Thu, 10 Apr 2014 01:11:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 A Casual Gamer’s Survival Guide Tue, 08 Apr 2014 21:38:25 +0000 The gaming community can be a scary place. It’s a land crawling with ravenous fanboys and relentless trolls. Yes, there is beauty to be seen among the virtual worlds we dwell in, but there too are horrors that may quickly overwhelm those of us who aren’t prepared. These dangers are especially wounding to the whimsical, fleet-footed individuals known as casual gamers, whose optimistic outlook on gaming just may be their downfall.

I myself am one of these beings known as “casuals”. Despite my light-hearted view of gaming, I’ve been hardened by years of exploration through the world of gaming. I’ve tussled with trolls and rumbled with rage. I’ve been called all kinds of names and kicked from countless games. If you’re a casual gamer, you’ll probably experience these frustrations at some point too. In an effort to prepare you for these pitfalls and make all types of games more enjoyable for casuals, I present to you: The Casual Gamer’s Survival Guide.

Am I a casual?

You may be asking yourself whether this guide applies to you, because if it doesn’t, why waste your time reading it, right? So what is a casual gamer?

Sadly, I can’t answer that question for you. Only you know if you’re a casual gamer; you define it on your own terms. Personally, I realized that I was a casual gamer when I decided that everyone’s enjoyment of a game was more important than my winning the game. For example, when I play Left 4 Dead, I always go back to rescue incapacitated teammatesalways. Even if it means running through a ravenous horde of zombies or dodging a flaming tank, I won’t leave a man (or lady) behind.

If you’re the type of gamer who prioritizes having fun, then you may be a casual gamer. Even if you are that type of person, you may not be a casual gamer. Ultimately, it’s up to your judgement. Just be aware that other gamers will judge you on their own termssometimes quite harshly. This brings me to my next point…

Why does everyone hate me?

Today, the word casual in gaming is often used negatively. We’ve all heard some variation of the phrases “You suck, casual” or “You’re a casual, go uninstall.” It seems like the entire gaming community is set against us. However, the truth is simply that hardcore gamers seem to be more vocal.

How many times you heard a self-proclaimed casual gamer criticize a hardcore gamer? On the other hand, how many times have you heard the opposite? Personally, I’ve found that hardcore gamers are much quicker to criticize. This isn’t to say that hardcore gamers are more hateful. It just means that they feel more inclined to protect their passion, which makes sense given their investment in it.

Think of it this way: Casual gamers are like student peer critics and hardcore gamers are like online blogging critics. When students critique their peers, they often do it very gently and tactfully because they don’t know if it’s their place to tell someone they’re wrong. Blogging critics, however, are quick to speak out about what they love and hate because they feel it’s their right and responsibility to be critical toward something they care about.

Everyone doesn’t hate casual gamers. In fact, I’d say that most people don’t hate casual gamers. It’s just seem like everyone does because the negative nancies are the loudesta vocal minority. Take heart, my casual friend, for you are not alone.

You’re allowed to have fun

Modern Warfare 2

I used to love Modern Warfare 2, but boy did it make me angry.

The first moment I began to transition from hardcore gamer to casual gamer was when I realized that I had become so engrossed with winning matches in Halo 3 and Modern Warfare 2 that I wasn’t having fun. Granted, winning is fun, but that door swings both ways. When my idea of having fun was winning a match, then losing truly ruined everything.

As casual gamers, we can still have fun when we’re losing. More importantly: We can still have fun when other players aren’t. If your team is losing, your teammates may get upset. They may even rant or ragequit. Get used to it. I’ve played many games of Left 4 Dead versus where I was the last man standing on my team because everyone else quit. The other team is almost always appreciative because I allow them to keep playingto keep having fun.

Somewhere in the timeline of gaming, many of us lost sight of the roots of our hobby: Fun. If you want to survive as a casual gamer, then you must remember that you’re goal is to have fun. Bonus points if you help others to have fun as well.

War does not determine who is right…

If you play with hardcore gamers, it’s almost inevitable that you’ll disagree with them at some point. When this happens, you’ll feel an argument begin to bubble to the surface of your patience. Don’t give in to it. Don’t let yourself get involved in a heated back-and-forth; that’s a quick way to ruin everyone’s fun.

I’ve participated in my fair share of mid-game debates. Here’s what I’ve learned: They resolve nothing. The argument ends when either someone decides they don’t feel like responding or someone is kicked from the game. In either case, both sides leave the argument convinced that they were right.

One of the keys to surviving as a casual gamer is realizing that other gamers will want to fight you, and you’ll want to fight back. You’re best option in this case is to walk away. You can try explaining that you’re simply trying to have fun, but don’t expect that to work all of the time.

