Nintendo pimp slaps “casual games” label (*sigh* there’s that silly label again) has some comments from Laurent Fisher, of Nintendo Europe fame, where he outlines how his company’s strategy has basically ignored the “debate” about “casual” games, and has been doing just fine, thank you, without it.

“I don’t like the word casual. There’s a lot of meaning and interpretation of the word. For me you’re either a gamer or a non-gamer. You can spend time playing ten or twenty hours playing a Wii game or Flash game on the ‘net. The people who play all these games are core gamers. A 50 year-old woman who only plays Brain Training? She’s still a gamer – because she’s playing like a core gamer.”

I don’t like the casual label either, Laurent, my man. Like all labels, it’s used to suppress a group perceived as different from the norm (which, in this case, ironically, is exponentially bigger than the group attacking it). Personally, I can’t wait to get some hardcore gaming in on my new balance board when it arrives later this month.


  1. This just in, flash games are not “core”. And just because you’re playing My Sims or Endless Ocean for 10 hours doesn’t mean you’re a “core” gamer. The labels are used to differentiate what kind of gamer/kind of game is being referred to. It’s that simple.

    I see this same stupid argument within the metal community. There are people that like to think “why give every little difference in sound a label? It’s all metal,” and there are people, like myself, that use more specific genre labels to talk about different styles of metal. It’s simply preference, and I don’t see why some people are trying to suppress it. 😉

  2. I don’t mind the labels “casual” or “hardcore” simply because, like neko says, there are different types of gamers and this just a way of classifying them.
    Yes, my 55 year old mom who only plays Brain Age and Nintendogs is a “gamer”, but, let’s be honest, she’s a “casual” gamer.

  3. Either you play games or you don’t. Going into any more detail than that is a complete waste of time.

  4. Ok guys, once again a net forum misses the point. This gentleman is not saying that the genre’s should not be differentiated, but that the label casual is an inaccurate one. If someone plays 40 hours of sims they are not playing it casually.

    As little as I like the idea that we should consider games more like movies. I do think that we should consider the demographics more like movie watchers do. There are people who watch romantic comedies and people who watch documentaries etc. No one is considered a casual movie watcher.

  5. I think the debate, at least presented by this article and comments, is that the terms “casual” and “hardcore” don’t necessarily hinge on how MANY games you play, but how LONG you’re playing them.

    I’ve don’t really fit in either group, so I’ll all for ignoring (or at least placing less importance on) the labels anyway. I’m not hardcore because I don’t own every system and every game, and quite frankly I suck at (and have never beaten) some of the most famous gaming series. I also don’t have the money/time to buy and play all the games I’m interested in. I even enjoy some of the self-professed non-games. But does that make me a casual gamer? My fandom for Nintendo is huge, that alone makes me feel like a full fledged gamer… perhaps not “hardcore”, but neither should gamers like me be clumped into “casual” just because we don’t play an FPS for 30 hours a week.

  6. * I don’t really fit in either group, so I’m all for…

  7. hardcore has shades of meaning, like the mature has to me.

    when somebody says they want a mature game, i always ask if they mean mature like chess or mature like beat up a hooker.

    is mario 1 casual? it was hardcore when it was released, i feel, but it’s at best a mini-game today.

    can things retroactively lose core’dness?

  8. “pimp slaps”? A picture of a guy slapping a woman? Come on, Jack… not cool.

  9. I remember when people said that the Wii was not a traditional console because they felt it was made for mini games. Joust, pac man and a lots of arcade games where made as mini games. People are using these labels to put other down and distance them selves from some gamers. Even with in the so called hardcore you have the 733tz and N0oBs. Then gaming became more about how long you played. I never though about that back in the day. I just wanted to play every thing to try it out because those labels did not stop me from playing a game. Now people hide behind a label and even a stereo type to defend them selves and give their fanboi-ness power. To be part of the hardcore is to be respected by the industry fore they must do what you want or suffer…. right? Yet saying you are hard core is like saying mr’ with out the name. Before people use to say I’m a hardcore shooter fan. hardcore RPG fan or what not now if you spend over $300 for gaming in a year you are hardcore. This is making it hard for developers to get publishing because publishers are not sure what will sell.

