In Defense of the Casual Gamer

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In Defense of the Casual Gamer

Here's something that may come as a shock: casual gaming is not a crime.

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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.

The problem is that "Casual gamers" has become synonymous with "Bad Gamers", I believe this is wrong and i never ever confuse the two.

The history is Casual Gamers and when game developers started seeing them as a viable revenue stream and started developing games with casual gamers in mind. This is why you do not see Role Playing Games (RPG) with the 100+ hour play times or why most single player story's on games are less then 20 hours. This is also why MMO's gate everything by time so that you can pretty much do the same thing as the "Hard-core Gamers" as long as you play for 1 or 2 hours a day. Also the over simplification of game mechanics so that they are easer to understand and use makes better gamers feel like the games they love are consistently being dumbed down for casual gamers. Since they understand the game controls/mechanics it must mean they are bad gamers.

What has happens as much of the industry's consumers feels that they have been deprived of content or limited because of a large group of people that have never been and never will be dedicated to the game or industry like the "Normal" or "Hard-Core" gamer.

I have nothing against casual gamers.

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

Well... excuse the fuck out of me for having a life outside of video games.

I feel like the definition of casual gamer being used here is different than the definition that I usually hear people using, or at least the definition I have on my head. Generally, I would see casual gamers as people that primarily play CoD or Madden, or perhaps people that only play Facebook/iPhone/Wii games. What's being described in this article just sounds like gamers that are strapped for cash or have to go to class/work in the morning. The thing is, everyone I know is this sort of gamer, but they're all still pretty dedicated to games/gaming, e.g. making a point to watch E3 press conferences live and 100% as many of their games as they can.

It seems like what you described here as casual is closer to just a generic gamer, not hardcore, but not casual either.

I consider myself casual and a half. I follow all the gaming news, I'm acutely aware of what's out, what's coming out soon, what's popular, and what's good, and I game on a near-daily basis... but I also have no intention of buying a PS4 or Xb1 at launch, have never camped out for a game or console, and have been relatively uninterested in most of the AAA games to come out in the past few years. It's fun living on both sides.

P.S. Thanks

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?

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

I have vastly different definitions.

"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.

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.

Imbechile:

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

/thread

Nobody cares how often you play games in a day or how you spend your money on them. That doesn't affect us and more often or not is not really your choice.

What we do care about is clueless marketing execs going "Hey, that Angry Birds thing is making lots of money. Let's release our next game easy to understand like Angry Birds, because that totally makes sense and doesn't show we have no idea who are target audience is!"

Of course, this being the internet, people tend to take it way to far and blame the wrong people.

Imbechile:
I have nothing against casual gamers.

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

2xDouble:
Well... excuse the fuck out of me for having a life outside of video games.

Brothers (or sisters) I think we're conflating "casual" gamers with "CoD" fans. Elder Scrolls and Fallout getting streamlined is not the fault of someone like 2xDouble because they aren't as "hardcore" as some. And Miss Barefoot makes a perfect case. I buy games well after launch because I'm a really cheap bastard, but I play the ever-loving crap out of those gays. I never buy games at launch (though almost always new), and I consider myself a gamer, whatever that may mean. There's a difference between someone who's thrifty and likes their games to be fully patched and FAQed (and GOTYed) before they buy, and someone who only buys generic brown and gray shooters and only shooters (sports games are a niche unto themselves and thus free from my scorn), thus dragging down the entire industry. So go forth and play your mobile games and wait a couple years before you pick up new items, so long as it's not Call of Derpy, I have no complaints.

The problem with casual gamers is not the gamers themselves, but when the industry starts designing games primarily for casual gamers, making the game so friendly to half hearted, occasional play, that it becomes a joke for someone who wants an experience worthy of the "hardcore" investment of time and effort. Simply adding higher difficulty levels to a game which has been inherently simplified for casuals is not the same thing as making a genuinely deep, and hardcore experience... especially seeing as difficulty has less to do with a game being "hardcore" than many might think, in many cases it's the depth of options (and not hidden depth) and/or the simple scope of a gaming experience intended to take hundreds of hours, rather than something a casual can complete in half a dozen hour long game sessions.

