In Defense of the Casual Gamer

deathbydeath

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Really? This is still a thing? I could've sworn this stopped being a thing a year-ish ago when everyone grew up and started using the term "gaming enthusiast". This makes me sad.
 

Johnny Novgorod

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So according to this, "casual gamer" is just "gamer". What's so casual about not buying at launch or having dinner? I call it common sense. Stuff cheapens over time, and I get hungry. I can hold my horses (and my wallet) for a little bit, but that doesn't make me casual or hardcore, just A gamer.
 

ScrabbitRabbit

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Johnny Novgorod said:
So according to this, "casual gamer" is just "gamer". What's so casual about not buying at launch or having dinner? I call it common sense. Stuff cheapens over time, and I get hungry. I can hold my horses (and my wallet) for a little bit, but that doesn't make me casual or hardcore, just A gamer.
Yeah, this. I've never heard of anyone using this definition of "casual gamer" before and certainly not in a critical context.

I mean, this describes practically every gamer I know. A few might go to midnight launches for games they're especially excited for, but that's it. Anyone who skips meals or sleep to continue playing is someone with a problem, not a "hardcore gamer."

I don't think "casual gamer" should be an insult but still.

EDIT: Because I started every sentence with "I mean". I should probably go to bed.
 

Imperioratorex Caprae

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deathbydeath said:
Really? This is still a thing? I could've sworn this stopped being a thing a year-ish ago when everyone grew up and started using the term "gaming enthusiast". This makes me sad.
Hey, I tried to get the "game (or gaming) enthusiast" title/term off the ground as well, apparently it didn't take. There are the hardcore ELITIST crowd (note the bold caps for emphasis) who use the term "casual" as an insult, as described in this column, who also feel that whatever game they play is exclusively theirs and not for anyone who doesn't play exactly as they do. Those people are the minority of the minority who tend to be most vocal and most vitriolic against the decidedly majority of us who have lives and families that don't allow us to put the same amount of time in a game and who expect to reasonably experience the same content over a longer period.
We "casuals" as these "hardcore" gamers call us with such hate, are "ruining" games for "them". Thus this divides the community and breeds contempt on both sides.
Us "casuals" tend to be more rational and less cynical or misanthropic, whether its due to a higher developed social aptitude or some other nebulous errata we cannot understand I cannot say. But I've noticed these elitists are generally the most vocal, most abrasive jackasses in games. MMO's, MOBA's, FPS's and RTS's with multiplayer components all have these players, these "hardcore" elitists, and they're extremely intolerant of "casuals" or the most over-used insult toward "casuals", the dreaded "N00B".
I know, I may be a little sharp-edged in this post, but I am getting sick of being downed on for wanting to experience a game without content being gated due to my lack of time. In my youth, I had more time and thus could devote more to playing games to the back-end of beyond of completion (breaking the clock in FF7, completing ALL materia to master before even attempting Sepiroth), but now having a kid, college and a career to deal with, I can't do that anymore. But I still feel that since I pay pretty much the same price as the next guy, I should be able to reasonably experience the content on my disc/download/whatever without compromising my life. If I am wrong about this then are games truly only for the unwashed, unsexed, socially abhorrent trolls who leave their caves only for a midnight release?
And seriously how do these people get money to buy games?
 

Dwarfman

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omega 616 said:
They get too much hate, just look at the top comments, so they like to play cod and Madden... And? Are you saying they shouldn't buy games they have no interest in to satisfy your want for less stagnation or so they aren't "dumbed down"? What kind of fascist gamer are you?
About this much I agree with but then you kept typing.

