#1 Edited by get2sammyb (6412 posts) -

Sometimes the "hardcore" gamers (as they like to deem themselves) really annoy me. Not only are they elitist tossers but they're also narrow minded. This dawned on me a year or so ago when Nintendo made that jump from being a back pocket obsession to mainstream giants. Even though I'd argue Nintendo has always been a mainstream brand.

It's colour by numbers game design these days.
You see I always used to consider the "casual" players the narrow minded ones. There'd always be the people at school that would perhaps play the latest sports games and nothing more. They'd buy each iteration year after year failing to notice that it's the same game in new packaging. It seems to me that the paradigm change Nintendo has gone through has occured in gamer-classes too.

For me the so called "hardcore" are the narrow minded now. All developers need to do is include some blood-smattering, a range of weaponary and a multi-player mode. Forget the single player - it's going to die if things continue this way. I know people that buy a game and never even touch the single player and I'd hazard this number is creeping up. How frightening.

While the casuals are enjoying games like Wii Fit, Zack & Wiki and more traditional titles like Super Mario Galaxy the hardcore are playing Halo 3, Call Of Duty 4, Far Cry 2, Gears Of War 2, Resistance 2, Fracture and... well I could go on.

The point I'm trying to make is that the so called "hardcore" seem constantly to be on Nintendo's back these days. Where's Zelda, where's Mario, where's that game I've played before? Do these people really not understand that Nintendo have just untapped a whole new market and are still adapting to it?

Super Mario Galaxy
I'm a Nintendo fan, I hated their E3 conference, I will not buy one Wii game this holiday season. But this is Nintendo. Surely a company gutsy enough to release the only financially profitable console this generation should be respected? A company that can not fall back on the sales of televisions, hi-fi's and Windows.

It pains me to hear people say Nintendo have lost the plot. They provided us with, what I think, is the best game this generation in Super Mario Galaxy. But of course the so called "hardcore" probably haven't played that game: a) it's on the Wii; b) it's bright and colourful. No-no... need to upgrade my Call Of Duty 4 XP and hit prestiege mode again.

The casuals played Super Mario Galaxy. They enjoyed the pinnacle of level design from a man who apparently has "lost the plot" but by the same margin is the greatest video game developer of all time.

Now to emphasise - I love games like Call Of Duty 4 and Gears but will these games be memorable in 10 years like Super Mario World, Sonic The Hedgehog, Ocarina Of Time. Will they still play well? Super Mario Galaxy will still be the perfect game it is today in 10 years time. Just like Super Mario World is still as playable as ever. Just like Ocarina Of Time.

Nintendo have just unlocked a new audience. It's trial and error from here. They'll make some wrong choices and they'll make some right
Wii Fit might not appeal to you but perhaps we should appreciate somebody trying something different?
choices - but you can always be sure that beyond their profit margins they'll have the industry at heart. I'm not sure you can ever say the same for Microsoft or Sony.

As "hardcore" gamers maybe it's time we opened our eyes a little. Of course Wii Music clearly isn't designed with us in mind (and it takes me off on a whole tangent as to why publications aimed at "hardcore" gamers like us are even reviewing a game clearly aimed at kids) but for every Nintendogs there has been a New Super Mario Bros. on the DS.

I think as gamers we need to be a lot more open-minded. If we constantly demand multiplayer space marines I fear the industry is going to choke at some point. That's not to say I think Nintendo have made all the right decisions this generation - I just worry the "hardcore" are killing progress.

Please discuss.

Originally written for get2sammyb.co.uk.
#2 Posted by oldschool (7264 posts) -

I agree that many so called 'hardcore' gamers are the most closed minded people around.  I have been gaming for longer than I care to remember and have pretty much played every genre.  Even the genres I don't like, I buy the best example in case I finally get it.  It didn't happen with Halo  and it didn't happen with Halo 2.  Hell, I couldn't get more than 20 minutes into either of them before I got bored.  The same happened with Metal Gear Solid 2 & 3.  Yet, I tried them.  I didn't close my mind, I gave them a go.

