It’s Friday, and you all know what that means...another long weekend of overtime to pay for that darned mortgage. But aside from that, I’m talking about the good parts of Friday, particularly the Blend Games Weekly Battle. And when we talk weekly battle, we mean epic battles. And epic battles never seemed so epic until two of humanity’s biggest social divides clashed. And that clash consists of the infamous hardcore gamer and the renown, yet elusive casual gamer. Last week the battle raged on between these two groups, resulting in a swift victory for the hardcore gamer. So who do you think will come out on top this week?
In Round 1 of Casual Gamers Vs. Hardcore Gamers here on Blend Games’ weekly bout, the hardcore gamers (despite not having a good reputation) took a brisk lead over casual gamers. Maybe it was just a lot of readers feeling sorry for hardcore gamers, or perhaps hardcore gamers just didn't want to accept some of the bad press they get. Regardless, Round 2 is now underway, so lets get this boat rowing.
Round 2: Who drives the industry forward?
This is a tough one here, because both groups – despite their differences in showing it – are very passionate about their gaming. Casual gamers are the gamers who propelled games like Diner Dash to such heights that it’s now being ported to handhelds. Hardcore gamers have succeeded in establishing games to reach outside of the hardcore market, such as Halo and Diablo. Both groups have successfully impelled EA to continuously release addons for The Sims and have given Will Wright enough incentive to branch his ideas out into gaming ambitions on a universal scale. So let's take a quick look at both sides to see where they stand with pushing the gaming industry forward.
They spend money like crazy on games every month. They play games like maniacs and support specific kinds of games no differently than specific movie-goers have a niche for specific genres. Often times hardcore games that sell well and build a reputation among gamers are subject to gamer feedback. This is usually what propels the biggest changes within hardcore gaming. Forum board outcries and fanboy protests are the best ways to get the attention of both the developer and the publisher. And usually developers succumb to well supported rants, such as with the Splinter Cell series, or Smackdown Vs. Raw. But do hardcore gamers really help their favorite franchises by complaining about not having enough guns when the developer would rather add different kinds of guns? And is it more of a help or a hindrance when hardcore gamers plea for better graphics, forcing developers to bring the game’s aesthetics up to the level of its competitor, when the developer actually wanted to focus more on gameplay stability? Something to think about when it comes time to vote.
It’s not often that casual gamers band together and protest in front of a publisher’s main headquarters. In fact, it’s hardly ever publicized about casual gamers making any supplication to developers outside of parent-groups advocating against video game violence. But it’s because of this laid-back mentality that casual gamers receive what they’re given, and given only what developers feel they should receive. Many casual gamers play MMOs and online puzzle/mind-challenging games such as checkers and chess, but it’s rare that a lot of time or innovation is put into browser-based games. As for the MMOs...a lot of them are clones of each, and offer very little in interactive advancement, yet many MMOs like Maple Story and World of Warcraft continue to top the MMO charts. Games like Imagine Doctor or Brain Age 2 offer gamers something uniquely different from the herd, but contain very simplified mechanics. Regarding casual gamers: does it really benefit the industry much in moving forward when casual gamers continue to buy into games that utilize developmental techniques that were standard-fare a decade ago? And how stable is the progression of the gaming industry when the casual crowd is a harder market to sell to, and much more difficult to reach in advertisement? Just something to consider when it’s time to vote.
Time to vote!
You read about both types of gamers; the pros and cons the industry faces when dealing with them. Now it’s time to vote.
Hardcore Gamers Vs. Casual Gamers: Round 2