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General: Casual Tuesday

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 17,122MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

In many ways, being called a 'casual gamer' is a slur on a person's credibility when it comes to offering any type of gaming commentary. It's used almost as an epithet. In The Rant this week, Adam Janovyak wonders when being called a 'casual gamer' became an insult of the highest order. Check out Adam's thoughts and then add a few of your own in the comments.

Maybe I’m the only one who has noticed this, probably because I have taken the most heat for it. In almost every single column I have posted on this site someone has accused me of being a “casual gamer”. It bothered me for quite a while. It felt like the most personal attack that anyone could launch against me. I would read what the commenter’s had to say about my musings and immediately become filled with rage.

Read more of Adam Janovyak's The Rant: Casual Tuesday.

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  • ElidienElidien Atlanta, GAPosts: 1,058Member Common

    Today's casual gamer is the hardcore gamer of EQ/DAOC/etc.... Most casual gamers are that way, not because of their choice to play that way, but their life dictates it. When I cut my MMO teeth, I was finishing up college and going to graduate school. I didn't have class until 5:30, worked at Noon so I could stay up until 4-5am and game all night. I could get home on Friday nights and game until Monday morning non-stop. I didn't have a care in the world as long as I had Ramen Noodles and Pepsi!

    Now I am older, I have a full-time+ job, a wife, a house, a family, bills to pay, elders to take care of, friends to visit, baby showers to go too, weddings to go to, etc.... I literally have 2 hours to play nightly IF and ONLY IF the baby goes to bed when he is supposed too. If not, then I must decide if sleep or gaming is more important and 9 times out of 10, sleep wins out.

  • hardiconhardicon jackson, MSPosts: 358Member

    by those definitions i dont think even hardcore gamers want to be hardcore.  i used to be a hardcore gamer, but not by those definitions.  i played alot but still had jobs and girlfriends or at least girls that were friends with benefits but i played asherons call alot back in those days.  now though im a casual gamer trying to play rifts and world of tanks at the same time and between wife time, kids time, and church time, game time is alot less now.  it does get on my nerves that people think casual gamers are the bane of the gaming industry considering we are what is keeping the gaming industry afloat right now.  i dont think most casual gamers want easy, we want challenges also but we dont want to have to spend 40 hours a week in a game.  challenge is not amount of time played although it seems to be the only thing a hardcore player can think of as a challenge.  ninja gaiden to me was very challenging, the one that came out on xbox not too long ago, but not because it took along time to beat the game, but because the fights were hard.  i have yet to see any single mmorpg offer a challenge, all it offers is more time in the game world to get the top tier stuff, and that is  not a challenge.

  • shakermaker0shakermaker0 SheffieldPosts: 194Member

    Can't we all just get along?

  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member

    I always prefered a definition of a casual gamer as being one who doesn't want to play competively.

    (I've played a lot of hours over the years, but beating the game's ultimate challenges or outperforming my fellow players has never been a motive so I've tended to consider myself a casual player)

  • gaeanprayergaeanprayer Somewhere Out There, PAPosts: 2,321Member Uncommon

    There's a lot of misconceptions about gamers, hardcore and alike. I'd be lying if I said I put less than 4 hours of gaming in per day, more often than not more, though it may not be one particular game. I might play an MMO for a bit, then switch to my PS3 if I'm bored or crafting, or whatever. But I'm still maintaining a 4.0 as I work towards my Bachelor's degree (though this Physics class may change that >_>;), I still go out with my friends, I'm making plans to go to PAX with a friend which means being away from my gaming for the better part of a week, etc.


    What I will NOT do is play for days and hours and grind for days and hours for just a single-digit % of my level, or just on the chance I get the one drop I need even though afterwards I still need several more (the original Miragent's Quest in Aion, anyone?). I will not stay up without sleep - or minimal sleep - on a weekend just to hit max level before other people. I will not throw a ton of money at a F2P game to be PvP viable. I will not level multiple accounts just so I can have my own team of mini me's. I will not try to get every single achievement including the ones that are so ridiculously hard it could take years (Demon's Souls platinum ;<).


