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What Do "Hardcore" and "Casual" mean anyway?

Zazie

So 1991
Recently I have been hearing the terms Hardcore and Casual gamer being used a lot. What exactly do these terms mean? I would think that a casual gamer is a person who only plays games occasionaly and a hardcore gamer as one who enjoys challenging games, but that doesn't seem to be what most people mean when they use these terms. Usually people seem to use these terms as a way of dividing video gamers into two different categories.

How would you define hardcore/casual games/gamers and what are some examples of games that fall under these categories?
 

Chris

Old Coot
"Hardcore" supposedly refers to people who actually play games. "Casual" falling into the category of people who play the non-games like Wii Music or only play games that start with "Madden" in the title.
 

1ee7leader

Well-Known Member
I would think 'Hardcore' would refer the gamer as playing in one specific genre like in 'Action and Adventure' while the Casual gamer would play all types of categories.
 

Kataphrut

Well-Known Member
At a basic level, "Hardcore" would be describing games which have some sort of supposed challenge to them. Most action games, as well as RPGs, adventures, that type of thing. Whereas "casual" games are games which have no intellectual challenge and are aimed at people who just like to play games without any form of learning cuve. Most of the Wii's game lineup would qualify as this, as well as games like The Sims.
 

Rootbeer

Well-Known Member
We discussed this on the radio once. Hardcore gamers

-spend more time playing video games. they almost always play every day.
-research their game-related purchases online based on price, review and how many hours they'll get instead of just buying what they see on commercials during American Idol or what their stupid jock friends have. Did I mention I hate Wii Fit and Madden NFL?
-Explore more genres than a casual gamer who might only stick to FPSes or rhythm games. Did I mention I hate Guitar Hero and Rock Band?
-are more likely to incorporate video games into other aspects of their life, such as clothing
 

Ninterror X

The bird brain.
I think Hardcore players means around the fact the player is playing actual games that require skill to master, and Casual means the player is playing simple basic stuff that you can pick up and play.
 

Penguinist Trainer

Well-Known Member
I would think Hardcore gamers are gamers that play "real" video games whether they be FPS, action/adventure, RPGs etc. I think casual gamers are gamers that play games merely as a distraction, kinda like crosswords puzzles. It's basically something to kill time. Which is why a lot of the titles on the Wii have mainly been mini-game oriented games, so they appeal to a broad spectrum of gamer as opposed to the ones who'll wait 2+ years for the next installment in their favorite game series.
 

42

Wat.
Hardcore-challenging games, like MM9.
Casual-Wii Fit
Mixed-Pokemon
There can be mixed. Pokemon is fairly easy, but if you go online, there can be very hardcore challenges.
 

Honsy

Screaming Narwhal
I think of it as;

Hardcore: Most of their time are spent playing games, they play to win.
Casual: Play games occasionally, they play for fun, rather than just to win.
 

Nostalgic Hybrid

Judged By Username
Flash games are the most popular kind of casual game. Any game that either takes very little time or challenge to beat is often considered a casual game.
However, a casual gamer is someone who often play these games and other games with little time invested compared to people who put more time into them.

You often see these two words flung around concerning MMORPGs, as the gameplay itself is mostly about time invested. Casuals find themselves with little time to play, or little interest in playing to a moderate or hardcore level. Casual is usually a masked insult, as most casual gamers tend to not have any idea what they are doing because they don't play games enough, or care not about how to learn to play because it's not exactly a hobby to them.

Casual is like emo. It was a song genre, but then became a style.
In this case, it was a classification of certain types of games where the people associated playing them are considered casual gamers.
 

CyberneticGlion

Pokemaniac10 revived
Here's how I thought of it:

Hardcore: Someone who plays games far too much (To the point of obsession).
Casaul: Someone who plays games during their free time. They won't mind a week or two without games, unlike hardcore gamers.


That's just the way I think of it. Call it illogical all you want, I really don't care.
 