omega 616 said:
In my 24 year life, I've gamed for most of it, I don't party or socialize at all. I've bought all the cod games since MW2 on launch day and I've never bought one of your precious gaming greats (limbo, fez, brink, psychonaughts, okami, the originals of stuff like xcom, baldurs gate, fallout etc or mirrors edge) and I think indies are generally crap... What am I? I've spent thousands on gaming, spent thousands of hours playing through hunger and needing to piss really badly but half the stuff you love, I think is meh to crap.
Am I a filthy casual or hardcore... According to your definition
Having read this paragraph I believe you are a hardcore gamer. A hardcore gamer that requires a social life. Interact with real people without using a computer once in awhile. And stop showing off so much.

omega 616 said:
"Dumbed down" is such a wrongly used phrase, complex games should be dumbed down... Why make things more complex for yourself? Sounds fucked up to me! In every other walk of life things are made more simple... Phones and tablets are idiot proof but games must be so complex only people with impressive deductive skills can play? Fuck off, that's just arrogance.
Dumbed down is indeed a wrongly used phrase. So wrong even YOU are misusing it. When 'hardcore' gamers refer to dumbing down. They refer to useful features that have been removed or replaced by features that are so retarded they may as well not be there. Why make things complex? Maybe these people want to fucking challenge themselves once in awhile? Who are you or I to judge them. And indeed other things in life are made simpler and simple. I still can barely use said tablet and mobile phone, but yes things are indeed getting simple. Along with the rest of humanity as it drops IQ points!

omega 616 said:
You all claim to want innovation but when something is innovative, nobody buys it but a sequel comes out and boom, it's the best selling piece of media ever! Don't blame the casual gamers for stagnation, if you want to assign blame you need only look in he mirror.
In my mind I don't think anybody wants innovation. If people were after the 'innovation' that your thinking of we wouldn't have collectively put ten tonnes of money into kickstarters like Project Eternity or Star Citizen. No, what the people you a deriding are after is nostalgia. They remember their childhoods and remember the games they played and think to themselves... 'WOW! What would they be able to do with my game if they a had the technology of today!'...or something like that...

...Oh yes that too. They don't blame casual gamers for the stagnation of the gaming industry. They blame hardcore gamers like yourself who spend thousands of dollars playing Call of Duty for the stagnation of the gaming industry.

Yes indeed my son look in that mirror. Look in that mirror hard. And please stop defending us. We 'casual' gamers find your type the most difficult to live with. I read your post and I am filled with a sudden urge to run outside and scream 'hypocrite'.
 

Unsilenced

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The definition of "casual" in that article has to be one of the worst I've ever seen, and I've seen some pretty terrible ones. In an age of digital distribution, buying right at launch doesn't exactly take commitment. Just preorder it on Steam and pre-load it before the servers get swamped (or after they're done being swamped, whichever). By that logic someone who preorders the latest battleduty each year is a hardcore gamer while the guy who bought Dark Souls on a steam sale to save money and has been playing it for the last 13 hours straight is a casual. That's not a good distinction.

The way I see it, the difference between a casual and a hardcore gamer is whether they see games more as entertainment/time killers, or as an artistic medium. Do they talk about games to their friends? Compare them to other games? Do they follow the industry and development of games? Time spent playing isn't necessarily a criteria either, since people, especially those into MMO's, can sink thousands of hours into a single game and know nothing about gaming in general, while people who are deeply invested in learning about games can have jobs and families and such (shockingly enough). Skill also falls short as a dividing factor, since there are people who spend a huge amount of time perfecting their "360 noscopes" and whatnot, but only play one or two different games, all in the same genre.

TL:DR; A "hardcore" gamer is best defined by the variety of games they play and their depth of knowledge of gaming as a whole, rather than an issue of skill, playtime, or financial investment.
 

Sansha

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In defense of casual gamers, we - like any other ridiculous label of 'gamer', are having fun, so fuck off.

That's really all I can say about the subject.
 

Holythirteen

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I'm not sure a lot of gamers want to be labelled as "casual", basically if the label has any meaning to you, you're probably not a casual gamer(at least by my definition). We ALL wanna be hardcore because we just do. I like to consider myself hardcore, but I very frequently stop gaming to cook food(!), and I don't think I've bought a game on launch day since Fallout 3.

