Does the hard-core gamer still matter?

Out of the top 20 selling games of 2008, less than half of them fit the profile of what type of game this MSNBC article considers appealing to the hard-core or serious gamer.  So I think the question shouldn’t be “can the Wii win back the hard-core gamer,” but rather “does the hard-core gamer still matter?”

The article goes on to say that Nintendo’s original ‘core gamers’ who grew up on Super Mario Bros are disappointed in games like Wii Sports Resort, but I think high sales of games like Mario Kart and Guitar Hero prove that the core audience is shifting to less mature titles.

Do you think violent/mature game fans should still be considered core gamers?

45 Responses to Does the hard-core gamer still matter?

  1. DaveRage says:

    The answer is yes. GTA 4 may have not outsold Wiiplay, but it was still VERY profitable.

    I mean, we all know the internet is mainly used for porn, so in a way, this question is kind of like asking, “Do website like CNN and MSNBC even matter anymore?”

  2. deepthought says:

    no. i usually find myself calling them the “hardcore” gamer.

    😛

  3. Craig says:

    @DaveRage GTA4 sold well, but it cost them a lot to make that game. Games like WiiPlay probably cost nothing to make, so whatever money that comes in is pure profit.

    I’d argue that a lot of Nintendo’s games this generation took very few risks in terms of game design (and cost). Zelda: TP used the Zelda: WW engine. Mario Kart Wii and Animal Crossing: City Folk are strikingly similar to their DS counterparts. WiiPlay builds upon the WiiSports engine. Pikmin and Mario Power Tennis Wiimakes. This is no way a bad thing, Nintendo still remains profitable “in these troubled times.” It also gives the gamer a more stable, complete experience. 32 tracks for Mario Kart Wii is a great deal. There are tons of levels in Smash Brothers. Super Mario Galaxy is full of galaxies. I feel if these games were on competing consoles they’d be buggier, $10 more expensive and it’d cost $15 in downloadable content to get the same experience.

  4. Soup says:

    At the end of the day, casual gamers have little to no loyalty to franchises or companies. If developers want to have a safe, guaranteed audience they can depend on to give their products more than a cursory glance, not to mention to serve as marketing street teams, they’ll need to make products that core gamers can appreciate.

  5. Lite says:

    Well, Nintendo is currently trying to attract the new player to gaming, so their core base is the softcore or casual gamer, as of now. But the hardcore gamer still matters because they play the more games. MadWorld, depicted right here, is probably not directed to the casual base.

  6. Rith says:

    if hardcore gamers were like people who LOVE chocolate and chocolate candy was the games, wouldn’t you crave more? You would make more chocolate to make the profit? Keep the thumbs shanking? Yes you would. Yes you do. Yes we do still count. I am. I do count.

  7. Rith says:

    and besides, I will NOT look to Nintendo at all for any hardcore anything exept a kiddy console with some cool titles like Metroid and the SSB series and Zelda series…and ofcourse Mario =3 (wtf is up with pokemon?)

  8. Derek says:

    “The article goes on to say that Nintendo’s original ‘core gamers’ who grew up on Super Mario Bros are disappointed in games like Wii Sports Resort, but I think high sales of games like Mario Kart and Guitar Hero prove that the core audience is shifting to less mature titles.”

    Maybe some, David. For me, I’ve shifted to another console. I’m not trying to be condescending toward Wii, but the system isn’t releasing as many games that align with my taste and preferences. Games I have to review aside, I haven’t played my Wii for personal gaming in a long, long time.

    MadWorld will probably change that.

  9. RoyalRook says:

    I just played MadWorld at a friend’s house. It’s a fun game, but way too easy, I can’t die unless I want to. It’s a mature/casual game if anything, definitely NOT hardcore. It’s really fun though, I had a great time while playing it.

    Violent/mature game fans are not the core gamers, hardcore gamers are. Casual games sell because they don’t make people angry.

  10. Attilio says:

    I guess the answer to that question depends on the perspective you are speaking from.

    A hard core gamer would say yes because he/she doesn’t want to be unimportant.

    Nintendo would say no because they’ve made a load of money with the Wii and have proven that you don’t need great graphics to sell systems/games.

