[MUD-Dev] Interesting EQ rant (very long quote)

Brian 'Psychochild' Green brian at psychochild.org
Wed Dec 13 00:31:28 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000


"McQuaid, Brad" wrote:

>> I find the phrase "The designers have been mesmerized by the hard
>> core gamers" highly representative. It's also a complaint that's
>> starting to be raised against Asheron's Call.
> 
> I guess this could now branch into a huge debate on what a hard core
> player is, what a casual gamer is, and whether there are other
> identifiable player classifications in this context (and I believe
> there definitely are).

I offered my two cents on the issue of different types of gamers in a
recent post entitled "Acting casual about casual gamers", (archive:
https://www.kanga.nu/archives/MUD-Dev-L/2000Q2/msg01269.php).  I
painted with a rather broad brush, but here's a run down.

Non-gamers, sometimes called "casual gamers": People that don't play
computer games.  Not that they won't ever play them, but they
currently don't.  They may play non-computer games, however.

Casual gamers: Someone who regularly plays computer games, but in
moderation.  This is the bulk of the computer gaming public, if you
believe the research.  These people buy a few games every year.  They
sometimes read up on the game industry, usually through a gaming
magazine.

Hard-core gamer: Someone who regularly plays computer games.  These
people buy several products within a month.  They're the "one
percenters", the die-hards that do most of the word-of-mouth
advertising for you, that buy nearly every computer gaming magazine,
etc.

I went on to explain why, in my opinion, commercial (graphical) MUDs
can benefit from trying to attract the casual gamer to their ranks.
I'll not bore the list with my opinions a second time. :)

Obviously, these aren't absolutes.  There's a scale between Casual and
Hard-core, and it's not unusual for people to fluctuate between
different positions on this continuum.  I know that I personally will
immerse myself in games one month, only to be too busy the next month
to throw the CD into the computer to get a quick deathmatch game done.

According to my definitions, EverQuest is definitely a hard-core
game. If I remember correctly, the average player spends 20 hours per
week on the game.  I know people who feel lucky if they can get 20
hours of *sleep* per week, let alone play a single game for that many
hours.

Anecdotally, I know several EQ players, few of which are "casual" in
any sense of the word.  Two of my roommates spend hours on the game
each night.  A local gaming store charges per the hour to use several
computers hooked up to a fat pipe to the internet, and they are often
filled by people playing EverQuest.  Even some developers I know have
let the game become a fairly time-consuming hobby for them.

Brad, I'm sure many people on the list would be interesting to hear
your thoughts on what makes a casual gamer vs. the other types of
gamers I've listed (or that I've perhaps overlooked.)  I look forward
to your reading definitions.

--
"And I now wait / to shake the hand of fate...."  -"Defender", Manowar
     Brian Green, brian at psychochild.org  aka  Psychochild
       |\      _,,,---,,_      *=* Morpheus, my kitten, says "Hi!" *=*
 ZZzz  /,`.-'`'    -.  ;-;;,_   "They're not bugs, they're 'place-
      |,4-  ) )-,_..;\ (  `'-'    holders for code that works.'"
     '---''(_/--'  `-'\_)         - Andrew Kirmse, Meridian 59 creator
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