What exactly makes someone a casual gamer?

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#1 Posted by HipHopBeats (2904 posts) -

I've been seeing this phrase tossed around a lot. Does this mean you only play AAA mainstream games or what?

#2 Edited by Bigboi500 (30054 posts) -

A casual gamer is someone who only plays a few games per year. The term "hardcore" is just a bad way of saying "dedicated".

#3 Posted by HipHopBeats (2904 posts) -

@Bigboi500 said:

A casual gamer is someone who only plays a few games per year. The term "hardcore" is just a bad way of saying "dedicated".

They make it seem like it's based on the actual games you play. Like I see a lot of people say COD for example is for casuals including Infinity Ward. I don't play COD but it had me wondering is the phrase geared more towards gaming selection rather than time dedicated to gaming.

#4 Posted by Kats_RK (2080 posts) -

I'm a casual gamer nowadays.I hardly have time to play video games anymore due to college but I keep myself updated in the gaming world :)

#5 Edited by GummiRaccoon (13613 posts) -

The type of game and amount of time you play it.

For instance playing 20 hours a week of candy crush makes you casual because it can fit into your life easily.

But 20 hours a week of an FPS or an MMO where you have to schedule time to play with others is hardcore because you have to fit your life around gaming.

#6 Posted by LoG-Sacrament (20397 posts) -

i don't think you can effectively put everybody's gaming consumption into 2 groups.

there are people who play a single facebook game. others just play digital board games. others play only the current year's iteration of call of duty and madden. others play dozens of big budget action games in a year. others play smaller games that can get away with being about thinking rather than external action. i'm sure there are more types that i haven't thought of. even more, i'm sure many people's consumption would be more accurately labelled as some hybrid of multiple types.

to say somebody is a casual gamer could be a comparison to a number of different consumption types. i don't think it's a very useful phrase.

#7 Posted by Bigboi500 (30054 posts) -

@HipHopBeats said:

@Bigboi500 said:

A casual gamer is someone who only plays a few games per year. The term "hardcore" is just a bad way of saying "dedicated".

They make it seem like it's based on the actual games you play. Like I see a lot of people say COD for example is for casuals including Infinity Ward. I don't play COD but it had me wondering is the phrase geared more towards gaming selection rather than time dedicated to gaming.

I'd say that imo, anyone who only plays one game exclusively is a non-gamer. If I only date one girl exclusively I'm not a "player".

#8 Posted by ZZoMBiE13 (22911 posts) -

Hardcore gamer is a term adopted by people who use their hobby to define themselves. I don't care for labels, because why compartmentalize yourself or others?

As for what individual people mean when they say it, that's up to them. But typically, "Casual" is a pejorative remark meant to demean someone who is less dedicated to the hobby. People who only play a few games, or who don't play enough to care about the state of the industry, who built their game, whether they advance in skill or any of a number of other criteria; but still spend a decent amount of time playing relative to their other interests. Danny O'Dwyer started using the term "Softcore" during one of the episodes of his "THE POINT" series. Perhaps that could be an added gradient between Hardcore and Casual? I dunno.

If you want a real measure, I'd say anyone who cares enough about their games to visit a gaming forum probably falls under the "Hardcore" category. Anyone who doesn't, would lean more toward the "casual" end of the spectrum. That is, of course, an oversimplification. But as a general rule of thumb, I'd say that's as good as way as any. Of course it'd be better if we could lose such outdated nomenclature and just be individuals, but I guess everyone has to find themselves and using your hobby is a good a place to start as any.

#9 Posted by El_Zo1212o (6029 posts) -

@HipHopBeats: it means you only use one or two buttons when fighting in Batman: Arkham City.

#10 Posted by firefox59 (4403 posts) -

@GummiRaccoon said:

The type of game and amount of time you play it.

For instance playing 20 hours a week of candy crush makes you casual because it can fit into your life easily.

But 20 hours a week of an FPS or an MMO where you have to schedule time to play with others is hardcore because you have to fit your life around gaming.

It is pretty simple.

#11 Edited by Jacanuk (4742 posts) -

@HipHopBeats said:

I've been seeing this phrase tossed around a lot. Does this mean you only play AAA mainstream games or what?

A casual gamer is as hardcore gamer a meaningless term.

But if we had to put people in that box, it would be people who play small games either on mobile or facebook.

#12 Posted by sorata (31 posts) -

Depends on the usage, I suppose.

Say, if that Candy Crush player obsessively plays that particular game backwards and forwards and gets 3 stars on every level and maybe helps you with your own, or plays yours because they left theirs somewhere, does that sort of dedication not count as a hardcore player? Albeit an exclusively hardcore Candy Crush player.