    A ex-hardcore gamer might go either way. By “ex” I mean someone who has gotten a job/family and doesn’t have the time to play games as much as before but still enjoys them. He/she could say yes because they once were hardcore, but say no because they still buy games just don’t play them as much.

    I think what it comes down to is not how much you play a game, just how much money you spend on games. Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony don’t make money when you play a game, only when you buy it, and that’s what matters most.

  11. Richter says:

    Who cares what MSNBC thinks, really? Of the top 20, I’d put Mario Kart, GTA4, Madden, SSB, CoD 4 and World At War, Star Wars, Gears of War 2, NCAA Football, WotLK and Rainbow Six in the category of games that appeal largely to “core” gamers, whatever the hell that term means anymore. That would be 11 of the top 20. Enough with the articles looking to marginalize gamers who’ve played for a while. While I’m hardly blaming Nintendo, the fact is, the rush to bring in every last person they can by the game industry has resulted in the glut of lowest common denominator shit that’s flooded shelves. Core gamers aren’t gamers who just play violent games, they’re people who play a lot of games, and put a sizable portion of their disposable income into gaming. Those people matter to companies who are smart, as those are the people that tend to buy games that are well reviewed and popular amongst other “core” gamers, which accounts for pretty much every game on that list. You can release pure drek a few times and get away with it, but eventually you’ll alienate even the novice gamer.

  12. mr.cranky says:

    am i the only one who’s not crazy around here?? yes, my wii is my primary system, and i love it man. i HAD a 360, but you know what? i hated the games they offered and gave it to my brother. im probally the only old geezer here but in my day, the casual and “hardcore” both coexisted in gaming. a game like defender was hardcore, but there games everybody played were the pacmans, pong, tetris. there is no epic war between the core and casual. it’s journalism from scared nerds that are afraid to play with grandma. well, my point was that arcades crashed because they became too complex for casual players. i welcome the 2nd coming of the casual coming into the mix because it makes the industry more healthy. the only real threat to gaming is the “hardcore”. all they want is higher and higher production values and more of a cinematic feel….rather than having a fun expirence. you want proof? looked what happend to free radical,factor5, and now midway. they made bad bets trying to please the hardcore by making expensive Hi def games that they lost millions on because thier audience didn’t support them. if owning every nintendo system and enjoying everything from zelda to nintendogs makes me into a casual baby, then so be it, and screw you guys! i’m going to have fun playing madworld, mariokart, and a little wii fit…..and wii sports… BITCHES!!!

  13. deepthought says:

    good idea. enjoy those. ninja gaiden is probably too tough for you anyways, cranky.

    and besides- midways been making bad decisions for YEARS. they just finally got what was coming. not as familiar with the other studios.

  14. mr.cranky says:

    ninja gaiden almost unplayable with that horrid camera, but hey, it looks nice and thats what matters to you. free radical made the execellent timesplitters games but made a bad choice by making haze on the ultra hard to develop for ps3. if you own a wii, march on over to gamestop and pick up second sight, great game. and if own a wii, download the turrican games, they were made by factor 5, but they might be too hardcore and awsome for you!

  15. Eolirin says:

    Violent/”mature” (and I put that in quotes, because most of the “mature” games are mature in the same way that splatterpunk horror is mature and not in the way that say… Sin City or Apocalypse Now is mature.) games have never been anything more than a niche product, honestly. They appeal to a certain demograph, and that’s really all you can say about ’em. It doesn’t speak to anything other than their enjoyment of a sub-genre.

    And this also applies to attempts to define “core” games and “core” gamers (except in this case no one can even agree on what that sub-genre is!). The terms are silly, and trying to say that violent game fans are core or aren’t is similarly silly. Some are, some aren’t. There isn’t some mystical class of people with one gameplay preference, and there certainly aren’t two tribes of them at war with each other.

    What there are are certain thresholds for various elements of gameplay. This person won’t touch it if it’s too geeky, too kiddy, too this, too that. This other person won’t touch it if it’s too gorey, too frustrating, too mindless. And so on, and so forth.

    What we are seeing is a lowering of the frustration bar before you can get involved with games, and an increase in the general perception of gaming being a mainstream activity. And with that comes the breaking of some very long held niches in the general fanbase. Players who got frustrated before had to leave, since there wasn’t anywhere for them to go; there are alternatives now, so they stay, and they become part of the discourse (even if only indirectly, by virtue of their purchasing habits impacting NPD numbers). People that would never consider this whole “gaming” thing are now taking a look since it’s suddenly become kinda trendy and seen as more acceptable. And that means we’re also going to see a wider diversification of those different thresholds, because gaming prior to this did a very good job of driving a lot of people that would have had differing opinions away from the hobby.

