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Struggling To Bridge the Casual-Hardcore Game Gap 185

Posted by Soulskill
from the need-more-retro-mega-man-titles dept.
With the advent of the Wii and the upcoming motion control systems from Sony and Microsoft, console makers are expanding the gaming population to include vast numbers of casual players. Their problem now, according to this editorial at Eurogamer, is that there doesn't exist a broad selection of games between the simple, introductory titles and the complex, hardcore ones, which tends to limit how deep new players will venture into the gaming ecosystem. Quoting: "... it needs software that spans the gap between the two camps of offerings which are emerging on Xbox 360 — games that encourage players of Dance Central or Your Shape to move upstream and explore. It's unlikely, perhaps, that they'll ever end up curb-stomping crinkle-faced nasties in Cliff Bleszinski's latest, but we're a long way past the point of the Xbox being all about shooting and driving, even if the public perception hasn't quite moved with the software line-up. The long-term challenge for the games market must, ultimately, be to emulate the success which other mediums have had in creating markets where consumers routinely and happily move between genres, and where franchises which would be pigeonholed as 'hardcore' in the games world nestle comfortably in people's DVD collections alongside those which would be dismissed as 'casual.'"
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Struggling To Bridge the Casual-Hardcore Game Gap

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  • by mim (535591) on Saturday June 19, 2010 @11:23AM (#32625704)
    to Tetris?
  • by blahplusplus (757119) on Saturday June 19, 2010 @11:25AM (#32625718)

    ... casual gamers just aren't that interested in gaming to begin with? There doesn't need to be more "intermediate" games where casuals "graduate up" the gaming ladder. The truth is you are either invested in games or you are not, period.

    Quite frankly I see this whole casual craze as a bubble that's going to pop.

    • Repeat of 1983?

      The only problem is I've been hearing people predict another gaming crash for the last ten years, and it still hasn't happened. Casual gamers seem to give their games like Darts or Pool - something to fill-in an evening but not something to take seriously (i.e. not a hobby). That market will never truly die out.

      • "Repeat of 1983?"

        No, it's not going to be a repeat of 1983 but I think what they are going to find over the long term is that casual gamers aren't invested in *gaming* as a whole and after they've had their fun are going to find something else to do. I don't really think anyone keep the casual market long term it remains to be seen if current Wii owners that are primarily "casuals" and effectively non gamers for instance will want to buy wii 2.

        • Depends on the release of wii 2. Release it too early and casuals won't buy it because they will perceive the wii to be "enough" for them, and/or will fail to see the value of wii 2 due to being part of the casual segment of the market who already owns a game console.

    • by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Saturday June 19, 2010 @11:54AM (#32625990)
      You're absolutely right. Casual gamers aren't investing in a console or a high-end graphics card just to play a few games when they have a little time to kill. The game companies need to offer enough interesting and leading edge content to get the "intermediate" gamers to "graduate up" their gaming ladder.

      Casual gamers are looking for a low cost of entry, no subscriptions or long term commitments, and games that don't require hours and hour of their time. It's one of the reasons the low cost, easy to play smartphone type games are popular. Each one is only a few dollars and is available for immediate download. They've become a digital impulse item. No going to a store, and you don't have to go to a computer or even leave your couch. Just download, play and kill a few minutes here and there.
      • And yet, the same casual gamers want to use the same game to kill hours and hours of their time without becoming 'too repetitive'. Oh and forget about immediate downloads and start thinking about streaming play - there is nothing casual about waiting two hours for a game to download or about ordering a game for tomorrow.

        So you need rather simple games that are flashy and easily capture attention, but don't require too much attention to succeed in the game. Games that allow you to sit down, do something for

    • by berwiki (989827) on Saturday June 19, 2010 @11:54AM (#32625992)
      I absolutely disagree with you.

