In Defense of the Casual Gamer

hickwarrior

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Nov 7, 2007
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wombat_of_war said:
being older than most gamers at 40 i got to see the whole gamer thing start and develop. all games at one point were casual games, they were things you can now find on your phone but you had people who were insanely hardcore with them. people who clocked pacman multiple times for instance.

hardcore to me means obsessed to a seriously negative degree
To me, I can easily clock around 10 hours to a game if I really like that game. But again, different definitions for different people means to me that the term is completely meaningless if it's not unified.

The better word you might look for is probably addicted.
 

Panorama

Carry on Jeeves
Dec 7, 2010
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Mayamellissa said:
Is there a middle-ground gamer category. Because I am apparenlty sharing both casual and hordcore gamer tendencies.
yeah I was thinking something very similar, im not up gaming all day and night often anymore as I have responibilites/work etc... so I can't be when I have a weekend off I might do it or take a few days off to play a new game I very excited by. but day to day I guess im casual.
 

Riot3000

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Oct 7, 2013
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I don't think casual gamers need to be defended because the definition has become very warped to fit a distaste or reason some gamers feel about their favorite titles being "dumb downed", "hand hold" or other negatives.

For example lets say you have two gamers who have 400 hours locked in on one game one being an FPS the other being an RPG according to some the former is a "casual" gamer while the other is "hardcore".

I find the whole thing actually messed up for gaming in general because with such weirdly arbitrary standards the idea of playing Call of Duty and owning Journey at the same time seems more rare than it actually is.

So IMHO the whole harcore vs casual thing just cause more division than enrichment.
 

Spearmaster

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Mar 10, 2010
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This is new, didn't know I was a casual gamer just because I am also a responsible adult with gainful employment, I guess that's what happens when labels start flying around the room.

Pro-gamer>Hardcore gamer>Employed gamer>casual gamer, anyone wish to add to the scale?
 

JUMBO PALACE

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Spearmaster said:
This is new, didn't know I was a casual gamer just because I am also a responsible adult with gainful employment, I guess that's what happens when labels start flying around the room.

Pro-gamer>Hardcore gamer>Employed gamer>casual gamer, anyone wish to add to the scale?
I don't think there's anything wrong with labeling games made with greater creativity, direction, or general quality better. The sequel factories that are EA and Activision pour cash into franchises and reboots that drive the industry into the ground while good games that know their budget and their audience remain the minority. I'm not engineering a utopia, but I would like if the so called "casual gamer" would buy something other than Call of Duty instead of contributing to the problem. Shame on me for insulting anyone. I know that's almost worthy of banishment on this site.
 

omega 616

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May 1, 2009
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Dwarfman said:
My phone hates this site, so it bounces my cursor around and auto corrects words, so watcher 2 was meant to be witcher 2. I have to use my phone 'cos my pc bricked.

Anyway. My definitions are casual is the candy crush/farmville playing crowd. Hardcore is somebody who buys cod/madden every year aka dedicate free time to being great at 2 or 3 games and nothing else. I have an extra category, serious gamer who are basically us.... Read forums, keep up to date with news, go to midnight launches, stay up till 4 am watching E3 even though you have work tomorrow, plays every type of game etc.

I put 400 hours into 1 save on oblivion, played mgs series countless times, I play wwe and ufc, gta to dragons age, far cry to residential evil... Again not showing off, just elaborating.
 

Playful Pony

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Sep 11, 2012
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Whats the point in even using these terms anymore? Their meaning has become so nebulous it is virtually impossible to get a group of people to even agree what they mean, so how are we supposed to have any sort of meaningful discussion using them? I really don't think the "casual gamers" you are thinking of is the same kind of casual gamer the people "hating" on casual gamers are.

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.
Sorry Doc, that was 2085, remember? Your back in lame old 2013 now. ...How's Marty doing?
 

irishda

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Dec 16, 2010
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Based on the first paragraph alone, I'd say it sounds like the hardcore gamer is the one that needs defending.

"These people can't resist buying a new addition to their hobby the instant it's released. Can't resist buying extra additions to it, complain that they HAVE to buy new additions to it, are more susceptible to be taken in by a product based on name-brand (ZOMG! Valve made this!), and exhibit classic obsessive behavior like binge playing. But the WORST people are the ones that interact with their hobby on a healthier level with limited time, spending habits, and evaluation of how important it is. Let me just defend those people for a minute here."

Seriously, it's the worst part of gamer culture, the "hardcore" club mocking the "casual gamers" for "dumbing down" their game and making everything worse. It's like if the hardcore crackheads mocked the people who only tried it once or twice because their teeth aren't falling out.
 

Callate

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That's really not "casual gamer" as I've ever heard it used, let alone used in a derogatory fashion. By that description, I'd be a casual gamer for 75% of the games I play and a hardcore gamer by the last quarter that really captivate me. So, I suspect, would a lot of people... And the trend would skew by age even more than the distinction already typically tends to, with nearly everyone in young adulthood or later with bills, a job, and/or children they're responsible for relegated to at least part-time casual status.

The way I usually see "casual" used disparagingly, it's not from a presumption of a lack of time or intensity, but from a presumption of ignorance. "There are so many deep, meaningful experiences out there, and you choose to spend all your time with [Farmville/Angry Birds/Bejeweled/FIFA/COD/Madden/etc. etc. etc.]? How dare you drag my beloved medium down!"

(Please note before you rant: above comment in quotes should not be taken to be the poster's personal opinion nor an insult towards any of those franchises, nor those who play them.)
 

Raziel

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Jul 20, 2013
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My definition of casual gamers and hardcore gamers is massively different. And like you said is better fitted to mobile gamers vs AAA gamers.