    So are violent/mature game fans core gamers? Ask me again when Heavy Rain comes out and maybe we’ll have something to talk about.

  16. Protector one says:

    I matter. 🙁

  17. deepthought says:

    download the turrican games?? haha! i REMEMBER the turrican games. fo sho.

    and haze wasn’t bad b/c it was ps3. haze was bad because it was generic, and bad!

    and if you can’t handle some sweet sweet ninja action, making excuses that ninja gaiden black totally resolved, then go play pirates! or something. but always, ALWAYS remember, ninjas > pirates.

  18. Poochy says:

    and besides, I will NOT look to Nintendo at all for any hardcore anything exept a kiddy console

    @ Rith:

    I could get really worked up over that statement, but instead I’ll just ask you this:

    How, exactly, is Nintendo a “kiddy” console—since when does Nintendo make videogames targeted solely at kids? Kids don’t have money to buy lots of games and accessories, you know. Kids don’t give a shit about their weight, so they’re not going to run to their local Gamestop $90 in hand to buy Wii Fit. If Nintendo was making games specifically with children in mind, they wouldn’t make much money. Get off your hardcore high-horse, boy. I work with people older than you who play Wii and DS. Your notions of what is adult and what is childish are pathetic—I say that not out of bitterness but of honest-to-goodness pity for you and your ilk. Does it make me sound conceited to talk to you like this? I honestly don’t care if it does. Your comment was so shallow and empty-headed that I can’t imagine any of this will get through to your archaic hardcore gamer mind.

    @ Protected One:
    Indeed, “traditional”, “oldschool” gamers like you and me do still matter, but sadly it seems most of us have failed to adapt to an ever-changing industry where different, NON-RPG, NON-F/3PS games are all the rage. Perhaps we would do well to go back to our roots and rediscover the joy of playing games where you don’t constantly maim people in varied, mostly grotesque ways.

  19. Jack says:

    The problem with these articles is that they continue to use false labels and misnomers. Do hardcore gamers matter? I dunno, is the Tooth Fairy a necessary cog in dentistry? Same idea.

    Also, those people who crave violence and over the top death and destruction are a very small part of the overall picture. Always have been. M-rated games continually lack the numbers, year-over-year, that teen and E for Everyone enjoy. That many developers happened to share their taste and developed all their games for them was simply a symptom of a very sick, and very unsustainable industry. And now it’s, thankfully, going away.

    But, lazy journalists need to latch onto something, anything, especially in the “gaming press,” which is as much a PR wing of the industry it covers as CNBC is in the back pocket of Wall Street.

    The question should be, are more people playing video games today? They are? Great. Case closed. That a small % of this growing global population of interactive entertainment lovers is no longer enjoying the skewed, out of balance control they once held, well, who gives a shit? Seriously. Sionara! Toodles!

    The same goes for any number of developer studios that are closing shop today, and blaming it “on the economy.” Which is total BS of course, as they’re the same dolts who said the industry was recession-proof months before. What really happened is their $100 million development budgets weren’t supported by the audience size.

    We all have different tastes, and I’d argue every genre is being pretty well represented now, so I revisit the real question: Do gamers and games still matter? Of course they do, and that’s a WIN.

  20. Poochy says:

    We all have different tastes, and I’d argue every genre is being pretty well represented now, so I revisit the real question: Do gamers and games still matter? Of course they do, and that’s a WIN.

    Well said, Jack.