[AceAussie]

Awaiting October.
I wouldn't categorise myself as a 'Casual' or 'Hardcore' however this is my state of mind as of recent times, Before I considered myself 'Hardcore' I now just see myself as Someone that enjoys great games, Whether it be something Like Wiisports, Big Brain Academy, Gears Of War, Final Fantasy and many more, I don't see the need to label myself as anything apart from a person that plays games.

Also I would really like to get a few Gaming Icon clothing =/

But To answer the topic, What I think the terms 'Hardcore' and 'Casual' represent would go like this.

Hardcore = Plays all types of games, However Is more serious about gaming in general, Plays competitively and usually goes for the Win. The Hardcore crowd does research on their games instead of being fooled my television adds and general word of mouth (However it does persuade people into looking into a certain game, Example would be If I told you Gears Of War was amazing, You wouldn't rush off and buy it, You'd research about what it has to offer).
Casual - Someone that enjoys games, Simple games and ones that don't take to long to get into however in most cases take a lot of talent to master.
 

Igottapoo

In my nightmares
Hardcore-challenging games, like MM9.
Casual-Wii Fit
Mixed-Pokemon
There can be mixed. Pokemon is fairly easy, but if you go online, there can be very hardcore challenges.
Hardcore is not determined by games, but the people who play them.

A hardcore gamer is basically someone who games commonly. Playing any kind of games.

A casual would be someone who rarely plays games but enjoys an occasional one every now and again.
 
They don't mean anything in specific, they are only terms to make gamers feel better about themselves by labeling the games they play as hardcore and the ones they dislike as casual by making themselves look unwarrantably intelligent. The definition itself really depends on the perspective of the gamer.
 

Juputoru

M-m-m-m-onobear?!
Hardcore Gamer: A person who cares about their games way too much. Enjoys labeling games that aren't made for the top 1% of most-skilled gamers as "casual" and for kids. Is probably enraged whenever people who don't make video games their primary hobby dare to play them anyway, and that companies like Nintendo make games for those people. May actually sit in front of the TV/computer playing a certain game enough to be one of the top-ranked people on a game, instead of doing important things like eating healthy food, getting sunlight, bathing, dressing decently, and interacting with other human beings. Scoffs at people who dare play games any way but the absolute most effective way. Scoffs at people who tend to play at difficulty levels below Ultra Hard Masochism This Is PAIN. Will play most kinds of games, but tends to favor "strategic" genres like FPSes, RPGs, MMORPGs, and RTSes.

Casual Gamer: Someone who plays games, but doesn't make it their entire life(ie. they play less than 40 hours a week). Can still know quite a bit about games, but isn't an arse about it. Plays games to have fun, not to be the best person in the entire world at Generic FPS 9000. Can actually get pretty good at a game, and is willing to play games with some challenge, but won't bother with Insane Masochist You-Hate-Yourself-And-The-Game-Does-Too difficulty levels and won't put in the time required to be *as* good as a hardcore gamer. Will play most kinds of games, but tends to favor those that are fun to play. May have actually seen sunlight in any given 24 hour time period.


In short, they're the same damn thing, it's just that casual gamers don't make gaming their reason for being and don't get offended when other people dare to enjoy it in a different way than they do. They also tend to care more about what's fun than about what fits some arbitrary standard of challenge or strategy(of course, truly fun games do have both of those). Of course, hardcore gamers can't comprehend playing games to have fun instead of to be the absolute best at them, but I guess they tend to take their games as seriously as a job anyway.
 

42

Wat.
Hardcore is not determined by games, but the people who play them.

A hardcore gamer is basically someone who games commonly. Playing any kind of games.

A casual would be someone who rarely plays games but enjoys an occasional one every now and again.

Yes, but some games have more appeal to each audience. Hardcore gamers don't care for WiiFit, and casual gamers likely don't play MegaMan 9.
That's not to say casual gamers can't beat hardcore gamers. My aunt can finish the original SMB rather easily, but I can not.
However, hardcore gamers can play casual games, I play My Japanese/Spanish Coach.
 
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