I've been meaning to start one of these for a while, so with 20 free minutes at work and an outrageous and inconsistent post to respond to, I thought now would be the time. Jim Sterling's Hating on Casual Gamers Post seems to be born more out of blind anger and frustration that of rational thought. While repeating his wise observation that the difference between casual and hardcore gaming is non-existent, he proceeds to attack one of the halves in the very divide that he has claimed doesn't exist.
It isn't productive to attack so-called "casual games" anymore than it is for the unnamed targets of the post to attack "hardcore games." I agree with the idea that there are only good games and bad games, but it could be more aptly phrased as enjoyable games and not enjoyable games. Ultimately, how enjoyable a game is is what makes it good or bad. Enjoyable games can be so because they look realistic or because the controls are innovative or intuitive, because they are dark and serious or because they are funny. Ultimately, it depends on the gamer and there is room for everyone, which is proved by the expanding game market. Sterling opens up by trying to argue that Metal Gear Solid 4 is experiencing some unfair treatment - it's number 4! The series is one of the longest and most respected in video game history. You know its great, why does it matter if everyone agrees with you? Obviously the industry does as they continue to pump out sequels. What the false divide between casual and hardcore games does is make everyone bitch a lot more (which Sterling claims I like?) because they, like Sterling, claim that the other side is stifling their opinion. It changes the discussion from "Which of these games is better?" to Which of these people is better?"
While it might be entertaining for some to get into never ending dick measuring contests about whose game has the most hardcore premise or best graphics or made the most money, it's not useful or even particularly interesting anymore. The internet is a great platform for ideas and conversations, so these topics are unavoidable, but do we really need it to be shoved down our throats by Destructoid's editorial staff? Why not leave this shit for the message boards? The smart people are the ones who are staying out of the fray and using their time to play all the great stuff thats out there, be it Wii Sports or Metal Gear Solid.