I’m not going to lie to you, coming up with stuff to write about every week is rough… It is for me at least. I’m not the wealth of MMO gaming knowledge that anyone else who writes for this site is and I’ll admit that. What I have going for me is that I am mildly entertaining, I am able to coherently (for the most part) translate the tornado of insanity that sweeps across the landscape of my brain meats into something that other people can understand, and I have love for the MMO genre.
I’ve already written about my favorite things in MMOs and some of my least favorite things, but I still have one more grievance that I would like get out into the open. When did being a casual gamer become an insult?
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.
“How dare they call me a casual gamer? I’ve probably been playing MMOs longer than any of those people, screw them!” I would scream at my monitor (I like being loud) because, you know, that’s how rational adults solve their problems. After calling over a priest to give me a quick exorcism and bless my modem, tower, keyboard, and mouse I was able to calm down and think about why I was so offended. I didn’t even know what it meant to be a casual gamer nor do I know what it means to be hardcore.
First things first, I need to know what a casual gamer is because obviously I am one so I should at the very least know where I stand and what “my people” are all about. For this, and all things that I need to define, I turn to Urban Dictionary.
“Casual Gamers are the bane of the current gaming industry. Casual Gamers prefer to play games on an inferior console rather than on a superior PC. Most Casual Gamers are fans of only Sports and racing games as anything with a fantasy or sci-fi setting is "nerdy" to them. To them gaming isn't a hobby but just something you do for fun so games should never be complicated because that would require thinking on their part and would not be fun for them.
Causual Gamers attitude towards games causes them to only buy simplistic sports and action titles. This harms the development and evolution of the industry as a whole because hartless publishers like EA, Ubi-soft and Sega will use their influence to crush new and innovative ideas and push foreward titles which will sell faster to the unwashed masses.”
Honestly, that is the definition that made the most sense, spelling errors and all. It got the most “thumbs up” so it has to be right. Nothing in that definition applies to me. The only thing that did apply to me, of the ones that made sense, was this one:
“A MMORPG player who can't (or won't)play for more than 2 hours in a row. Usually due to real life commitments.”
I’m just assuming that they are talking about playing every day and I just can’t do that. Maybe on a weekend I can get away with more than two hours of MMORPG time in a night, but that’s it.
So according to Urban Dictionary I may be a casual gamer because I cannot play MMORPGs for more than 2 hours a row daily. I still need to know what makes a hardcore gamer tick so I can strive to become one. If the answer is “play a MMORPG for more than 2 hours in a row everyday” I’m screwed. Here goes… fingers crossed.
“Someone who plays video games as a primary hobby. They tend to spend large amounts of time playing games, often in excess of two or three hours a day. “
DAMN IT! Oh wait, there is more. “Hardcore gamers tend to care less about graphics then casual gamers. While some specialize in a single genre, they typically have fairly diverse taste in games, frequently playing a wide variety of games from different genres. They'll often seek out obscure and older games, based on word of mouth or positive critical reception. Hardcore gamers put good gameplay above all else, and don't mind if a good game has poor (or even nonexistent) graphics, sound, characters and plot.
The stereotypical hardcore gamer is out of shape, and has poor hygiene. They spend a lot of their disposable income on video games, consoles, or PC upgrades, and a large percentage of their free time either playing video games or discussing them, online and off. They wear either black clothing, or T-shirts with geeky pop-culture references, often to video games. Their social skills may be sub-par, and they may be less likely than others their age to have many friends, a jobs and a girlfriend/boyfriend. Some of these stereotypes are negative, and they certainly don't apply to all hardcore gamers, but there's a fair amount of truth to them.”
So I get to put check marks in all the boxes except for the game play, social skills, friends, job, and girlfriend parts. Yes, there is a check mark in the poor hygiene box because I didn’t shower today and I believe in being honest. All I need to do is play MMORPGs for more than two hours a day every day, have no social life, less friends, and then lose my job and get a divorce and I get to be hardcore? Hell I can probably get half of those done with one phone call. Screw it, I don’t even want to be hard core that bad. What good does being hardcore do for you anyway? From what I can tell it just makes you kind of an arrogant jerk. Just saying.