  21. deepthought says:

    poochy- the wii’s a kiddie console because, compared to other consoles, that’s who plays the wii. and that’s largely who games are made for. google “nielsen wii youngest joystiq” to see this. it’s the first link.

    and jack, lots of nongamers own the wii. just cause you own a bbq doesnt make you a chef. grabbing a wii and some games doesnt make you a gamer. sure you play games, but you really don’t have the talent or appreciation that I would like to see drive the game industry’s development. that’s why gordon ramsey will still tell you that you suck when you produce something that most people would be happy with. because the criteria of most people just isn’t very good. lowest common denominator is a sad way to go through life man.

    also, jack, your concept of recession proof is wrong. it doesn’t mean all firms in an industry survive all recessions, or even that the industry doesn’t take a hit in all recessions. it’s that they tend not to. pointing to this recession, and ignoring trends from performance in previous recessions, is just wrong. so we see the firms that were struggling fail in a recession- who’s surprised?

    and what type of tautological point are you proving anyways? their costs weren’t supported by their revenues? how insightful! your broader point, that those games CANNOT be supported, remains UNSUPPORTED.

    and here’s why you give “a shit” about the skewed people who worry about the future of game development. YOURE ONE OF THEM. Every time someone bitches and moans about no hardcore 3rd party games on the wii, THIS IS the tradeoff of lower technology and the casual focus. Is every genre really well represented on the wii? why again is everyone drooling over the conduit? a generic sci-fi FPS? BECAUSE IT’S NOT REPRESENTED.

    oh, and don’t calling people here dolts.

  22. Run line 10 says:

    I’m really tired of people writing like the above article. This is posted online also to get guess who the hardcore gamer to view them. The “hardcore” game goes online and gets into his fanboy fights and keeps all of his forums up to date. These guys keep sites like kotaku breathing. They have effectively became an arm of PR also even if they actually are hurting the platform they stand for.

    Most real gamers don’t talk about games online any more. It’s been years of fanboy fights about console , video cards, and political views that keeps people from becoming a part of the “hardcore internet gamer drama”.

    What the article does not realize is each gen produces a version of hardcore gamer. You may call the new gamers casual but I don’t see hardcore gamers seeking out their favorite games as much as these so called casuals. I can not go any where with out people asking for some of these casual games just to be told no we are out.

    Every hyped game that comes out the HD guys are waiting for it to become a system seller yet they all fail to understand the concept of the hardcore gamer.

    Each console gen a new version of hardcore gamer is created. Slowly but surely that hardcore gamer is forgotten and suddenly the industry struggles to find another cash cow.

    These casual gamers are actually a product of the PS brands dominance. They are the guys that bought all of those new type of games last gen. At the same time the type of gamer that would love the VC right now was forgotten.

    Yet this is the first time that the yell of the hardcore has gotten this loud against such a phenomenon. It happened when platformers died, beat em ups, Vs fighters, Pac man, etc.

    Yet I think it’s worst now because these are not just normal gamers that are mad they are PC gamers. The most hard to please group of gamers. They pay way too much for every thing and expect all hype to come true with out seeking any knowledge or understanding of why it can not happen.

    They often believe gaming can be pushed to some apex by one category or another . Sells can but the art of making a game can not. Why because you never know what the majority wants till you give things a try. Also the tech we use can be configured to do so many things.

    Yet developer are unable to figure out what the public wants unless they work like nintendo and do customer samples. Wii play and the Wii is not a lucky shot they tested the hell out of the idea.

    Any gamer a console can make is most certainly a hardcore gamer. Why do I say this because they actually own the console. A customer is a customer! Casual gamers only exists for console with secondary functions. Like say running linux, watching blu rays, Some thing that is not benefiting game play. This is why the Wii has no DVD play back…. it completely makes owner ignore other parts of the system.

    Now to illustrate my point tell me why UT3 is not enjoying the sells of a Halo3? The tech is obviously better right? It’s engine is used in many of the games they liked right? The funny thing is it cost less than Wii fit and Wii fit owners have to search even harder for it. Mario kart even has more players online than this game and most people that should like UT3 hate mario kart blue shell but millions of gamers still kick people but every day.

    Yet suddenly game like UT3 are falling way short of selling to these hardcore gamers that the HD console have created, why because they are over the FX of the UT engine and need a new high, which will ensure that most of the games on those system age true terribly. You can tell how well a game is love by how many copies are on the trade in wall.

    Before any of this happened there was a myth that the hardcore spent more money on gaming. That was true yet untrue. They spent more money on hype and collections, yet they are pale in comparison to a family that games together.

    When the industry realizes they are selling games to people who are being over sold product they will learn to move on to other types of hardcore gamers.

  23. Run line 10 says:

    @deepthought just because you own a HD console does not make you a hardcore gamer. Notice how great games are not selling on those consoles.

