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"Your 'reality', sir, is lies and balderdash and I'm delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever."
— Karl Friedrich Hieronymus, Freiherr von M√ľnchhausen

Big-Box Games Are Dinosaurs

With the rapidly growing popularity of so-called "casual" games, the industry is reexamining its business model. Also called "chick games" because they appeal to female gamers more directly, casual games involve less investment in order to entertain. They're cheaper than the big-ticket games, and focus on simple, scaled-down gameplay.

A blog I discovered recently, called Tea Leaves, takes the strong position that so-called hard-core games that require cutting-edge hardware to run and focus more on cut scenes than on compelling gameplay will be overtaken and supplanted by smaller games, like the small, clever mammals replaced the dinosaurs.

And while I think "peterb" has a point, he may be overstating it. Elegance and simplicity are the hallmarks of excellent design, and I agree that the best-of-breed casual games will provide this experience. But I, as a gamer from the old school of hard-core gaming prefer something with a bit more depth. We can learn something from the streamlined approach of these casual games, but there's a reason we don't play rock-paper-scissors for fun. Sure it's simple, and yes, it's even fun. But after a few throws, what's left to discover?


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The Red Bull Diary is the personal pulpit and intellectual dumping-ground for its author, an amateur game designer, professional programmer, political centrist and incurable skeptic. The Red Bull Diary is gaming, game design, politics, development, geek culture, and other such nonsense.