      As someone who used to be hardcore into ID Software FPS titles, now that I am an adult with more responsibilities, it is harder to dedicate that much time towards finding a another freaking Intel Item, hidden obscurely in some level somewhere.

      If I cannot play for 15-20 minutes and abort where I am at, without suffering huge penalties, I am not going to ever finish that game.

      I am much more interested in quick games on my iPad, but wouldn't mind if they had a little more depth. Save the super hardcore games for the high school kids, but give us more than Poppit.
      • by mrmeval (662166)

        I can't play FPS or any game that requires a lot of repetitious movements and twitches. I have damage to my hands some peripheral neuropathy and carpel tunnel. In most cases I can't play even the 'thinking' type games as there will be some part of it that requires arcade level responses. I would welcome games I could solve over time that did not penalize the player for not being a 13 year old twitch master.

      • by Bungie (192858)
        I agree with you. I usually just want to play for a bit and relax after work, if the game gets to be too much work itself then I don't bother. I just can't devote the time I used to into games. So the best games for me are the ones that let you always make progress. There can be difficult parts, enough to trip you up a few times and then you can keep going. Some games do this really well!
      • by LBt1st (709520)

        I'm in the same boat. I used to be hardcore. Had multiple consoles, elaborate PC rigs etc. etc.
        Now I'm in my 30's, I have maybe an hour each day for gaming. I don't necessarily want a casual game but it does need to be something I can fire up, get my fix and put down.

        Or maybe I'm just burnt out on all the rehashes being offered these days and anything that's different, no matter how basic it may seem to the hardcore, is something I might want to try.

        But dedicating any amount of time to something that does n

    • Nah, that's not the problem, the problem is a skill gap. If you are a good gamer, you can just sit down with any new game and figure it out immediately. You're already used to the mechanics, you're going to see something like Portal as an interesting innovation, not as a completely new user interface. A hardcore gamer has gone along with all the Civilization titles, so when the next one comes out, the learning curve will be short. For a casual gamer, who has never played any Civ title, it's going to be
      • I think it's a social gap, not skills. Skills can be acuqired, with motivation, and motivation is created by social pressure.

        Hardcore gamers are hardcore either because they've got no friends and games are a way to cope, or because their friends are hardcore also. So games are a core part of their social make-up.

        Casual gamers don't care about the games, their friends neither.

        To switch someone over from casual to hardcore, you need to change their friends, which is a tall order.

    • yep, same as the casual readers, casual exercisers, casual gourmets, casual sports fans. Oh, wait ...

    • by kaizokuace (1082079) on Saturday June 19, 2010 @12:26PM (#32626210)
      I dunno man. The fact that there are 85 million Farmville players says something.
    • I think the more likely situation is that there's a spectrum of gamers from casual to hardcore, with lots of people in between. RIght now, the people in between are quickly bored with casual games, but quickly frustrated with hardcore games. So, as the summary is saying, what gaming needs is more games like Game! [wittyrpg.com], simple enough that anyone can pick them up and play without reading the manual, but with enough depth to actually keep people interested too.

    • See part of the problem is that I don't think there are two kinds of gamers. There seems to be this perception that everyone is either casual or hardcore. Casual gamers don't play games often, only play simple games, and so on. Hardcore gamers then spend all their time playing games, and play games as complex as they come.

      That is way over simplified. How complex someone likes a game and how much they game are not linked. There are people who play casual games all the damn time, and there are people who love

    • "casual" is no fad. It's older than hardcore gaming. The first games were all casual games. PacMan is a casual game, as is Pong.

  • by clang_jangle (975789) on Saturday June 19, 2010 @11:28AM (#32625738) Journal
    The gap is permanent. As a casual gamer I know this because once in a while when I try to play some "advanced" game I find that just learning the rules and controls takes more time than I meant to spend playing the game, so I give up and go back to a simpler game I already know. We don't all have the time to devote to "advanced gaming", you know... Even when I was a kid I didn't have that kind of time available for such frivolity. Work, work, work!
    • Ditto. Especially when there are more interesting things to do, like read slashdot or watch the latest SyFy.com episodes. Unfortunately I have a lot of games laying-around (Kingdom Heart 2, Final Fantasy 12) that I WANT to play but just never set-aside the time.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by soilheart (1081051)
      I think you are right.
      Especially talking about the controls.

