An Open Letter to the "Gaming Community" about labels
We are all gamers. White, Black, Purple, Tentacle Monster or even Human, we're all people who share a passion, and the fact that we share that passion should create a bond between us. However, some amongst the crowd are what any psychologist would call a grade A sociopathic. They seem to dislike this idea that their hobby could be shared with others and live with an indescribable drive to call themselves "Hardcore" and separate themselves from the rest they call "Casuals".
You're a kid in a school yard. You have a shiny red ball that you really enjoy playing with. Some other kid shows up with a shiny blue ball that they really enjoy playing with. Neither of you are kicking each other's ball away, the ownership of one ball doesn't interfere with another. She's not getting in your way. You're not getting in her way.
Think about it this way: we were all "casuals" at one point. If you really want someone to be "hardcore" at a game or something, then treat "casuals" well since they will eventually be "hardcore" in a sense. Also, there are times when people may simply prefer casual games. People just have different tastes sometimes.
Ascribing grave psychological dysfunction to the group identity at issue makes me wary.
Even if we follow this argument that a significant problem is betrayed by the inclination of so-called hardcore gamers to disassociate themselves from an influx of newcomers, doing so at the cost of some mild ostracism, sociopathy seems a rather hyperbolic charge to make.
Sony (through Kevin Butler in your example) would naturally preach universality; their aim at the time was to sell the Move and grow the PS3 install base. That a number of PlayStation fans might've disagreed with the chosen course is not grounds for calling them "sociopathic". Humans will be tribal in one way or another. A few longtime gamers can be convinced that Wii-loving retirees are fundamentally the same as them, but others won't buy it. That's just reality.
Opposing the mere existence of unconventional video games may be ridiculous, but so is suggesting absence of any meaningful distinction between a middle-aged mom who's really into this or that mobile puzzle game and a multi-genre gaming veteran with extensive knowledge of the medium.
Film has movie buffs; literature has bibliophiles; video games have gamers, or whatever you're pleased to call them.
I knew I saw this article before. Hey, Seraphna!
I've had this train of thoughts for a while and could never find the right words to express it. Thank you for pointing this out in a perfect way. I can't wait to see more of you.
This is in fact a great article and it was a good read but to show you my perspective it was the so called "casual" that started to give us names first and then they step in our "territory" with games more appealing and more acceptable to the social mass.
While I agree that they are no casual or hardcore, considering someone devoted to games so strongly that somewhere down the road he wants to make it a job lead to musicians, filmmakers and developers of our beloved games and not something I would consider beeing something evil/bad.
But I would have thought it began way back than just school. Think why someone is called smith or taylor. They began to be good at something.
Cracking article, and I entirely agree. I don't see the point in the so called "hardcore" gamers shunning the wider population who want to get into games. They are just strengthening many of the negative stereotypes that exist around gaming culture, and making the clear thinking gamers suffer, because people think we are all rage-filled basement-dwellers. Plus the more people who are into gaming, there will be a higher quality and variety of games being produced.
I really enjoyed reading this and couldn't agree more. I love gaming, but I also love getting to share gaming with the people around me. Getting my parents to play Wii Sports was fun, but the fact I play Wii with my parents didn't stop me from playing Borderlands on my own.
Casual games scare hardcore gamers because they think it might effect hardcore games, like take funding away from hardcore games. I like your example about the 2 different balls being played with in regards to this concern. Hardcore games are their own market and they are here to stay. Casual games will not replace hardcore games; they will simply increase the number of people that appreciate video games as a fun hobby.
I admittedly used to have a problem with casual games myself, but finally came around to this way of thinking. Hopefully, more people will realize the benefits of casual games after reading this. Thank you.
Also I think some of these people who don't like "the casual gamers" are living in some sort of delusion that gaming is never going to change if they just whine enough about it.
Well I only choose to use the extrem exampel of nazism to make my point as clear as possible not to say its the same. I still stand by my point thou, people that ostracise other people on such a shallow premise as your body type or if you like videogames or not is not people worth having in your life. I do agree with you on the point that it is awsome that videogames are reaching a wider spectrum of people thou.
You're taking the term "cool" and inappropriately applying it here. The only context I used was that of a comparison between the old schooled "geek vs. normals", "cool" people as mentioned would be the common person, someone who isn't stricken with stigma. It's not really the same as comparing the normative people of Germany in WW2 to members of a political party / military. You're making a deeply extreme comparison rather then one on the level of the context provided.
The point of what I was saying there particularly was the idea that an ostracised person choosing to demand a continued life under a social stigma and wanting to scare anyone away from accepting them for what they are is a symptom of sociopathic behaviour.