    Maybe you would be better off calling those console owners HD hardcore because that all they really want. Most will not play SF4, Soul calibur, and many other games that stem from true gaming roots rather than PC ports acting like console games.

    The HD hardcore is very disappointing. They rather talk about sells than tell people how good a game is. In fact I find more Wii owners sounding like hardcore gamers because they actually tell people about good games.

    Seriously the console war thing is old…. the hardcore is varied. Yes a soccer mom can be hardcore like a FPS HD fan, they both have preferences that I a hardcore gamer don’t care about.

    The problem is the past is thrown out when you guys speak of gaming. You are not seeing the divides with in gaming and why certain groups seem to be united into a representation of a group. This is bad for gamers and the industry. We are all Hardcore if we have bought our system of choice. It’s up to developer to then realize we are here.

    To say that the hardcore made the PS2 what it was is a mistake. HD console inherited this mistake.

  24. deepthought says:

    @ runline

    lol

    let me quote you to yourself:
    “Notice how great games are not selling on those consoles.”
    “[the HD crowd] rather talk about sells than tell people how good a game is.”

    hahaha- you can’t have it both ways. which is it? that’s a good argument or not?

    oh wait, maybe that’s a really subtle point about how YOURE in the HD crowd? man, very clever! either way, neither high def nor game sales were MY point.

    in fact, you managed to not talk about anything i said. so i have no idea why you directed your comment at me. feel free to clarify. let me help by summarizing myself:
    – wii = kiddie console
    – owning a wii doesn’t make you a gamer, much less a hardcore gamer. (note: nor does owning a ps60, by my logic)
    – something about recession proofing
    – not all genres well represented on wii
    – don’t call people “dolts”

  25. deepthought says:

    to clarify: i think you can be a harcore gamer with just a wii. i bet most people here are. i just think it’s harder and many find less fulfilling without another console. as evidenced by some posts.

  26. David says:

    What I really want to know is what you guys think of as a definition for a hardcore gamer. I guess the term is just too vague for me.

    Is it simply someone who plays a ton of video games?
    Or someone who plays games as their primary hobby?
    Or someone who plays mature/violent games?

  27. Oz says:

    The only reason Nintendo was successful was the dedication that its fans had to its consoles which were less kiddy than today.

    We know this is true because most gamers that have moved on from the Wii knew the market that Nintendo was aiming for. That isn’t to say that they didn’t do well, since they are literally printing money.

    But as an owner of the Wii, and generations of Nintendo systems before that: GC, N64, and SNES; I can safely say that Nintendo does not have its priority on the “Hardcore segment”. Apart from its technical shortcomings its hard to take a Nintendo game seriously unless it is an exceptionally good game.

    The last game that I’ve actually played and repeatedly finish was NMH. I may pick up MadWorld, but apart from that there doesn’t seem to be anything interesting even considering the control scheme.

    As soon as I picked up a new PC, I immediately picked up a ton of new games that dwarfs the best the Wii has to offer to a gamer. Since this is a Nintendo blog, I have to say that in relation to the Wii, which is the primary platform for the company, the “hardcore” is nothing 10-15 percent of their actual target audience.

  28. razorkid says:

    Nothing satisfies me more in pure meatiness in gaming than that on the PC. So as far as I’m concerned the PC is on a whole ‘nother stratosphere from where console gaming lies.

    To the point of hardcore gaming, it’s interesting to me that the debate on who is hardcore and what is hardcore is so much more vocal this generation. A couple thoughts I’d like to interject:

    – I agree with Run Line 10 about each generation having its own version of what hardcore was. You were hardcore in nes/snes gen if you owned alot of games. You were hardcore in PS1/N64/Saturn gen If you owned alot of sports/wrestling/jrpg’s. You were hardcore in Cube/PS2/xbox gen if you owned alot of M rated games. This gen??? who knows.

    – This is the first generation in which we “old school hardcore” (us guys/gals 24+ who’ve been gaming hard since atari/nes days in the mid 80’s) have collided into the “new school hardcore” ( anybody below 21). Its like we’re gaming alongside ourselves from 10-15 years back. Now we have careers/families/responsibilities that take up our priorities and time where the new school do not, so our definition of what’s hardcore for us NOW will certainly differ from the young’uns

    – Certainly because of the definition change of harcore from gen to gen, we can’t apply the old to the new. We have to come up with a new one for each gen I think.