      As somebody said in an article, the gamers today have been slowly brought up with more and more buttons and controls:
      NES had 2 Buttons => SNES which had 6 buttons => Playstation 8 buttons (and later analogue joysticks with two "buttons") and so on.
      I mean I had some trouble to use two buttons when I was small, but going directly for 8? Half impossible if you ask me...
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by hedwards (940851)
        That's what I hated about Halo, unless you own the console or live with somebody that does, the controls alone are formidable. Good luck trying to have an enjoyable experience without spending a lot of time on it.

        One of the things I like about Wolfenstein 3d, the Catacombs Abyss and Doom was that the game play was simplified. Admittedly that was a decision driven entirely by technological restraints, but not having to use a mouse, and only having to worry about 3 buttons, plus the movement and weapon cha
    • by LupusUF (512364) on Saturday June 19, 2010 @12:32PM (#32626248)

      I'm with you on that. I enjoy games, but at 30 I have a very busy life and only have so much time to play games. I work 50 hours a week, have a girlfriend (who will play rock band and guitar hero, but thats about it), and friends that want to go out. I just don't have the same amount of time to play games that I did 10 years ago (or at least I don't prioritize the same amount of time to gaming anymore).

      I find myself playing games that I can pick up for 30 minutes at a time and put down. If it has a save system that I can save anywhere I'm more likely to play it. I really enjoyed the bioshock games, though it took me ages to beat them because I played them in short spurts. If a game has a checkpoint system where I have to get to a certain place before saving, I can guarantee that I won't keep playing it.

    • The gap is permanent. As a casual gamer I know this because once in a while when I try to play some "advanced" game I find that just learning the rules and controls takes more time than I meant to spend playing the game, so I give up and go back to a simpler game I already know. We don't all have the time to devote to "advanced gaming", you know... Even when I was a kid I didn't have that kind of time available for such frivolity. Work, work, work!

      I would say it's less about time devoted to learning any particular game than it is about how quickly you can learn it.

      That's not to say that skill has a entirely biological basis, for I'm sure there are common pathways in the brain that will lend themselves well to the a lot of things we encounter as well as the common concepts that tend to be found throughout all of gaming. But much like the strengthening of the connection of the two hemispheres that occurs in musicians I'm sure something similair can oc

    • by Rayonic (462789)

      So you're saying that you need an intermediate game with easier rules and controls, but more depth than casual games?

      Though there are people who can't grasp the simplest of "hardcore" gaming concepts, like how to move and look around in a first-person game. I mean, that's gotten about as simple as it can get, and yet still some people just can't learn it. Honestly, if someone can't get that after a little bit of effort, I think they might have a learning disability.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The gap isn't permanent, it simply exists right now. What you want is 'arcade mode' - plop your butt down for a few moments and have some candy-coated fun.

      It doesn't have to be 'one title fits all'. That's mostly a recipe for disaster, like trying to make one kind of music that _everyone_ likes. Genres will continue. But a lot of existing hardcore games can broaden their market simply by respecting arcade mode.

      GT4 is the easy villain to point at here. Lots of shiny cars? Check. Lots of cool tracks? Check. A

    • by Sigma 7 (266129)

      As a casual gamer I know this because once in a while when I try to play some "advanced" game I find that just learning the rules and controls takes more time than I meant to spend playing the game, so I give up and go back to a simpler game I already know.

      That's a more "complex" game, not a more advanced one. It's sort of like trying to play Dwarf Fortress without a form of guided tutorial (or at least a scripted one.)