You can go where you want to go


Casual gamers aren’t doomed to only playing games featuring cute animals.

There is no such thing as a casual game. The gaming industry has tried to assign a label to games that it thinks will appeal to casual gamers, but the truth is, this label is meaningless to the vast majority of gamers.

I love all types of games, from the simplicity of Limbo and LEGO Lord of the Rings to the complexity of Last of Us and Left 4 Dead. I can even spend hours playing “obsolete” games like Pac-Man or Sudoku. And you know what? The same applies to hardcore gamers. I don’t think you would have a hard time finding a hardcore gamer that also enjoy games that would be classified as casual.

Casual gamers don’t belong in any one place. We can survive in Farmville, Sim City, and Civilization. Survival isn’t about where you areit’s about what you do no matter where you go.


Do you think of yourself as a casual gamer? How do you define casual? What do you think it means to the gaming community? Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

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Telltale’s Game of Thrones isn’t a prequel Wed, 26 Mar 2014 05:18:44 +0000 Like their Walking Dead series, Telltale’s Game of Thrones game will run concurrently with the television series. Telltale’s Dan Connors explained to Digital Trends that it won’t serve as a prequel or anything of that sort.

“It’s not a prequel, no. I think the show provides a timeline, but the world is huge. You’re talking about the politics of an entire– it’s like Europe and some other continent. There’s so much going on and it’s so rich. Every decision that King Joffrey makes impacts so many people. Any microcosm in that world [looking at how] people are affected by the decisions that are made plays out across the whole thing.”

Telltale’s perspective of the Game of Throne’s story will take place outside of the world of characters that the television show follows. When Telltale first announced their Walking Dead game, they explained that they wanted to tell a brand new story in The Walking Dead universe rather than tell the story that has already been told. That seems to be the case here as well.

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Linkin Park teams up with Project Spark for interactive game Wed, 26 Mar 2014 05:02:19 +0000 Linkin Park, the world famous and highly successful rock band that is known for collaborating with the video game industry, has released a new music video that they made using Project Spark, a game creation tool that is currently in beta for PC and Xbox One.

The music video is for Linkin Park’s recently released single, “Guilty All the Same,” which features rapper Rakim and a heavy, rap metal style that is more inline with their early days rather than their most recent couple of albums.

The developer of Project Spark, Team Dakota, created this Guilty All the Same video with the intention for it to be remixable. The level includes an audio remix station so players can build anything they want in the level.

Joe Hahn of Linkin Park had this to say:

“Here it is: our collaboration with Project Spark. Instead of a traditional music Video for GUILTY ALL THE SAME (feat. Rakim), we are giving you this as a starting line for you guys to create and share. This is the first interactive, remixable game. We look forward to seeing what you make with it.”

Before this, Linkin Park has collaborated with the video game world on two other occasions. The first was in 2010 when they released the massively multiplayer online and single player iOS game 8-bit Rebellion! The second was just last September when they released LP Recharge, a free-to-play action-puzzle Facebook game.

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EA looking to Arkham games for Star Wars inspiration Wed, 26 Mar 2014 04:36:49 +0000 When it comes to a beloved property such as Star Wars, you have to handle it with care or else the fan base will never forgive you. EA, I’m sure, is quickly finding that out. To help themselves out, they are attempting to build off the example that Rocksteady and Warner Bros. made with the Batman property and the Arkham games.

“What Warner Bros. did with Batman was take the core roots of that IP and manifest that inside the walls of Gotham City and delivered an interactive experience that had real ties to what you would see in the films and what you had read in the comics, while having its own life because it could provide such deep and more immersive storylines,” EA CEO Andrew Wilson told Fortune Tech. “When we look at the Star Wars properties that’s how we’re looking at it. We’re not trying to build a game that replicates the storyline of any particular film.”

Until we know more about their upcoming games, we can only assume that this is a good thing. The Arkham games told completely original stories, and they have turned out to be some of the best licensed games in recent memory.

As you may or may not be aware, EA was given the exclusive rights to make Star Wars games for the next 10 years, at least. A new Star Wars: Battlefront game from EA Dice is the first game to be announced as a part of this exclusive license.

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Assassin’s Creed: Unity announced with trailer Sat, 22 Mar 2014 00:08:09 +0000 As if there was any doubt, this year’s installment in the Assassin’s Creed franchise has been announced via a short, sweet, and not really to the point teaser trailer. Assassin’s Creed: Unity shies away from the numbering system of the past two games, and it’s coming this holiday season.

Aside from those two facts and that it’s coming to Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC, that’s about all we know about the game at the moment. The trailer loosely confirms that the game will be set in an 18th century Paris, but that hasn’t been explicitly stated.