    -Mine would be regardless of what console you own, from handhelds to the pc, if you are someone who plays a variety of games, are profecient at them, and dedicate the majority of your free time AND spending cash on gaming, then you are a hardcore gamer.

  29. I think the term “hardcore gamer” applies to anyone who’s really, really, really into videogames. If you go to videogame blogs like this frequently, if you care enough about them that you keep up on all the industry news, if you’re arguing about games and industry trends on message boards… that’s not a casual interest in videogames, that’s hardcore. Even if your favorite games are family-friendly stuff, if your interest is that intense then you’re hardcore.

    Actually, i think this is a really good indicator: if you’ve ever imported games from a foreign country, you’re hardcore.

  30. Lite says:

    I’m lost. So I’ll just say that the hardcore gamer still matters, and go away.

  31. Poochy says:

    @ Deepthought:

    Since you do not think Run Line 10 properly addressed your claims, allow me:

    The Wii is a kiddie console

    First off, who uses words like “kiddie” other than arrogant fools who wish to trump their own self-professed “maturity”? Injecting “lol”s (lowercase, at that!) into your responses doesn’t make you look any smarter, either. If you want people to take the time to respond to you, you need to give them a reason to, and most people are put off by arrogance and lazy writing.

    Second, the Wii is not a kiddie console because every single keynote speech that Reggie Fils-Aime and Satoru Iwata have ever delivered at the many gaming conferences they have attended has mainly consistent of three points:

    – Here is what we’re doing

    – Here is how we’re doing it

    – Here’s who we are reaching out to: everyone.

    Since you seemed to take pleasure in Run Line 10’s failure to provide an adequate response to your comments, let me point out your failure in addressing a key point of mine from earlier: kids don’t buy Wii Fit–adults do. Why on Earth would Nintendo launch a billion-dollar ad campaign for what is essentially a glorified weight scale if their established audience was made primarily of children?

    I could give you numbers, quotes, etcetera, but what’s even better is that I can personally attest to Nintendo’s success in reaching out to an Expanded Audience.

    I’m 25 years old, have an OK life which basically consists of going to work, playing video games, and going to church (not necessarily in that order, though). Because of my interest in video games (and because I’m sort of a goofball) I know, and are friends with many young teens from my church’s youth group. Of these, none of have Wii Fit or had even played with Wii Fit until I had brought to a youth meeting one day and showed everyone.

    At work, it’s a different story: I know at least four young-to-middle-aged women who each own a Nintendo DS and Wii, two of which have Wii Fit, and have on several occasions heard them discussing Rayman: Raving Rabbids, Wii Fit, Cooking Mama, and Wii Sports. Quite a few of them are Guitar Hero and Rock Band fanatics, again thanks in no small part to the Wii.

    To reiterate: Nintendo does not make kid’s games. Kids play Nintendo consoles, but that doesn’t make the Wii a “kiddie” console by any means since most of the software sold on the system comes from Nintendo themselves and they are the ones pouring billions into advertising to adults.

    But that’s not what you want: what you really want is for me to address the Nielsen report. Fair enough. The Nielsen report proves that the Wii is played by a younger audience than the other two “leading” consoles. But that was only half the report—it also showed that the Wii is played more by adults females than the PS3 and X-Box 360. Which shouldn’t matter to you and probably isn’t worth mentioning since in your mind those aren’t “real” gamers.

    Therein lies the problem with you and your ridiculously tired argument:
    You are convinced that “real” gamers look a certain way, act a certain way, and buy certain kinds of games. The problem doesn’t exactly stem from the gaming community, in my opinion. To be frank, it is for the most part a problem with America (I know I’m going out on a limb here, but I’d bet anything you are American). In America we have long-standing preconceptions of how men and women should behave: men are tough, and like over-the-top action, thrills and sex, guns, explosions and speedy chases. Women are thought to be more emotional, delicate creatures who value companionship, honesty, respect and loyalty. Every generation there are celebrities and role models from both genders who rise up to challenge these preconceived notions of how to be a boy and how to be a girl, but it always remains an issue whether people want to admit it or not.

