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Casual gaming is a type of video game or gameplay targeted at a large, varied audience that does not want to devote a great deal of time to the game. Games intended for casual gaming are usually fairly simple, and do not require the player to learn many new skills, or a complicated set of rules. This is in comparison to a more devoted gamer, sometimes referred to as a professional or "hardcore" gamer, who may devote hours every day to advancing in a particular video game and learning new skills.
There are no defined rules for casual gaming, however. A casual gamer may enjoy playing more difficult, immersive video games, but only has a limited amount of time to do so. Technically, anyone with an interest in video games can be considered a casual gamer. A casual gamer may invest less money in video games or video game consoles than a "hardcore" gamer, or may employ different styles of play which he or she finds enjoyable, but may be less suited to progression within a certain game.
Casual gaming may take place on a computer, either with additionally installed software or online; a video game console that is stationary or portable; or even a handheld device such as a cell phone. Casual video games are usually designed for the user to be able to pick up and play the game when he or she has a few minutes to spare, and to easily put the game down again when he is done. Casual gaming is generally intended for users of all ages and skill levels to enjoy.
Casual games may or may not be saved after each time played, which can make it easier for the user to quickly progress through the game. Some types of casual games are pre-installed on computers or cell phones at the time of purchase, and are generally just used as ways to pass the time without the game player actually becoming emotionally invested in the game, or needing to develop specialized skills in order to succeed at gameplay. In addition, some gaming consoles are targeted more at casual gamers, and offer games and additional peripherals that may be enjoyed by members of different ages in a family rather than by a more frequent gamer. Casual gaming is a very popular pastime for people of all ages and skill levels, and can be a great way to encourage the whole family to spend more time together.