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Games aren't core or casual, gamers are. Somebody can play a Mario game in a hardcore manner and replay the game for better scores, a lower death count, etc. Somebody can play CoD in a casual manner and just jump on the game every once and a while to participate in a match or mission.
Both terms are used in rather stupid manners by most people.
I can't wait for Super Mario 3D, Mario Kart 3D, Paper Mario 3D, Luigi's Mansion 2, Kid Icarus: Uprising, Kirby Mass Attack, Kirby Wii, and Skyward Sword!
I consider hardcore gamers to be people like myself, who have played tons of games, for tons of hours. Actually, I probably spend more time gaming per week than I do anything else(Except sleeping, breathing, etc). Sad, I know, but it is how it is.
My brother on the other hand, doesn't play often at all. He still has high interest in games, and occasionally plays games for long periods of time. I'd classify him as either high end casual, or low end hardcore. When he decides to playt a game, he tends to take an intense interest and focus on it for days/weeks at a time.
My cousin would be casual. She plays lots of games, but not really intensely. Just as a time passer when she has nothing better to do. Probably spends som,ething like 1-5 hours a week playing games.
Her brother though, I'm not too sure about. He constantly plays games, literally like 18 hours a day(He just turned 11 two weeks ago). He seems to be more obsessed with them than simply hardcore. As he has never mastered any game, can't handle games with even medium difficulty or puzzle games. I think it's more about the interaction he gets and a compulsive need to stay busy than it is actual interest in gaming. He's recently rediscovered Wii Sports, once he becomes Pro at all the games, he'll sell it again claiming to have mastered it. He's been playing pokemon with me for like 2 years, he only just discovered the pokedex tells where to catch the pokemon.
So, imo, it depends on the person, and how dedicated to gaming they are. For me, gaming is absolute main hobby. For my brother, it's other things mixed in evenly with games. For my cousin, it's other things, then gaming till something more interesting comes up. Her brother, seemingly obsessive compulsive pver them.
The following statement is false. The previous statement is true.