The same can't be said for the hardcorers.  They just turn their nose uo to a game with colour and live in ignorance, denying themselves of a great gaming experience.  And what exactly is hardcore anyway?  I think after playing GTA III, that GTA is just a casual game dressed up in violence.  I played it and actually had some fun, before getting bored, but it is a pointles game.

The best thing about Nintendo with the Wii is that it is the NES all over again.  It is drawing new players in.  Guess what?  A lot of these people will move beyond Wii Sport and may even try Metroid.  Then, who knows, they may enjoy themselves so much that they seriously look at a 360 or PS3.  Being an elistist and looking down on these new players is just plain silly.  Nobody owns the industry.  Everyone has a right to be catered for, irrespective of their tastes.

So Sammy, I agree with you.
#3 Posted by get2sammyb (6412 posts) -
oldschool said:
"I agree that many so called 'hardcore' gamers are the most closed minded people around.  I have been gaming for longer than I care to remember and have pretty much played every genre.  Even the genres I don't like, I buy the best example in case I finally get it.  It didn't happen with Halo  and it didn't happen with Halo 2.  Hell, I couldn't get more than 20 minutes into either of them before I got bored.  The same happened with Metal Gear Solid 2 & 3.  Yet, I tried them.  I didn't close my mind, I gave them a go.
The same can't be said for the hardcorers.  They just turn their nose uo to a game with colour and live in ignorance, denying themselves of a great gaming experience.  And what exactly is hardcore anyway?  I think after playing GTA III, that GTA is just a casual game dressed up in violence.  I played it and actually had some fun, before getting bored, but it is a pointles game.

The best thing about Nintendo with the Wii is that it is the NES all over again.  It is drawing new players in.  Guess what?  A lot of these people will move beyond Wii Sport and may even try Metroid.  Then, who knows, they may enjoy themselves so much that they seriously look at a 360 or PS3.  Being an elistist and looking down on these new players is just plain silly.  Nobody owns the industry.  Everyone has a right to be catered for, irrespective of their tastes.

So Sammy, I agree with you.
"
It's a superficial name to give a group of people who can't look outside of their bubble.

And yes you made a great point there - people seem to "hate" the "casual" player but I bet Sony and Microsoft don't. By introducing new people to gaming it can only be good to the industry. Of course it means an influx of games like "My Pet Dolphin" but we're in shaky ground right now.

Literally the industry has just changed and it will take a while for developers to know how to deal with it. But surely more revenue coming into our hobby can only be a good thing?
#4 Posted by Jayge_ (10222 posts) -

SMG is definitely not anything close to the game of the generation, or even a game of the year award.

#5 Posted by get2sammyb (6412 posts) -
Jayge said:
"SMG is definitely not anything close to the game of the generation, or even a game of the year award.

"
Then what do you think is worthy of game of the year awards/the best game this generation so far.

Super Mario Galaxy is the pinnacle of 3D platforming level design.
#6 Edited by Jayge_ (10222 posts) -
get2sammyb said:
"Jayge said:
"SMG is definitely not anything close to the game of the generation, or even a game of the year award.

"
Then what do you think is worthy of game of the year awards/the best game this generation so far.

Super Mario Galaxy is the pinnacle of 3D platforming level design."
Super Mario Galaxy is a pinnacle of bad camera mechanics, an over-done concept, and a supremely visible "Shit, what can we do now that we've done fucking everything already"-syndrome. Best game this generation, so far? There is none. No game has merited a standing that propels it so highly above most if not all others that it would deserve that, even for me. Game of the year? I'd give it to Fallout 3 so far, a game that achieves more in one hour then Mario Galaxy did in its entire 8-12.

And as for Ocarina of Time playing well- I have to ask if you've even played Ocarina of Time recently. The game plays like ass now. It has aged terribly.

And just to clarify, I'd rather play Super Mario Sunshine again then SMG. At least they tried something different, and it worked well.
#7 Posted by get2sammyb (6412 posts) -
Jayge said:
"get2sammyb said:
"Jayge said:
"SMG is definitely not anything close to the game of the generation, or even a game of the year award.

"
Then what do you think is worthy of game of the year awards/the best game this generation so far.

