Ha. I figured last night’s subject would spark off some debate, as I got a few messages from people telling me that I “just don’t get it”. Actually, I do, but I realize my last post was a bit long-winded, so I’ll summarize my thoughts in this post:

I have no problem with “casual” games as a gaming genre. I do, however, have a problem with the sheer number of developers and publishers that attempt to prey on this new wave of gaming consumers by releasing quick and easy low-quality titles in order to feed into this frenzy of “casual-mania”. The hype isn’t going to last forever, and it’s up to devs to start putting out better quality titles that have new and original ideas. Otherwise, the interest is going to fade, people will move on, and the shelves are going to be flooded with these crappy titles.

While it’s great that Grandma is now a gamer, she’s not going to buy 15-20 titles a year like your average 20-30 something will. But I think “casual” gaming by definition should mean “accessible to everyone”. A bad game is a bad game, and even if it’s the most popular title on the market, it still doesn’t make it shine anymore. A lot of this casual mania is based on being unfamiliar with what type’s of titles are out there (Do you really think these people tour the gaming sites for info, or just pick up a flashy cover on their next trip to the store?), and it’s also being a part of the biggest hype around, but the Wii is still hard to find?

“Casual” gamers should get better quality games. Period. Same way I feel that the majority of games targeted for children and girls are just patronizing and clueless about what is wanted. I don’t play sports titles as I don’t have an interest in them, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t recognize Madden as a consistently quality title. EA could take the cheap way out and just update its rosters every year, but there always seems to be something new brought to the table.

I do think it’s important that we better inform newcomers to the types of games out there, but I’d have to think about how to reach out to them. The market right now is flooded with more poor-quality games and shovelware than I’ve ever seen it in years. I’d like to think that this new greed in catering to these audiences isn’t going to start leading to another “Video Game Crash”.

Personally, I’d like to hear from some girl gamers: Do you think the games specifically marketed towards your gender are good titles that accurately reach your wants as a gamer, or are you more content in playing World of Warcraft or some other title?

As I’ve stated before, I consider myself a “hardcore” gamer. That doesn’t mean that I exclusively play FPS and “M” rated titles. I’ve played a lot of games on a lot of systems, and I’ll play any game as long as it’s good, but there are certain types of games that may be too complex or inappropriate for new or younger gamers. That’s why casual, by default should be defined for anyone, so even seasoned gamers can enjoy a title as they lead someone else into this hobby.

For fun, I’m going to list a few of what I consider “casual” titles that I own, as I feel these fall under the idea of “Anyone can play them”, which is my whole point.

Endless Ocean
Boom Blox
Dance Dance Revolution (I’ve got a few titles)
Guitar Hero (I’ve got a few titles)
Tetris DS
All those old-school classic gaming compilations from the ’80’s-’90’s (Atari, Activision, Intellivision, Midway, Namco)
Wario Ware
Mario Kart (I own a few titles)
LEGO Star Wars/LEGO Indiana Jones (based on the whole “you can never really die” concept)
SimCity (Don’t own any The Sims” games, but I recognize their popularity and place in gaming)

In addition to the “What makes a good girl gamer game” question, what do you consider as good “Casual” games? What do you think are not?

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Filed under: general gaming