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This GameDaily Biz article suggests that there are more segments of the gaming market than just the traditional casual vs. hardcore:

  • Power gamers represent 11 percent of the gamer market but account for 30 cents of every dollar spent on retail and online games.

  • Social gamers enjoy gaming as a way to interact with friends.

  • Leisure gamers spend 58 hours per month playing games but mainly on casual titles. Nevertheless they prefer challenging titles and show high interest in new gaming services.

  • Dormant gamers love gaming but spend little time because of family, work, or school. They like to play with friends and family and prefer complex and challenging games.

  • Incidental gamers lack motivation and play games mainly out of boredom. However, they spend more than 20 hours a month playing online games.

  • Occasional gamers play puzzle, word, and board games almost exclusively.

Read more here.


Sep. 9th, 2006 05:40 pm (UTC)
Okay, I'm curious: which game do you own?

Casual vs. hardcore is, in its most generic sense, about time commitment: how much time does the player spend, and to what degree? It's also about ... end game goals as opposed to perhaps more social goals.

A casual gamer may only have time, for whatever reason, to devote under 5 hours a week or so to playing. A hardcore gamer, on the other hand, spends much more than that. Because of this time allocation, he or she will reach the "end game goals" much faster than the casual gamer. This disparity can become particularly apparent in MMO games: I'll use World of Warcraft as an example.

When a player reaches level 60, much of their time is frequently spent in raids to get special gear. These raids are often scheduled, and require a significant time commitment: four or five hours is not uncommon. That can be a hurdle for the casual gamer, because that's a big chunk of time to give away on the weekend. Because of this, almost inevitably, the hardcore gamers have better gear because they play more, and have more opportunities to obtain it.

There are additional differences, but that's a brief overview. :)
Sep. 10th, 2006 07:44 am (UTC)
Ah, I see. Like any hobby, the serious enthusiast is going to have far more impressive abilities, collection, etc.

The game I had was Creatures for Linux, about 5 years ago. It wasn't that I didn't like the game, I just never put in the time required to remotely get it off the ground.


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