Core Gamers Mostly Male, Casual Gamers Mostly Female, Says NPD

Fappy

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MC1980 said:
Fappy said:
The PC numbers don't surprise me at all. There are a lot of women on MMO's, which holds a huge marketshare of the PC scene. The only genre I can think of where they are in the extreme minority is MOBA's because, well... their communities, I imagine.
Do note that the article said both core types are mainly comprised of men, while the casual segment was the one reported to be mostly women. I'm guessing it has less to do with MMO's being universaly popular and more to do with something like The Sims, since as a sim it wouldn't qualify as a core genre (I'm assuming they tried to be more specific with role-playing in their study) and would therefore have a rather big impact due to the sheer size of it's fanbase.
That doesn't really make much sense to me considering how many casual MMO's are out there these days. I wonder if some of them weren't considered actual MMO's for the sake of the survey? Then again, MMO is a very ambiguous label these days.
 

Sight Unseen

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Dastardly said:
Sight Unseen said:
See what I'm getting at here?
What you're getting it is saying that the type of game is defined by how it is played. If that be the case, then people that play "core" games, but only do so casually, should be termed casual gamers. And people that play silly puzzle games for hours at a time should be classified as "hardcore."

We can't pick and choose who we put on each side to better fit the outcome we wanted. Either we have fair, standard criteria for what makes a "core" versus "hardcore" gamer (protip: the extant criteria are not objective), or the words have no useful meaning.
Sorry but I disagree with you here. I think it's more objective to define the game based on how it's designed to be played rather than on how some individual players may play the game. Games like Dota and Elder Scrolls games are designed to be played for long periods of time and to deeply invest the player into it's world and story or into its gameplay mechanics.

Games like Candy Crush and Farmville are designed to be played casually for short periods of time over a longer overall period of time.

That's why I make the distinction between the two. It has nothing to do with how individual people play it. Also I tend to view the term "core" as a shorthand for "hardcore" as in: "requiring a large investment of time and skill to play" and not as a term to mean that it's the "core" of gaming as in: "the most commonly played type of game"

Can a gamer play an MMO casually and Candy Crush obsessively? Absolutely. Go right ahead. But that doesn't change the fact that those games are designed to be played in intrinsically different ways from each other, and one is inherently more casual than the other.

I don't think there's anything wrong with casual games, I play some of them myself from time to time. I just think that they should be considered as a distinct entity from so called "core" games.
 

Baresark

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Dastardly said:
ticklefist said:
Dastardly said:
The real question is, with all of the many casual games, and all of the casual gamers playing them, why do we still lean on this crutch of refering to this other class of games as the "core?"

Seriously, it would be like a guy from Mississippi walking around Kenya talking about how it's amazing there are so many "minorities" there...
You will rue the day that Yahoo Dominoes is considered a "core" game.
Denial doth not an argument make. If most of the people playing (and paying) are casual, that's the new core. If most of the folks in this country voted for Ron Jeremy for president, he'd be president. Doesn't matter if the wizened few think it's a dumb idea.

Now, me? I don't think casual games are some awful thing. Clearly, their existence isn't removing classically "core" games from existence. And I play a handful of goofy games on my phone, which I enjoy greatly. There's just this weird idea that even though MOST gamers play these casual games (which includes but is not limited to stuff like Yahoo Dominoes), the other section of games are still the "real" thing.

The real reason casual games do so well, in addition to being convenient, is that they have broader appeal. Candy Crush, the bajillion versions of Yahtzee and Boggle, Hay Day, you know something they all DON'T have in common? The same old gravelly-voiced white male protagonist.
First: I think you replied to the wrong comment... it looks more like you meant to reply to the other person who responded to what you said.

Second: If I'm reading this right, you are saying that "core" games should be considered "casual" and "casual" should be "core" because of the amount of overall money invested. I am relatively sure "core" refers to people who actively choose to spend a larger amount of their time and money playing games and "casual" are people who mostly play to pass the time when they are waiting for something else. Also, the article explicitly states that "core" gamers have spent roughly twice as much in the last three months than their "casual" counterparts, meaning they invest a larger portion of their personal income into games. No one can deny that there are more "casual" gamers in the world though. It's because gaming isn't a goal, it's a way passing the time, where for "core" gamers, it's a goal to do as an activity for extended periods of time.

