Published on August 4th, 2012 | by Joseph Furguson0
Casual-Core Gaming: What is it?
Today, I propose that we create a new genre of games. Although we tend to argue about the labels, gamers tend to know the difference between a core game and a casual game. What about those games that are neither casual nor core? What about those games that are casual, but have hardcore elements. I propose that we call these kind of games casual-core.
What is a casual-core game? Casual-core is a game that has elements of hardcore gaming and casual gaming. It is a type of game that is so deceptively simple that it is a casual game but yet offers a lot of depth to the game play that rewards people who want to master it 100 percent. What is the most casual-core game sub-genres imaginable? Well, believe it or not, sports games and fighting games are the most casual-core you can find.
A fighting game is a casual-core game because it rewards both casual and hardcore players. Casual elements are flashy powers that make a player feel like a master gamer while play. Yet, it also has elements of that appease hardcore gamers as well. It rewards players for knowing what’s the best strategy for a character, and how that character beat other characters in the best way.
However, there are certain games that cannot be called casual-core games. No matter how hard you try to prove it, party games are not casual-core games. Any Mario Party game out there will not reward you for being better than anyone else. Racing games in general will not let you lap anyone. God of War is not a casual-core game either. In my opinion, it is more of a casual game than anything else. It really is not deeper than the simple “you are here, there is goal, go get goal”. Same with Uncharted actually. Sure, both games make a token effort towards core gaming, but not enough for true core games .
All core games are also casual-core games. They allow you to play for as long or as little as you want and still reward you just as equally. Even things that are called core gaming such as, most sandbox games, MMOs, anything with a massive multiplayer importance, open world games; they all have a casual-core element to them.
As for gamers, it is easier to define. If you can play a casual game to death and feel good about it, you are casual-core. If you can play any game that is not in the pre approved core mindset, whether it’s Madden, Bejeweled, or any of the Zynga games, you have the casual core mentality. If you can play an MMO for an hour a week, you are casual-core.
At this point, a lot of readers will start calling bullshit on it. To most of you, there is no such thing as casual-core gaming; only casual or hardcore. No one can play Madden for hours on end. Yet, these same people would defend their enjoyment of MMO grinding and endow it with core sounding terms.
“Core Gaming is a mindset and nothing more”
The problem comes from attitude. Every gamer knows what casual and core gaming is and anything that challenges it makes them angry. They know any game they like is a core game. If they hate the game and can’t understand why its popular, it’s a casual game. What is often lost in these debates are people’s attitudes towards them. Casual and core are mindsets and nothing more. People who play Madden intensely are core towards that game, just like people who can play World of Warcraft for hours on end.
Once again gamers, have a little perspective. Just because you don’t understand something does not make what you like better. Quit using the terms to deride things you do not understand because it does not help the argument. Instead, understand that things you like are not what other people like and vice versa. We all are enjoying the same passion and you need to accept that.