    Mr. Hardcore gamer, you are a guy. Ever wonder why so many self-professed “hardcore gamers” are guys? It’s not because the girl gamers aren’t out there—they are, and many of them are playing the same games that you are. But girl gamers are in a unique position: it is socially acceptable for them to play “cute” games. It is not childish at all for a girl to play Yoshi’s Story or Animal Crossing. But put these games in the hands of a male who for all his life has learned, even at a subconscious level, that men must grow out of cute, “girly” things–shun them and abandon them, give them labels such as “kiddie”, and he begins to worry what people will think of him if he is seen playing such games. A 25 year old man playing Yoshi’s Island DS? God forbid, lest people think he is gay! But I am certainly not gay, and I am not in the least embarrassed to be seen playing such “cute” games. These games were not made with only children in mind—if they were, you’d be collecting numbers and letters of the alphabet instead of red coins and flower points. There would be a moral at the end of each world instead of a boss followed by a score screen. In other words, it wouldn’t be unlike standard Disney Channel fare!

    Once the majority of gamer guys (i.e. the 18-24 crowd) can start to overcome their own preconceived ideas of what society deems acceptable for them to play, you’ll start to see labels like “hardcore” disappear. It will be like it was in the early days, where there was only video game players and non-video game players. Good games and bad games. The solution isn’t in eliminating the terms “casual” and “hardcore”, because that in itself I think will not cause much change. The changes that need to take place are social and cultural ones, and those I’m afraid, are a lot harder to bring about than simply eliminating the two aforementioned words.

  32. deepthought says:

    come on poochy. stop putting words in my mouth. girls can’t be gamers? real gamers look a certain way?

    i guess i’d agree with act a certain way: they play games.

    but the rest of that? it’s pretty funny that your accusing me of stereotyping. you’ve done the most stereotyping of anyone on this entire thread!

    i’m with lite now- i’m out. bedtime. okemo tomorrow… 🙂

  33. razorkid says:

    well said and I agree.

  34. Eolirin says:

    @deepthought, funny, I don’t think Jack ever mentioned that all genres were well represented on the Wii.

    They *are* well represented though, with industry taken as a whole. You can trip over generic sci-fi fps games if you take a look at the 360 and PS3; if you’re not into what the Wii provides there are options. It’s just, as I said before, that the people that were interested in what the Wii provides previously had few options, and now they have a lot more. Wii gamers were underrepresented. Nintendo knew that and decided that an untapped market was probably a better target than a slowly constricting one. That those people were so much more numerous in number than those interested what the previous niches being filled by the industry provided is almost incidental; it’s more coincidence and good luck on Nintendo’s part that that particular market segment was much larger than anyone expected.

    But without the Wii, there is a missing pillar in gaming, a very large void that is very profitable to fill. It should not come as a suprise that someone’s going to chase that market.

  35. Eolirin says:

    Oh, and to answer David’s question: there’s a reason why it’s so vague, and it’s because different people mean different things by it.

    So it’ll shift depending on who you’re talking to and the context of the conversation.

    To some, it’s enjoying the same genres they like, to others it’s about skill level in terms of baseline understanding of gaming principles, others about the amount of time they spend with the activity. It shifts and warps and changes to fit whichever particular theme the person using it wants it to, which is why it’s so destructive to discourse.

    Without common vocabulary, you end up mired in miscommunication and it becomes far too easy to avoid valid points. And it’s almost always used as a pejorative, whether by means of contrast or comparsion, so it really has no place in any discussion anyway.

    We should instead be trying to define what the thresholds of enjoyment are, where the genre boundaries are, and where the division between setting genre and gameplay genre is, and focus on that. It’s a lot less black and white – there are a lot more data points -but it’s the only rational way to approach the issue.

    I would suggest starting with an examination into the level of immersion required in terms of both time commitment and emotional investment and move on from there.

  36. Poochy says:

    Deepthought, I apologize if you feel that I stereotyped you. The comment about gamers acting a certain way and playing certain types of games was based around this paragraph:

    and jack, lots of nongamers own the wii. just cause you own a bbq doesnt make you a chef. grabbing a wii and some games doesnt make you a gamer. sure you play games, but you really don’t have the talent or appreciation that I would like to see drive the game industry’s development. that’s why gordon ramsey will still tell you that you suck when you produce something that most people would be happy with. because the criteria of most people just isn’t very good. lowest common denominator is a sad way to go through life man.