Super Mario Galaxy is the pinnacle of 3D platforming level design."
Super Mario Galaxy is a pinnacle of bad camera mechanics, an over-done concept, and a supremely visible "Shit, what can we do now that we've done fucking everything already"-syndrome. Best game this generation, so far? There is none. No game has merited a standing that propels it so highly above most if not all others that it would deserve that, even for me. Game of the year? I'd give it to Fallout 3 so far, a game that achieves more in one hour then Mario Galaxy did in its entire 8-12.

And as for Ocarina of Time playing well- I have to ask if you've even played Ocarina of Time recently. The game plays like ass now. It has aged terribly.

And just to clarify, I'd rather play Super Mario Sunshine again then SMG. At least they tried something different, and it worked well."
Well seeing as Fallout 3 and Mario Galaxy were released in different years. Fair enough. Take nothing away from Fallout 3 I haven't played it so I can't comment.

Super Maro Galaxy's camera was absolutely fine - given the game was attempting feats in level design I'd never even have imagined possible.

As for Ocarina Of Time - it's funny you should ask. I completed it about 3 weeks ago. It's a tad clunkier than I remember it but - honestly - the dungeon design, scale and story telling is as memorable as ever.

Ocarina Of Time wrote the rules that a lot of your favourite games follow. It's proportionally easier to perfect the things that someone else conceived.
#8 Edited by tokyochicken (849 posts) -

I think the one thing that bothered me during the nintendo conference at E3 was just that there were a lot of other really cool nintendo games they couldve talked about but they didnt  they just wanted to talk about wii music. i mean they couldve mentioned mad world...like once, or Rythm Tengoku Gold , or Captain Rainbow. It makes me feel like they dont care anymore, say what you want about hardcore and casual, but there is a divide its normal for every medium. There are people who are more obssesive then others about video games. Its not so much about hatign casual its more like some people are feeling....forgotten in a way. I mean nintendo knows where the big selling market is, and now some feel like thats more important now. I mean alot of people grew up with nintendo, hell even I was a big nintendo fan was i was really really young. 

#9 Edited by get2sammyb (6412 posts) -
tokyochicken said:
"I think the one thing that bothered me durign the nintendo conference at E3 was just that there were a lot of other really cool nintendo games they couldve talked about but they didnt  they just wanted to talk abotu wii music. i mean they couldve mentioned mad world...like once, or rythm tengoku gold , or Captain Rainbow. It makes me feel like they dont care anymore, say what you want about hardcore and casual, but there is a divide its normal for every medium. There are people who are more obssesive then others about video games. Its not so much about hatign casual its more like some people are feeling....forgotten in a way. I mean nintendo knows where the big selling market is, and now some feel like thats more important now. I mean alot of people grew up with nintendo, hell even I was a big nintendo fan was i was really really young. "
But you don't know what Nintendo will do next... why are people so certain to rule out the fact they might have two consoles next generation - the toy console at a low price for families and a more traditional system for everyone else.

Just because a company has never released two systems in the same generation before doesn't mean it can't happen.

The point I'm making is that Nintendo has literally changed the industry - it's a huge change. You have to let them and everyone else adjust. They'll have learned from E3, no doubt about it.
#10 Posted by Jayge_ (10222 posts) -
get2sammyb said:
"But you don't know what Nintendo will do next... why are people so certain to rule out the fact they might have two consoles next generation - the toy console at a low price for families and a more traditional system for everyone else."
Where the hell did THAT come from?
#11 Edited by pause422 (6172 posts) -

I really doubt that. The last I heard is that they were already working on their next console, and it was another Wii, or take on the Wii.....with their financial success at least, of the Wii and everything, they aren't gonna do something like that. The 'everyone else' wouldn't get their console from nintendo anyway, that doesn't fall into that categoery of casual or not being into what the Wii does, they would be the ones to just get the next xbox/playstion.

#12 Edited by get2sammyb (6412 posts) -
Jayge said:
"get2sammyb said:
"But you don't know what Nintendo will do next... why are people so certain to rule out the fact they might have two consoles next generation - the toy console at a low price for families and a more traditional system for everyone else."
Where the hell did THAT come from?"
Well why is it so unreasonable? It's unlikely yes but Nintendo are Nintendo.