In theory both kinds of gamers should be able to co-exist, as long as enough titles are produced to keep both groups happy. The problem is that as the casual gamers outnumber the real gamers, and are also substantially less demanding in terms of quality, innovation, writing, etc... the gaming industry chooses to release titles almost exclusively designed for casual play. Something which has gone so far as to see ongoing series of games gradually dumbed down and simplified so as to be more approachable to casual gamers. An example of this would be how the available options in the "Elder Scrolls" series has gone down with each installment, or how despite massive demand which has been able to carry some indie companies, we haven't seen much in the way of AAA level RPG releases with turn based combat, full party creation, etc... It's all "simple, streamlined, real time". In general the hardest core gamers the industry caters to are the so called "Gun Bros" and really they are a form of casual gamer, with formulaic shooter games replacing clickfests like Farmville and the like.

To be honest the criticisms never really went away, it's just that the gaming media has spent a lot less time being critical of casual gamers for a long time, the message being one of acceptance or surrender from that direction for a while. Not to mention the tendency of some forum moderators in various sites (not really here though) being fairly militant in going after people who are anti-casual and express strong sentiment in that direction. Honestly though the biggest transition is simply that the whole casual gamer thing has seen most of it's energy directed at the gaming industry for catering to casuals to the extent they do, rather than at the casual gamers themselves, which is how I mostly approach the subject. I do not generally care how someone plays a game or what they enjoy, as long as I can find a steady supply of the kind of games I want, produced at an adequate level. Indie games are fine, but I myself want the bells, whistles, graphics, and other innovations attached to serious titles, as opposed to entirely being invested on casuals. Right now my choices largely seem to be indie games with a lot of depth that look like something my cat might have coughed up, or relatively high quality experiences that are also extremely shallow so as to draw in the casual market. Exceptions exist, but are very, very few. Also a big part of it is to produce enough games to keep the relative markets happy, simply put, even considering indie development, there just aren't enough games of the desired types to keep the hardcore gamers sated as they play them. Sure a hardcore gamer might put hundreds of hours into a worthy title, but when he's done, he wants to move onto another game, and it breeds anger when there aren't any, and even more anger when they are taking a much loved series and hyping how casual they are now making it.

Ideally, it should be a simple matter of "you play your games, I play mine" but the gaming industry just isn't willing to do that. The industry has increasingly been taking the role of villain here, but there is still a lot behind the basic idea that if casual gamers can be forced out one way or another, the gaming industry will produce for it's remaining consumers. Something which has increasingly become less and less likely with the gaming media being friendly towards casuals, as opposed to siding with the hardcore gamers in trying to force them out, into other hobbies. In general you'll see tons of articles like this defending casuals on gaming sites, but very few people vilifying them, not to mention I can't remember the last time I saw someone chased off of major gaming sites for being too casual. None of which is a bad thing of course.

Eh, I agree with the Facebook comments. The definition got a bit skewed. Simply put, the Casual Gamers the author is talking about aren't Casual Gamers. Just, regular Gamers I suppose. What the Hardcore types refer to as "Casual Gamers" are the like to love having everything given to them easily and have nothing complicated at all. Or at least that's what I think they're referring to, and what game companies try to adhere to.

2xDouble:
Well... excuse the fuck out of me for having a life outside of video games.

I'm not sure what you're talking about to so I'm just gonna assume it's people being negative against "Casual Gamers" on this post. If you are, then I have to say you aren't gonna be changing anyone's opinion anytime soon. You (again, if you're referring to the previous comments), in other people's eyes, are making things worse. Though I would mostly put the blame on companies such as Activision or EA.

"Casual gamers could pick up a release anywhere from a few months to a few years after the release date, play leisurely in small groupings of time, and probably would pause the game to go grab dinner."
If by "small groupings" you mean 1 or 2 hours, then I'm definitely a "casual" gamer as you define it.

