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Bladewir's Bellowing Blog

I'm back! I usually blog about MMORPGs and my experiences with them here, as well as other topics at my other blog located at

Author: MMOPlaya

Clearing up The Terms "Casual Gamer" and "Hardcore Gamer"

Posted by MMOPlaya Monday November 5 2007 at 10:47PM
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It has been brought up in replies to my Blog and in other people's Blogs that the terms "Casual Game Player" and "Hardcore Game Player", both in reference to MMORPG games, have become skewed over time.  I want to address this issue here in my blog, and in fact, have decided to change the name of my blog due to my inferrence to the word "Casual MMORPG Player". defines the term "Casual" as such:

cas·u·al  [kazh-oo-uhl] adjective  without definite or serious intention; careless or offhand; passing: a casual remark 1  defines the term "Hardcore" as such:

hard-core  [hahrd-kawr, -kohradjective  unswervingly committed; uncompromising; dedicated: a hard-core segregationist 2

For my definition as outlined multiple times in my blog, I took the literal definition of the term "casual" when I referred to how I played, and added an element of roleplay and immersion.  Meaning that I enjoyed the game for what it was, and was not interested in racing to the finish and hitting max level in the least amout of time, and striving at all costs to acquire the best of the best of the best items in game.  Instead I took my time and enjoyed.  That's all I meant by using the term "Casual".

However, there appears to be a mantra (unbeknownst to me at the time) that MMORPG gamers have followed, taking on the terms "casual" and "hardcore" in a whole new manner.  Therefore I default to Wikipedia for further analysys:

Wikipedia has an entry for the term "Casual Gamer" and defines it as such:

"Casual gamer is a term used to describe a type of video game player whose time or interest in playing games is limited compared with a hardcore gamer. They can be found playing games across all genres and of varying levels of complexity and difficulty. However, they do not devote the amount of time or practice to video games spent by hardcore gamers. Whereas a hardcore gamer may approach gaming with the mindset of a professional, a casual gamer would think more like a hobbyist.

Casual gamers can conceivably consist of any people who show more than a passing interest in video games, therefore it is difficult to categorize them as a group. For this reason games which attempt to appeal to the casual player tend to strive for simple rules and ease of game play, the goal being to present a pick-up-and-play experience that people from any age group or skill level could enjoy.

Not all gamers who play casual games are themselves casual gamers.

Usage of the term

The term casual is often misleadingly used to describe a class of hardcore gamers who play massively multiplayer online games, a type of game which is generally not casual by definition. In that case the term is used with various meanings, most often to differentiate players between 2 or more specific gameplay preferences. For example, the term casual is sometimes used to identify a player who spends significantly less time playing than other players. Alternatively the term is used to identify a player who spends a significant amount of time playing but prefers less competitive or time intensive activities to productivity maximization (rapid character development, rapid income production, acquiring the best possible equipment etc.)." 3

Wikipedia has an entry for the term "Hardcore Gamer" and defines it as such:

"Hardcore gamer is a term used to describe a type of video game player whose leisure time is largely devoted to playing or reading about video games. This type of gamer prefers to take significant time and practice on games, in contrast to a casual gamer. Many hardcore gamers pride themselves on mastering the rules or use of a game, although this is not a strict requirement.

Usage of the term

There is often confusion about what a hardcore gamer is. The term is often used to differentiate between types of hardcore gamers by such things as the amounts of time invested playing, how competitive the player is, preference for player versus player or player versus environment, game style or gameplay preference, or even the type of computer or console equipment used. Certain hardcore gamers are sometimes inaccurately labeled as casual gamers, often derogatorily, because of this differentiation even though they prefer playing games which are designed for hardcore gamers. This is common among MMORPG players where there is a demand for many different gameplay styles (e.g., solo play, quests, PvP, raid content, crafting) within a single game but limited developer ability to deliver all of them." 4


So it appears that I was unaware of actual definitions in use, and that I was mixing up definitions and folding them into what my personal definition of the terms "casual" and "hardcore" gamers were, and potentially confusing my readers.  And for this I apologize.

Just for clarification I shall no longer use the terms "casual" and "hardcore" in my blog entries when referring to a particular playstyle.  MMORPG's are a melting pot of multiple game styles and game types, all rolled into one package, making a true definition very difficult.

The way I approach MMORPG's, and the way I have been playing them for years on end now, may be 100% different than the way you play them.  There is nothing wrong with this, so I just want to document how I play  the games and interpret them.  If you play the same way as I, I'd love to hear from you as we have something in common, and perhaps can exhange ideas on working on immersion and roleplay.

Thanks a bunch for reading and hope you enjoy my blog!