The Escapist Magazine
Issue 110
"The Future of Gaming"
Another look at casual games and the people who play them.
Editor's Note Letters to the Editor

"At first, Brian said he 'never' played those games, then he admitted he sometimes played 'when I'm waiting for someone.' After about five minutes, he finally owned up to a minor addiction to Conquest, a surprisingly complex contest of board control involving jumping and cloning adjacent octopuses on a hex-field. A challenge was quickly issued and accepted, and while the match itself wasn't very interesting, the camaraderie we built over the game reminded me of similarly quick friendships forged over Street Fighter or DDR in old-school arcades."

Kyle Orland touches on the appeal of touch screen bar games.

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"A hardcore gamer stuck with FreeCell can fall in love. Casual games thrive because they rest on solid, approachable gameplay in a way million-dollar blockbusters don't. There's no reason why the lessons of casual games like FreeCell can't be applied to the games hardcore gamers play; there's no reason why casual gamers shouldn't be able to play "real" games, provided their developers take a closer look at what makes games fun."

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"'It's really hard to judge games neck-and-neck,' he says. 'When we look at children's games vs. hard core games that have all the time, budget and manpower, it's really hard to say ... Dora isn't as good as Halo - because it's not Halo. Everyone wants to play Halo and review Halo, but Dora was made for 4-year-olds. Unless you can watch a 4-year-old play, maybe you shouldn't be reviewing the game.'"

Russ Pitts speaks with Vicious Cycle's Eric Peterson.

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"'Casual gaming is not a demographic, it's a behavior,' he says. 'Very few people just go to movies and refuse to watch television, or vice versa. Hardcore gamers are just really enthusiastic gamers; they play everything, including the light casual games. They may be less likely to buy them, but they play the heck out of them.'"

Richard Aihoshi examines the future of PC gaming, and why you may not be in it.

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"It's 1:45 a.m. My contacts are glued to my eyeballs, because I have not blinked in three hours. My left hand is twitching, my back is aching and my shoulders are cramping. My right hand is rock steady, however, and with the barest flick of a mouse, I send the ball arcing toward the never-ending snake of colored blocks. I only need 20,000 more points for my "Buster Badge," and if I don't get it tonight, I never will."

Sanya Weathers explores hardcore casual.

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