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Member since May 2011 · 2484 posts · Location: Brisbane
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Subject: Casual games and the people who play 'em.
Over on insertcredit     there was a recent conversation where a New York Times article was discussed.  It said, basically, that there's a good chance new 'casual' gamers with their Wiis and their World of Warcraft have changed the gaming landscape, perhaps forever.

Some people too real umbrage at this turn of events, and one guy said something silly that I responded to thusly:

Quote by szcz:
Well, let's face it. Gaming is going down the shitter because of all this mass-produced, casual-friendly crap. A few gems like No More Heroes are not going to change things.
[...]
This is why I've mostly given up on games and have sold off my whole collection.

May I paraphrase?

"AUGH people don't value the same things I do!  Gnash gnash fuckit I'm selling off all things precious to me!  That'll show 'em!"

Do the opinions of strangers really matter so much to you that without their validation you'll make yourself suffer?  I think more likely you sold it because you weren't interested in it like you used to be.  At least, I hope that's the case.

As far as I'm concerned gaming peaked with Robotron.  Everything else has been lesser, but so what?  No one cares.  We're the old men ranting and raving about how movies all started to suck when they went colour <spit> and all these johnny-come-latelies filling the theatres and paying for this modern shit are ruining it for everyone!

Geez.  Enjoy the games you've already got and let the kids have their play.  Otherwise it's true, and I'm sorry, but we will be those old men.

I don't want to be one of those.
BLEARGH
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Member since Oct 2007 · 316 posts
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Well, gaming is truly like art now. People are starting to try and exclude things in the category because it doesn't fit their conception of the activity.

You don't really have anything to worry about. People are going to complain, whether or not they have something valid to complain about. I'm confident that games will continue to exist, and anybody who doesn't stay interested will naturally be left behind.
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Member since Nov 2007 · 121 posts
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Who gives a crap? The good thing about games becoming more mainstream is that there are enough fun games for everyone to play.
Personally, I've grown bored of RPGs and most things over 20 hours long, I simply cannot be arsed to play them any more. I mean, the Megadrive is out again, FFS! Not exactly the bastion of 80-hour epics.
The gaming landscape has changed for the better and to complain about, for example, a lack of innovation in the name of annual updates is 5 years out of date. Innovation is alive and well, I don't track PS3 and 360 as I don't own or want either, but I can see it clearly on XBLA, PSP, DS and Wii.
Why do people care so much what other people think?
It's small dick syndrome, coupled with a medium dominated by teenagers.
"...either stop and think or fuck right off" (TheOutrider)
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Member since May 2011 · 2484 posts · Location: Brisbane
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There is a very interesting post about casual games/gamersover on Metanet (home of the hastily deleted 100-XBoxLiveArcade-reviews post, seen on insertcredit.com).  A few choice quotes about casual gamers:

In other media, “casual” products are more commonly referred to as “trash” — you have your trashy romance novels, your lip-synching boy bands, your cheesy reality tv and your god-awful Uwe Boll flicks. In other words, material that’s been cynically engineered with no goal beyond appealing to the lowest common denominator: people who aren’t literate in or knowledgeable about the medium enough to know better, and/or people who have terrible, terrible, appallingly terrible taste.

Then there’s the other half of the story: as developers, do you really want an audience so oblivious that they eagerly consume blatant clones of existing games? An audience so devoid of interest in game aesthetics that one of their most desired features is (apparently) jungle/Egyptian/Aztec-themed 3D backgrounds? An audience so lazy that almost any action or decision on the part of the player must result in success, coupled with ridiculous amounts of positive audio/visual feedback, lest the player become frustrated by the fact that they may have to learn or think in order to succeed.

Just because there’s money in it doesn’t mean that it’s morally or ethically right. If we continue to pander to the barely-game-literate, how will they ever become more literate? Learning isn’t always easy; sometimes it can be quite challenging. But isn’t the challenge what makes it so exhilarating?
BLEARGH
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Member since Nov 2007 · 121 posts
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There have always been shit games, particularly ones with a well-known licence attached (but not always), and people have always bought them. Are they any more noticable now that we have easier access to instant media? Possibly. Is there more of this 'shovelware'? Probably.
But think on this: If UbiSoft didn't ship cheap mass market products for low production costs such as Imagine Figure Skater and further iterations of Splinter Cell, they wouldn't also be able to bring things like Assassin's Creed which is flawed but something a bit different.
I don't really care if there are 500 shovelware products a month as long as 1 or 2 come out that I want to play.
"...either stop and think or fuck right off" (TheOutrider)
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Member since May 2011 · 2484 posts · Location: Brisbane
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A thought occured to me while writing the PacMan review...  Old games were all casual games.  Who approached any game in the arcade c.1985 and was confused about the goals or controls of any of them?  PacMan, Donkey Kong, Gravitar, Pengo, Joust...  The concepts were clear and the controls immediately understood. 

That's what casual gaming should be.  Modern 'casual' games tend to be a lot about low-speed and tragically-uncoordinated-player-friendly, but aren't they just the old games we loved?  Simple and understandable like games used to be?

I tell you, since replacing my 360 I've spent a shitload more time playing PacMan than I have playing Gears of War.
BLEARGH
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