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Casual/Hardcore: What’s in a name…

February 21st, 2014  /  Category: Random  / 

I’ll admit, it’s not often that my thoughts can’t be expressed in 140 characters (yeah… i’m shallow). But one conversation in particular yesterday got me thinking about how we define ourselves as players, and how misleading it can sometimes be.

Most commonly players tend to describe themselves as falling into one of two categories. Casual, or Hardcore. We throw the labels around as if extremes are all that exist. Black and White, one or the other…


Black and White?


In reality (even if they are accurate descriptions) the sheer volume of players, all playing in their own particular style means there surely has to be a more graded outlook.


7million players can’t all play the exact same way?


Now i realise that in this scenario, the extremes aren’t so “misleading” as descriptions… those closer to the casual end are casual, those closer to the hardcore end are hardcore. Unfortunately, when it comes to what actually defines “casual” or “hardcore” you’ll find it differs from player to player.

It would seem there are essentially at least 3 factors in determining which side of the fence you fall on. All seem to be used interchangeably and with no specific weight given to either.

Time investment: High = Hardcore, Low = Casual

Game Knowledge: High  = Hardcore, Low = Casual

Skill: High = Hardcore, Low = Casual.

In essence, all 3 of these (and any other characteristics that are bundled into our evaluation of Hardcore/Casual) can and probably should all be graded. However given the lack of any weighting, what you end up with is something akin to this:


#wtf #barcodeforcornflakes?


I guess my point in all this is: Say what you mean, and be specific. If you mean Skilled/Unskilled, say so. If you mean Plays a lot/Plays little, say so. Otherwise your meaning may get lost in translation!

While you are out in the world remember: “For relaxing times, make it Suntory time!”


1 Comment

  1. Chris says:

    I always thought of “hardcore” as “I’ll play any game, anywhere, any time”, and casual to mean “I play while standing in line at the supermarket”. I think that’s what the industry generally trends towards as well. It’s the players themselves that usually end up with these far more stringent definitions.

    The problem with this dude’s statement is that it implies that there’s only one way to play a specific title, and that there’ s only one way to get enjoyment out of that title. I’ve been MMOing since Ultima Online, and in all those years I have only capped in two games. I never read guides, I don’t care about the gear or achievements, but I keep playing MMOs like they’re going out of style. I get something far different from this genre than do the folks who’d consider themselves more “hardcore” than me. On the flip side, if someone’s only played WoW, I could easily make the assertion that they’re not “hardcore” because they’re limiting themselves to one single experience.

    It’s really all about perspective.

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