I thought that "hardcore" was about AAA high-end graphics games, while "casual" was about little games on smartphones or tablets. I may be "casual" under Heather's definition, but I have allotted over 90 games on Steam over the past 2 1/2 years. I have over a dozen Wii, Gamecube, Nintendo 64, and Xbox 360 games each. I don't consider myself "casual" compared to the majority of gamers.

"But they aren't marketing to ME anymore!" seems to be the primary complaint. Well, welcome to media. It's happened to books, which used to be only for academia and governance but now are used for pretty much any form of entertainment. Has to some extent to movies as well, though those have often appealed to all audiences and dedicate time to all profitable niches. It's just part of loving something with an ever growing fanbase that leaves smaller minorities behind.

I got a problem with this artical and it's the obvious one; the definitions of "hardcore" and "casual" are just wrong. They seem to be based on time commitment and not a deeper interaction/ understanding. A " harcore gamer" should not be someone that plays 8 hours a day, but someone that explore the gaming medium. Same goes for "casual", playing 8 hours(or 6 or 4 or 3 or any time requirement) a day does not make one a hardcore if all one is doing is playing with an surface level understanding.

I was a bit confused by the content of the article itself here. As I see it, a "casual gamer" is one who exclusively plays games on such devices like an iWhatever or an Android device - people who do such things to pass the time on the bus or something. These are folks who could give zero or less fucks about the finer intricacies about the gaming industry, and while that's not a bad thing in and of itself (hell, less worries), these are the folks that "big publishers" keep trying to target despite the fact that it often fails for the reasons I already stated.

There's an interesting dichotomy within the "Gaming Republic" as I like to put it (example: try to start a thread about any action game other than Dark Souls and see how far you get), but most of us agree that more gamers is an all-around good thing. If nothing else, who doesn't enjoy the fact that there are more people that share similar interests? Just now getting, say, Skyrim, Saints Row, or Prototype? Sure, you're a little late to the party, but there's still plenty of booze, finger foods, and potential friends left. Feel free to mingle and enjoy yourself!

Ineffective labeling system is ineffective. Leave to humans to categorize and polarize anything at all. Just stop using labels and describe things. It will take forever but at least we'll be on the same page. Now if you'll excuse me I have an entmoot to convene.

Goliath100:
I got a problem with this artical and it's the obvious one; the definitions of "hardcore" and "casual" are just wrong. They seem to be based on time commitment and not a deeper interaction/ understanding. A " harcore gamer" should not be someone that plays 8 hours a day, but someone that explore the aming medium. Same goes for "casual", playing 8 hours(or 6 or 4 or 3 or any time requirement) a day does not make one a hardcore if all one is doing is playing with an surface level understanding.

This guy's got it all right.
And another thing, your buying habits aren't necessarily a better indication of your interest in the medium. In any given year, I've played just about every "major" title released. I'm also heavily invested in Independent games. But by the "when did you buy it" rubric, I'd be a casual gamer. I almost never buy things at launch, and I'm generally the guy who swoops on Steam Sales or Humble Bundles. Compare this to a couple good friends of mine, whose gaming purchases total up to one xbox 360, one copy of Black Ops II, and one copy of Grand Theft Auto V, purchased at announcement. They would be the "Hardcore" gamers, and they play maybe 20 hours per week between them. They purchased GTAV largely on name alone, they're not the types who read gaming forums or magazines. I came to them, telling them about GTA:Online. It's not that they're "bad" in any way, I'm just trying to point out how these labels can sometimes be a bit misleading. There's not a solid definition of "Hardcore" versus "Casual". For the purposes of my own discussions, I try to focus more on a person's attitude toward gaming. There are many different types of gamers along a spectrum, to label them simply "Hardcore" or "Casual" doesn't do you much better than labeling someone "Liberal" or "Conservative" politically. Not everyone conforms to that label in every way, or in every situation.