    Gordon Ramsay is a professional chef. You do realize you sound incredibly arrogant by implying that your taste in video games is comparable to his in food? I like hot dogs served with a bowl of corn chips slathered with chili and nacho cheese, but there isn’t a damn person on this planet who can tell me that Gordon Ramsey’s asparragus soup with fresh cheese droûtes and monkfish with creamy curried mussels. When it comes to games, like food, personal taste is everything and to the average individual lofty ideas such as culture and refinement mean squat. This isn’t sad; in fact, I could just easily call it said that gourmets waste so time and effort trying to satisfy themselves with rich, intricate dishes instead of being content with simpler food and less of it. In fact, that is exactly my view of you. If we’re using food analogies and let’s say you think Wii Sports is cold ham sandwich and Gears of War is wine and caviar, well….that is the saddest thing I have ever heard.

    You don’t seem to be taking any of this seriously, and in fact you seemed to be amused, thinking that I was over-reacting and putting words in your mouth. Very well. Then you won’t mind me leaving you with this one little truism: you’ll be much happier the day you realize that throughout life, in many cases less is more. Why do you think it is that little children often seem so much happier than us adults? Here’s a hint: They aren’t only happy because their needs are being taken care of: after all, they have troubles and heartaches, too. They’re happy because they don’t always get what they want, and they don’t always get the best (most kids, anyway). They can be happy with something even if it’s not technically superior. When it comes to having fun they have a very simple world view and they are not hard to please. Next time you say that a person who plays title A, B, and C (even if it’s nearly the only titles that person plays on the one console they own) instead of playing titles X, Y, and Z isn’t really a gamer—think about that.

  37. Poochy says:

    I really wish there was preview button sometimes. A correction to the above post (I’m really sorry):

    I like hot dogs served with a bowl of corn chips slathered with chili and nacho cheese, but there isn’t a damn person on this planet who can tell me that Gordon Ramsey’s asparragus soup with fresh cheese droûtes and monkfish with creamy curried mussels

    is better food than what I feed myself.

  38. Phil Myth says:

    I still can’t understand why only one or the other can matter. Why can’t we have both?

    Sometimes I enjoy a quick blast on world of goo, others a blast on MOH. In much the same way I occasionally want to listen to Pantera and others I’d rather listen to BB King. The two are not mutually exclusive, so as long as developers still show an interest in both styles of games, then all the better for us as we’ll have a wider range of games to choose from.

  39. ResidentialEvil says:

    My question is actually different..does Nintendo still matter to the “hardcore” gamer?

  40. Poochy says:

    does Nintendo still matter to the “hardcore” gamer?

    For the most part, no. Most hardcore gamers are stuck in the “purple lunch box” mentality of the Gamecube era.

  41. mr.cranky says:

    has anybody done the real ending in no more heroes on the bitter diffuclty? thats hardcore. whatever you do, think, thinking gets you killed on that diffuculty! anybody beat fakeman on mega man 9? thats hardcore, but was dissapointed when i made it to him and found out he was just the cop robot in one of the cutscenes.

  42. Nope I don’t consider myself a core gamer, I am just a video gamer and I and happy and proud with that. Core gamer has gotten too cliché, what does it even mean anymore. You play video games or you don’t, I don’t give a crap if your a core gamer or not, and your not going to receive a higher status or more respect if you are a core game. Core gamer does not make you better, kinder, smarter, or stronger. Even though I don’t play video games everyday (some times I go a week or more not playing games, sometimes Ill play a game for 5 hours strait) or I don’t play halo does not mean I am not a core gamer. IF I were to label myself a core gamer it would be because I have been playing video games since I was four years old (that’s 1987) so you youngins who were born in the 90’s bitch and complain about the core gaming definition can go sit on a flag poll. CORE GAMER MEANS JACK SHIT! Actually core gamer means get a life, you pizza faced apple pie suffer.

    PS I don’t hate any of the infendo readers, just letting IT out.

  43. Oz says:

    @ Mr.Cranky

    The real ending on the hardest difficulty took quite some time, and dedication. Henry is a beast as well as one of the coolest characters in a game.

  44. […] the video game industry grew up and acted like a responsible adult.  I’m not talking about mature games.  It needs to be more like its older siblings, movies and music, when it comes to fulfilling […]

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