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In response to "Casual Gamers Are Better Than You" from The Escapist forums:
Twenty years from now, we're going to look back at this as the period when gaming took off as a socially acceptable recreational activity, to the extent that your grandma was playing games -- and wonder why in the hell we ever saw this as a bad thing.
In the short term, sure, it makes publishers put down that interesting new IP and run screaming for the shovelware money pile.
But in the long term? More of society playing games? More money going into games? Games like Wii Fit 'gameifying' workout routines and Chore Wars gameifying household responsibilities -- how can any hardcore gamer be so against this rapid expansion of the medium into all the corners of the modern experience?
This article makes a lot of assumptions and dubious "givens". As a hardcore gamer, it's assumed I pirate games. I don't. It's assumed I don't like casual games. I do - Plants Vs Zombies (245 hours) is one of my all-time favorites, and I liked World of Goo. I'm close-minded, and won't trust new IP's? Hell, it's the "established" IP's these days I don't trust, with some of my favorite companies (Bioware, Crytek) churning out crippled, stunted PC games as they court the console player. Frankly, I'm very interested in new companies and new titles, as I hope they haven't yet been infected with the EA virus they call a business strategy, chances are better that they are not developing it multiplatform, and that they might actually have a fun game (with perhaps a fresh take on things).
Maybe I'm "unique" amongst those of us who call ourselves hardcore gamers. I doubt it.
A good portion of this article boils down to: ignorance is bliss. At least, it is for the gaming industry. Since us hardcore gamers are actually more knowledgable and a bit pickier about what games we'll spend our dollars on.
I think the fact that the author constantly used soccer "moms" and "grannies" (in other words, women) as his only examples of casual gamers who don't have the know-how that hardcore players possess, was more interesting than the actual article's topic. And that moms weren't referred to just once, but several times throughout the article as an example of people who are blissfully ignorant of the technological world around them.
When are moms going to stop being the default "clueless about gaming/technology/math/hard stuff" demographic? I mean yes, there are probably a lot of moms who don't play games/etc, but there are plenty of dads and grandpas who are just as clueless about all these things, and at this point the gender ratios don't suggest a large enough gap between the sexes to justify not mixing it up every once in awhile.
They were called "arcade games". Short games that emphasized skill over deep involvment. Pac-man, Donkey Kong. Am I ringing a bell here?.
Took the words right out of my keyboard.
I'd also like to add that there has been a great deal of polarization in the past decade by people - both gaming media and gamers alike - about whether a player falls into a "hardcore" or "casual" category. This only serves to alienate the non- gaming extremist, particularly non-"hardcore" gamers.
I think this article is evidence that the gaming media is starting to recognize that not everyone falls into one of two extreme categories. I've all but given up on other gaming websites due to their total embellishment of this polarizing culture.
I'm looking forward to where The Escapist can go with this concept.