A while back, MOP reader Aldristavan tweeted a joke about being a “filthy casual” that leaped out at me so hard I had to write about it.
I know we’ve spent plenty of ink about the words casual and hardcore and how they get smooshed around into dramatically different meanings – skill, time, money, effort, fanpersoning – depending on the conversation. Hardcores are grinders or powerlevelers or raiders or PvPers or whales or endgamers or no-lifers (ug) or superfans. Casuals are newbies or slowbies or froobs or cheapskates or scrubs or spectators or midgamers or tryhards or also whales (come on!). The whole thing is really dumb, and Aldristavan’s joke demonstrates why: “Filthy casuals” are usually just as invested in the whole MMO ecosystem as any “elitist hardcore,” just in different ways – and frankly more profitable-to-the-company ways. As Raph Koster’s pointed out, the people who write strategy guides and run guilds and stream and build are “the players who make the world come alive” – and yet they’re often the ones being denigrated as casuals.
Do you consider yourself a “filthy casual” when it comes to MMOs? And if you’re about to answer yes, how do you reconcile that internalization with the fact that you’re answering a question in the comments of an MMORPG website? Can we please nuke the term “filthy casual” into the sun?