That would be a great name for a fantasy fiction trilogy, wouldn't it?
Anyway, a post on Level Up today addresses something that's come up in this blog a few times: the incompatibility of the hardcore gaming experience with the time demands on your modern adult. Nintendo talks a lot about recapturing people who fell away from gaming. But there's another huge swath of us who never gave it up, who started playing games as young children and kept it going right through college. The games didn't leave us -- they didn't stop being fun, or become too complicated. It just turns out that when you work a full-time job and have a family, gaming in six-hour sessions becomes less appealing, not to mention impractical.
Often, I read complaints that a game is too short. This is a value consideration: if you spend $60 on a six-hour game, that's only $10/hour. If you spend $60 on a forty-hour game, that's a piddling $1.50/hour. Objectively, it's clear to see which is the better deal, especially if the gamer in question is, say, a college student with unlimited time and extremely limited funds. On the other hand, I'd think it's worth the extra money for the salaried professional whose time is at a premium. $60 isn't cheap, but it's not back-breaking either. And let's say that, realistically, you can only squeeze in an hour or so a night of game time. This six hour game now takes almost a week to complete -- or about as long as it used to take me to plow through a 40-hour game in college. Both of these straw men spent $60 on a game that they completed in a week, using most of their free time to do so. They come out even!
This isn't to say that there isn't a place for both types of games. But I would hope that publishers understand that there's a large, well-heeled segment of the market that actually does want short games, or games that can be played in bursts, without sacrificing complex gameplay or mature themes. If "hardcasual" is to be the term, then so be it. Just don't confuse lack of time with a lack of interest.