Games are what you make of them

Casual vs. Hardcore Games

Are you making casual or hardcore games? As a game developer, I hear this question quite often, and it has gotten me thinking. Maybe people should actually be asking "are you making games for casual or hardcore players?"

Dynamic pieces of art should be left open to interpretation by the consumer, so shouldn't this hold true for the ultimate art form? People tend to put labels on games. Call of Duty is hardcore. Angry Birds is casual. But, are they really? This statement may hold true for most, but so does the reverse. If you only play Call of Duty in short bursts, doesn't that make it casual? And if you only play Angry Birds for hours on end, doesn't that make it hardcore?

Why then are we so quick to place labels where they aren't needed. Humans are complex creatures, so who am I to say how you see your world, and who are you to say how I see mine? We all have different perspectives, tastes and motivations, so don't try and force me to play your game like you want me to; enable me to play your game how I want to.

We need to stop placing arbitrary labels and allow people the freedom to perceive the world around them in their own way. I don't know about you, but I think a world constrained by simple labels like casual or hardcore seems rather boring. I'm glad we don't live in that world.