That is my take on it. I could be wrong.
 

Aiddon_v1legacy

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Fappy said:
What's weird is, as far as I can tell, you don't see this kind of divide in nearly any other kind of "nerdy" hobby. You like tabletop? Cool. The worst you'll see are people condemning certain systems because they don't like the rules, not because the audience doesn't have any less passion for the hobby than they do. How about comic books? Marvel/DC rivalries are like console rivalries: irrelevant and not a real issue. Beyond that, I don't really see any kind of line in the sand drawn between "real" and "fake" comic book readers.

I wonder why that is... :/
I almost want to say it's because gaming is so young and thus hasn't had enough time to really have more mingling in it. It still has that thought of "the outsider" when it comes to new people or "casual" fans; y'know, the typical treehouse mentality that is outright hostile to newcomers as they think it dilutes the purity of gaming or some bs like that. It's gaming still being in its cooties phase (though it's also in its awkward adolescent phase at the same time) and really needs something to take it out of it.
 

Micah Weil

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So...where are the statistics about the people that want others to stop having spaz attacks over these sorts of things and just enjoy the bloody games?
 

VanQ

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5 or more hours per week counts as "heavy core" these days? Pfft. Pitiful. I spend at least 12 hours a week just raiding in WoW let alone more leisurely play.

No, before people freak out I don't think that makes me better or "more" or a gamer than anyone else. Just that 5 hours seems piddly to me.
 

Sight Unseen

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Fappy said:
Dastardly said:
ticklefist said:
Dastardly said:
The real question is, with all of the many casual games, and all of the casual gamers playing them, why do we still lean on this crutch of refering to this other class of games as the "core?"

Seriously, it would be like a guy from Mississippi walking around Kenya talking about how it's amazing there are so many "minorities" there...
You will rue the day that Yahoo Dominoes is considered a "core" game.
Denial doth not an argument make. If most of the people playing (and paying) are casual, that's the new core. If most of the folks in this country voted for Ron Jeremy for president, he'd be president. Doesn't matter if the wizened few think it's a dumb idea.

Now, me? I don't think casual games are some awful thing. Clearly, their existence isn't removing classically "core" games from existence. And I play a handful of goofy games on my phone, which I enjoy greatly. There's just this weird idea that even though MOST gamers play these casual games (which includes but is not limited to stuff like Yahoo Dominoes), the other section of games are still the "real" thing.

The real reason casual games do so well, in addition to being convenient, is that they have broader appeal. Candy Crush, the bajillion versions of Yahtzee and Boggle, Hay Day, you know something they all DON'T have in common? The same old gravelly-voiced white male protagonist.
What's weird is, as far as I can tell, you don't see this kind of divide in nearly any other kind of "nerdy" hobby. You like tabletop? Cool. The worst you'll see are people condemning certain systems because they don't like the rules, not because the audience doesn't have any less passion for the hobby than they do. How about comic books? Marvel/DC rivalries are like console rivalries: irrelevant and not a real issue. Beyond that, I don't really see any kind of line in the sand drawn between "real" and "fake" comic book readers.

I wonder why that is... :/
I think it's because there isn't an equivalent to "casual games" in any other media type to create the equivalent of "casual gamers" There are no books that are intrinsically designed to be read for only a couple minutes at a time as a complete consumable product. There are no "casual" movies. There are just movies.

Gaming is unique in that a genre of gaming has grown up specifically to fill up small amounts of gamer's time while they are on the go or doing something else in the meantime. Although I guess you could argue that comic books are casual novels and that TV shows are casual movies and youtube videos are casual tv shows and that Sorry! and Life are casual table top games... But I think that those forms are distinct enough to have their own classifications. Casual gaming is it's own subgroup of games though and I think it's important to have a separate label for them because they are distinctly different from other game types. If anyone has a better name to label them then feel free to coin it...
 

