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Yes, this is a very sensitive subject; the subject of hardcore gamers fearing casual gaming. But it’s something we here at Blend Games feel needs to be discussed. It’s not just that casual gamers aren’t good gamers, it’s that they happen to be attached to a casual trend for diminishing the hardcore market, sometimes without even knowing it. Nevertheless, we feel it’s our duty to list the reasons why hardcore gamers may fear casual gamers and the casual gaming uprise.
10. Casual Gamers Dress For Success
What’s more embarrassing than finding out that the snooding yuppie you pass by everyday happens to have a Nintendo DS, cramming his head full of Brain Age’s anti-gameplay? I just can’t think of anything short of showing up to work without your underwear. But there’s nothing more intimidating, or fear-inducing, than a well-dressed casual gamer. It makes hardcore gamers feel as if they should actually do something productive with the clothes piled up in their clothes basket...such as wash them, or wear them when they’re actually clean.
9. The Productive Eye Of Doom
Yes, all hardcore gamers know of this fearful factor exhibited by casual gamers. Hardcore gamers have definitely felt the PEoD once or twice, or maybe ten times. While they engage in a game of chess, checkers or Imagine Fashion Designer, it’s quite common for the casual gamer to look menacingly over at a hardcore gamer who is entrenched in a good game of Battlefront on the PSP, or Pursuit Force. Yes, the arm jingling, yawing of the portable gaming device, or loud exclamations of victory (or defeat) by a hardcore gamer can sometimes render casual gamers angered enough to give the hardcore gamer the Productive Eye of Doom. This can make the hardcore gamer feel guilty...as if they should be perfecting their logic in chess, or becoming better acquainted with interior decorating with The Sims.
8. The Disrespectful, Yet Polite Decline Of Invitation
Although this is high up on the list, this is probably the most common imbuement of fear from the casual gamer. Yes, hardcore gamers know what it’s like to stand at a demo display console, mashing away at the PlayStation controller (exposed wire and all) and some casual-infected dad, grandfather, grandmother, etc., with their kids (grand kids) walk up to see what game the hardcore gamer is playing. The casual gamer will immediately use the PEoD on the hardcore gamer, and thus, the hardcore gamer feels inclined (and pressured) to invite the casual gamer to play, especially after seeing one of the kids holding a brand new Gameboy game in their hands. But instead, the casual gamer casually responds with “No Thanks...I only play pong.”
7. The Rise Of The Wii Play Scheme
There was no game that tricked gamers more than Wii Play. It was a collection of the most casual games a gamer could ever play, and was regarded as one of the most non-games on a console. Its success, however, was only propelled by a free Wii-mote. It was Nintendo’s Trojan horse into the hardcore sales charts...and it worked. Wii Play will forever be despised for the tactic Nintendo used to get it over. What’s more, though, is that if it worked once, it will work again, and hardcore gamers would do well not to fall for fool’s gold, twice. But casual gamers, on the other hand, may not see the scheme for what it is and could very well repeat history, further diminishing the quality of video games in general. This is definitely something hardcore gamers fear, and I can’t blame them.
6. NPD Charts For 2006, 2007 And 2008
When Hannah Montana and other non-game icons started invading the NPD charts in droves a few years back, it was time for hardcore gamers to start getting scared. The real kicker was the end of 2006, which was the build up of what was to come for 2007: the attack of casual console games. This was mostly due to the popularity of the Wii. From 2007 to 2008, hardcore gamers have been eyeing the charts, ensuring that Call of Duty, Halo or some JRPG is at least within the top 20, given that every month on end the NPD results have given more than a handful of the top spots to Nintendo and its casual crusade. It’s no longer about the PS3 versus the Xbox 360, hardcore gamers just want to make sure a favored hardcore title is on that list. It’s like ensuring that your manhood is still intact after riding on a bike with no seat. Anyway, this invasion of the casual console-consumer is definitely a thing hardcore gamers fear, and the NPD results haven’t helped assuage that fear.
5. The Nintendo DS
While catering more toward casual gamers than hardcore gamers, the Nintendo DS isn’t quite the most fearful thing hardcore gamers will face from the casual crowd. Heck, a casual gamer could be playing Cats & Dogs on their DS, while sitting across from a hardcore gamer playing the new GTA: Chinatown Wars on their DS. So while the N-to-the-D-to-the-S spells a majority of casual gaming for a casual crowd, there’s still some hardcore elements in it. Still, those hardcore elements are often times far and few. Besides, the Nintendo DS is the precursor, the little brother, the mini-Mii for what the Nintendo Wii has become. This is all thanks to the popularity of hardcore gaming-pwners such as Nintendogs and Brain Age.
4. The resurrection Of Second Life
Hardcore gamers were partially susceptible to help build up the ultimate collection of human depravity known as Second Life. This non-game easily captivated casual gamers, some hardcore gamers, housewives, and anyone else who had access to the net...even the non-humans known as News Anchors were captivated by this living trash-pile turned into an interactive, virtual world. Thankfully, this non-game faded quickly from the press after its successive boom. But if it ever did enthrall the casual crowd again, as it once did, there would be nothing the hardcore market could do stop this unholy, lag-infested entity.
3. The Addiction Of World Of Warcraft
While hardcore gamers can get addicted to a great many games, there is one game that infects gamers of all kind: World of Warcraft. Even though Maple Story is popular and well contained within the gaming-sphere of the casual community, the Blizzard beast known as WoW has attracted hardcore gamers, casual gamers and even has-been actors. This game has spawned a great many clones of no good value, and it has now become a race within the MMO development community to out-do World of Warcraft. This has resulted in casually useless MMOs that do nothing more than infect casual gamers with the same thirst for gaming of a hardcore gamer, but without the hardcore gaming. That’s just despicable.
2. Casual Gamers Could Own Hardcore Gamers
This is probably one of the biggest fears of them all; hardcore gamers being pwned by casual gamers. It’s possible that casual gaming could become the greater form of mainstream gaming. We already see a lot of commercials for casual games on the Wii – and titles such as Wii-Sports and Wii Fit are re-defining console gaming as we know it. When it gets to the point where casual gamers will have the greater dominance, selection and market control of video games, hardcore gamers will just be happy when EA adds simple things to their games...like a pimp-slap button to The Sims 10: The Casual Life.
1. The Nintendo Wii
Would you have imagined anything else being here? The number one spot for hardcore gamers fearing casual gamers is the uprising of casual consumers buying the casual king, the Nintendo Wii. This console has turned the tide of the war. While casual gamers already dominated the online scene, the MMOs and the petty yahoo time-busters, who would have thought hardcore gamers would have to deal with the casual crowd in console gaming? Even more so, who would have thought the casual crowd would be winning the next-generation of console gaming? When Sony and Microsoft have killed each other off with nuclear marketing attacks, Nintendo could be standing tall with their incorrigible casual machine, the Wii. That, is more fearful for a hardcore gamer than anything else in the entire world.