You never know what you're going to get from them.
#13 Posted by SmugDarkLoser (4619 posts) -

you're confusing the two.
Casuals buy stuff like Madden, GTA, Halo, COD4, etc. (if xbl is anything to go by, they dont actually keep playing madden).   They do not play stuff like Wii Fit, Carnival games, etc.

Don't get casuals confused with the non gamer. Casuals are gamers,  most of them who we think are casual actually end up being teh hardcore (by our definition) but non gamers just buy the dumbest games

#14 Posted by Origina1Penguin (3500 posts) -

I want another Zelda game.  That's about all I like out of Nintendo these days.  Even that is declining though.  Twilight Princess was my least favorite (3D) Zelda game.  I would actually enjoy the Wind Waker style being rejuvenated.

More to the topic, I'll take a single player experience over multiplayer every time.  I have quite a few games under my belt, but I hardly ever even try the multiplayer.  This is mostly due to the nasty people you'll encounter.  If I do play multiplayer, it's on the PC.  I heavily enjoy co-op though (preferably split-screen) regardless of the system it's on.  I agree that there needs to be more focus on single player experiences again.

However, I don't think the players you are talking about are "close-minded."  They are simply going for whatever they believe is fun.  I think the only gamers who are close-minded are the ones who totally dismiss a game with out playing it, by prejudging it, and/or because they are distracted and make a bigger deal about negative aspects more than they really should.

#15 Posted by Knives (711 posts) -
Jayge said:
"get2sammyb said:
"Jayge said:
"SMG is definitely not anything close to the game of the generation, or even a game of the year award.

"
Then what do you think is worthy of game of the year awards/the best game this generation so far.

Super Mario Galaxy is the pinnacle of 3D platforming level design."
Super Mario Galaxy is a pinnacle of bad camera mechanics, an over-done concept, and a supremely visible "Shit, what can we do now that we've done fucking everything already"-syndrome. Best game this generation, so far? There is none. No game has merited a standing that propels it so highly above most if not all others that it would deserve that, even for me. Game of the year? I'd give it to Fallout 3 so far, a game that achieves more in one hour then Mario Galaxy did in its entire 8-12.

And as for Ocarina of Time playing well- I have to ask if you've even played Ocarina of Time recently. The game plays like ass now. It has aged terribly.

And just to clarify, I'd rather play Super Mario Sunshine again then SMG. At least they tried something different, and it worked well."
You're full of shit. SMG is better than Sunshine in every possible way. And Fallout 3 is the 2nd most disappointing game of the generation behind Oblivion.
#16 Posted by MattBodega (1903 posts) -

Just take a deep breath, keep playing No More Heroes, and pretend the First Party Games are coming.

#17 Posted by Jayge_ (10222 posts) -
Knives said:
"You're full of shit. SMG is better than Sunshine in every possible way. And Fallout 3 is the 2nd most disappointing game of the generation behind Oblivion."
You are full of shit. Suck my balls.
#18 Posted by Bellum (2944 posts) -

I've been playing games since I was three, at least. I've played a little of everything, and I like to consider myself a hardcore gamer. Maybe my definitions are a little bit different, but it seems to me that as gaming has gotten more mainstream, as gaming has become "cool", the new guys have misinterpreted (or just labeled themselves without thinking) the meaning of hardcore.

Gaming to me is the hobby for me. I love games, I have invested years of time and thousands of dollars into the industry. I feel like I understand what goes into game development, and I have an opinion about everything.

I don't generally look at the Zelda games (or most console games) as "hardcore" games. These games are too simplistic or too easy to be considered "hardcore". That's not a bad thing. When I was young, I played through OoT over and over and over again at my dads, even while going to moms and sucking at Quake II. Even today, as I've matured as a gamer and broadened my horizons, I still love to play more "casual" games sometimes. To be honest, the casual games often have higher production values. A hardcore gamer to me is someone who understands and loves games, not someone who plays the newest FPS.