#13 Posted by alexfnm (8 posts) -

For me casual gamers are basically people playing almost exclusively facebook/browser and/or smartphone games. Frequency does not matter, as it comes and goes, depending on, well, life. Anyone who has spent some money to buy a console or buy/install a pc game is a (non casual) gamer with the frequency again being irrelevant as he/she has at least the inclination to explore gaming as a separate entity to, say, one more tab on your browser while checking e-mails and reading the news. Hardcore gamers (although the term is a bit too strong, and too absolute) are those who devote a lot of money, energy and time on at least 2-3 retail games and have possibly lost a girlfriend (or boyfriend) over it D ;

#14 Posted by Chickan_117 (16329 posts) -

The term "casual gamer" should refer to the attitude of the player towards the game. So someone who plays games but does it ad hoc or without investing in it overly would be casual. Like casual sex or working as a casual employee... or a casual hooker if you wanna combine both examples into one :)

What it's come to be is a term used by those who consider themselves elite to patronise those who don't fit their idea of a "hardcore" gamer. It's like audiophiles or movie buffs who look down on people who just listen/watch stuff casually

#15 Edited by The_Last_Ride (72408 posts) -

Casual gamer are gamers that maybe play a few games a year like COD, FIFA, Madden or something similar. Doesn't have to be those games, but most people i know that are casual gamers play those games. They buy 2 maybe 3 games a year and don't really get in to the whole gaming world. Wii for example was the casual console where people bought Wii Fit and Sports and only played that

#16 Edited by Justforvisit (5047 posts) -

According to Infinity Ward, playing CoD :P

#17 Posted by ReddestSkies (4087 posts) -

Casual gamers: anyone who's not trying to 1CC something right now.

The terms are useless. Everyone who uses it has his own definition, usually to put himself in the "hardcore" category and to look down on people from the "casual" category. Case in point:

@GummiRaccoon said:

The type of game and amount of time you play it.

For instance playing 20 hours a week of candy crush makes you casual because it can fit into your life easily.

But 20 hours a week of an FPS or an MMO where you have to schedule time to play with others is hardcore because you have to fit your life around gaming.

I'd argue that 20 hours a week of Candy Crush makes you pretty damn competitive at that game.

#18 Edited by twistmibile123 (11 posts) -

@HipHopBeats: Casual Games is just opposite to hardcore games whereas latter defines that you play game irrespective of the time outside you don't have to be worried about id it is day or night you play endlessly.

Casual gamers are those who plays the game very casually and with time.

#19 Posted by Chickan_117 (16329 posts) -

I quite like @GummiRaccoon's comparison actually. Casual gamers who play games that fit with their lifestyle whereas non-casual gamers are those who shape their lifestyle to match their gaming

#20 Edited by ZZoMBiE13 (22911 posts) -

I wonder if other hobbies bother with this kind of stuff? Are there "hardcore" golfers, right now, hanging around their pro shop just trying to come up with a term to disparage folks who don't golf as much as they do?

Sadly, that's probably happening. :(

#21 Posted by capaho (1253 posts) -

@HipHopBeats said:

I've been seeing this phrase tossed around a lot. Does this mean you only play AAA mainstream games or what?

No, it means you play games in your underwear while drinking beer.

#22 Posted by t1striker (1549 posts) -

I've just clocked in 84 hours(not done yet either) on Xenoblade. I don't think I would be considered casual.

The way I see that of a casual gamer is someone who only plays select games(quite simple games also) based on what their friends play such as Assassins creed, Call of Duty, Halo, etc, but a game that is more deep, and takes more concentration and time such as some RPGs would never be considered casual. Also if all you play is a Facebook game than I wouldn't even deem you as a casual gamer, but a Facebookian.

My brother mostly only plays games like Cod, Assassins creed, and Madden. I would consider him casual. He actually only seems to be into something that is popular, and he would never play a game like xenoblade.

#23 Posted by I-AM-N00B (410 posts) -

I'd say that typically a casual gamer would only play games occasionally, would normally just play the most popular game around and wouldn't own a very broad range of games. An average gamer would put a bit more time into gaming, would own a range of games and would be willing to play more than just whats popular at the time. A hardcore gamer would be someone who puts a lot of dedication into gaming, has a huge gaming library, plays very niche games and can easily put 100 hours into a game.

