that makes me laugh, especially when I think of the insane monomaniacs that make me look like a soccer mom.
Maybe there's more than one meaning to hardcore, there's the ones who like to perfect their experience and reflexes in a particular genre, while others like to test their wits with lots of variety...

Duskflamer said:
And the exact same reason is why they don't like to see an established franchise innovate. Oh sure, they cry and clatter for innovation, but at the same time they want to get what they expect when they pick up, say, Final Fantasy or Mario, and while they insist on innovation in general, they don't want to see the series they love potentially becoming "low quality" as a result of it.
Nothing wrong with perfecting gameplay mechanics, but the sensible issue here is that dumbing down is not innovation, even if it's advertised as such. You can dismiss an elitists opinion on the ground that it is only arrogance, but when someone has played so many games of a certain genre that person's opinion does have some weight.
A game that can please an elitist as much as a newcomer, that's perfection. What's wrong with that ?


New member
Dec 10, 2008
Decent piece whose core points are all true, and no surprise at the reaction of the huffy "hardcore" fanboys who'd never dream of playing Angry Birds because they're not sufficiently confident in their masculinity. (Rather than for the proper reason, which is that it's shit.) But this is total bollocks:

"just tell a gaming community that piracy is wrong and you'll be bombarded with abuse and threats from those trying to justify their actions"
Self-styled hardcore gamers are without a doubt THE most angry and vociferous anti-piracy witch-hunters in the gaming universe. Bring the subject of piracy up on any sizeable gaming forum and you'll get a tiny handful of people defending piracy and an absolutely vast screaming lynchmob calling them thieves and scum and wringing their hands about the terrible damage suffered by the industry (no matter how crushing the weight of evidence to the contrary gets).

Smooth Operator

New member
Oct 5, 2010
Damn I think my IQ drooped by 50 till I finished reading that, but hurray I'm now better then others!

Ignorance is bliss, but it is not progress, many people seem to mistake those.

More Fun To Compute

New member
Nov 18, 2008
RevStu said:
Decent piece whose core points are all true, and no surprise at the reaction of the huffy "hardcore" fanboys who'd never dream of playing Angry Birds because they're not sufficiently confident in their masculinity.
Why would I buy a Jesus Phone to play Angry Birds when I have already played all of the PC games that it has ripped off.

diadia said:
Ah I see well I don't read enough of Sterlings stuff to know about his sensationalist tendencies. I mostly thought the article raised some good points about why the industry seems to be focusing more on casual games and putting a lot of money and time into marketing to those people. I also agreed a little with his discussion on the negative attitude of many (not all) gamers have. I can see why people took his comments personally but I think we all have seen/heard of those negative, angry, biased gamers or gamers who pirate games then complain about what companies are putting out and so ...I dunno. As an almost outsider of the gamer world/life I don't know enough to be super knowledgeable but I liked the article and thats why lol.
There is some dark humour in thinking that the most critical people about games online are people who pirate them but I don't see the point in getting sanctimonious about it or being paranoid that everyone is pirating games. You also see plenty of PC gamers on forums who are more than happy to show off their large collection of games on their steam account and brag about spending hundreds of hours in games they love.

I think the idea that developers get sick of making games for us just because we complain on forums is a bit much. As a market we are people who can and do regularly find games from indie developers and support them while the reporters and people who are less interested in games ignore us. The games press in particular seem obsessed with movie like story games and will happily forget that games like Minecraft, Mount & Blade or even Starcraft 2 exist. It's people like us who keep them alive.


New member
Nov 15, 2007
xscoot said:
I was going to point out all the wrong things in this article, but as soon as I was done reading it I found that it was written by Jim Sterling.

Jim Sterling is to videogame journalism as Robert Kotick is to videogames. I don't really think I need to say anything else, especially since all the other people here are tearing the article apart for me.
So... what you're saying is that Jim Sterling is one of the most influential forces in gaming journalism? You're comparing him to the CEO, President and Director of Blizzard Activision, who make some of the most popular games in the industry?

Which side of the fence are you sitting on exactly?

This forum appears to be filled with similarly glib, reactionary comments to what was on balance, a interesting and thought provoking article. There's a lot of "casual" links being made between casual games and spyware, casual games and pyramid schemes, casual games and cancer...

I made that last one up but it's par for the course, everyone else seems to be demonising them.