That said, I think you give too much credit to some of the older games. I love old games. I grew up playing Super Mario World and ALttP. These games are extremely important in gaming history, but they don't hold up to today standards. I'll use Ocarina of Time as an example as it's so obviously very important to you. It was one of my favorite games, and I have a lot of respect for it as an important turning point in the series, but Wind Waker was better, improved on everything OoT did well, and changed many things that it didn't. The world in OoT seemed so dead, NPC's were lifeless, oftentimes not bothering to move or replaying the same animation over and over again. This was a big flaw, it broke immersion. The level design and gameplay was top notch, but some of the dungeons were too big. Personally, I thought the design in ALttP followed more logical paths, in OoT, the dungeons often sprawled out all over the place.

OoT was a great game, but it's important to recognize a games flaws, even the games we love. That's why I look down on all these 9s and 10s reviewers are giving out like girl scout cookies. It's disingenuous. We have seen good games, but we could see so much better, and we aren't. We have to acknowledge our flaws to improve.

#19 Posted by erinfizz (1048 posts) -
Bellum said:
 A hardcore gamer to me is someone who understands and loves games, not someone who plays the newest FPS.
THIS. It is tiresome to be as into games as I am, but out here on the internet be dismissed as a casual/non-gamer. I am interested in the quality of a game, good gameplay and story.
#20 Posted by Oni (2095 posts) -
erinfizz said:
"Bellum said:
 A hardcore gamer to me is someone who understands and loves games, not someone who plays the newest FPS.
THIS. It is tiresome to be as into games as I am, but out here on the internet be dismissed as a casual/non-gamer. I am interested in the quality of a game, good gameplay and story."
I'd just like to third this. Also I feel this rant was aimed squarely at me for that blog entry a wrote a little while ago, but I think your portrayal of hardcore gamers as a single-minded sort of person who only plays shooters renders almost your entire rant irrelevant as it makes sweeping generalizations. Nintendo likes money just as much as MS and Sony, and if they have the industry's best interests at heart it's because they ARE that industry and they're the ones benefitting from it. Duh. It's not a charity organization.
#21 Posted by Wuffi (246 posts) -

nintendo kinda blows atm

#22 Posted by get2sammyb (6412 posts) -

Oni - I think you just brought a lot of thoughts back to the forefront of my mind.

I realise it's not a charity organisation and I know Nintendo are in it for the money but I feel if you have to recognise anyone that has pushed the industry forward it's Nintendo. Which is why you have to give them time to adapt and find the common ground between there new "non-gamers", "casuals" and those of us who have been playing for years.

I use Super Mario Galaxy as an example because I genuinely believe it pleases everyone: the casuals will play it and love, the "hardcore" can play it and realise they are genuinely playing some of the best designed levels in 3D gaming ever. They just need to find this balance with all there other titles.

Wario Ware is another one I think they found a balance with.

#23 Posted by atejas (3057 posts) -

You're thinking of the 'frat boy' demographic, last I checked the 'harcores' are the ones spouting OBLIVIONS WITH GUNS SHITSUX anytime Fallout 3 is mentioned and maintaining that STALKER is the only good shooter this gen.

#24 Posted by Keeng (999 posts) -

I think the critical point the original poster is missing is a simple one: no one has a problem with casual games. The issue with Wii is not that it has too many casual games and not enough hardcore games. The problem is that there are too many bad games. Nintendo's party games like WarioWare and Wii Sports aren't terrible games, but the rest of this Wii-specific stuff is shovelware. I agree that Nintendo is clearly focusing on the non-gamer but they're not doing so by offering well-made, casual first-party titles. They're doing it by having a relatively cheap console that's simpler than those of the competition, has slightly cheaper games, and that is designed to be played with friends. Basically, they made a console for people who want to play cheap, bad, multiplayer games to play those games on. It has nothing to do with advancing the industry because honestly, the Wii hurts more than it helps!