    I think those are examples of things that separate the hardcore from the casual. That shouldn't demean either playstyle, some people just have different desires and different things they want to get out of their game. There's also perhaps, the lack of competitive spirit that comes from someone who's more casual. At least in my case, I'm not motivated to do the above things because I'm not motivated by competition. I don't mind it, but I don't get anything from it either. I'm far too content and easy to please to feel like I need to be 'better' than I already am, or can be with reasonable effort. But whatever it is, it has nothing to do with how much time you spend in game, hygiene, nerdiness, or whether you live in your parent's basements or not.


    I think the real issue comes in when games try to appeal to both sides of the spectrum, mainly because it can't be done. Even if you put some 'hardcore' material into your game, it would have to be substantially awesome or useful in order to hold those with that mentality. The problem is the casual gamers will eventually want what the hardcore gamers have, and it's only a matter of time before developers appeal to the casual audience (since it's the larger one) and lower the requirements, leaving the hardcore people with nothing to do and whatever accomplishments they've already made, feeling cheapened.


    That's why I think everyone should have their own game to go to. Now we just need companies to be more concerned with their players and less concerned with numbers. Greed disrupts originality. Think of the first generation of MMO; Ultima, EQ, Meridian, Runescape, etc. Those people didn't try to cater to a particular market - at least not to the degree current MMOs do - they had an idea and vision for their game and that's what they went with. The people that wanted that loved them for it, the people that weren't interested picked up a different game. No love lost, c'est la vie. If we returned to that mentality, everyone would have a home, games would be more original, and players would have less reason to argue with each other.


    Bit of a tangent there, but yanno...wishful thinking I guess.

    "Forums aren't for intelligent discussion; they're for blow-hards with unwavering opinions."

  • SharookSharook MünchenPosts: 72Member

    hehe, nice topic

    i think the term "casual payer" hase become even more noobified since the coming of consoles like the WII and casual games on social platforms, where even grandmothers are said to play. for a guy like me, who considers gaming a "serious" hobby, this change in the term "casual" - if applied to me - pretty much feels like an insult or a noobification. also i am totally biased of course. there might be ppl that are planting pumpkins 24/7 in farmville or whatever and actually are much more hardcore than me - but MEH!

    years ago in an AoC forum someone used the term "casual hardcore". and imo it fits. these are ppl that were hardcore players earlier in their live but now they actually have so much of a distracting real life that there is not enough time anymore to let out the little hardcore brat inside too often. so you might still have a flavor for hardcore games, but you can't properly play them within your time limits. so there is the destinction to "real" casual. the latter had never any ambition for these kind of games (e.g. too complicated). but if you only have two hours you can not go on a raid. and there are no hardcore raids that are done in 20 minutes! so raids are out of the question for you. so you are automatically forced to go to games which are more casual friendly. which has it's drawbacks, of course. but it also has it's benefits for the whole genre. I don't miss the questless pve grind of early daoc for example.

    actually i feel pretty confident in my self-defined niche of "casual hardcore". if real hardcore are dirty basement dwellers and "casuals" unwashed masses, then i don't belong in either of those categories :-P

  • StormwindXStormwindX LondonPosts: 168Member



    Okay. Just kidding. I'm done now. 


    Nice article, by the way. And judging by those definitions, I guess I do fit in the 'not hardcore' group more than anything; only things that put me in the hardcore group being not having a job (sucks to be a university student, I know) and playing games for more than 2-3 hours a day.

  • divmaxdivmax JhbPosts: 106Member

    I believe that firstly in order to be defined as a gamer (hardcore or otherwise), one needs to be ready to admit that gaming is one's hobby. It doesn't need to be one's primary hobby, but one needs to dedicate enough time (and/or money) to gaming related actvities to be able to honestly call oneself that. (I wouldn't call myself a surfer just because I live by the beach, nor if I just bought a surf-board and it stayed nice and shiny in my garage except for the 4 times a year when I take it for a spin.)


