Casual games are fun supposed to be fun…lets keep them that way

After playing “You have to burn the rope” in class, Jake, Catey and I discussed how the game did not appear to be a casual game at all. It is short, simple, and really just makes fun of hard core games because of how short and simple the quest is. After our discussion, it made me rethink what casual games really do for the videogame industry. They are not “casual” because of their simplicity, but rather because they do not necessitate a background in hard core gaming in order for them to be enjoyable. In other words, casual gaming is simply the videogame industry’s attempt to show the people who aren’t hard core gamers that gaming can be fun. However, there is a fine line that developers tread when trying to make games that reach out to casual gamers, because if they do too much of this, they will alienate the hard core gamers who gave the industry their start. Games that worry me are games like “The Crossing,” which as we discussed in class, has very little depth after the first minute of playing time which is spent figuring out all the possibilities for what one can do in the game (and the rest of the playing time is spent trying to figure out while you’re still playing…). It is one thing if games like “The Crossing” are aimed at a specific audience (such as kids), but as developers continue to spend time creating games that appeal to the casual gamer, they must be sure to keep the hard core gamer happy as well. There is a lot of money to be found in developing games for things like the iPhone (as Mitchel mentioned in his post), or the Wii-ware games for the Nintendo Wii. However, the industry needs to keep high standards for these games, or else the casual game industry could end up repeating the initial failure that was created when too many bad video games started coming out for the Atari. Casual games are great, but developers must continue to push the industry in ways of innovation, so it must remember that quality is better than quantity, and that creating good casual games and good hard core games now will make the big money in the long run (even if creating a lot of simple games now may make a lot of money in the short run).