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Games Entertainment

The Changing Face of Gaming 33

The Aeropause blog just finished up a three-piece series looking at how gaming has changed in recent years. The first post looks at how the retail business has changed, and how gamers will be buying games in the future. The second post examines how gaming has changed for collectors, how downloadable games and emulations have changed that hobby. The final piece looks at how gaming itself has changed, with the rise of online gaming changing what gamers themselves look like. From this last article: "What about the more considered example: the stereotypical 'hardcore' gamer disconnected from society, normal sleeping hours, and financial rationality (ie. shelling out for a PS3 at launch). Is this disconnected gamer also soon to become a thing of the past? In a sense, some already have. With the focus on 'network-centric' gaming, gamers have become a social bunch. Hoards team up in online games to defeat bigger enemies and bring home bigger bounties. Even obstensibly offline games have item trading and community rankings. If you're not online... well... you're not really current and 'hardcore'."
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The Changing Face of Gaming

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  • No ownership. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by El_Muerte_TDS ( 592157 ) on Sunday October 08, 2006 @02:04PM (#16356121) Homepage
    Yes, in the future you will no longer own a copy of a game. Instead you lease (or maybe even rent) a copy (for the same price as you previously owned a copy). Even with hard copies of games you will find yourself locked out in the future because it requires an online activation.
    • that will not happen intill just about anyone in the usa can get high speed internet.
    • by cliffski ( 65094 )
      well the alternative is that in the future, there will be no more games, because everyone just pirates them.
      you choose.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by KDR_11k ( 778916 )
        Yeah. Because totalitarianism and anarchy are the only options that exist, right?
        • by cliffski ( 65094 )
          games companies are already moving to console only, or cross-platform starting on consoles. the majority of big new PC IPs are online games. You expect this trend to stop any time soon?
          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by KDR_11k ( 778916 )
            Console games don't use online activation, though. And there's plenty of PC games being made that, while offering an online mode, aren't online-only (and don't require an internet connection).
      • well the alternative is that in the future, there will be no more games, because everyone just pirates them. you choose.

        Yeah, because people have never pirated games until, uhm, about a week ago.

        Or maybe people did always pirate games, and there were no more games?

        I think I'm a bit confused about the past. Please enlighten me.

    • Future sucks.
    • I seem to recall there being licence agreements in some games saying that the users are effectively renting the software. Granted, the control was then with the user, but they still, in theory, had the ability to declare any game a pirate copy, legally dodgy as that may be.
      • every software license agreement in history effectively states that the user is 'renting' the software. No true ownership in any sense of the word is ever transfered, whatsoever.

        telling yourself otherwise is delusion.
  • by HappySqurriel ( 1010623 ) on Sunday October 08, 2006 @02:15PM (#16356219)
    Am I the only person who really hates the labels Hardcore and Casual?

    They seem to be used in every article or blog when they reference gaming yet there is no real standard to their use; there are so many variations that they have very little meaning. Think of their use in MMORPGs as an example, how many people have heard the Hardcore vs Casual debates when it comes to raiding content, PVP rewards, Player Looting, and even Role Playing? In every one of these it has a different meaning an references a different group of people with a completely different perspective.

    As for the article, the "Face of Gaming" is always in flux and what people view gamers as largely depends on their personal experience. In 2001/2002 videogame playing (probably) hit a peak as far as mainstream acceptance because of the massive marketing push from Sony and Microsoft to sell their new consoles, and because of how many (seemingly normal) people were playing videogames. From what I have seen, the XBox 360 and PS3 are currently working against this by focusing all of their effort on attracting the most dedicated 10% of gamers with features that don't matter to most of the population; this drives the price up and makes the only visible gamers among these super dedicated gamers (the dedicated population of any activity are pretty lame, just look at "super sports fans").

    Online gaming is obviously not a mainstream gaming activity at the current time. When you consider that 100 Million PS2s were, 20 Million XBoxes and 20 Million Gamecubes were sold in the last generation (with tens of millions of gaming PCs available) which means there are probably (at least) 100 Million distinct gamers in the western world and the most popular online game in history has 5 Million subscribers.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by kfg ( 145172 ) *
      Am I the only person who really hates the labels Hardcore and Casual?

      No. And if anything I would call myself a "serious" gamer.

