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The death of hardcore gaming?

"Hardcore gamers need to chill out," said Payton. "I don't know how long I will stay in this industry, but I do hope that I can see a day when hardcore gamers lose this 'us versus them' mentality." The success of casual gaming on consoles is a blessing in disguise for gamers, he said, as it's opened the door for smaller independent games - like Super Stardust HD, Geometry Wars and even Penny Arcade Adventures - that might never have made it onto consoles years ago.

Jaffe agrees, saying that "there's a rise in both casual games and… smaller hardcore games, and a lot of times there's a tendency to lump both of them in together." He added that there are plenty of "casual" games that get so intense as to be considered hardcore; "I think the difference is just that the entry level and the thematic for those games are clearly aimed at people who don't consider themselves gamers."

After graduating from college in 2000 with a BA in journalism, I worked for five years as a copy editor, page designer and videogame-review columnist at a couple of mid-sized newspapers you've never heard of. My column eventually got me a freelancing gig with GMR magazine, which folded a few months later. I was hired on full-time by GamesRadar in late 2005, and have since been paid actual money to write silly articles about lovable blobs.