Staying ahead of the xxJonesesxx?

The casual/hardcore gamer ponder I had sparked a few responses that sparked some more thoughts. Not so much an attempt to make a definitive, er, definition as an attempt to understand both sides, since I view myself as utterly and irredeemably casual and, clearly, proud of it.

Is hardcore partly about competition and measurement? Remember, we’re talking hardcore gamers here (though the sports fan sidetrack was really interesting, I suspect it’s covered in plenty of detail elsewhere). Does everyone’s definition of hardcore include some form of tracking one’s progress against [insert criteria]? Every gamer tracks progress (eg levelling) to some extent, but to some it’s a defining factor while to others it’s just a number tacked on to their name. Any currently or previously hardcore types care to comment? I promise I’ll still respect you in the morning.

The debate often devolves into name-slinging, and I believe it’s largely because neither side really understands what motivates the other AND because both sides use the same words to convey different meanings, further complicating attempts at understanding. (Synchronicity had me come across this yesterday in Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars trilogy, with respect to science and scientific paradigms.)

I am fascinated by what makes people tick and behave the way they do, especially people whose behaviour I either don’t share or don’t understand — or both, in the case of hardcore gaming.

If hardcore at least partly = competition and casual doesn’t, can the twain ever meet for any length of time? Will the hardcore player be made uncomfortable by the casual player’s lack of focus and direction, as the casual player is made uncomfortable by the hardcore player’s apparent obsession with stuff that might be totally irrelevant to the casual player? Will Dr Stan manage to remove Eva’s tumour before it grows to gagantuan proportions and mars her classical beauty???

Is it a faux-pas to make a post carrying on from my previous entry?

(Edit – bah, I think someone used me as a springboard for a post of their own without doing me even the courtesy of a reacharound link. I feel creatively used. Does this mean I’m progressing as a blogger? ;-))