Viewer Homework: Is Casual Gaming a LIE?

  • EDIT[ - I'm taking over the Listener Homework from Sunflower and offcially changing the name to Viewer Homework!



    You I see the terms hard core and casual gamers and gaming thrown around a lot and I'm starting to think those terms are falsehoods.

    I believe that all gaming is casual, it's just a matter of wanting to learn how to play something.

    When I was growing up I played through every kind of gaming through the generations.

    Starting with a 1 button Joystick with my Atari 2600 and then my commodore. I didn't suddenly give up gaming when I discovered my first text adventure game. Suddenly having to use a keyboard and interact with parsers didn't turn me off of games.

    I remember making the jump to two buttons on the NES pretty seamlessly, then 3 on the Genesis, and then 6 on the SNES all without issue.

    As games became more complicated, the fact that I enjoyed playing them made me want to learn how to play them.

    My point in all this is that people will take the time to learn games they want to play, whether they are simple or not. millions of people play Monopoly all the time. No one complains about having to learn all the rules of the game and Monopoly is a pretty rule intensive game.

    Thus, I figure that if Mom or Grandma suddenly want to learn how to play the Wii or some Popcap game on PC, it isn't necessarily because these games are casual, they are just appealing to them in terms of theme and game play and they are willing to take the time to learn how to play.

    So, in the end I still believe, as I always kind of have, that ALL video Games are casual. It's just how much a person is willing to put into learning how to play with 1 button, 50 buttons, or no buttons.

    I know there will be disagreement, and I hope much discussion on this matter, so lets hear it.

    -Ray
  • I've heard arguments for both sides. I think calling certain games casual and certain games hardcore does have some truth to it, as long as you're calling the right games casual or hardcore. Let's face it, there are games out there that take two buttons and that's it, and then there are games that use every button on the controller or keyboard and take hours to put anytime into. Just like card games or board games, where some are considered more complex the others, we have the same for video games, as you have elaborated on a bit, however, I think this does create enough distinction.

    I think it's fair to call a game that requires a lot of time and complex action on behalf of the user more of a hardcore game; one that takes some dedication and effort, versus something you can pick up and play right away. The word harcore itself can mean someone that displays dedication and great effort towards something, casual is not that at all. Transferring that definition to games isn't entirely unfair. Some games require that dedication to play, others don't. That doesn't mean that someone can't show a lot of dedication to the simpler games. I guess that would make someone a hardcore casual player. :?

    The problem comes about when we start tossing around casual and hardcore titles like insults, because neither of them are inherently bad. What _is_ bad is games that lack good gameplay, and that isn't restricted to casual, hardcore, simple, or complex.
  • pocketmego said:
    So, in the end I still believe, as I always kind of have, that ALL video Games are casual. It's just how much a person is willing to put into learning how to play with 1 button, 50 buttons, or no buttons.


    Interesting, i both agree and disagree with what you said.

    To me games are neither casual nor hardcore. Its the audience that the games are targetted at that are. Wii sports could never be called a hardcore game and likewise something like Devil May Cry or Ninja Gaiden could never be called casual but this is more to do with who the games are made for. Two totally different mindsets. Two different approaches to gaming.

    To label some games "hardcore" and some not is just lazy. For instance Viva pinata could be called casual, it has bright colours. simple mechanics and doesn't take alot of skill to play (but a hell of alot to master) You can approach this game from two ways, play it the odd time and collect a few pinata's like I did or go all out and dominate it like swoopes did. So does this game qualify as casual or hardcore? To me it stands as an example of both styles of gaming, and shows how subjective words like casual and hardcore is.

    Casual and hardcore are just frames of mind about how much you want to invest in a game. You can play any game like its hardcore by investing yourself fully in it and many supposedly hardcore games like World of Warcraft or Age of Conan can be played in a very casual fashion. So to me the whole casual and hardcore debate boils down to how much you of your soul you will put into enjoying a game
  • In my opinion, games shouldn't be labeled hardcore or casual. If anything, it's the players. A player who enjoys playing a game for an extensive period may be hardcore as opposed to someone who plays Tetris on their cell phone for a few minutes and be casual.

    Games may be addressed as hardcore because they're difficult to learn and don't appeal to those who don't want to spend more than 10 minutes with a game when truly they're just that. Difficult. It might not even be difficult. It might be a game that just requires more time put into it.

    The same goes for people addressing games as casual. They're usually labeled as casual because they're really easy to play but still fun. They could be games that don't take a lot of effort to have fun with.

    However, it's not the game that is hardcore or casual, but the people, the hardcore gamers and casual gamers, that play it. Hardcore gamers can play a game of Tetris and still be hardcore gamers and the game does not change at all. A casual gamer can pick up a MMO and that doesn't change the game one bit.

    As I stated, games are just games. They are shooting games, puzzle games, game games. They are all games for all people though some may require a little bit more effort out of you to actually enjoy it as opposed to those that only need a few minutes of your time.

