People who would never call themselves gamers are creating a billion-dollar industry.
A lot has been written about the video game addiction concerns of video games in recent years usually drawing on examples from the online role-playing game World of Warcraft (WoW), the always attacked Grand Theft Auto (GTA) series or from adrenalin rushed shoot em ups such as Counter-Strike (CS), Medal of Honor (MOH), and Call of Duty (COD).
It's not often that anyone talks about the classic online remakes, matching colored gems, playing cards, solving mysteries or bouncing marbles around the screen. Yet these "Casual Games" are entrancing hundreds of millions of players around the world across platforms as diverse as home PCs, mobile phones, iPods, iPhones and in-flight entertainment systems.
The Casual Games Association (CGA) defines casual games as those designed for the "mass consumer", including people who would not regard themselves as gamers.
It estimates more than 200million people play casual games over the internet each month with annual global sales of more than $2.5billion. These numbers are one the rise due to recession scares. People are buckling down and holding onto every penny. So where are they going to find entertainment without having to pay too much for it or paying nothing at all? Ah the internet lovely source of everything free if you canít find it here then
"Casual games are fun, quick to access, easy to learn and require no previous special video game skills, expertise or regular time commitment to play," the Casual Games Association (CGA) says. "Casual games are usually easy to pause, stop and restart with little consequence to the player's enjoyment."
Research has found that people turn to casual games primarily for stress relief, to take a break, for the challenge or because they are bored.
"The connected casual games industry is a multibillion-dollar industry (but) no matter the exact sizing or growth rate, the importance of casual games is unchanged - consumers love casual games and will continue to play."
Many casual games are instantly familiar because they are based around recognizable concepts or simple games that consumers played in video game arcades in the early 1980s or on the first generation of game consoles and home computers.
I think everyone could be a potential game player but they are (often) turned off by traditional video games that are overly violent, have controls that are too complicated, demand advanced 3-D spatial skills, require a major time investment or feature themes with narrow appeal
"Games should be part of everyday life, not a niche hobby."
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