I don't think that casual gamers need "defending". I think that we need to leave the labels behind entirely, because there's not much reason to distinguish between types of gamers anyway. I can't think of any positive context in which you would need to point out that someone "only" plays Call of Duty, or "only" plays 6 hours per week. I don't think there's any way you could sell me on the notion that someone paying less money for a game makes them somehow inferior. When you buy a game, you join a new community. If it's your first game, you join the gaming community at large. If you've just downloaded Warframe, you've just entered Warframe's community. Even if you're playing obscure games by Cactus and other "who's that?" developers, you're part of a niche art-game community. That's what's great about games. Whatever you play, however you play, however long you play, somewhere along the line you're going to be able to relate to another gamer regardless of what they play, however they play, or however long they play. You both like to sit down and occupy a virtual world. You both press buttons to make things happen on a display. Somehow, somewhere, in some way, you have something in common. It's best to get out of the mindset of "us" and "them" entirely, and simply focus on validating each other's passions for games, whatever they may be. That shift in focus is something you see primarily here on The Escapist, where we all come together over a passion for gaming, regardless of what each individual member actually plays.

People commonly mistake the differences of Dumbing-down a game and Streamlining a game they are vary different concepts. Making a game mechanics so simple that they lose depth or removing interesting and/or fun but easy to understand mechanics is considered "dumbing-down a game". This is vary different then removing, simplifying or clarifying a overly complicated/unnecessary game mechanic or making a game mechanics easer to understand and use is "Streamlining a game". You can have streamlined games that have lots of depth, you cannot have a dumbed-down game that has lots of depth.

I'm not sure who this article is really aimed at...
The way I see it there are several different types of people who will differentiate or call someone out on being a casual gamer:
The way too obsessed individual who validates their hobby by falsely inflating accomplishments (IE spent 10 hours in line to buy game, spent 400 hours in game, knows every macro for a race in RTS).
The individual who just wants to harass you by calling you names (IE trolls).
The individual who makes up stuff to look good (IE that kid who won the Utah regional Halo 1 championship that never existed).

All of these camps aren't really filled with stable individuals, respect is not self appointed and most who seek it deserve none. The creepy guy on the internet is calling you a casual gamer because you ask a question on the internet? Welcome to life. Every hobby is filled with assholes that should be ignored, hell this is true for humanity as a whole.

And don't worry, if you're actually worried that you're not respected as a casual gamer you're not actually a casual gamer, you are full on hardcore gaming goodness, with all the creepy awkward false sense of accomplishment labels that go along with it...

Reality time, we're all on a gaming forum devoted to our weird little hobby, we're hardcore!

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.

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.

Johnny Novgorod:
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.

deathbydeath:
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?

omega 616:
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:

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:

"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:

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'.

The OP is misinformed. No one cares about casual gamers as in they casually play videogames (except for people who are obsessed with multiplayer and hate versing bad players). The casuals we hate are the people who the gaming industry caters for by removing depth and difficulty from games. The kind of casual gamers who buy the Wii or love playing Iphone games. These guys are actively hurting the industry. Someone who just doesn't play videogames much we have no problem with. This is a case of 'believing something is something just because its named that'. A casual gamer is not a gamer that plays games casually. Its a person who is not a gamer who occasionally likes to play extremely simply games to pass the time, and really has no interest in gaming for extended periods of time for any reason.

Something about this industry seems to attract inaccurate names. After all: JRPGs don't have to be Japanese, RPGs aren't about Role Playing, Adventure games doesn't necessarily mean your going on an adventure and is actually a type of puzzle game, MOBAs are a much more specific genre then "Multiplayer Online Battle Arena's" and action adventure doesn't actually have to have any tropes from the adventure genre. Hell, the only genre you know the genre will be accurate on is shooters, since its impossible to dispute a first person shooter or third person shooter since its a specific camera angle.

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.

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.

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:
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.

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.

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.

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 :(

JUMBO PALACE:
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...

Dwarfman:
snip

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

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.

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