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    Casual Gaming; Just a different way to play?
    Thursday, 14 August 2008
    We let one of our forum members run amok on the blog, the results of which can be found here!

    The days where the casual gamer was seen as the second class citizen might be over, and it could be time to rethink the whole concept... Since reading the quote from Laurent Fischer, Nintendo Europe's senior marketing director, who proclaimed “For me, you are a gamer or non-gamer ... There is no casual gaming. There is just a different way to play.” I have been thinking.

    There were times, on various forums, where the debate about casual gamers has been instigated. Are they a good thing? Have they reduced the quality of games, making them into quick fixes and throw away titles? Or do they open the market to a whole new audience and encourage a hobby we all love to become more widely accepted? I do not remember ever debating the existence of the concept though. We were all happy to agree that there were gamers, and there were casual gamers. Like comparing Hagen Daz with Mr Whippy, it’s all ice cream, but there is a significant difference. It was a clear cut thing.

    Just because you don't get the depth of Final Fantasy does it makes you any less of a gamer?

    So has that changed? With games which are easy to pick up, accessible in short sharp bursts, targeting a different audience in some cases, and using new methods of control, did Nintendo make a new split in the gaming community? If you are playing a game like Brain Training or Nintendogs, Wii Fit or Wii Sports, for 30 minutes a day, are you a casual gamer? You may never appreciate the depth of the storyline in the Final Fantasy series, you may never unlock all of the trophies in Super Smash Brothers Brawl, and you may never know what I am talking about when I say “I just did a Leroy Jenkins in WoW” but are you any less of a gamer? There are a new breed of gamers out there who are taking advantage of a new way to play. I think to brand these people as casual gamers might be doing them a disservice. I will share a personal example.

    Why is playing the DS as a hobby not considered hardcore?

    My brother was someone I would have classed as a casual gamer, he would buy the odd title, usually something based on the latest Hollywood release and play it for a couple of hours before tiring of it and giving up. He then got a DS, he now spends more time playing games than I do, even though I’m the one who takes these things relatively seriously. The kinds of titles which have him hooked are akin to the flash games you get online, they are deceptively time consuming and really quite addictive if you let them under your skin. He would never get serious about his gaming, but he does invest time and money in it all the same. Do I still think of him as a casual gamer..? I do not think I can.

    Dawn Causon
    posted by flameboy @ 14:13  
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