Dreiko_v1legacy

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Aiddon said:
Fappy said:
What's weird is, as far as I can tell, you don't see this kind of divide in nearly any other kind of "nerdy" hobby. You like tabletop? Cool. The worst you'll see are people condemning certain systems because they don't like the rules, not because the audience doesn't have any less passion for the hobby than they do. How about comic books? Marvel/DC rivalries are like console rivalries: irrelevant and not a real issue. Beyond that, I don't really see any kind of line in the sand drawn between "real" and "fake" comic book readers.

I wonder why that is... :/
I almost want to say it's because gaming is so young and thus hasn't had enough time to really have more mingling in it. It still has that thought of "the outsider" when it comes to new people or "casual" fans; y'know, the typical treehouse mentality that is outright hostile to newcomers as they think it dilutes the purity of gaming or some bs like that. It's gaming still being in its cooties phase (though it's also in its awkward adolescent phase at the same time) and really needs something to take it out of it.

I think it's actually more due to other hobbies not really having "casual fans". Or "light alternatives" to the main meat. Other hobbies are inherently all-hardcore. You can't just go do a DnD campaign for five minutes every day. You have to devote hours and gather people together in the same place and spend money to obtain things that don't come with your phone or PC which you bought for reasons beyond playing this game.


I'd say this kinda devotion, time and effort spent for the sake of games would make someone instantly fit the "core" demographic.
 

Fappy

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Dreiko said:
Aiddon said:
Fappy said:
What's weird is, as far as I can tell, you don't see this kind of divide in nearly any other kind of "nerdy" hobby. You like tabletop? Cool. The worst you'll see are people condemning certain systems because they don't like the rules, not because the audience doesn't have any less passion for the hobby than they do. How about comic books? Marvel/DC rivalries are like console rivalries: irrelevant and not a real issue. Beyond that, I don't really see any kind of line in the sand drawn between "real" and "fake" comic book readers.

I wonder why that is... :/
I almost want to say it's because gaming is so young and thus hasn't had enough time to really have more mingling in it. It still has that thought of "the outsider" when it comes to new people or "casual" fans; y'know, the typical treehouse mentality that is outright hostile to newcomers as they think it dilutes the purity of gaming or some bs like that. It's gaming still being in its cooties phase (though it's also in its awkward adolescent phase at the same time) and really needs something to take it out of it.

I think it's actually more due to other hobbies not really having "casual fans". Or "light alternatives" to the main meat. Other hobbies are inherently all-hardcore. You can't just go do a DnD campaign for five minutes every day. You have to devote hours and gather people together in the same place and spend money to obtain things that don't come with your phone or PC which you bought for reasons beyond playing this game.


I'd say this kinda devotion, time and effort spent for the sake of games would make someone instantly fit the "core" demographic.
I wouldn't say it's equivalent to the difference between "casual" and "hardcore" gamers, but I think I figured out an apt analogy for comic book readers.

You've got the hardcore guy who reads 15 books a month and the casual reader who picks up Archie at the grocery store checkout once a month. The demographic is big enough to warrant printing the books, so one could leverage some of the same arguments against casual readers as gamers do (I.E. they are taking money away from real comics, etc.).

Obviously it's not a perfect comparison, but I think it's one worth thinking about.
 

Kyrdra

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Totally off-topic, but the NPD in Germany is our nazi party. This has let to a slightly different interpretation of the head line of me.
 

Dreiko_v1legacy

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Fappy said:
Dreiko said:
Aiddon said:
Fappy said:
What's weird is, as far as I can tell, you don't see this kind of divide in nearly any other kind of "nerdy" hobby. You like tabletop? Cool. The worst you'll see are people condemning certain systems because they don't like the rules, not because the audience doesn't have any less passion for the hobby than they do. How about comic books? Marvel/DC rivalries are like console rivalries: irrelevant and not a real issue. Beyond that, I don't really see any kind of line in the sand drawn between "real" and "fake" comic book readers.