I would consider myself a hardcore gamer. I own all the consoles, I buy lots of games every year. But I'm nothing like the hardcore gamer you describe, I'd call those obsessed gamers. I play however long I feel like it. 20 minutes or hours at a time as long as I'm having fun. But usually I beat a game and move on to the next. Even online games like COD I'm done with in a couple weeks or a month at most.

I consider casual gamers people who play games on their phone or browser and basically nothing else. Who basically buy almost nothing. And my problem isn't even with them. Its with companies chasing that market. I HATE those games. I've never found one I like and more more they are turning into these crappy mini games that are designed to scam people into spending $10, $20, $50, $100 or more on gems and unlocks to finish a game you wouldn't think was worth paying $20 for if they just sold the whole thing unlocked. And now that same crap is being folded into the AAA games that I actually like. I'm really worried my type of games is going to be straight up replaced by these things.
 

Denamic

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Aug 19, 2009
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I'm a 'hard-core' gamer, having played a ludicrous number of games over 20 years. I've been in hard-core raiding guilds and were under 20 minutes behind on world first achievements. Twice. I play games I love religiously, not stopping till I've reached 100% completion. Though I've never managed that with any Disgaea game so far, even though I've easily over 5000 hours in the series. Just too much shit to do.

But I also play games casually pretty often, if not most of the time. I sometimes play Minecraft on peaceful, because my Doom Fortress needs a zen-garden. I play visual novels occasionally, because emotions happen. I don't always play Dark Souls with restrictions placed upon myself. I sometimes just like to relax.

Everyone's a casual gamer sometimes.
 

Aiberg

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Oct 2, 2009
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The header picture used had nothing to do with the topic of the article. It may be an honest mistake, but it feels as if it is a cheap shot to attract more attention. To give credit where it's due, I rarely see that at the escapist. On another note, I don't think the author knows the issue she writes about enough, hence so many reactions about her skewing the meaning of a term most everyone else had a concensus about. She should inform herself more before attempting to lesson people.
 

antonkeyter92

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Aug 6, 2013
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I've been trying to think of something half-way intelligent to say but I couldn't really come up with anything that the other users haven't already posted.

However...

People who only buy the yearly titles like CoD or Battlefield etc. and nothing else who call themselves hardcore gamers do tend to annoy me. This creates stagnation in the market and games are supposed to be creative, damn it! See? There I go.

Anyway. I find myself agreeing with the "casual gamer" described in the article (apart from the candy crush part).
I myself will often times wait for a AAA title to drop in price and then buy the game and play it at my own pace.
That being said, other times I would buy a game immediately upon release and forget what the outside world looks like for a few days. Skyrim, for example, I bought immediately because I really like the Elder Scrolls series and if Half-Life 3 eventually gets released...I'll be switching off all the phones in the house and lock myself in my room for days.

So.
I don't know what this makes me. All I know is that I really enjoy playing a quality, fun, and interesting game.
 

RevRaptor

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Mar 10, 2010
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You keep using that word casual, I don't think it means what you think it means :/

Maybe the author should have looked up what a casual gamer really is, before writing an article defending them.

That said being a gamer don't mean much nowadays anyways. Back in the day there was a line in the sand and you had to pick a side, gamer or non gamer. Now days there is no social stigma attached to being a gamer and no real reason to get worked up about what counts as a gamer an what don't :)
 

LostPause

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Sep 20, 2013
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I think it's clear Heather made quite a fundamental error here but if we're fair it's quite understandable.

First up, if I recall correctly 'casual gamers' was once a term people occasionally used to differentiate between players who bought a game every once in a while to enjoy at their own leisure and the 'hardcore crowd' who'd invest considerable time 'mastering' the games they bought [and perhaps subscribe to the PC and console magazines who'd be the only ones ever actually contrasting 'hardcore' and 'casual' gaming]. It wasn't so much an aggressive distinction so much as it was the slightly dismissive one all fandoms inevitably create so that the biggest / craziest fans can congregate to talk about every little facet and detail of their adored pastime.

In the 80s and 90s there wasn't a significant 'casual gaming' genre, however, and 'casual gamers' simply played the same games as the 'hardcore' did, albeit more casually. As the industry boomed and the 'casual' overwhelmed the 'hardcore' demographic considerably the market turned to cater to them and created a whole new market of 'casual games'. This is what the 'hardcore crowd' is annoyed / disappointed by. When they voice their frustrations it's generally not about the levels of 'devotion' in other players but to do with the extent the industry has bent over to cater to 'casual play'.

Their issue isn't even so much with the fact that some companies make simplistic and superficial games for the 'casual genre'- after all, I've never heard anyone suggest they'd like to see Zynga start making some complex games for a change. The anger is at seeing beloved companies like Nintendo effectively taking themselves out of the 'hardcore' market, not to mention so many other games apparently dumbed down or butchered by tutorials, FTP marketing and simplified control schemes.

Actually, the truth is the 'hardcore crowd' is just prone to whine a bit too much [as all elitist fandoms do whenever mainstream popularity threatens to dilute their chosen slice of pop culture]. In the end though, they learn to deal with it and find new avenues to cater to their preferred manner of engaging with a piece of entertainment. In our case, we still have a blossoming indie scene to take care of our complex needs if we can't satisfy our appetites on the AAA market.
 

Mzuark

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Aug 31, 2013
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"In Defense of Casual Gamers"

First of all, just because I'm not obsessed with video games does not mean I'm like some separate species to be classified.

And secondly, Defense? I need to be defended because my life doesn't revolve around being little discs of code?