Hardcasual games?

There’s an interesting post over at N’Gai Croal’s blog. It’s a letter from a guy with young children about the time-consuming nature of most games aimed at the hardcore market these days.

Gamers like myself, who are now grown up with careers, families and other responsibilities simply no longer have the time to battle their way through 40 hours of game play to save the world. Even finding blocks of time to get through the next level of a game are hard to come by when your toddler is running around and you’ve had to bring work home to prepare a draft for your boss to review.

You don’t have to be a dad to appreciate short-form video games. I’m a college student who goes to school full-time and works half-time. While I thoroughly enjoy 40-hour epics (I’m eagerly anticipating Mass Effect), I can generally agree that my time is becoming more and more limited as I’m making my way out of an academic setting and into the “real world.” Darren’s right; just because a game is short, doesn’t mean it’s got to be a mini-game compilation. And just because a game clocks in at 100 hours of gameplay doesn’t mean it’s going to be a good game. These days it seems more likely it’s bloated and/or full of cut scenes (I’m looking at you FFXII, Xenosaga). Effective use of checkpoints and pacing could corner an entirely new sub-segment of the hardcore gamer market.

This kind of relates to what Clive Thompson wrote about the dichotomy created on Xbox Live – there are those of us who have dozens of hours every week to sink into games, and those of us who don’t. Why should those who don’t have the time suffer because they have busier lives? Can’t we give them an exciting and worthwhile gaming experience, too?

PS: Please don’t turn this post into a flame-war because I said FFXII and Xenosaga were bloated and full of cut scenes.

via Level Up


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