    Every one has their own definition about it but since games are about winning some thing most of the time even if it is better health then I would say being hardcore has a lot to do with over coming a challenge.
    I love seeing real hardcore play games they have it mastered and you can root for them along the way. Hey if mastering Wiifit and beating me weight wise or in one of those games is what I look forward to.

    The constant bickering over what system has what makes the hardcore right now seem like spoiled kids and no one not even their peers have respect for them. It shows in the comments.

    If you go on the net and look around you can replace hardcore with cool and it makes perfect sense. That along is proof that they are using the word wrong. Being hardcore is only cool while playing a game.

    Seriously things where better when we had different types of genres. That made it a lot easier for publishers. This is also the truth for the current gen. The FPSs and games like Wii fit are so hard for every one to succeed with because the media and the other spectator don’t really know why these games work. Stereo types are bad for business when it comes to art.

    It’s stuff like this that make it hard for sega to make a good sonic game or for the next unreal tournament to actually get people excited. The media is not doing a good job of reporting why people like these games. Yet the internet reinforces these stereo types.

  10. The use of that image and language in such a frivolous context is disgusting. There are SO MANY other ways you could have introduced this story without invoking sentiments, not to mention IMAGES of violence against women. That you even went so far to find and include such an image in this post indicates of a total lack of respect for your current and potential female audience.

    As one of your [probably] few female readers, I am angered and offended and will hesitate to continue reading Infendo if this kind of imagery is condoned.

  11. Really? You’re mad because Infendo used the phrase “pimp slap”? I think you should center your aim towards Hollywood if you’re going to complain about something as inane as that. Remember, there are male prostitutes too.

  12. Blame Sean Malstrom since he was the one who brought the Pimp Slap concept into the Infendo world in the first place on his website with reference to Mr. Yamaguchi. Personally I would have gone with the Billionaire Manly Slap myself since most of the people who use the term casual are fake macho people anyway. I cannot see Mr. Yamaguchi being a pimp due to his age although you could chalk that up with the my age stereotyping.

    Let’s face facts: Casual is a label that means retard or dumb…How do I know? Listen to the hardcore’s whining and gnashing teeth when game companies use the term when they develop games. It’s like people using the word liberal or the dreaded word atheist to degrade a group. There is a reason why I call some of the hardcore Sustainers: Because I get the irony of people proclaiming that they are tolerant to others like some saint and then prove otherwise in their actions when they swear and speak racial and homophobic slurs on XBOX Live. If you don’t like the label; then stop using labels yourself. If you believe in free speech then you better accept the consequences of it which is me calling you out when you commit acts that contradict your words. That’s liberty. It seems that a lot of people don’t get that and apparently that includes people who proclaim that they are for it and then contradict themselves.

  13. neko to kuruma,

    My thoughts exactly.

  14. >Really? You’re mad because Infendo used the phrase “pimp slap”?

    I think you need to learn how to read a paragraph thoroughly. A picture of a woman being hit is NOT inane, it’s demeaning and insensitive, particularly when used in this frivolous context.

  15. I’m a female reader, and I’m more offended by being possibly labeled as a casual gamer than I am about the pimp slap comment. In retrospect, yeah, that image really isn’t flattering to women… but I honestly didn’t think about it much because I was reading the article.

  16. @KAP: Just because you may find the origin of the term offensive doesn’t mean it isn’t a valid analogy. I’m sure Jack isn’t condoning domestic abuse. It’s just something based off of a stereotype. And again, if you find that offensive, go after Hollywood, as they use things you may find offensive much more frivolously than any of the Infendo writers.


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