The Archives => Old Blah^3 Threads => Game Discussion => Topic started by: Yoshi Skier on April 18, 2008, 11:39:06 AM

Title: The Casual Game/Gamer
Post by: Yoshi Skier on April 18, 2008, 11:39:06 AM
This issue came up a little in the F-Zero discussion, and I'm really interested in it. So here are the questions up for discussion:

1. What exactly is a casual game or gamer? What makes a game/gamer casual?

2. Will casual games have a positive or negative impact on the video game industry, and on the gaming community as a whole?

3.Anything else related to casual gaming.

I have my own opinions but I'd like to hear yours first. This is a very diverse issue, and one I don't think too many people agree on. Ready go.
Title: Re: The Casual Game/Gamer
Post by: Tanuki on April 18, 2008, 12:24:40 PM
I consider "casual games" the more accessible, easier and simpler games/minigames, such as Wii Sports, Wii Play, etc.
These aren't necessarily crappy per se, but they don't seem to pose as much of a challenge or interest me as much as something like the Megaman franchise for example. They're just way too simple to be spending hours into, they're decent for a short break or playing them with people that aren't used to playing videogames, but besides that they're pretty much useless. I think those weren't too bad if they're in a measured amount, however for example the Wii seems to be dominated by such sorts of games imo, and I don't really see many titles that interest me apart from the VC's offers.

So yeah I'm definitely negative towards casual gaming to some extent, and I hope it won't motivate companies to ditch the more difficult games out there in favour for the casual ones.
Title: Re: The Casual Game/Gamer
Post by: Turndawg107 on April 18, 2008, 01:46:49 PM
IMHO the casual gamer technically isn't even a part of gaming.  Essentially it's a non-gamer who plays video games on the rare occasion for something like Wii Sports, Wii Fit, Wii Play, etc.  The fact that there really aren't many games outside of those few shows that casual gamers are not a component of the gaming demographic, due to the fact that they are not gamers and therefore do not go out of their way to purchase new games, because, quite honestly, they do not like playing video games.

The real conundrum lies in how far companies are willing to attempt to support these non-gamers to the point that they can be convinced to fully enjoy video games of any kind.  The companies have to figure out a way to convince these "casual" players to be interested in more than a measly 2-3% of the game libraries for the systems they own.
Title: Re: The Casual Game/Gamer
Post by: lgb on April 18, 2008, 05:12:51 PM
Better post this afore I get bitched at... (I WON)

Casual gamers are the people who have friends who say "you have no life, play some video games" (what irony) and do so.

Casual games are simply games that have very little in the means of progression; this is not to say they aren't fun. Like a simulation or such.
Title: Re: The Casual Game/Gamer
Post by: Psuedo on April 18, 2008, 10:55:24 PM
I hate casual games.

If I want to "train my brain" I'll read a book.
If I want to play a sport, I'll play it in real life.
If I want to play a half-second minigame, I'll go to sleep as I clearly am bored out of my mind.
If I want to play Mario Party, I'll play Mario Party 3 as everything after that is just a waste of money.
You get the idea.
Title: Re: The Casual Game/Gamer
Post by: Ylle on April 18, 2008, 11:40:48 PM
And people wonder why games are so short. Casual gaming, short bursts of gaming is the preferred course, isn't it?

Hence why we feel so many new games are so short.
Title: Re: The Casual Game/Gamer
Post by: Yoshi Skier on April 22, 2008, 09:44:23 AM
I would have to disagree with your definitions of a casual game. It's tough, since it is a term thrown around so much. I see a casual game as this:

A kid gets his first system. He doesn't know much about gaming, but he's heard some stuff. What are the first games he's gonna buy? Those are my casual games. I see them as games that are easy to pick up from the start, and keep the gamer engaged from the very start. They're games that appeal to a large group of gamers, not just hard core ones.

