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Why is it that when someone does not like something that is produced they say it is a signal that the industry is dying? Take for instance causal games in the gaming industry such as Plants Vs. Zombies or even Bejewled. You would think that someone said they were implanted viruses that would destroy the core of what makes gaming good while at the same time replicating and capturing those who would otherwise be “real gamers.” This is ridiculous!

Casual games are usually defined as those games which can be picked up, played, and put down again with little to no major time investment. “Farmville” by Zynga is touted as being the biggest offender in the casual games genre; sucking down millions of people a day who spend ten or fifteen minutes maintaining their virtual farms. These games have a low amount of investment in both time and money (many are free) and are often not very technical in nature; having easy controls and easy mechanics to grasp.

A “real” game is one that is often defined as…well it is not really defined as a rule. They do not meet the definition of the exact opposite of a casual game but they are certainly not casual games either. This is part of why I feel the argument that casual games are ruining gaming as ridiculous. If you cannot properly define as “real” what you are arguing as being ruined, then you cannot argue that something is destroying it.

What I do not understand is denigrating something that is bringing more fans into whatever it is your hobby is. Surely anything that brings in more fans and more money into your hobby is good right? Apparently that is not valid when it comes to video games.

What gamers appear to be worried about is the influence of this money in what games are going to be made. If more money is coming in to these “causal” games then why would a game company not make more of the casual games than the “real” games that gamers love? The thing that gamers seem to forget is that causal games can be an entry point into “real” gaming. If your mom suddenly loves “Farmville” as a game, maybe you could introduce her slowly to other games she might like with similar controls but increasing in complexity?

That is what gamers seem to be forgetting. Even a “casual” gamer is a gamer by definition. If you can introduce them into the games you define as “real” via these games, then what have you lost? Suddenly you have one more person to play with, and more money going to make those games you enjoy.

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