I wonder why that is... :/
I almost want to say it's because gaming is so young and thus hasn't had enough time to really have more mingling in it. It still has that thought of "the outsider" when it comes to new people or "casual" fans; y'know, the typical treehouse mentality that is outright hostile to newcomers as they think it dilutes the purity of gaming or some bs like that. It's gaming still being in its cooties phase (though it's also in its awkward adolescent phase at the same time) and really needs something to take it out of it.

I think it's actually more due to other hobbies not really having "casual fans". Or "light alternatives" to the main meat. Other hobbies are inherently all-hardcore. You can't just go do a DnD campaign for five minutes every day. You have to devote hours and gather people together in the same place and spend money to obtain things that don't come with your phone or PC which you bought for reasons beyond playing this game.


I'd say this kinda devotion, time and effort spent for the sake of games would make someone instantly fit the "core" demographic.
I wouldn't say it's equivalent to the difference between "casual" and "hardcore" gamers, but I think I figured out an apt analogy for comic book readers.

You've got the hardcore guy who reads 15 books a month and the casual reader who picks up Archie at the grocery store checkout once a month. The demographic is big enough to warrant printing the books, so one could leverage some of the same arguments against casual readers as gamers do (I.E. they are taking money away from real comics, etc.).

Obviously it's not a perfect comparison, but I think it's one worth thinking about.

Your analogy is ALMOST there but it helped me come up with the ideal one.

Comic books, yes. Though casuals aren't the Archie people, they're the people who read the comic strips that are on a newspaper that they bought not to read comics but rather just get news. The comic is there, it's cute, funny, approachable. Who wouldn't read it. It's not like they really are invested at all in the comic though. It's not like they really care about it beyond the few seconds it takes to read it, chuckle, then go on with their day.

Calling those people "comic book fans" just as much as the "15 volume dude" is...simply inaccurate or drains all meaning from the term "comic book fan".
 

Fappy

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Dreiko said:
Fappy said:
Dreiko said:
Aiddon said:
Fappy said:
What's weird is, as far as I can tell, you don't see this kind of divide in nearly any other kind of "nerdy" hobby. You like tabletop? Cool. The worst you'll see are people condemning certain systems because they don't like the rules, not because the audience doesn't have any less passion for the hobby than they do. How about comic books? Marvel/DC rivalries are like console rivalries: irrelevant and not a real issue. Beyond that, I don't really see any kind of line in the sand drawn between "real" and "fake" comic book readers.

I wonder why that is... :/
I almost want to say it's because gaming is so young and thus hasn't had enough time to really have more mingling in it. It still has that thought of "the outsider" when it comes to new people or "casual" fans; y'know, the typical treehouse mentality that is outright hostile to newcomers as they think it dilutes the purity of gaming or some bs like that. It's gaming still being in its cooties phase (though it's also in its awkward adolescent phase at the same time) and really needs something to take it out of it.

I think it's actually more due to other hobbies not really having "casual fans". Or "light alternatives" to the main meat. Other hobbies are inherently all-hardcore. You can't just go do a DnD campaign for five minutes every day. You have to devote hours and gather people together in the same place and spend money to obtain things that don't come with your phone or PC which you bought for reasons beyond playing this game.


I'd say this kinda devotion, time and effort spent for the sake of games would make someone instantly fit the "core" demographic.
I wouldn't say it's equivalent to the difference between "casual" and "hardcore" gamers, but I think I figured out an apt analogy for comic book readers.

You've got the hardcore guy who reads 15 books a month and the casual reader who picks up Archie at the grocery store checkout once a month. The demographic is big enough to warrant printing the books, so one could leverage some of the same arguments against casual readers as gamers do (I.E. they are taking money away from real comics, etc.).

Obviously it's not a perfect comparison, but I think it's one worth thinking about.

Your analogy is ALMOST there but it helped me come up with the ideal one.