There is also a rumor that another Assassin’s Creed game, codenamed Comet, will be coming to Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 this year as well. Unlike the Unity rumor, though, Comet remains unconfirmed.

Expect to learn more about Unity at E3 2014, unless Ubisoft decides to give us more info before then (don’t hold your breath.)

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Xbox boss Mark Whitten stepping down Tue, 18 Mar 2014 02:04:38 +0000 Mark Whitten, the Chief Product Officer of Xbox, has announced that he will be leaving Microsoft to pursue a job with Sonos where he assume the same role as Chief Product Officer.

Whitten, who has been with Xbox since the very beginning and helped deliver the original Xbox, the Xbox 360, and the Xbox One, had this to say:

“I have had the extreme pleasure over the last 14 years to work on the greatest product with the greatest team and for the greatest community,” said Whitten. “Xbox is so special because of the amazing team I’ve had the opportunity to work with and because our fans are the most incredible fans on the planet. It has been the highlight of my career to work on a product so loved. It’s incredibly tough to leave but I am confident the best days are ahead for Xbox fans, in the capable hands of a very talented team.”

The remainder of the Xbox leadership team will remain intact and Marc’s team will report to Terry Myerson, executive vice president that oversees the teams building the software platform and experiences for Windows, Windows Phone and Xbox.

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Jack Tretton leaving Sony as president and CEO Fri, 07 Mar 2014 02:36:40 +0000 Effective April 1st, Sony Computer Entertainment of America will have a new president and CEO. Jack Tretton, who has been the head honcho of SCEA since November 2006, will not be renewing his contract, which expires on March 31, 2014.

Tretton joined Sony in March 1995, where he went on to be a founding member of the team that launched the PlayStation brand in September of that same year. He has been involved in the development and publishing of every single PlayStation branded console or device to date.

Current EVP and COO of Sony Network Entertainment International, Shawn Layden, will become SCEA president once Tretton vacates his position at the end of the month.

If you’re going to miss Jack as much as we will, be sure to read his personal message to PlayStation fans over at the Playstation Blog.

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Watch Dogs is coming on May 27 Fri, 07 Mar 2014 02:17:37 +0000 After months of anticipation, it looks like Aiden Pearce will be hacking his way into your consoles on May 27th.

Watch Dogs was originally meant to be a launch title for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, but it was delayed just a month before the consoles launched to allow for further development time. The game is also coming to the Xbox 360, PC, PlayStation 3, and Wii U. The Wii U version, however, won’t be out on May 27 like its counterparts.

During a conference call last month, Ubisoft’s Yves Guillemot stated that they “made the difficult decision to further delay the release of Watch Dogs on Wii U to focus the team’s resources where they could have the broadest possible benefit for both our customers and Ubisoft.”

Personally, I couldn’t be more excited for the news of a solid release date. Did anybody else plan on making Watch Dogs their first game for their PlayStation 4 or Xbox One like I did? When I first found out about the delay, I bought three PS4 games to replace the hole that was left by Watch Dogs. I may have overcompensated…


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A new Tony Hawk game is on the way Fri, 21 Feb 2014 03:17:47 +0000 After several years of silence, Activision has confirmed that they are once again collaborating with Tony Hawk on a new video game.

IGN was able to get a comment from Activision that stated “”Activision can confirm that they have something in the works with Tony Hawk, more info is coming soon.”

Hawk first mentioned a new game when he appeared on SiriusXM’s Demolition Radio show where he said that, “We are working on a game, it’s pretty cool.” And yes, that really is all that he said about it.

Aside from an HD remake of some fan-favorite Pro Skater levels that was released in 2012 as Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD, there hasn’t been a new Tony Hawk game since 2010′s Tony Hawk: Shred, which only sold 3,000 copies in its first week on the market and forced the franchise to be put on hold.

Even then, Shred was considered a spin-off game from the main series. The last main game installment was 2007′s Tony Hawk’s Proving Ground.

In the early 2000′s, however, the Tony Hawk games were some of the most popular, successful, and critically acclaimed video games around. The Pro Skater games in the series are constantly ranked amongst the best games of all time, and the franchise as a whole has sold more than 30 million copies.

Here’s to hoping that the Tony Hawk franchise can return to fame.

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Mario and Luigi 3DS XL bundle available now Mon, 02 Dec 2013 19:52:20 +0000 The Mario and Luigi 3DS XL bundle has hit store shelves. Available right out of the box is a Nintendo 3DS with an image of Mario and Luigi on the cover along with a pre-installed copy of Mario and Luigi: Dream Team; a game that sold more than 1 million copies.

Find out where you can buy this bundle, available for the ticket price of $200, here.

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