How many Wii casual games are first-party titles? How many of those are good? I've put in more than 100 hours playing the newest installments of Nintendo's older franchises on Wii (i.e. Super Mario Galaxy, Twilight Princess, etc.) and I feel qualified to say it would be extremely difficult to find more than four other good games on the console. It's not that I like those 3-5 Wii games because they're "teh hardcorez". It's that they're actually quality products and that's not something that shows up often on Wii. No one would complain about the casual market Wii targets if the casual games they launched weren't absolutely abysmal. We didn't hate the N64 when it housed 9+ games with Mario in their titles that weren't platform games. We bought the GC even though there wasn't online play. And if you really want proof, look no further than the DS and Game Boy, the two most successful handheld consoles ever. Most of the DS games that sell are superb, casual titles like Brain Age and Nintendogs. Game Boy is legendary for TERTIS. Friggin Tetris, arguably the casual game.

This is not about us hardcore gamers hating casual games (or casual gamers). This is about us gamers hating bad games. And this problem is made even worse by the fact Wii sells more than its competitors. Explain to me how selling a ton of bad games to non-gamers is better for the industry than selling decent-to-awesome games to actual gamers.

#25 Posted by Giantkitty (808 posts) -

One of the "secrets" of Wii's success is that they have things for the casual woman gamer. Women, you know that other half of the population that may not be interested in GTA or Gears of War. Some "hardcore" gamers scratch their heads as to why the Wii is selling so well, how could a system that doesn't have [insert their favorite game of the moment - almost always some shooter] sell?

Here some of their explanations:

"The Wii gamers only buy the Wii and get one or two games"

I don't know how true this is, but assuming it is, isn't it better for the video game industry if they do this than not buying any at all? It's their choice to do what they want with the money.  Hoping they'll run out and buy a more expensive system and buy games you're interested in is just wishful thinking.

"Wii games suxx"

Good or bad games are opinions. If they buy all these "bad" games, again it's their money. Also, why don't these people play those actual "good games?" I assume they're sitting on store shelves, they're getting advertised on TV, etc. Assuming that they're reasonably intelligent people (some are morons, but some morons buy the "good" games too), and not gramma and grampa picking up some random game for their grandchildren (it happens, but I don't see it often and it's ussually a Christmas or birthday thing), well you have people satisfied with their games who are not interested in those "good" games.

[SmugDarkLoser]
Don't get casuals confused with the non gamer. Casuals are gamers,  most of them who we think are casual actually end up being teh hardcore (by our definition) but non gamers just buy the dumbest games
[Keeng]
Explain to me how selling a ton of bad games to non-gamers is better for the industry than selling decent-to-awesome games to actual gamers.

Quoting Webster's non-collegiate dictionary:

"non- ... a prefix in common in use of the sense of not, un-, in-" (Webster italicized those words)

Thus, a non gamer is someone WHO DOES NOT PLAY GAMES. What's next? Nondairy creamer with milk? I suppose someone could "become" a non-gamer if they haven't played a game in years,  but this isn't the case here since they're buying "dumb games" and "bad games"

And other than being an elitist, please explain "actual gamers." Are there "imaginary gamers" we have to worry about?

#26 Posted by Keeng (999 posts) -

To Giantkitty:

To start, my intention was not to come off as an elitist. By "actual gamers" I meant people care about games; those of us who support the industry and derive more from playing games than just a way to spend time. I will admit that  I could have phrased it differently because it wasn't supposed to make me sound like I'm better than someone because of my entertainment preferences. A "non-gamer" to me (and I believe this is the same common definition most people have) is a person who has video games but is not a game player, a person who doesn't actually enjoy video games, if that makes sense. I think a good comparison would be to say a person who has shot a basketball into a rim is not a basketball player. They've played basketball, but they're not a person who plays basketball. 

In my line that you quoted I was talking about how certain practices help or hurt the industry. To help clarify, I believe getting people who wouldn't normally play video games to play dozens of terrible games is a bad thing for the industry. It says to developers that it's fine for them to continue releasing products that are far below their own standards because people will buy them. The goal should never be "Let's make a game that people who don't like video games will play." A developer should always have the intention of making the best game they can given their resources. 
#27 Posted by Jensonb (1722 posts) -

You've summarised all my thoughts on the subject perfectly! THis si what I've been trying to say for people for months. Bravo!

#28 Posted by get2sammyb (6412 posts) -

Didn't people latch onto the Playstation 2 and release tons of shovelware for it too though? That didn't make the PS2 a bad console by any stretch of the imagination.