    Once one considers oneself a gamer, one can begin to talk about the casual/hardcore axis and where one falls on it. I personally believe its mostly to do with the desire for complexity. Complexity in one or more spheres. Being a hardcore gamer means desiring games with complex gameplay, complex stories or complex graphics, etc. Being a casual gamer means desiring simplified game mechanics, accessibility to content, accessibility to lower-end hardware and such.


    "Casual", to me, really means "casually interested" in games. Note, of course, that one has to nevertheless be a gamer, in order to be a casual gamer. Because of the nature of casualness, its unlikely that one would spend much effort on gaming if one were casual about it. Effort in this context has nothing to do with money or time. One could spend a significant amount of time or money on gaming and still be considered "casual".


    According to my definition though, I would guess that most people who frequent this site probably fall in the rather large middle ground between the two extremes. Very few people likely desire complexity in all things, and most like participating in complex gameplay sometimes and casual gameplay at other times.


    Whether you agree with my definition or not, nevertheless, the issue of complexity comes up often enough on MMO forums to warrant some notice. I don't believe that casual gamers are the bane of the industry, nor that hardcore gamers are just arrogant jerks. I think whats really happening on these forums whenever this debate crops up, is just a natural reaction to things (which you feel passionate about) changing outside of ones control. This problem is almost unique to MMO's.


    Its one of the reasons I still like playing single-player MMO's. If I fire up a favourite game from 5 years ago, chances are I'm going to still love it. And although I may not have that "first time" enjoyment, I'm almost guaranteed to have fun. I will get exactly what I expected because sitting on the shelf, the game has not changed in 5 years. 


    On the other hand, when one buys an MMO in its first year and you love it, chances are very slim that you will still like the product as much in 3-5 year's time. I think this is just a fairly obvious result of the fact that the product actually changes over time and that many of those changes will likely not be according to one's taste or playstyle. And in that statement I include the community because that is part of the MMO experience.


    I think it will take time before the culture of MMO's evolves to the point where people readily accept the differences between online gaming and offline. Right now, the transition is still jarring.

  • KyleranKyleran Paradise City, FLPosts: 20,159Member Uncommon

    From my perspective, casual player isn't so much a reference to the amount of playing time you put in an MMORPG but rather a descriptor about the sort of game mechanics you favor.

    Short or no travel times, quicker leveling curves, no downtime, PVP w/o consequences,  dungeon finders, instant grouping, super soloability, easy crafting, all of these are trademarks of game design created to lure in the more casual player who isn't really looking for a virtual world and wants more of a "game" to play.


    In my day MMORPG's were so hard we fought our way through dungeons in the snow, uphill both ways.
    "I don't have one life, I have many lives" - Grunty
    Still currently "subscribed" to EVE, and only EVE!!!
    "This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon

  • SamhaelSamhael Huntsville, ALPosts: 716Member Uncommon

    LOL. Just check out the responses from Adam's previous articles. Why has he not been hired on yet? Enough of the "guest writer" crap.  This stuff is hilarious!

  • dealakadealaka Chicago, ILPosts: 21Member

    Seems to me like you've covered most of the difference between Hardcore Gamers and Casual Gamers. There is one other element that is rumored to be a difference between a Hardcore Gamer and a Casual Gamer. That is understanding a game.


    The way a lot of gamers look at it is like this;

    • If I play a game for 20 to 30 hours a week (often in a MMO or Final Fantasy game) I have the best gear (that my online friends crave) and have become somewhat of a legend (through titles, reknown, or badges). Therefore I am better qualified to tell developers what they are doing wrong, and what should be changed. Casual Players only spend six hours a week playing usually, and so they don't have the time to fully explore all the details.

    Casual Gamers tend to look at it like this;


    • I may only play a game for a few hours a week, but either my lifestyle doesn't allow a lot of gaming, or I have better things to do then play a game. No matter how interesting a game is, I'd rather go see a new movie or read a book, or sleep. I am therefore better as a player because I have more money to spend on a variety of games, or hobbies, and I fit in better. Hardcore gamers waste their time on one game for years only to become spiteful and angry.

