by simon baird

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Rise of Casual Gaming, An Essay

Casual gaming was a term invented or at least favoured by so called 'hard core' gamers to disparagingly describe Wii Sports. A "casual gamer" was your like your middle aged Aunty. She probably wore Mom Jeans and enjoyed the 4:30pm buffet special and certainly had no idea who Link or Gordon Freeman were. Casual gaming was touted as a dire threat the future of "proper" games, games with a long, steep learning curve or a 300 page walk-through. Nintendo were making shed loads of money selling Wii Bowling to pensioners, so why would they bother investing the large amounts required to create the next Zelda. The idea has some merit perhaps but lets draw some comparisons to YouTube and the movie industry. Cinema fans aren't afraid that the rising popularity of YouTube will threaten the movie industry (at least not that I know of), so lets be optimistic that casual gaming won't wipe out non-casual gaming. In other words don't panic my gamer friends. And be open to the joys of casual gaming. Casual games and gamers are worthy of respect. Play Flight Control if you aren't convinced. Enjoy the fact that it cost you a dollar. Cheaper than a can of coke. Or try your favourite tower defense game on any platform or kill some zombies in Boxhead 2. And what about games like Katamari Damacy, Crazy Taxi? Are they not casual games? Pacman? Tetris? Nobi Nobi Boy? Casual gaming is on the rise. It's coming via Xbox Arcade, Playstion Network, Steam, AppStore, and flash gaming sites. And it doesn't even know where to buy Mom Jeans.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Even if the big companies stop making deep games, we'll still have "Dwarf Fortress."