And while I agree Nintendo are not supporting gamers like ourselves enough I genuinely do believe they (and the industry as a whole) is having to adapt to a gigantic change.

Nintendo might be making mistakes but they're trying to rectify them. Sure we might not be getting any good games this year but if they have a Pikmin on the way and Punch-Out!! -- these games strike me as titles that the hardcore and the casuals will enjoy alike.

Nintendo's mission is to create games that appeal to everyone and because it's such a new thing there will be trial and error involved.

#29 Edited by Elijah (139 posts) -

The Wii is the biggest disappointment of the decade.  It's a $250 party toy.  There simply aren't enough (playable) games coming out, and the ones that are good are usually 1st party.  Comparing the Wii to the PS2 is silly.

#30 Posted by Giantkitty (808 posts) -

[Keeng]

> By "actual gamers"   I meant people care about games; those of us who support the industry and derive more from playing games than just a way to spend time

A "non-gamer" could care about games, not very much, but still care. Anyone who gives money supports the industry, a non-gamer could buy a game and throw it away and it'd support the industry. As "to spend the time,"  for the most part, people get games and play them because they're interested in the subject matter. The only exception would be grannies who use the computer to play solitaire and things like that, but that's a minority of people. Most people (actual and very casual gamers) that get games "derive more" because they have something in common with that game. Maybe they like sports, so they get a sports game, etc.

>A "non-gamer" to me (and I believe this is the same common definition most people have) is a person who has video games but is not a game player, a person who doesn't
>actually enjoy video games, if that makes sense.

Why would someone have video games and not be a "game player?" What makes them not one? A player is someone who plays, so the only way for your definition to fit would be if someone bought some games and not play them at all. And what's this "actual enjoyment" as compared to the "enjoyment" a "non-gamer" would have? Video games are basically things to have fun with, as long as they didn't find the game bad, they enjoyed it. It's a "No True Scotsman" fallacy because you're trying to debate whether the enjoyment is "actual" (gamers) or not (non-gamers). The "amount" of enjoyment may vary, but it is there in both cases.

>I think a good comparison would be to say a person who has shot a basketball into a rim is not a basketball player. They've played basketball, but they're not a person who >plays basketball.

If you're talking about someone that throws a basketball into a rim and that's all, then they're not a basketball player : that's not even nearly playing a full game at all. if someone picks up a controller and plays a few lines of Tetris, then I guess they're a "non-gamer"
Again how do you "play" compared to "play"? If I went outside and saw four people at a basketball court throwing a basketball into a hoop, etc., can I assume that because none of the people are italicized, none of them are basketball players? Again, if they're reasonably doing what is a "basketball game," they're basketball players. They may be bad players or only play occasionally and be lax on the rules (a casual basketball player), but they're players nonetheless.

>I believe getting people who wouldn't normally play video games to play dozens of terrible games is a bad thing for the industry

Why would anyone play dozens of terrible games? By about the third game, they would stop playing them. It's a straw man argument, for if you want your argument to work, you're having people play a bunch of terrible games. No reasonably intelligent person would do that. Or, you're setting the bar too high: games that aren't the "quality" games can be good, okay, mediocre, or even bad but salvagable, they can't all be "terrible."

>It says to developers that it's fine for them to continue releasing products that are far below their own standards because people will buy them.

That's one unfortunate side effect of when more and more people (especially those that weren't gamers before) buy games. Even an "experienced" gamer can buy a stinker.
but what I'm hoping is that this person, who never played games before buys some games. Hopefully they'll at least be okay, and he'll buy some more. he might now look online for "good games" or just by accident buy a good game. But as time goes on, he should become better at gaming and better at choosing. These games can be gateway games for a person who might never have played in the first place. If he gets terrible games or decides to not play any more, nothing's really lost (except some of his money)because he wouldn't have played in the first place. So unstellar games can help the industry that way. Just as long as everyone doesn't decide to make only those games.

>The goal should never be "Let's make a game that people who don't like video games will play."

that goal is just contradictory, so nobody would follow that. I think the goal could be "Turn a non-gamer into a casual gamer into a hardcore gamer" if they buy some not so great games along the way, so be it. You have to start somewhere.