I hear a lot of people label games a hardcore or casual game although it is normally phrased differently like ‘that’s a nooby game’ or ‘that’s too difficult for me’ but is it that simple to put them into one of two categories? Personally I don’t think so. I think it’s very difficult to determine if a game is casual or hardcore, some people would say a game was casual if it lacks rules, has simple controls, takes little time to learn, simple puzzles, can get a lot done in a short amount of time etc. Another feature that people associate with a casual game is that it’s free online to play or free to download often on mobiles or tablets. For example I’m sure many people consider Farmville which is a free Facebook game as a casual game because it’s free to play, very simple to play and not it’s not really competitive but people can get highly addicted to it and put many hours a day into it, So does that still make it a casual game? Or would it be hardcore because of the amount of time put into it.
A number of people would describe a hardcore game as a game that has complicated controls, difficult to complete, online competitive play, takes a lot of time to complete etc. Hardcore games will often be games that you have to pay for and are distributed via hard copies for consoles and pc’s but also can be downloaded. But it’s the same for the example I gave about Farmville, if someone plays a so called hardcore game for maybe a couple of hours a week and only plays it on the easiest difficulty, does that make it a casual game?
I don’t think games can be labelled as hardcore or casual anymore as much as people try to, but I do think people can be labelled as hardcore or casual gamers. I do believe that game developers aim there games towards either casual or hardcore gamers though so that’s why they put it into the category of a hardcore or casual game to entice the target audience. A casual gamer is a player who spends little time playing games and normally only plays games to relieve stress, for social benefits and for fun and wont play games that take up too much time. And a hardcore gamer is someone who spends a lot of time on games and tends to play games that take a long time to master and complete. They also tend to play online competitively and can also play in tournaments and competitions if they get good enough at there intended game. I consider myself to be a hardcore gamer because I spend a lot of time playing games and try and get the most I can out of a game and I do tend to like games that are aimed at hardcore gamers. For example one of my favourite game series is gears of war and a reason for this is that a lot of people find it difficult to play and master so I like that challenge.
To summarize I don’t think games can be labelled as hardcore or casual but it’s the gamer that decides if it’s hardcore or casual by how much they play it and get into it. A hardcore gamer will play a game a lot and will try the hardest difficulty and get as many achievements or unlocks as they can, also will normally play online and try there hardest to win. A casual gamer will pick up a game and maybe complete it on an easy difficulty if they have the time and maybe go online every now and again for fun and not take it too seriously.