Saturday, July 6, 2013

Hardcore vs. Casual, Part 2: Opposing paths

In the last article we discussed the differences between hardcore, softcore, casuals and enthusiasts. Today let´s take a look at the reason why these groups can´t coexist peacefully within a single game.

1. Where do you stand?

To illustrate the issue at hand, I used my extensive MS Paint skills and created this graphic:

Now it´s your turn: try to place a dot in the area of the circle that is most descriptive of your video game preferences. To make it easier for you, look at the following example where I judged my own habits:

Once upon a time, when I was young and could play countless hours a day without worries, I would have counted as a gaming enthusiast. The allocated time shrunk rapidly when I grew up and nowadays I barely play 3 hours a week. So you can put me into the casual crowd. However, I still enjoy games far more that offer a substantial challenge or complicated game mechanics , so I tend to the hardcore side, too.

2. Opposing paths

Did you try to categorize yourself with the graphic at hand? If you did so, you may have noticed that you are not able to combine properties from the opposing sides of the circle.
The more you lean towards the hardcore side, the more you distance yourself from the softcore fraction. The same happens with casuals and enthusiasts. To put it simple, if you apply this concept to video games you can´t have a game that is very easy and very hard at the same time. Likewise, a game can´t require a lot of time investment and almost no time investment at the same time.

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