At the end of today's class, I was partnered with Gianna for a discussion on hardcore vs. casual gaming. While I started on the hardcore side and she was on the casual side, we ended up being pretty similar gamers. Our discussion of Diner Dash was pretty quick - we both found it to get a bit boring and repetitive - but we ended up on the topic of hardcore games in general.
Our question about hardcore games vs. casual games is where the boundary line is drawn between the two. What are the essential characteristics of a hardcore game, for example, and how many of these characteristics must a game possess to be considered truly hardcore? We talked about a few different games to try to figure it out, including both Halo and World of Warcraft, generally considered to be hardcore, and The Sims, which seems more casual. Halo and World of Warcraft might be seen to have more obvious "progression" built into the software - levels progressing, avatars progressively gaining characteristics/abilities - whereas The Sims' progression relies more on the player's creation of narrative. We thought that maybe it was the creation of a concrete gaming community that made a game hardcore, but a quick search online shows that The Sims has a well-developed community as well. What, exactly, then is it that qualifies a game as hardcore? While Gianna and I both agreed that Diner Dash is casual, we weren't sure what it would need to add/change, exactly, to become hardcore.