      I consider myself a experienced gamer, and if there's a gap, I'm right in the middle of it:

      • Old games, such as Battletoads, or Rick Dangerous, are an order of magnitude more difficult than what I can handle due to fake difficulty. These types of games require a marathon session to complete, and perhaps memorizing the map layout in order to av
    • by tsalmark (1265778)
      Let me just add from all us older casual gamers. Many of us are happy to part with $100, or so, a year for a few games. Do you want the money or not? Cause I sure ain't going to become a hardcore gamer or even dedicated to any one gaming system. Keep making games that don't involve too much dedication but are not too childish and I'll keep giving you my money.
  • by PingSpike (947548) on Saturday June 19, 2010 @11:34AM (#32625782)

    ...but we're a long way past the point of the Xbox being all about shooting and driving, even if the public perception hasn't quite moved with the software line-up.

    How long is long past? Maybe I'm just not paying enough attention and part of the unwashed masses, but after I bought an Xbox 360 last year to play rock band 2 I decided to search out some games to retroactively justify purchasing the console for one game. I have purchased no other games since. The only games available seem to consist mainly of FPS/3rd person shooters (which I'm not interested in playing outside of a PC environment) and driving games that I was never interested in. There's a handful of RPGs that I might be interested in I suppose, but those are often available on the PC as well and I kind of lack the time to play them these days.

    Again, maybe some one deeper into console games can enlighten me...but my piece of the public perception is that the Xbox is still all about shooting and driving.

    • Ditto. I bought one of those "banned" Xbox 360s and it came with a ton of games on blank CD. I played through all 100 or so games, but the only ones I kept were:

      L4D
      Bionic Commando (reminds me of Pitfall with guns)
      Borderlands (reminds me of Tremors)
      Red Faction 2 (I like scifi)
      Quake 4 (ditto)
      Batman Arkhan Asylum
      RE5 (I like being scared)
      Fable 2 (RPG)
      Pure (silly but fun racing game)
      Halo ODST (short and easy)

      So that's about 10%. I prefer the PS2 and Gamecube libraries. More variety, especially since I like t

    • by CDS (143158)
      I totally agree. I used to be a more-hardcore gamer but as I've gotten older & started a family (I have a 7 year old daughter and 6 month old twins), I am starting to graduate to the casual games. I have an xbox360 which I bought primarily to play the rockband games. I also have games such as Call of Duty, The Force Unleashed, Grand Theft Auto, Bioshock, etc.

      None of those games are appropriate for for my 7-year old. I'm looking for some games we can play together and it's been difficult. I've found
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by grahamwest (30174)

        Lego Star Wars/Indy Jones/Batman and now Lego Harry Potter is coming. Those games are perfect for a parent to play with their kid. They have a lot of replay value.

        I'd also suggest looking at Xbox Live Arcade games. Off the top of my head, Kingdom For Keflings, Pacman Champ Edition, Carcassonne, Ticket To Ride, Puzzle Arcade, Monkey Island (humour might be unsuitable for a 7yo, not sure), Geometry Wars 2 (it's not as hard as the first one and has more game modes).

        There's a huge number of downloadable games,

    • Prototype, assassins creed and Darksiders are three good ones off the top of my head. Ok, yes there is shooting in prototype but to be fair you don't actually have to use the guns.

    • by grumbel (592662)

      Again, maybe some one deeper into console games can enlighten me...but my piece of the public perception is that the Xbox is still all about shooting and driving.

      There are a handful of exceptions, like Tomb Raider Underworld or Prince of Persia, whose main focus is on exploration not killing enemies or games like Bayonetta or Assassins Creed, but as far as the rest goes you are pretty much spot on. Games these days are focused way to much around on shooting and while Resident Evil 4 and then Gears of War moved much of the genre from first person to third person, nothing much else has changed. Its still a game of "shoot that other guy in the face" and even worse is t

  • It has easy control (swing the remote) and easy gameplay, but solving the puzzles can be as challenging as a hardcore RPG. With a little more thought I could probably think of other "medium" difficulty games. Maybe Metroid Prime. Or one of the many Sonics.