Comic books, yes. Though casuals aren't the Archie people, they're the people who read the comic strips that are on a newspaper that they bought not to read comics but rather just get news. The comic is there, it's cute, funny, approachable. Who wouldn't read it. It's not like they really are invested at all in the comic though. It's not like they really care about it beyond the few seconds it takes to read it, chuckle, then go on with their day.

Calling those people "comic book fans" just as much as the "15 volume dude" is...simply inaccurate or drains all meaning from the term "comic book fan".
I like this analogy a lot.

If begs the question though... why are some gamers scared that their identities will be swallowed up by casual gamers? As far as I can tell they have no interest in actually calling themselves gamers, and if they do maybe we're giving them less of a chance than they deserve.
 

Braedan

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Dastardly said:
ticklefist said:
Dastardly said:
The real question is, with all of the many casual games, and all of the casual gamers playing them, why do we still lean on this crutch of refering to this other class of games as the "core?"

Seriously, it would be like a guy from Mississippi walking around Kenya talking about how it's amazing there are so many "minorities" there...
You will rue the day that Yahoo Dominoes is considered a "core" game.
Denial doth not an argument make. If most of the people playing (and paying) are casual, that's the new core. If most of the folks in this country voted for Ron Jeremy for president, he'd be president. Doesn't matter if the wizened few think it's a dumb idea.

Now, me? I don't think casual games are some awful thing. Clearly, their existence isn't removing classically "core" games from existence. And I play a handful of goofy games on my phone, which I enjoy greatly. There's just this weird idea that even though MOST gamers play these casual games (which includes but is not limited to stuff like Yahoo Dominoes), the other section of games are still the "real" thing.

The real reason casual games do so well, in addition to being convenient, is that they have broader appeal. Candy Crush, the bajillion versions of Yahtzee and Boggle, Hay Day, you know something they all DON'T have in common? The same old gravelly-voiced white male protagonist.
Core is a short form of hardcore, which is the exact opposite of casual. Hardcore is someone who devotes a large amount of time, effort, and enthusiasm into a topic.

core =/= majority
casual =/= minority

Hardcore car guys are rebuilding engines, casual car guys are checking their oil every couple weeks. We don't call the guy who changes his oil hardcore just because there are more of them.
 

Inglorious891

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Well now, this is a shocking revelation.

Except not really, obviously. Despite what the ESA says about half of gamers being women, I never believed that half the people that log into Steam on a regular basis, for example, are women. Or that half of the people that play... oh, I don't know, Payday 2 are women.

Fappy said:
snip this whole thing
People are "afraid" for the same reason people who play really complex RPGs are afraid: more people wanting simplier and games that are "easily accessable" are flooding into these game communities and are outnumbering people who have been with those series for years. And of course the companies that make these games are responding by trying to water down their games in an effort to achieve "broader appeal". This is why I'm cautious about so called "casuals" and why most people who I've talked to are worried; it has nothing to do with, "gamer identiy".
 

List

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Fappy said:
If begs the question though... why are some gamers scared that their identities will be swallowed up by casual gamers? As far as I can tell they have no interest in actually calling themselves gamers, and if they do maybe we're giving them less of a chance than they deserve.
I don't care whether a gamer is casual, hardcore, whatever. It's not the Identity I'm afraid of(a gamer is a gamer), it's the dreaded "targeted for a wider audience!!" publisher's keep spewing forth I'm dreading (affecting the games i like).
 

Fappy

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Inglorious891 said:
List said:
Quoting both of you since you're making pretty similar points. I agree that publishers shifting focus to appeal to a wider audience is usually a bad thing, but I fail to see how this means they are trying to appeal to casual gamers. The definition of "casual" we are using in this context refers to those that play phone games every now and don't engage themselves with the community in any meaningful way. I see a lot of people lambaste the Madden/CoD gamers as the source of the problem, but I think it's fair to say that a lot of those people are very passionate about their hobby. They may not be as invested as we are, but some of them still pump hours upon hours into the games they play and talk about them on social media and with friends all the time. When the discussion of "being a gamer" comes up, many of them may identify themselves as such and even I would feel a little uncomfortable with that, as regrettable as that is to admit.

