The Video Game Entertainment Curve

This illustrated chart by H. Caldwell Tanner shows how much time is needed to properly enjoy each genre of video game, from casual games to epic length RPGs, and in my opinion it pretty much sums up what all hardcore gamers know-each genre has a different level of commitment, and appeals to a particular type of gamer.

This chart is a great way for newbie gamers to figure out what kind of games they're looking for, instead of borrowing your copy of Mass Effect 3 for six months just to discover that they don't really like RPGs.

Link  --via Geeks Are Sexy

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Actually, Mass Effect 3 is an interesting game to bring up for this chart. Much of the complaining about Mass Effect 2 (and fears of ME3) from "hardcore" RPG fans is that the game is essentially NOT a time sink the way RPGs are supposed to be. It's more fun more quickly, the way a first person shooter is. And that's BAD, apparently. ("selling out")
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And then there's what you get out of it.

You average casual tablet game is fun for a few hours. But the games that require more time to learn often provide many more hours of play.

And then there are the games like Valkyria Chronicles, which takes about 15 minutes to learn the basics of, and provided probably 40 hours of fun on the first play-through alone.
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Oddly enough, I'm part of the Fighting Game Community, and we don't consider ourselves part of the MLG (a good segment of us dislike them). But the pompous attitude kinda applies still...
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I agree with Caldwell Tanner. On the rare occasions when I have time to play a video game, it'd had better be simple enough to learn quickly.

The only RPG I've played was Baldur's Gate. That took way, way too much time.
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i've been playing skyrim for about 100+ hours. haven't gone through a quarter of the dungeons and dont get me started on those GDamned miscellaneous quests!
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