    • by WCguru42 (1268530)

      It has easy control (swing the remote) and easy gameplay, but solving the puzzles can be as challenging as a hardcore RPG. With a little more thought I could probably think of other "medium" difficulty games. Maybe Metroid Prime. Or one of the many Sonics.

      I haven't tried the newer Metroid Primes but I definitely wouldn't consider the first two gamecube versions good casual, or bridge gapping games. Any of the sonics from the 16 bit era are great games and you can download those on all (?) of the systems.

  • by feepness (543479) on Saturday June 19, 2010 @11:38AM (#32625834) Homepage
    About transitioning people from Monopoly to Settlers of Cataan to Dungeons and Dragons to tabletop gaming?
  • from the need-more-retro-mega-man-titles

    There is a great selection of "intermediate" titles for the Wii... especially if you browse the virtual console titles (most of which are under $10).

  • Life Life Life (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Unholy_Kingfish (614606) on Saturday June 19, 2010 @11:41AM (#32625876) Homepage
    I am a gamer. I'd fall into the casual category. Problem is simply that I have a life that doesn't permit me to play more than 5-10 hours a week. And that is if I am lucky. I want and can handle complex games. Anything less and I will not be satisfied.

    Now the people that are playing "casual" games would much prefer watching TV over gaming. Those people will never be able to be converted to a more involved type of game.

    Look at all the people that play Farmville. My wife even got into it and she HATES video games. And after a short time she bailed on it. Why? because she doesn't want to invest time into a useless endeavor.

    Give her something more complex that might not be a "waste of time" and she gets frustrated because she wants a zero learning curve. Zero learning curve tends to mean something less then advanced. It's an evil little circle that might be impossible to overcome.

    The untapped market will more likely than not remain untapped.

    • by nedlohs (1335013)

      she "HATES" video games, so there's nothing there to be tapped.

      • Exactly. But most people I know who play "casual" stuff will only do so under party atmospheres and otherwise they "hate" video games. I think that is a more common attitude especially amongst 30-something women.

        The younger crowd is a little more open.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Play a co-op game with her. If she's struggling with a learning curve, teach her, and you'll get to spend time together as an added bonus. All good hobbies require training or practice, gaming is no different.

      I recommend something you're good at, so you can pick up the slack in the beginning and not have to play on easy mode. I personally used Gears of War but I think any co-op game with a forgiving injury system would work.

    • I thought FPS formed the bridge between casual and hardcore. Granted, if you suck you might get bummed playing against more skilled players sometimes, but the thing I like about them is a lot of the 'skill' (twitch mostly, a few strategies help, and knowing/learning maps) is portable across different FPS games. I used to be what we'd consider a hardcore player, wasting hours every week, but I have other interests and other things to do. So I've kept playing various FPS games with an understanding that I can
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Trepidity (597)

      I don't think it's purely time, but something closer to perception of time or difficulty. When Jesper Juul surveyed a bunch of self-described "casual" and "hardcore" gamers for his book [amazon.com], he didn't really find a strong different in hours spent between the two--- there were plenty of casual gamers who put in 40-hour weeks playing their casual games, just like there are full-time FPS players. There seems to somehow be a feeling of less time investment, though, or perhaps more granularity of time investment (yo

  • baloney! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by oddTodd123 (1806894) on Saturday June 19, 2010 @11:47AM (#32625928)

    From most casual to hardcore:

    Farmville, Mafia Wars
    Plants vs. Zombies, Bejeweled, Tetris
    Wii Sports, Cooking Mama
    Mario games, racing and sports games
    Serious Sam, Diablo
    Assassins Creed, Halo
    GTA, Rainbow Six
    Dragon Age, Total War series

    Where's the gap?