    Is this a stereotype? Sure is, but as bad as it seems, this is mild compared to some of what I have seen out there. Casual players are called Noobs, and Hardcore players are treated like they have nothing that they can add to society. Honestly, it's gotten kinda brutal.


    I honestly don't think there is anything wrong with either type with a few ground rules.

    • I am somewhat of a hardcore gamer but I like to have fun. If I'm not having fun I'm moving on. If you are either a hardcore player or a casual player and you are ruining my fun, I'm not going to think fondly of you.

    • No matter how much time I may have to play, I still often play with a schedule. If you're not prepared to do something in game (a raid, or whatever) please don't ask me to save you. This includes being unprepared and wanting to do a epic area.

    • Somehow, many players look at what they need to get done as more important then what other people want to get done. I don't bother people usually, I go my own way and do what I need to get done. I am happy to help others, but I don't want to be a slave either.

    • Know how much time something takes and how much time you have. If you don't have 4 hours to do a raid usually, don't go. Yes I know it sucks, but leaving midway is not fair to other people.

    • People need to learn sportsmenship. Calling someone a noob because you beat them in PvP is not nice, it's rude and it shows your social breeding. Not everyone likes or feels confident in pvp, they have their strengths and weaknesses, and often it is different from what you are good at.

    • Learn your limits, and improve on them, whatever they may be. If you are a hardcore gamer who ends every sentence with Lol, ****, noob, or some part of the human body, you need to work on your speaking skills. If you are a casual gamer who doesn't know the abbreviations of skills, places, or tactics, starting asking and learn.

    • Have fun. Yes I know I mentioned this, but people have stopped playing for fun. For fame, glory, loot, rep, honor, alliance, faction, servers, or even in game money are bad reasons to play a game. If you can't laugh and call it a game, if you can't take a break when you're getting mad, you have to stop playing.

    Descriptions are fine if they're self-named, or named by close friends. If it's an attempt to humiliate someone, it's wrong. A player is a player, if we can't treat each other equally, why should gaming companies give us any respect?

  • I still think playing a game is at most a way to relax and get things off of your mind. It can boost your confidence when winning games and can teach you to accept losing.


    - pc games

    - board games

    - sports games

    - social games (where winning is less important)

    - etc.


    I think MMORPG's are mixing up hobby, sports and lifestyle. This, because you can make economies of scale out of processing data into all those 3 aspects of life. I used to play 16 hours a day for half a year, to forget my ex. Yeah, I think in that case I've gone too far and should have used my time to perhaps do some volunteer work on a tropical island or whatever. :D


    Anyways, I think the hardcore player is not happy with his life and thinks to find all aspects in this game. Personally, when I played 16 hours a day I'd be chatting for 8 hours trying to recruit people at the same time. So I was networking, just like in business life. I played a character that I later found looked a little like my ex...:/. So as my case is unique like anybody else's, I think we can all find that we are offsetting our "real life graphics" quite strong against our in-game choices of gameplay. Either you are trying to completely make it different or you are trying to make it completely the same, or somewhere in between.


    Lately I have chosen to become a "pack rat" and play all characters of one mmorpg (which is 9...). I stopped having the urge to build up a "status character" (one with social status as well) and therefore I could switch between characters quite easily. It also made me less interested into the social aspect of the game, and in that way less connected to be online for social purposes. I started to see teh game as something that gives value to ME, instead of me having to give value to the game.


    Furthermore to the OP: I think you got lost in your story and ended up with a silly conclusion that hardcore gamers are arrogant jerks. Think of how it makes you look. :D...O_O The constructiveness of your story could definitely use some polish. Just like mine actually but hey, I'm just replying ;D

  • mrw0lfmrw0lf LondonPosts: 2,269Member

    What about primarily fps gamers? A lot of the descriptions about grinding and obtaining gear would negate them but I know people that play 10 hours a day on fps games.

    I've always seen casual, hardcore as more of a sliding scale from an indifference to obsession. It's very difficult to define in definate terms because obsessions are illogical and unamiguous.

    Nice write up on the subject though

    “The person who is certain, and who claims divine warrant for his certainty, belongs now to the infancy of our species.”