#24 Posted by loafofgame (634 posts) -

@ZZoMBiE13: You're probably too old for this thread, being all dismissive of labels. You don't understand the young generation. ;-) How can I define my individuality without shared and unambiguous characteristics!? Aaaaaaaaagh!

#25 Posted by EnderX (42 posts) -

I play a few hours a day, and then on my days off, I've been known to play like 10hrs or more. Most people don't even play an hour a day. That's really the only thing that defines the difference between "casual" and "hardcore." Though I wouldn't use the term hardcore either. I really think of myself more of as in the moderate range. Cause two to three hours of gameplay a day isn't that much.

#26 Posted by t1striker (1549 posts) -

@enderx said:

I play a few hours a day, and then on my days off, I've been known to play like 10hrs or more. Most people don't even play an hour a day. That's really the only thing that defines the difference between "casual" and "hardcore." Though I wouldn't use the term hardcore either. I really think of myself more of as in the moderate range. Cause two to three hours of gameplay a day isn't that much.

I use to be the same way maybe a couple hours a day, some days, and some weeks I never even play a game, and then I quit my job to spend time on college and I've probably clocked in 250+ hours into gaming last month alone. I pretty much started to just hang out with friends for a couple hours a day, do any homework I may have, and the rest of the time I played video games. I've caught up a bit on my backlog, I'll tell you that much though.

#27 Posted by Chickan_117 (16329 posts) -

@ZZoMBiE13 said:

I wonder if other hobbies bother with this kind of stuff? Are there "hardcore" golfers, right now, hanging around their pro shop just trying to come up with a term to disparage folks who don't golf as much as they do?

Sadly, that's probably happening. :(

There definitely is. audiophiles and movie buffs are examples. With golf there are definitely those who consider themselves "real golfers" and look down on golfers like me who rock up in regular clothes and just have fun :)

#28 Posted by HipHopBeats (2904 posts) -

@ZZoMBiE13:Outdated nomenclature is the basis of modern civilization! Everything needs labeling! Lol! Jokes aside, what you said makes sense. By that definition, I would fall under the 'softcore' or 'average' category. I visit gaming forums and definitely game, but not to the point where I'm obsessed with winning or platinuming a game. Yet, I'm not an uninformed 'casual' asking a gamestop employee "what is Destiny"?, agreeing to put $5 down to get access to the early beta.

@I-AM-N00B: Sounds like my category of gaming. I have a decent collection of games ranging from AAA to under the radar.

#29 Posted by Bigboi500 (30054 posts) -

Enjoying Kinect games.

#30 Posted by uninspiredcup (8987 posts) -

Someone who doesn't play hardcore pc games.

#31 Posted by Jacanuk (4742 posts) -

@uninspiredcup said:

Someone who doesn't play hardcore pc games.

And what is hardcore games?

#32 Edited by buccomatic (1941 posts) -

@HipHopBeats said:

I've been seeing this phrase tossed around a lot. Does this mean you only play AAA mainstream games or what?

casual gamer = someone who plays a game for 45 minutes to 2 hours, 1-3 times a week, and only buys 3-4 games a year.

#33 Edited by capaho (1253 posts) -

@loafofgame: I take it you're a caustic gamer rather than a casual gamer.

#34 Posted by loafofgame (634 posts) -

@capaho: Nah, only sporadically.

#35 Edited by sorata (31 posts) -

Inb4 people confuse hardcore/casual players with hardcore/casual games.

#36 Posted by WinsteadVolve (391 posts) -

Someone who just isn't that bothered about finishing the game, they just come back to it every now and then, Also they just play for about 8 hours a week.

#37 Edited by insanegame377 (332 posts) -

@WinsteadVolve said:

Someone who just isn't that bothered about finishing the game, they just come back to it every now and then, Also they just play for about 8 hours a week.

I'll usually play on average 8 hours a week sometimes even less, but that doesnt make me a casual gamer. I just dont have the time (or money) to game as much any more, I'm too busy with uni, work a part time job and I also have alot of other interests such as playing football and going to the gym.

#38 Edited by XIntoTheBlue (848 posts) -

The definition changes from player to player. The definition of casual as a noun is defined as someone who participates in something on an irregular basis. That definition, to me, means a casual player is someone who does not play video games often enough to dedicate their time to really delve into gaming as a main hobby. I know people who only play the most popular titles without paying attention to the latest gaming news, or hanging out in video game community forums such as this one. They are pretty oblivious to most gaming related information that didn't get picked up on by popular media. I also think a casual player is someone who doesn't dedicate their time to the hobby not because they don't have the time, such as insangame377, but because they simply don't have that much of an interest to delve deeper into video games.