    • 1-3 lines are very different from 4 and on. I know plenty of people who would play the former but never the later.

      • That's not the point. The question is, are there "transition games" that would encourage people to move from line 3 to line 4, in your example? The fact that different people have interest in different types and complexity of games is a given. The article is hypothesizing that such games need to exist, that if only there were games that were slightly more complex/hardcore than Wii Sports Resort but less complex than Super Mario Galaxy, we would see the people currently playing the former eventually playing
    • I'm not sure I agree with your rankings. For instance, I'd rank Halo as being much more hardcore than Dragon Age. Unless by "harcore" you mean "complex", in which case Farmville is more hardcore than Bejeweled, etc.

      But given your list, the question pretty much answers itself when there is only 1 line between "Cooking Mama" and "Diablo." Hell, even if you had never heard of these games, the names would give it away.

    • by Hatta (162192)

      You'd be surprised at how hardcore some of those tetris players are. TGM [bsixcentdouze.free.fr] players for instance are just as insane as shmup fanatics or street fighter experts.

  • "bridging the gap" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ucblockhead (63650) on Saturday June 19, 2010 @12:12PM (#32626120) Homepage Journal

    That's like bridging the gap between coffee and coke. It's like bridging the gap between whiskey and wine. You are only going to create some crap that no one likes.

    What needs to die is this attitude that what we need to do is make games that appeal to everyone, so that every person in the population buys it. That's stupid. It's chasing an impossible dream. You are far better off just making a good game that a certain set of people like. You can't appeal to everyone, so pick a genre, "casual", "hardcore" or whatever, and make something good in that genre. You aren't going to make a game that appeals to both grandma and Twitchy McFragerton, so stop trying. You're just going to end up with some crap that both grandma and Twitchy agree is worthless.

    • by TheLink (130905)

      Yeah, just like there is no spaghetti sauce that appeals to everyone:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIiAAhUeR6Y [youtube.com]

      But see also:

      http://www.gladwell.com/2004/2004_09_06_a_ketchup.html [gladwell.com]

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      I agree with the point you are making but let me provide a counter point. If the game you are making takes 1-4 years and costs between 12-18 million you have to have at least a reasonable chance of making that back which means you have to have as broad of a market as possible. Game making is still a business. They still need to turn a profit.

      With that said, I think the best solution would be to focus and make a fun game as you mentioned but try and make it cheaper. This is also one of the reasons why th

  • Why the push into "hardcore" games for so-called "casual" gamers? I'm guessing because "hardcore" games generally cost more than "casual" (i.e. non) games. Casual games generally don't cost more than 30 USD (e.g. most Wii titles). A lot of them are actually free. "Hardcore" games like Gears of War and GTA generally cost 60 USD, twice the price.
    • by selven (1556643)

      Essentially, yes. If you add free flash games on the internet, Solitaire, and a large amount of games from the 1980s, casual games are largely free. Turning these people into someone who demands a 1800x1200 resolution 90 FPS ultra-realistic immersive game experience (all of which costs tens of dollars per player to implement) will turn them into profit-bringing customers.

  • This article is a load of crap. "Hardcore" games virtually don't exist any more (in the major publisher marjet) and are especially missing from consoles. Frat boys who play Madden and Halo aren't "hardcore" gamers* and aren't playing "hardcore" games**. If they mean the "bored housewife or grandmother who can't handle a game more complex than pacman" market they should just say so. Console games have been dumbed down and simplified for almost a decade now to appeal to the "broader" market. If someone can't

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by primerib (1827024)

      Agreed. The definition of "hardcore" games has morphed from "difficult, with steep learning curve" into "manly, and ego stroking". The reason why "casual" gaming has taken off like a rocket is because it isn't explicitly targeting young males who need an M-rating on a game because they wouldn't be caught dead playing a "kiddy game" (except for football games. Dudes groping eachother is manly as hell). The vast majority of modern "hardcore gamers" are casual gamers who are afraid to buy anything other than "

