Thursday, April 19, 2007

Definition of casual/hardcore playing

There are many possible approaches to define Casual and Hardcore playing. This is a more crisp one than used in my casual games and gender paper.

Level of 'hardcore' playing:
= Amount of effort invested into a game session.

Types of effort:
  • Time
  • Money
  • Game Capital
  • Social investment (self reflection against social norm)
Less invested effort means more 'casual' play session.

Time: Time you are investing in a game session

Money: Money your investing in a game session

Game Capital: Similar to Human Capital theory you are acquiring Game Capital which is your individual experience with (computer) games. A player will have to master using a mouse and the keyboard in a pretty decent way before he can play an FPS in any reasonable manner (my grandma can’t do that). When you are playing a game session you are automatically bringing your game capital with you. So you already have made this investment into your game capital long before you start the gaming session in question.

Social investment: There are many stereotypes surrounding playing computer games. Many people don’t want to be associated with these stereotypes. Imagine your grandma playing a violent game like Quake. For example most elder people and especially females seem to dislike violent games. Playing these games is not what they are supposed to do. It would not feel right for them to engage in an activity they (partly wrongly) associate with young males. Bridging this gap between the social norm of what you should do on one hand and what you actually do on the other is what is meant with social capital.

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