    That's just my two cents.
  • What separates casual and hardcore is the challenges, not the rules.
  • God said:
    What separates casual and hardcore is the challenges, not the rules.


    Then I'm curious as to which of these categories Braid would fit into?

    On the surface it seems like the simplest platform game ever made, but a bit deeper and you realize it might one of the hardest puzzle games EVER.

    -Ray
  • casual gaming is not only not a lie, it's killing the industry.

    "Oh look! i can pet the cute little nintendog! ^_^"
    "Oh look! i can make my own house and have little sims inside of it! ^_^"
    "Oh look! i can make food on my DS! ^_^"

    FUCK YOU

    THIS IS NOT VIDEO GAMES

    GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM MY HOBBY

    AZSAJASKLJFKLJFKLAA:AHKLGAKL:JKLDG
  • Lucien_Lachance said:
    casual gaming is not only not a lie, it's killing the industry.

    "Oh look! i can pet the cute little nintendog! ^_^"
    "Oh look! i can make my own house and have little sims inside of it! ^_^"
    "Oh look! i can make food on my DS! ^_^"

    FUCK YOU

    THIS IS NOT VIDEO GAMES

    GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM MY HOBBY

    AZSAJASKLJFKLJFKLAA:AHKLGAKL:JKLDG


    OOOOKKKKKAAAAYYYY...

    Lucien, do you think these same people could become interested in better games if exposed to them?

    -Ray
  • pocketmego said:

    Then I'm curious as to which of these categories Braid would fit into?


    Braid is a retro game, which is a totally different category. With these kinds of games you have a neutral territory in my mind. They aren't hardcore or casual, even if they are challenging.
  • God said:
    [quote=pocketmego]
    Then I'm curious as to which of these categories Braid would fit into?


    Braid is a retro game, which is a totally different category. With these kinds of games you have a neutral territory in my mind. They aren't hardcore or casual, even if they are challenging.[/quote]

    See, I don't know. This is where we disagree.

    First off, I don't consider a Braid a Retro Game despite it's clever trappings. There was never a game quite like it before. The closest thing I can even consider is Manic Miner and that is really pushing it.

    But, even if we do consider it a retro game then I can't agree that retro games are a whole different category.

    There is a big difference between a round of Space Invaders or Pac-Man and 10-20 hours on Zelda or Final Fantasy.

    Bionic Commando Re-Armed is a perfect example. That game would certainly qualify for the definition of Hardcore, if the definition was being used as most people here seem to agree it should be.

    So Retro games can't just fall under their own category as some are VERY simple and some are VERY complex.

    -Ray
  • pocketmego said:
    [quote=Lucien_Lachance]casual gaming is not only not a lie, it's killing the industry.

    "Oh look! i can pet the cute little nintendog! ^_^"
    "Oh look! i can make my own house and have little sims inside of it! ^_^"
    "Oh look! i can make food on my DS! ^_^"

    FUCK YOU

    THIS IS NOT VIDEO GAMES

    GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM MY HOBBY

    AZSAJASKLJFKLJFKLAA:AHKLGAKL:JKLDG


    OOOOKKKKKAAAAYYYY...

    Lucien, do you think these same people could become interested in better games if exposed to them?

    -Ray[/quote]absolutely not. never, ever, EVER. one does not go from nintendogs to ninja gaiden.
  • I'd disagree on that Lucien. Casual games are the gateway drugs to the harder stuff. There are tons of casual gamers that will start out with simple stuff like Animal Crossing and the Sims, and then make the easy move over to MMO's like WoW.

    How many kids do you know that started out with something like Rollercoaster Tycoon and are now playing RPG's now?

    The casual to hardcore link is very solid, IMHO. Hardcore players aren't just born wanting to play Diablo.

    Great post btw pocket!

    Yw
  • this is quite confusing for me :? im basically a otaku(though i never refer to myself as such) and am also a gamer. i play games like i watch anime,sitting there for at least 4hrs a day, or i focus on one thing at a time hence why i can play games for so long. but its weird how it applies to ppl cause i know i enjoy playing the simple games that casual gamers joy and then some of the games that hardcore gamers like(only when it comes to rpgs) but its odd when you try to talk to someone thats a casual when your a hc
  • On a side note, it just hit me that Raven is actually typing out most of his words now. :lol: Awesome man.

    Back on topic, I used to be like Lucien and hated casual gamers. But then I realized that all programmers are nerds and as such they will have roughly the same gaming roots as we do. The same goes for gaming producers, if you actually look at the course set involved in getting into that career it is awfully geeky.

    So while they pitch the crappy casual wii fit and nintendogs, they do it with the intention of making Fallout 3. Sure there will be money whores out there; but hardcore as it is called won't die off. It's just a deeper form of gamin in my opinion.