  • Megaman is a perfect example. Nobody who has beaten half the Megaman games is going to be called anything less than 'hard core', but its easy enough to pick up any of them and start playing with no instructions at all.
  • by hkmwbz (531650) on Saturday June 19, 2010 @01:38PM (#32626740) Journal
    I used to play the NES, SNES and all that. I spend hours playing the good old games. I could play through the first few Mega Man games blindfolded. I knew every secret and trick in Mario games, including Super Mario World. Knew the Zeldas on NES and SNES like the back of my hand.

    Then I stopped playing.

    I guess I grew up. Or something.

    I've always felt like a gamer at heart, but I came to realize that even though games are looking prettier and prettier, they are feeling rather empty. Maybe it was just the thrill of being a kid discovering new worlds that hooked me, and now that I'm an adult I don't have the time to be sucked in anymore. I certainly don't have the time to play games all day.

    Until the Wii came, I did keep an eye on the gaming market, but I definitely wasn't interested in getting a new console.

    The Wii was the first console in many years that created a small spark of desire inside of me to go back to playing games.

    I think, as someone said, that Nintendo isn't competing with Sony and Microsoft these days, as much as they are competing with disinterest.

    But... Am I a casual gamer? I suppose I am, now. But I used to be "hardcore". Nintendo managed to drag me back into gaming, at least partially. I think that might be part of their success -- winning over disinterested traditional gamers such as myself.

    For all the bashing of "casual" games for the Wii, didn't any of you notice that, in, fact games of the past were usually quite simplistic? They may have been hard to play all the way through, but they certainly weren't the monsters of bloated cutscenes and story lines we have today.

    Frankly, I'm getting sick of the whining about "casual games destroying the market". Accessible games means that people like me get to pick them up and play, and not have to invest many hours a day to do so. Ok, I admit I played through Super Mario Galaxy and managed to unlock Luigi. But it just doesn't feel like the "good old days".

    • The problem is they think anybody who isn't playing something like Modern Warfare or Halo is a casual gamer. A person could play Tetris and Mario Kart 16 hours a day and still be called a casual gamer here.
    • by Hatta (162192)

      You know, if you're dissatisfied with today's games I'm sure there's a metric shitton of old games you haven't played. Why not pick up a Turbografx-16 and see what you missed.

    • by thule (9041)
      To sum up what you said: Easy to play -- hard to master. "Hardcore" games are just complicated and only interest a subset of the game market. There is no such thing as casual or hardcore, just differences in what people think makes a good game. Microsoft and Sony will fail going after casual because they don't understand that "casual" also wants a good game. Nintendo *does* understand and they can make a game like New Super Mario and sell huge to everyone from young to adult. Nintendo kinda showed their car
  • by Kreela (1770584)
    I only play fitness games that make me sweat: currently New U and My Fitness Coach. If designers came up with a game that could match those intense levels of exercise with a long, involved storyline I'd buy it. So far no-one has. Instead this market is full of simple, cheaply-made, narrative-free games. It's this misguided label of the casual gamer that's leading so many developers astray. I don't care about the time it takes to pick up a game. I just don't want to be sat on my bum for 5 hours at a time, g
  • Correct, it's all about shooting and driving while banging a hooker and snorting blow while looking for your next contact.

    Oh, and don't forget, running down pedestrians!

  • We've had a Wii for a year and a half now. It was my first console since the 8-bit NES, though I've been a on-again, off-again PC gamer for... well... ever. Anyway, my kids (K-8 range) are obviously more interested in Mario Kart and Animal Crossing than Call of Duty. While I think the Wii serves their demographic well (just threw up in my mouth a little writing that), it's not my preferred platform. I'm a racing sim fan, and of the dozens of racing games, there's only one serious title - F1 2009 (anything

It's a poor workman who blames his tools.

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