Brand Loyalty (was Re: [MUD-Dev] Requirements for MM(wasComplexities of MMOG Servers))

Rayzam rayzam at
Thu Jan 16 00:16:27 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003

From: "Damion Schubert" <damion at>
> From Rayzam
>> From: "Marc Fielding" <fielding at>

>> What is the actual definition of a 'casual powergamer'? Does such
>> a beastie actually exist?

> Judging from the way my mom plays solitaire, I'd say yes.  She
> looks at Spider Solitaire and goes into a zone.  She knows every
> nuance, understands the odds of every card flip, and has spent a
> lot more than 120 hours playing it (hell, I'd be shocked if she
> hasn't gone into four digits).  She's 'casual' because she rarely
> buys games (she even was confused by the Sims), doesn't plan her
> life around it, and in fact has been playing the same Spider game
> for the last 4 years.

That's not what I normally think of when someone talks about the
casual player. It's not how many games, or whatnot. It's based on
time, effort, and investment.

Time - a casual gamer plays for an hour here or there. A casual
gamer doesn't want to have to play 4 hours to accomplish anything or
its not worth playing. A casual gamer doesn't want to have to play
each and every day.  Taking a few days off shouldn't harm them.

Effort - a casual gamer wants to be able to play. The casual gamer
does not want to have to plan out each and every
advancement/upgrade/skill increase. Most websites describing the
formula/algorithms/intricacies aren't of interest to the casual

Investment - a casual gamer enjoys the game, but doesn't care about
'winning'. The casual gamer is not as personally invested in the

A casual gamer fulfills one or more of the above, in my
definition. To me, a powergamer fails all 3 of those. To me, your
mom's understanding of every nuance, etc makes her a powergamer, and
fails on the effort check above.

> 'Powergaming' is merely a moderately derogatory way of saying
> 'optimizing one's play experience'.  For many, many people, its
> not just one way of playing games, its _how_ you play games.  Its
> _much_ more mass market than its purported MMP opposite
> roleplaying.

I'd suggest that powergaming is the new word for min-maxing. It's
not about optimizing one's play experience, it's about optimizing
one's ability to play the game and to win it, even open-ended,
'unwinnable' games. And there is an important difference between
those 2.


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