  • alkarionlogalkarionlog SPosts: 1,136Member Uncommon

     hey I could say better a hardcore jerk then a  casual moron who can't even read that damn quest who keep asking what I do on this quest or plvl me plz, or simple be a damn annoying asshat who can't read, and since no one answer his stupid questions keep crying even more XD


    and I could be called hardcore, I normally play 4 hours during week, but I take at least one bath a day, do gym, have a job, i'm single though, and did upgrade my computer on the new year, and last year XD, but i'm far to burn all my money on games.


    truth is you have several kind of players but they can be put in 2 groups, morons and good gamers.



    complain the game is too dificult;

    don't read quests, or the game in general;

    think everyone playing HAVE to help him lvl, do quest, or answer stupid questions;

    if is something he can't get playing, blame everyone who worked(played) for his equips skill is a non life and have more important things to do then play(that comment normally make me lol and I start to think "why you play then?")

    is annoying obnoxious if someone ask a really valid question;

    get but hurt every time he lose(be it on loot roll or pvp) and start to call other people names;

    ninja loot;

    its normally a mark of every good gamer as someone who should never be playing and when he leave no one even miss him(or don't know because he is already on the black list)


    good gamers:

    don't do what every moron do;

    try to help people if he is polite and have really valid questions;

    know people who play more time or is a veteran in game WILL have better equips and be better;

    have common sense;


    and that is all XD

    FOR HONOR, FOR FREEDOM.... and for some money.

  • NordenNorden somewhere inPosts: 46Member


    I am aware that this is a MMORPG site, but gamers and gaming is a lot more then just MMORPGS or PC/Consol games. I am a gamer but "hardcore" (silly kiddy term)? I have been playing boardgames for 30+ years, roleplaying for 25+ years, computergames for 25+ years. I am playing games for 20+ hours a week, I am also a father, shower daily and have a  job and a social life - go figure... to top it of, on this very site, there are a lot like me.

    So to all these kids with lots of computertime, I say "piffels", youre not hardcore, not really, cetainly not in any respectfull meaning. If you play so many hours a day, that your sociallife dissapears as well as your personal hygiene, education and so on, youre not in control, dont kid yourself. There is nothing hardcore about it. 

    Ahh, that felt surprisingly good...



  • SolestranSolestran Laguna Vista, TXPosts: 342Member

    As a casual gamer, I don't want to spend my life in a game.  I want to be entertained, not forced into a second job.  I want a plethora of content so that I don't have to do the same repetitive gameplay that is so prevelent in today's MMOs, especially in the form of raiding.  I want whatever time I spend in game to be meaningful and rewarding.  I'm tired of being treated like a second class gamer by developers, even in games that are purported to be casual oriented or friendly, we always seem to get the short stick compared to the hardcore content and rewards in a game.  Why does PvP and it's reward systems always favor those who have no life?  For the love of God, could someone please come up with something other than raiding for end game?!


    I've been playing MMOs since the early days of EverQuest and while the genre has been evolving to include the casual gamer, we're still the redheaded step-children of the genre.  I still have hope that eventually we can have casual MMOs and hardcore MMOs that are seperate so that no one feels like they are being treated like they are second class to the other.  I'm also hopeful that Bioware will finally produce an MMO that treats casuals equally to hardcores in their upcoming SWTOR game.

  • MurlockDanceMurlockDance ParisPosts: 1,223Member

    I guess by the Urban Dictionary's definition, I'm an intermittant hardcore and casual. There are times when I can't play at all during a given week, and times where I can easily put in 5 hours/day or more. I like simple games sometimes, and complex games at other times, sandbox sometimes, themeparks on others.

    I admit that I'm a gamer and when potential employers ask me about that, I always point out the grouping aspect of MMOs and how that helps build up team-working skills. Put like that, employers are a bit more interested...

    I know plenty of people though with families, jobs, etc that spend a ridiculous amount of time on MMOs, like more than I do which is quite possibly already ridiculous. I do wonder about that...

    Playing MUDs and MMOs since 1994.

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