And some people consider Fallout 3 "dumbed down"? Man, news to me. I'm just glad somebody MADE a Fallout 3, and that it was fun shit. Fallout 2 holds a special place in my heart, but I don't expect them to make more of that if it's not gonna make any money.

To go off on a bit of a tangent here; I thought hating the filthy casuals was a response to games not having the complexity and depth they used to, but Fallout 3 wasn't a great deal less complex than Fallout 2, especially when you consider what a buggy, broken mess Fallout 2 was. (Most special ammo types didn't work as intended, armor piercing ammo was always less effective than JHP regardless of your target's armor, a lot of skills were balanced so terribly as to be completely useless...) Ugh, I just don't understand how anybody could believe that Fallout 3 was anything but a step in the right direction. It's harder to defend Skyrim in regards to it being "dumbed down", but considering how stupid the process for leveling up was in Morrowind, I greatly admire the improvements they made. Maybe I just don't have the time to screw around, saving thousands upon thousands of gold pieces, running back and forth between a dozen trainers, carefully leveling up the right skills so I could max out my stats... ugh... How did I find this fun before and what happened to me that changed that?

So ya, if you think games are being dumboed down, I wish you would give us an example that doesn't confuse me and cheese me off. There has got to be some better examples than what has been mentioned.

Maybe there's just too many gamers out there that have to feel superior to somebody and they like to throw the words "casual gamer" out there like it's a slur. Best to pay them no mind.

But I think it kinda tells us the state of things when the article's author seems to want to claim the title of casual gamer for great justice, and when she gives us her definition of what she thinks a casual is, the response is a chorus of "uh... you're not all that casual, you sound pretty average". :)

omega 616 said:
I've never bought one of your precious gaming greats (limbo, fez, brink, psychonaughts, okami, the originals of stuff like xcom, baldurs gate, fallout etc or mirrors edge) and I think indies are generally crap... What am I?
Well you sir, are a bit of an anomaly, you sound elitist and arrogant enough that you would fit in with the hardcore crowd, but when you slight indy games when you obviously don't know what you're talking about, that makes you a filthy, filthy casual and you should be ashamed.
 

Adultism

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Oh boy the internet hate machine roars to life

So I don't really like to label people into categories I mean we can all just enjoy it right? It doesn't have to be all "YOU'RE NOT MLG ENOUGH" Competition is fun but sometimes people take it too far so that's one of the reasons I'm slowly becoming casual.
 

ungothicdove

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Why can't we just be moderate gamers? I certainly would consider myself more than a casual gamer but not hardcore. There are certain releases where I'll stay up till midnight for it to unlock on Steam, other ones I'm just so-so on. Sometimes I'll marathon a game, other times I'll play snippets here and there. It really depends on the game and my mood. I went through a few month period where I didn't really play any games at all.

So while I understand what he means by casual gamer, I think it's mostly come to mean those who play either games on their smartphone or games on facebook. And the CoD and Madden only crowd have their own category, probably bro gamer.
 

Guffe

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I consider myself a casual gamer (if I have to choose between the two).
Reading the posts here I'm not sure I should :/

I mean during this year I've played among others: Batman Arkham, AssassinsC III, Xenoblade Chronicles, The Last Story, FIFA 13/14, Lotro, TankTankTank, 3 x Zelda, Smash Bros Brawl, LoL, Darksiders II, ZombiU, some strange Indie titles etc etc. And just yesterday I bought Deus Ex. Human Revolution directors cut, waiting for the DL to finish.

This is a part of everything I've gamed during the last 10 months, and I don't see myself as a Hardcore gamer, why?
I really don't know!