You'd be suprised at my top two casual games: Madden and Brawl. Yes. Aren't these the first games that a new gamer will get if they get a Wii or XBox 360? They appeal to such a large audience, and are able to bring in so many gamers, from the hard core ones to the n00bs. It's alright if you disagree with me: chances are I'll change my opinion before this is over.
Title: Re: The Casual Game/Gamer
Post by: Turndawg107 on April 22, 2008, 02:08:05 PM
Simply put, Yoshi_Skier, if that logic were applied, then that means that Final Fantasy, Super C, 1943, Kirby's Adventure, and Mega Man 3(just to name a few) would be regarded as casual games in my case, seeing as those were quite honestly the first games I got and played.  Now you could say that I didn't buy those, so by applying THAT logic, then Bomberman 64, Mariokart 64, Blast Corps, and StarFox 64 are also casual games.  Tell other long-time gamers that and see what happens.
Title: Re: The Casual Game/Gamer
Post by: Yoshi Skier on April 22, 2008, 05:37:36 PM
What I mean when I say Brawl and Madden are the most successful "casual" games is that they are able to appeal to such a large group of people. If you go over to someone's house and they have a 360, chances are they'll have either Madden (if they're really casual) or Halo. They're games that you can play with your friends without any prior experience.

For example, I went over to my cousins house last month. He had gotten an XBox 360, his first system ever. What did he have? Just one game - Madden. Though I've never played Madden on an XBox before then, I picked up a controller and did just fine, and had a blast.

I believe a casual game's goal is to reach a large group of gamers, especially those who either a) don't know much about video games in general or b) don't have the time to play them that often. Actually, the Mario Kart series is a perfect example of a casual game as well. It has enough content to keep the hard core gamer happy, while having that simple thrill that can easily bring in the new gamer.

And usually, they are most known for their multiplayer. For example, Madden, Brawl, Halo, and Mario Kart are famous for their multiplayer modes, not their single player. They are games that are made for multiplayer, and sell because of their multiplayer. And they are made to appeal to every person who has $50 in their pockets.

And yes,  Final Fantasy has become more "casual" as the years have gone by. And unlike the stereotype, this doesn't make the game any worse necessarily.
Title: Re: The Casual Game/Gamer
Post by: Turndawg107 on April 22, 2008, 05:48:27 PM
Being easy to pick up and play is a staple for almost every game in existence, so by this argument, almost every game is regarded as casual.  Casual games are games that you can play a round or two of very quickly on your lunch break, on the bus ride home, etc.  The touch Generations line of games is the perfect example of a casual game.  Smash Bros., being a 1st party nintendo franchise with a very large preceding fanbase, can hardly be called "casual."  If all games that were easy to pick up and play were called casual titles, boy do I feel bad for Contra.
Title: Re: The Casual Game/Gamer
Post by: Yoshi Skier on April 22, 2008, 05:52:24 PM
Let me try this approach: "The developers noticeably try to make the game assessable to a large audience." Granted, Smash Bros. may not have been made originally to appeal to a large group of people, but when you put the CPU's at level 1, God, they stink. Does this definition satisfy you?
Title: Re: The Casual Game/Gamer
Post by: Turndawg107 on April 22, 2008, 05:59:30 PM
Before saying what defines a casual game, ask yourself if said game will appeal to your parents, grandparents, and 6-year-old cousins as much as it does to you.  That is the determinant of a casual game, that absolutely anyone can get into it and enjoy it as much as any gamer.
Title: Re: The Casual Game/Gamer
Post by: Yoshi Skier on April 22, 2008, 06:56:43 PM
And of course, it's not like the world is divided into casual games and hardcore games. There are an infinite number of intermediates. For example, having multiple difficulty levels makes a game more casual, or accessible, but it definitely doesn't make a game casual as a whole.
Title: Re: The Casual Game/Gamer
Post by: Ylle on April 22, 2008, 11:04:08 PM
Brawl: Casual. You don't have to spend time to enjoy it.
Metroid Prime: Not quite casual. You have to spend time to enjoy it fully.
Casual, easygoing, pick up and play.
It has to be easy, it has to deliver right away.
Street fighter 3 is one of the most hardcore fighters ever, yet there's something called "Casuals.".

There's games with far more depth than a casual gamer will ever note, hence why brawl is such a hit with casual gamers, hence why brawl is branded as a easy casual game. However, with alot of gamers playing the games like this, it opens up a market for shallow games, casual games.
Title: Re: The Casual Game/Gamer
Post by: JJames19119 on April 22, 2008, 11:30:46 PM
I consider a Casual Gamer to be someone who just plays games as a small hobby or something to that effect and doesn't really get too serious with it. Just plays them as a time waster or something like that.