I don't think you two are pointing any fingers, but I think the focus needs to be shifted from the "casual" gamers themselves to the publishers that are failing to connect with their core audience. In the end, it's those companies that are failing us, not the frat boy playing Madden or the stay-at-home mom playing Farmville.
 

small

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Dastardly said:
ticklefist said:
Dastardly said:
The real question is, with all of the many casual games, and all of the casual gamers playing them, why do we still lean on this crutch of refering to this other class of games as the "core?"

Seriously, it would be like a guy from Mississippi walking around Kenya talking about how it's amazing there are so many "minorities" there...
You will rue the day that Yahoo Dominoes is considered a "core" game.
Denial doth not an argument make. If most of the people playing (and paying) are casual, that's the new core. If most of the folks in this country voted for Ron Jeremy for president, he'd be president. Doesn't matter if the wizened few think it's a dumb idea.

Now, me? I don't think casual games are some awful thing. Clearly, their existence isn't removing classically "core" games from existence. And I play a handful of goofy games on my phone, which I enjoy greatly. There's just this weird idea that even though MOST gamers play these casual games (which includes but is not limited to stuff like Yahoo Dominoes), the other section of games are still the "real" thing.

The real reason casual games do so well, in addition to being convenient, is that they have broader appeal. Candy Crush, the bajillion versions of Yahtzee and Boggle, Hay Day, you know something they all DON'T have in common? The same old gravelly-voiced white male protagonist.
not to mention that people tend to forget at one time ALL games were "casual". from space invaders to pac-man and missile command. despite what people claim a specific game isnt hardcore its the obsession of the person involved, hence why missile command record breakers still make the news
 

Aiddon_v1legacy

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Fappy said:
Quoting both of you since you're making pretty similar points. I agree that publishers shifting focus to appeal to a wider audience is usually a bad thing, but I fail to see how this means they are trying to appeal to casual gamers. The definition of "casual" we are using in this context refers to those that play phone games every now and don't engage themselves with the community in any meaningful way. I see a lot of people lambaste the Madden/CoD gamers as the source of the problem, but I think it's fair to say that a lot of those people are very passionate about their hobby. They may not be as invested as we are, but some of them still pump hours upon hours into the games they play and talk about them on social media and with friends all the time. When the discussion of "being a gamer" comes up, many of them may identify themselves as such and even I would feel a little uncomfortable with that, as regrettable as that is to admit.

I don't think you two are pointing any fingers, but I think the focus needs to be shifted from the "casual" gamers themselves to the publishers that are failing to connect with their core audience. In the end, it's those companies that are failing us, not the frat boy playing Madden or the stay-at-home mom playing Farmville.
The problem is that publishers AREN'T actually trying to appeal to "casual" gamers. They keep pushing these big spectacle-fests and bragging about how much money they've pumped into them. If anything they seem to treat the "casual" scene with contempt and don't really have any interest in expanding their audience. They just keep pandering to the same, steadily-shrinking audience they've catered to for decades.
 

NuclearKangaroo

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SNCommand said:
To no ones actual surprise

People have been wanting this to change for years for some reason or other, but we're not there yet, I'm going to give it another decade or two before there's a fairly even split between the two genders in the part of the gaming circle we perceive as the "core"

All the hate towards gamers from people outside it leads me to believe we'll have to wait at least two decades, it's become less stigmatizing than before to be interested in what was before considered "boy hobbies", but there's evidently still a large portion of the population who view gamers as fat neckbeards who dislike girl cooties
maybe its the result of sexual dimorphism, and girls naturally are less willing to commit to this kind of hobby and be less competitive

or maybe thats my inner manpig speaking so dont quote me on that

if we want the stats to change there must be more games designed for women, and i dont mean simply having a female protagonist, kinda like otome games in japan

hell certain kinds of casual games might be just that

btw im not implying that girls cant enjoy "hardcur" games as well, of course they can, im just talking about tendencies