This might seem stupid and in similar threads I always say this same thing.
Why split it up into Hardcore and Casual?
For me, if you play games, and enjoy playing them and can tell people you enjoy a gaming sessions every now and then, then you are a gamer.
But that seems to be the thought of the minority :(
 

r0seyp0m

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JUMBO PALACE said:
There's certainly nothing wrong with waiting until games drop in price or taking the experience slowly, but the "casual" gamer the author talks about is not the type of "causal" gamer I think a lot of "hardcore" players malign. Personally, and I think many would agree, I take issue with the casual gamer who simply buys the yearly Call of Duty or Madden, thereby contributing to the stagnation and lack of creativity in the industry. The casual gamer who asks for directions towards the quality titles like Skyrim, Metro, or even shooters with a little more depth like Battlefield are more than welcome. Sheep are not.
Took the words right out of my mouth.

Except for the last part, maybe. Bethesda could've done so much more with Skyrim...
 

omega 616

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Dwarfman said:
Firstly, I'm not showing off. I was out lining my life style and how it doesn't fit with what people were saying.

Second, you call me a hardcore gamer (thanks to me explaining my life style, see, I wasn't showing off) then at the very end you call me casual and I'm the hypocrite?

Thirdly, dumbing down has nothing to do with gamers wanting to challenge themselves, it's about making them user friendly... You know, how like watchers 2 was as user friendly as a tennis racket with strings.

Like I said in my original post, my definition of casual is vastly different to what others is
 

infohippie

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As others have said, I think the term "casual gamer" is understood by different people as meaning different things. I believe "casual gamer" has been conflated with "casual game", hence all the condemnation.
 

Dwarfman

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omega 616 said:
Dwarfman said:
Firstly, I'm not showing off. I was out lining my life style and how it doesn't fit with what people were saying.

Second, you call me a hardcore gamer (thanks to me explaining my life style, see, I wasn't showing off) then at the very end you call me casual and I'm the hypocrite?

Thirdly, dumbing down has nothing to do with gamers wanting to challenge themselves, it's about making them user friendly... You know, how like watchers 2 was as user friendly as a tennis racket with strings.

Like I said in my original post, my definition of casual is vastly different to what others is
Actually I called MYSELF a casual gamer. At least by the writer's definition of the term.

Errr Watchers 2? Or did you mean Witcher 2. If the former is not a typo I'm afraid I haven't played that game.

And fair enough I suppose if your definition of casual is different from others. I guess we can agree to disagree in these matters.
 

Mayamellissa

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Is there a middle-ground gamer category. Because I am apparenlty sharing both casual and hordcore gamer tendencies.
 

b3nn3tt

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I've actually not heard casual being defined the way it was in the article. And as such, I've not actually seen any anger directed towards people like that. However, I would agree with the idea that there is far too much hate for 'casual' gamers, and I would definitely agree with the point that everyone who plays games does it for the same reason: to have fun. It shouldn't matter which games someone plays, or how long they play at a time, what matters is that they're playing games and they're having fun doing it.
 

Nikolaz72

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Phrozenflame500 said:
Imbechile said:
I do have a problem when complex games get dumbed-down to appeal to the casual audience, like the Elder Scrolls and Fallout.
/thread


Of course, this being the internet, people tend to take it way too far and blame the wrong people.
Nothing to do with the internet.

People taking (what they believe) justice in their own hands has never gone well, and rarely targets those responsible for their woes.

Think the King of Brittain blowing the entire budget on the Crusades and then blaming the Jews resulting in the public running around burning Jews instead of overthrowing the king. Except, youknow.. That happening throughout all of history (In various forms) constantly.
 

hickwarrior

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I think this article and the thread perfectly illustrates why hardcore gamers and casual gamers are misnomers.

Also, I feel like you, Heather, are some looking in from the outside. And to see you saying these things probably says more about the public image of gamers as a whole. Ouch.

Mind you, that image is quite wrong as this thread shows. People from all walks of life enjoy games.

I've got nothing further to add though, too tired to make my words make sense.