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I posted some thoughts about this a few months ago. I think it it comes down to a question of literacy, myself (as well as community involvement and a few other factors).


Hm, that's interesting Darius - seems like there is a "Breadth" axis and a "depth" axis here, and then there's the thrid time factor axis. Left to my own devices I would score highly on depth and time factor with a game like Oblivion (which I played for 30+ hours the first week)... but I don't get into a whole lot of games. Maybe we should have personality profiles and tests and names for various configurations of how your behavior plots along these axes.


In our research into the gaming audience, we found that focussed attention on a single game was indeed a property of the casual segment.

Of course this depends upon how one chooses to define 'hardcore' and 'casual'. For our study, we used self assessment - only players identifying as 'hardcore' were considered hardcore. (A common alternative choice is to use number of playing hours over a time interval as the distinguishing factor).

Players self-identifying as Hardcore played many different games, with varying degrees of dedication and focussed attention. For instance, our H2 Manager sub-segment were hardcore by self-assessment but not associated with completing games, which was more associated with the H1 Conqueror sub-segment.

It was quite common for a player in the casual segments to play one game for a long period of time - for instance, one of the case studies was a middle aged female player who played only The New Tetris, and had been doing so for over a year.

According to the data in the DGD1 survey, the sort of behaviour you are talking about probably correlates with the C4 Participant play style, but this is only a supposition on my part.

However, as a contrary position on the same point, the Participant play style was the only segment for which we did not identify a significant Hardcore segment. Since 'hardcore' was determined by self-assessment, it may be that if we used a different criteria, this cluster would have subdivided into hardcore and casual clusters, and your claim above would be validated.

If you are interested in looking into our research, the free brochure we produced is here:
(although there were some inaccuracies in this initial report).

Alternatively, there is our book '21st Century Game Design', which goes into considerably more detail on the research.

(Note that this study purposefully avoided focussing on gender as a prime factor, instead identifying differences in play style)

Best wishes!


Wow, I had no idea there was such a broad definition of what a casual game could be. I guess I always think of casual games as the kind you find on Pogo and those other online gaming places.


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