Chapter 9: Casual Fryday


Oh dear, Internet, what is it now?

Red alert! The interwebs are on fire1! What could have sparked the flame wars that rage across gaming forums and blog sites? What could have caused such ire and outrage in the hearts of gamers? Casual games, of course. Furious bloggers ask, “Is casual gaming ruining gaming?” and “Casual games . . . Are they destroying the industry?” Industry insiders proclaim that “Casual gamers are ruining the industry!” and they’re sick and tired of “casual gamers ruining games for us hardcore players!”

The irony is casual gaming existed waaaay before hardcore games—like thousands of years before hardcore games. Originally, games were simple. Light. Fun. Casual. For example, there was no such thing as a hardcore game of chess, unless you were Garry Kasparov or playing on one of those three-level Vulcan boards. Sure, there were poor winners and sore losers and my dad usually cheated when we played Monopoly, but mostly games were about having fun. Everything was chill.

The truth is, if anything made gaming hardcore, it was video games.


The first commercial arcade games, like Pong and Space Wars, were created to make money. These games’ creators quickly learned that the best way to separate money from players was to get them to want to ...

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