    So does casual gaming exist? Yes... Sorry Mego but I think it does. play a game of Collapse for 2 hours and tell me you don't want to shoot yourself. However, the fact that it is growing doesn't stop hardcore gaming at all. This year is the biggest year in hardcore gaming in about a decade.
  • quahgg said:


    So does casual gaming exist? Yes... Sorry Mego but I think it does. play a game of Collapse for 2 hours and tell me you don't want to shoot yourself. However, the fact that it is growing doesn't stop hardcore gaming at all. This year is the biggest year in hardcore gaming in about a decade.


    The thing is, if more of you played Atari 2600 games more often, I wonder if you would change your opinion.

    Look at King of Kong, those were DEFINITELY hardcore gamers playing what amounts to VERY casual games.

    -Ray
  • Pac Man is not casual. It never has been and never will be. That game is down right frantic at times. Most of the really good games from the Atari days were not casual by my definition. Like, Pitfall, Yars Revenge, Berserk, Defender, Mario Brothers and a vast collection could and never would have been mastered or even had the surface scratched by a casual gamer; even back then.

    You can't tell me convincingly that a casual gamer has experienced the clock running out in Pitfall. You can't tell me that they beat Berserk. They may have picked up one of those games and either began the conversion to being a 'hardcore' gamer or went back to playing Space Invaders and Combat; two games where you could play on multiple difficulties to suit your needs.

    They existed back then. They exist now. The reason it seems new is that the fad disappeared in the late 80's. Nintendo hasn't tapped into a new market, it's tapped into the forgotten market. Just like it tapped into forgotten technologies for the wii.
  • How has nobody come into this argument with this:

    Casual Games still exist because the internet still exists.

    Sites like AddictingGames and the like have helped countless of office cubicle workers survive their boring jobs by playing games casually. For those of us that are a bit older, you'll remember when Shockwave.com used to be THE site to play these sorts of games.

    SOLITAIRE? I still know co-workers that play Solitaire. Why? It's casual, you play it at your own pace, and it comes hard-coded into every Windows operating system. Seriously, when my mom convinced her friend to get a computer, the only thing she did for months was play Solitaire because it was easy to access and even easier to play.

    Hardcore/Casual is not a label you put on games, its a mentality.

    People that do five minute speedruns of Super Mario Bros are hardcore gamers. The game itself can be casual.

    Think about it. The two most commonly known games in the world are Super Mario Bros. and Tetris. It's not surprise that these games are also two of the highest grossing games (both of which are responsible for the success of their respective consoles). Why? Because they are accessible to many. My Grandma played Super Mario Bros. My mom spent week playing Tetris.

    Just because somebody plays a game in an extreme way, doesn't make it non-casual. Somebody cited Donkey Kong. The very concept of a "kill screen" shows you that the game was not actually designed to be played that way. After a while the machine runs out of memory and its game over.

    This concept of casual gaming is not new, it's not dead, and it's most certainly not a lie.
  • yuzo said:
    I'd disagree on that Lucien. Casual games are the gateway drugs to the harder stuff. There are tons of casual gamers that will start out with simple stuff like Animal Crossing and the Sims, and then make the easy move over to MMO's like WoW.
    oh joy, then they'll get addicted to that and never play anything else.
    yuzo said:
    How many kids do you know that started out with something like Rollercoaster Tycoon and are now playing RPG's now?
    ROLLERCOASTER TYCOON IS NOT CASUAL; IT'S FUCKING AWESOME.
  • I kind of agree with Demiveeman´s point of view. I never thought of Super Mario Bros as a hardcore game, just as a way to stress out killing koopas. Even though the objective was to kill Bowser and rescue the princess, my main objective was to find the warps in every world.

    IMHO, hardcore and casual are both subject to change depending on one thing: Your favorite gaming gender. If I am a Mario whore (platforming), I will absolutely get the 120 stars. Being a Zelda whore(adventure), my prime objective is to get 20 hearts, all items and stuff. But if I play Mario just because I like a red fat plumber jumping and just spend 1 hour getting the easy stars...I think it falls in the "casual" definition.

    For me, the best example is in the RPG gender. Go ask a friend who is not so hardcore about RPGs and ask him if he has the top level in the game, or all the weapon set for his player. There are certain genders that seem more propense to be hardcore or casual
  • I'm much more of a casual gamer then a hardcore. Sure I like to sit down and play Age of Empires for a couple hours but after a while I just get tired of hardcore and need a break.
    Thats what I think casual games are, just nice little break every now and then to have a change but still just as fun as a hardcore game when you play it.
  • Lucien_Lachance said:
    absolutely not. never, ever, EVER. one does not go from nintendogs to ninja gaiden.


    I've seen someone go from Sims to No More Heroes, directly, that is, no games in between.
  • And I would still argue that anyone who grew up with Video Games from the 70's until today went through a transforming process from Casual Gaming to more expansive types of gaming.

    But, then again if you played games your entire life, I suppose that automatically makes you hard core. :D

    -Ray

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