      • That's what I'd consider myself anyway. I've been playing games for a while, and both this and the fact I've recently started using a Gamefly style rental service, seems to have left me with a low tolerance for crappy games. If I come up against a really stupid thing in a game then I usually end up shoving it back it the rental envelope. Granted, I occasionally take it back out and try again, but mostly it ends up going straight back to the rental place.
    • by erkan_o ( 958077 )
      I have to agree, dividing the collecting community into a hardcore and casual part seems silly to me. It is up to the person to decide if he is a collector or not. IMHO these "hardcore" articles about gaming seems so silly, it is like another top 10 list of the best game ewar on a blog. It is just a game, you play it, get bored and then buy a new.
    • I'm with you. I hate the term hardcore vs casual gamers. I read an interview with Alexey Pajitnov, the creator of Tetris and they called him a casual game maker. I think that's ridiculous. When Tetris came out it was a hardcore game - that's what games were back then. Most older gamers are still playing games because of "casual games" like tetris. If I enjoy the games I played when I was growing up, and I like to find new games that are graphically simple but innovative in terms of gameplay, why does that m
    • "From what I have seen, the XBox 360 and PS3 are currently working against this by focusing all of their effort on attracting the most dedicated 10% of gamers with features that don't matter to most of the population;"

      Microsoft and Sony have market researchers, predictive analysis, and lots of money that goes into determining what features will turn a net profit.

      What do you have?

      • Microsoft and Sony have market researchers, predictive analysis, and lots of money that goes into determining what features will turn a net profit.

        What do you have?

        What I have beyond common sense is irrelevant on the internet.

        The main question is who are the market researchers performing the research on and who are they trying to attract?

        If you look at what Microsoft produced you'll see a more expensive console than has been released before which has a focus on pay-for internet pay and micro-transactions; i
    • by brkello ( 642429 )
      I am sure you are not the only person who hates the labels, but I really doubt there are many of you. I don't see why you have trouble with them. Their context really doesn't change from one game to the next. Hardcore players are people who spend a lot of their time playing games. Casuals enjoy playing games, but either can't or don't want to spend an excessive amount of time playing them. You could argue what that cut off point is...but it is usually fairly easy to classify a gamer in to one of the ab
  • I thought it said the CHALLENGING face of gaming, implying gamers are all ugly.

    I am not an ugly gamer! I am a human being!
  • Gaming is just another form of entertainment, like every other activity it has started relatively small and has gained acceptance and mass appeal over time. The PC market and lately Nintendo seem to get that. They are doing a good job of appealing to people who like games but dont obsess over them while still offering the depth that attracts the "hardcore" gamer. As time progresses I think we will see more "casual" games as more people accept video games as a "pastime". I agree with Sony's president that the generation after this may not even have store bought media, all 3 are positioning themselves for this already with Xbox live, Virtual Arcades and Consoles. Downloads of small time wasting games will IMHO become very popular with the casual crowd, look what popcap did on the PC, everyone I know over the age of 3 has at least one of their games because they are cheap, easy to play and above all fun.

    Thats the main reason I really believe that Nintendo is in a position to win this generation, even if the hardware is more last generation. There are far more casual gamers and game curious people out there than hardcore gamers and they are going directly after that market. My father even asked if I had seen anything about a game that lets you play tennis and golf with a remote control, he said he read about it in a magazine, he only subscribes to stull like Time and Newsweek so evidently the message is getting out. Casual gamers wont shell out the big bucks if they dont know whether or not they will ever play it enough to get their money out of it, which is where Nintendo has a huge advantage. Yes, I know that with all the accessories the Wii leans alot closer to 360 pricing but a casual gamer will buy the cheap one, try it out then feel completely justified in buying accessories like extra controllers because they will by then know that it was worth the investment.

    Sony and Microsoft wont fail either imho, the market for "hardcore" gamers is clearly large enough to support a console, but I think I new breed of gamer is being created that is even larger.

  • gamers will be buying games in the future
    I'm sorry, you lost me at the part about gamers "buying" games. Aren't they all free? (OK, so I'm an emulator fan...)
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Emulated, non-emulated, what's the difference?

      Only a handful of emulated games are in the public domain.
  • by Channard ( 693317 ) on Sunday October 08, 2006 @04:04PM (#16357037) Journal
    .. says the article. And thanks to the 360's Live Camera, just like a party, they can now get drunk and flash their various bodyparts at you. Truly, this is a bold new age of gaming.
  • I'm curious where those of us who have been hardcore online gamers since '96 fit into this whole deal.. especially when we're playing the same games we played back then? :D

  • Is there such a thing as a Hardcore TV watcher?

    The gaming community is a continuum of players who play for different things, for different reasons, at different times. To suggest that there is a binary "hardcore/casual" divide is only a generalisation, sure, but it's also an unhelpful one. It is a divisive concept that only serves to hinder effective debate and understanding.

    Clearly a better measure of how "hardcore" a gamer is - at least from an objective pov, to which most gamers do not subscribe - is h

Things equal to nothing else are equal to each other.