Do we really have nothing better to do with our time?

I found that I agreed with almost everything that was talked about in the Casual Revolution article.  As the stereotypical casual game player, most of what was talked about hit home.  I thought the discussion about the Wii was really interesting. When it first came out, the people I was around at the time told me that the graphics weren’t great, but that’s because they were focused on the game play and new technology, and the graphics would come in time. Now I realize that the “ok” graphics were done purposely, and it completely makes sense. This game is meant for everyone, and I think the article get it completely right when it says that fancy graphics can be intimidating. My aunts and uncles love the Wii, and I think it is mostly because it is so casual, and not intimidating in any way or time consuming.

On the note of time consuming, I thought it was bizarre when the article talked about how much time people actually spent playing casual games. It sounds like casual game players spend as much time chunking away at their casual games as “hardcore gamers” spend playing their more involved games. So why don’t the casual gamers just play the more involved games since they are going to put that time committment into it anyways? I realized this is similar to watching tv and watching a movie. Often, I’ll get online, and want to watch something light and easy thats not going to force me to commit more than 20-4o min. So I decided to watch Frasier, and before I know it, I’ve watched two hours of tv, so in theory I could have watched a movie with the same time committment and involvement. But I feel like this sort of relationship completely captures the difference between casual gaming and hardcore gaming. TV and Casual games are like the lite version of Hardcore games and Movies.

Finally, I disagreed with one thing.

“The stereotype of the casual player implies that casual game design
should always be easy. This has, in fact, been described as a good rule for
casual game design: “No casual game has ever failed for being too easy.”

This does not seem fair at all to the casual gamer. What fun is a game if there is no challenge? But thinking about it, and then the picture of Bejewled made me realize that this statement is more or less true. There is almost no challenge in clicking boxes that are the same colors. That seems like games that are usually reserved for pre-schoolers, but here is a huge time waster for school-age kids to adults. So I guess I was left with the question, why do people play casual games, what is the purpose? Do we really have nothing better to do with our time?