Casual gaming trend is on the uprise with students

The evolution of gaming has caused the video game industry to focus more on making smaller and cheaper games for portable devices, rather than creating longer and more in depth games for consoles and computers.

By Jonathan Mapilison | Artist

Video games may have once been considered solely for antisocial outcasts; but lately there has been an upsurge in “casual gaming,” and it is changing the way people play. Video games are becoming more numerous and accessible as technology evolves as well, whether on a phone, a television, tablet or any other device. David Walters, a senior, confirms that the technology used every day is changing the way video games are played.

“Smartphones allow ease of access to games,” Walters said. “This makes casual gaming more appealing.”

The casual games genre consists of Angry Birds, Cut the Rope, FarmVille and Words with Friends among many others. Casual games are mostly available through mobile application markets such as Google Play and Apple’s App Store, but can also be found online, especially within social networking communities such as Facebook.

Contrary to casual gamers, a genre of video gaming known as “hardcore gaming” has been prevalent throughout video game history, and the rise of casual gaming has been affecting their culture. Senior Dillan Holman said people are losing interest in traditional gaming.

“In America and around here, there has been a push for casual gaming because of waning interest and hectic schedules,” Holman said. “[People] don’t have the initiative to play games into the hardcore status.”

Hardcore gamers can be stereotypically identified as individuals who spend large amounts of time competitively playing video games. Walters effectively sums up the comparison between casual gamers and hardcore gamers.

“Casual gamers kill time and hardcore gamers make it,” Walters said.

Senior Curtis Ware, a hardcore PC gamer, explains why one would choose to play hardcore games rather than simple casual ones.

“They [hardcore games] let you escape reality,” Ware said. “You could have a crappy life, but online you could be the person everyone looks up to. Hardcore games give the player the opportunity to have a second life; one that is social and competitive and allows you to feel like a badass even when you’re really not.”

The rise in casual gaming has been met with mixed reactions among hardcore gamers. For some, the spotlight that companies have been shining on casual games is concerning.

“Companies are beginning to spend more time on casual games instead of the details of hardcore games,” Walters said. “This leaves hardcore gamers with less content while the companies continue to profit.”

On the other hand, some hardcore gamers believe this upsurge in video games will shed new light on the gaming community.

“I feel like casual games will get more people into video gaming,” Ware said. “I feel like people should not be judged for playing video games. We don’t judge people for reading a book and, in essence, it’s the same thing. Hopefully casual games will give others a better understanding of why we [hardcore gamers] play.”

As technology advances, so too does that content that comes with it. But amongst all the change, hardcore gamers, like senior Chase Pickett, said they will continue to do what they do best.

“Hardcore gaming is dying but it will always exist,” Pickett said. “These changes may expand the industry, but classical gaming will never die.”