Personally, I would not want to hang out with people who judge me for my looks or my body shape, but at the same time I would not try to enforce on them that they SHOULD judge me for such things. This is the extreme I'm speaking about.
I love that you did this article Seraphna! This sums up how some of us grew up and how it felt for us when we would be singled out due to our interests. Hell, I still get that today even as mainstream as gaming has become. Sadly though, the gaming community is now divided (Not so much on Screwattack, from what I can see) I know people that will only play Call of duty or Madden... And god help you if you try to suggest something like Darksiders or Dragons Dogma. There are more than one sub-communities withing the gaming community and that cannot be helped. Some kids just want to play Angry birds on their phones (Why a kid has a phone is beyond me) while others might be walking around with Pokemon black 2. Luckily though, as an expecting parent, I'm hoping my child won't have to deal with being picked on and singled out just because they have a love for video games, Seeing as how it's a more socially accepted idea now. That being said, I think that the labels exist for a reason. Not to be malicious or mean to a certain community, but rather that The Fable series is not a hardcore game (Seeing as how short and easy it is to play, just for the experience) and Ninja Gaiden is (Even hardcore gamers have a hard time completing this one <_<). But that is not to say that some games don't cater to both parties. Look at world of warcraft, a casual mmo with the options to go hardcore. Or Mortal kombat (netherrealm does a good job catering to both play styles.) In conclusion, the labels are around for a reason, not to belittle a catagory of person or pick on them, but to label the type of gamer they are. If anyone is using them against a fellow gamer, odds are they're just a gramer anyways. ^_^
THANK YOU, amazing article filled with valid points. I simply hate using the terms "hardcore" and "casual" gamers yet I'm forced to use them when dealing with others. We are all different, all have different likes and dislikes, it's stupid to say someone's a "hardcore gamer" simply because they play a specific type of game. I love rhythm games and dancing games because I'm a hip hop dancer, so why would I be any less of a gamer because I like games that appeal to a huge part of me?
"It takes a sociopath to be offered the chance to be the cool person in the room and to look at all those people who we can finally reach and understanding with and simply state: "No."
i think you are wrong here. I think it is sad if you actually buy in so hard to the idea of being "cool or not cool" that its something you cant reject if its on the cost of your personal beliefs. In 1939 in Germany I bet it was really cool to be a nazi, were you a sociopat if you said no then? Let go of the whole idea of so called coolness and just be yourself and be a nice helpful person and you will reach the same kind of people in return. Why would you even want to hang out with people who would judge you for being "a small, weak person. With Caucasian looks and all the downsides of Japanese ancestry, including a tiny size", they are obviously some real doucebags and of a very low intelligence.
Talking about "hardcore vs casual" it is a subject that has been discussed to death in my opinion and one of not that big importance. I use the expression usually to divide games in to two genres when discussing with friends, and this need to get rid of the casual gamers in my view is nothing but growing pains for an industry that has come in to the mainstream. Some pretentious people will moan and sigh for a while and then they will either start doing something els or accept it for what it is.
I agree completely with your statements. My aversion to the term 'casual' in gaming is for the games themselves. 'Casual' games normally bring about thoughts of lazy and non-inventive game production. By all means, the more gamers the better; but game production should always strive for top shelf quality, not just quick money grabs.
Gaming in general has become more "Mainstream" recently.
I remember when I was a kid when I had my gameboy and baby sitting just to afford a copy of pokemon gold people looked at me like I was a freak of nature.
Now "My kids are gamers" Is a regular term as I try to sell them a half decent internet service but the parents insist that a 3MBPS connection is enough for 4 computers + other things *rolls eyes*
Most of the people who are now looking at us like freaks I'll give you a real example.
At lunch hour at work I pull out my DS and play alittle bit of pokemon black 2.
They look at me like I'm a freak then pull out some kinda blackberry or iphone or something of that kind.
I kinda glance back like "So you people made fun of me all these years yet now your useing that stuff daily..." Hell people are way more addicted to their phones now compared to us gamers.
Not only that gaming does teach good morals. I dont smoke, do drugs, and only drink alittle bit. Why? Cause if a game comes out I want, I want to be able to afford it. Not cause the government tells me that stuff is bad
At times the argument reverses to hardcore gamers are bad. But whats wroing being that? Or casual for that matter. What games counts as which? And do we need those walls? Made me think. Good job.
Thanks for the fix and the compliment. :3
Are you clicking on "Source" on the upper left corner of your blog and posting the embed code in the HTML?
I agree entirely. people look at me and my buddies and think were on an entirely different planet, since were a lot more into games than others. And since you've done a great job with this, you have just earned a sub.
Fixed it! And great blog BTW.