Forums - Gaming Discussion - Why thinking of games as "casual" is a mistake

Or "why Nintendo is curb stomping the competition"

I found a really fascinating article buy a guy named Sean Malstom, please read it and give your thoughts.

"Birdmen and the Casual Fallacy" http://malstrom.50webs.com/birdman.html

"The real reason why so many in the Industry have rallied about casual gaming since the domination of the Wii is to escape blame for piss poor decision making. They talk of casual gaming like it was a ‘new trend’ despite it always existing and its increase on PCs were generating newspaper articles half a decade ago. By describing ‘casual gaming’ as an unforeseen explosion, they save their necks from investors who would have rightly penalized them for making bad business decisions. Pre-Wii, Nintendo talked about appealing to non-gamers and former gamers. Casual gamers are neither of those two."

If you can't be bothered to read for 30 minutes, do this thread a favor and don't post. Chances are if you come in talking about "hardcore" and "casual" arguments you'll just be exposed for exactly the kind of thinking the article is talking about rather than convince anyone of anything other than your ignorance.

 

Anyway, my personal thoughts:

I found this article really eye-opening. It's changed my perception of how I personally approach thinking about games. Truth be told I never touched Wii Sports for more than 30 minutes at a time (I R LEET HEER ME CALL U A FAGORT) once a month or so until I really started digging into the game with the medals and what not.

All in all a lot of this stuff has bubbled around in my head, like when I got REALLY into Wii Sports or listened to Nintendo quotes talking about non-gamers and lapsed gamers, but this article does a brilliant job of connecting all these things and explaining the larger implications.

The whole "casual" gaming thing never really stuck with me anyway, as my wife and some family members would do Wii Sports for hours and hours, or Mario Party 8 for hours and hours and hours and hours.  Sure they didn't want to load up Armed Assault for some hardcore military sim action, but they sure as hell put in the hours when the right conditions came along--not casual gaming in the least.

Anyway, I'm not afraid to admit my perception was off in a lot of respects prior to reading this article. Like many Nintendo surprised me, but it's because their thinking was 100 steps ahead of us, including the higher ups in the industry. Perhaps all of us here, as more serious gamers, can learn something by looking downstream instead of concentrating on the upstream.

I'd love to read your thoughts, enjoy the article.



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Sean Malstrom is well known on this forum (at least to Nintendo fans) and we've discussed this particular article before.

I agree that it is a great article.



Legend11 correctly predicted that GTA IV (360+PS3) would outsell SSBB. I was wrong.

A Biased Review Reloaded / Open Your Eyes / Switch Gamers Club

Hmm, this article in this forum or the NIntendo one? If it's this forum I'll go ahead and close the thread.



cAPSLOCK said:
Hmm, this article in this forum or the NIntendo one? If it's this forum I'll go ahead and close the thread.

I've linked to the previous thread in my post above. Apparently we didn't really discuss it that much four months ago. Also, Malstrom's article is still up to date, so I think we can leave your thread open.

EDIT: Especially now right after E3, "casual" gaming became very popular again.

Another EDIT: Where have you been all this time?



Legend11 correctly predicted that GTA IV (360+PS3) would outsell SSBB. I was wrong.

A Biased Review Reloaded / Open Your Eyes / Switch Gamers Club

Can Wii Music be called a "casual" game at least? I don't believe there's any other way to play it except casually.



Tag: Became a freaking mod and a complete douche, coincidentally, at the same time.



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Onyxmeth said:

Can Wii Music be called a "casual" game at least? I don't believe there's any other way to play it except casually.

 

Can that even be called a game?



Onyxmeth said:

Can Wii Music be called a "casual" game at least? I don't believe there's any other way to play it except casually.

Do we even know for certain that what we've seen at E3 is everything what the final game will feature?



Legend11 correctly predicted that GTA IV (360+PS3) would outsell SSBB. I was wrong.

A Biased Review Reloaded / Open Your Eyes / Switch Gamers Club

I read it beofre, I'm not going to reread it. Casual term isn't a mistake, just becuase they have been around before doesn't make the term wrong. Hardcore is a mistake; there were hardcore gamers in the Snes days, its not like the appeared this gen, its just that now Hardcore is considered to mean the teenage FPS crowd.

Nintendo is destroying the competion because Nintendo disrupted the market by going after casuals first, and by focusing on casuals. Typically, consoles go after the hardcore, build a base, lower prices, and then appeal to the casuals (this is clearly the strategy Microsft is employing for the 360) This would seem bad for the hardcore gamer becuase it makes them less important, but in reality they are just as important, and their long term viability is increased due to market expenison. A healthy market makes for happy gamers.



Hawkeye said:
I read it beofre, I'm not going to reread it. Casual term isn't a mistake, just becuase they have been around before doesn't make the term wrong. Hardcore is a mistake; there were hardcore gamers in the Snes days, its not like the appeared this gen, its just that now Hardcore is considered to mean the teenage FPS crowd.

Nintendo is destroying the competion because Nintendo disrupted the market by going after casuals first, and by focusing on casuals. Typically, consoles go after the hardcore, build a base, lower prices, and then appeal to the casuals (this is clearly the strategy Microsft is employing for the 360) This would seem bad for the hardcore gamer becuase it makes them less important, but in reality they are just as important, and their long term viability is increased due to market expenison. A healthy market makes for happy gamers.

 

Nicely put.



Onyxmeth said:

Can Wii Music be called a "casual" game at least? I don't believe there's any other way to play it except casually.

 

I'm not sure how I'd classify it. I haven't played it. Wii Sports had an insane amount of depth if you poked hard enough at it. Sure it's simple and cute on the surface but there's a lot to it if played it enough. I would define Wii Sports as an "intro" game.

My guess is that Wii Music is the same. I wouldn't expect some huge 1 million first week sales, but like Nintendogs it'll still be alive when the dust settles. That's my theory, but only time will tell.

Give it a read, he explains the whole problem of thinking in terms of "casual" instead of thinking about these types of games as introduction/ 1st tier games.