Interestingly, where casual gamers have been traditionally viewed as people who occasionally play solitaire on the computer, and core gamers are the select few who are really devoted to their games, we are now seeing these roles merge. Casual audiences are behaving like core gamers - playing longer, later, faster and demanding smarter games - and core gamers are enjoying less hardcore experiences, as demonstrated by the popularity of titles like Wii Sports and Guitar Hero. Our research suggests that casual gamers are starting to do what core gamers have done for years, adopt and grow communities around their favorite content experiences.RPGCodex' piece entitled The Role We Don't Play is about contemporary narrative techniques in cRPGs:
Developers have been looking outside the medium and at others like cinema as a model to present immersive, "cinematic" experiences that try to tell a story - for this, they assume a game needs to emulate a movie in order to present a sense of narrative. However, including a cinematic sequence angle is akin to shoving a round peg inside a square hole; developers believe these non-interactive cutscenes played out by virtual actors are not only great simulacrums of movies, but that they are also doing a proper job of conveying characterization and plot advancement. The problem is that these cutscenes are taken out of their original context and lose the same sequential meaning they originally have in cinema; whereas a movie is composed of such segments to narrate a story, in a videogame these scenes often fail to narrate the main character’s exploits or expose the consequences of their actions and are presented in a way that actually breaks up the pace of gameplay and the flow of the story itself.Link: RPGVault Sandbox on casual and core gamers
Link: RPGCodex: The Role We Don't Play
Spotted on RPGWatch.