For starters I reject the term “hardcore” as it sets up a false dichotomy. It implies casual gamers are “soft” which in a community of 99% males means weak. I prefer the term tryhard because that’s what they do and what they want to force everyone else to do. To try hard. To be punished for failing to try hard.
Quite simply the problem with them is that it’s not enough for them that we openly admit the high points of a given game. If we complain at all, if we don’t obsequiously adopt their bizarre work ethic mentality towards gaming in its entirety, they literally act like we’re a bad people.
Casual gamers on the other hand are perfectly fine to let tryhards play however they see fit without judgment. What I judge, is being judged. In this sense tryhards need to effing relax.
If you complain about a game being too hard they say “It’s supposed to be hard.” They respond as if you’re complaining about chess being hard. Never mind that chess by definition is ultimately the most casual of games. That doesn’t stop international competition chess from being a thing.
Chess is how it should be done. I can play any variant of chess I want. The tryhards have no power there. The less power you give them the better a game, and the game’s community is.
Catering to tryhards is a mistake because, as with chess, catering to casuals would not prevent them from enjoying fierce competition gaming, it would only prevent them from having the power to deny casuals the same right to play and enjoy.
Catering to tryhards makes people like them feel justified in literally hating people like me. This does not occur in casual game communities. It is a direct boot camp, cultist, Stockholm syndrome style reaction to a hateful unforgiving game setting.
There is some seriously dark psychology in play here. Tryhards behave a fair bit like religious extremists or fascists of some stripe. No joke. I firmly believe if they had the option of hurting me and getting away with it over this ideological difference, they’d do it.
But see, I wouldn’t hurt them. Casual gamers generally wouldn’t, expressly because they are casual. Honestly, even if I had a magic button that would just low voltage zap them, I wouldn’t even do that.
What I am opposing is the effort to make a game into a religion. Which is what tryhards more or less do. They elevate this stuff to religious extremes and the devs encourage it for the money and the rabid worshipful fan base.
They are cult builders and that’s clearly bad. IPL abolition would solve this problem because it would suddenly be legal to reinterpret and translate the holy texts, by which I mean it would be legal to fork the code.
They often say we have plenty of easier games to play, as a prelude to telling us take it or leave it, stfu or gtfo. But they have the overwhelming majority of other games to go play as well. Again, this is part of the problem.
A badly coded game is a “challenge” too, and plenty of inept devs hide behind “challenge” as an excuse for being lousy coders. (Evil Dead on the Dreamcast springs to mind. Worst controls ever I think.) Ease of use in the application market on the other hand is usually an indicator of skill. Not so for game devs. Because of tryhards.
There are tryhard equivalents in the software community too, to be sure, plenty of Linux types get all miffed and ideological about not making GUIs or clones and the like, but they aren’t as common as the gamer version by any stretch of the imagination.
Hard core gamers and games are unilaterally exclusive. They’re like the gaming version of racists. The games which cater most to tryhards, are also not coincidentally, the most rigid and unchanging. The most resistant to modding and inclusiveness. The most brimming with smug hate in the communities. The most rife with the sheer loathsomeness of greed and obsession when money is on the table, as in the case of Starcraft and Counter Strike.
On the other side, a causal game with a nice open mod system could be as hard as you want it to be without excluding others wholesale. (Again, see Chess.)
In short: Give casuals what they want, and we can all play how we like. Give “hardcore” gamers what they want and only they can play how they like.
Obviously, our desires are the more inclusive and more ethical. Tryhards should be ashamed of themselves by any rational ethical measure.
Everything I ask for in any game would be implemented ideally as an option/setting. My wishes being granted would not impact tryhard play at all. Casuals are not the problem here. Tryhards are.
Addendum 2016-01-24 0608 AM:
It is a constant source of rage for me because I see in them mirrored the same psychologies that allow some of humanities most shameful actions.
The entire software market is a toxic meme in my view. The notion that one can own an idea to me is dangerous lunacy on it’s face. And these people are the shock troops of that lunacy.
Ever since the early 90s when I washed up on the shores of the Internet in IRC chat, it amazed me that the first thing I found in what was essentially a shared lucid dream, the concept of hierarchies.
When I found out that rooms had operators that were literally placed above everyone else in the name list, I was floored and instantly began asking why?
“Oh well it’s to prevent this abuse or that.”
“Then why not bake that into the code of how rooms work?”
“*awkward silence followed by ban for violation of rule 32f/b Never Question Ops*”
Tryhards in any debate almost always first fall into an attack pattern of “Are you too stupid to read the rules?” Followed by “It’s just a game, the devs own it, you should be grateful for the opportunity to lick their boots, because other devs are even worse.”
And that shit sounds way familiar out here in the real world. When business owners first objected to the civil rights movement it was on the exact same private property my yard my rules argument.
Everyone sane and ethical scoffed, but virtually no one scoffs in the gaming world at the exact same logic. Gamers have no rights, and tryhards defend this lack of protection with all the vehemency of the Tea Party Movement.
I swear the gaming/software market has deep seeded the youth of America with these toxic memes and it’s all we can do to keep up on weed patrol at ground level.