"Casual" Is No Way To Label Games, Argues Developer

Get rid of the term "casual"! Do it! Dave Thomson of Scottish games developer Denki wants the word gone, banished, erased, deleted.

At the Develop Conference in Brighton, UK, Thomson gave a session titled "A Game is a Game is a Game". He calls the term casual pejorative. "We may not find a particular type of game amusing or appealing," he said. "But that doesn't stop them from being a game of equal worth to those titles that we do."

Thus, Thomson doesn't want the word "casual" to be used. The label is frustrating for Denki, which is viewed as a casual developer.

"Make the game you love and people who enjoy the things you enjoy will be the audience," he said, wrapping up his session. "If a game is fun people will buy it whatever the label."

We're not entirely convinced "casual" is a derisive label. Shovelware? Crappy? Those are derisive labels.

Gamasutra - News - Develop 2009: Denki Urges Ban On 'Casual' Label [Gamasutra]


    Casual means free-and-easy i.e. natural and unstudied.

    If a game does not have enough depth that playing it sufficiently well does not require considerable time investment by players in learning/mastering its controls, tactics or gameplay nuances, but instead can be picked-up-and-played spontaneously by a large demographic (and played well), then it is, by definition, casual.

    There is nothing negative about 'casual', and the labels 'casual' and 'hardcore' are (at the moment) the best verbal cues for quickly describing the amount of investment from the developer into the game and required of the player.

    I'm kind of sick of the idea that Bejewelled is on the same plane as Shadow of the Colossus. Casual games are generally, by definition, smaller in scope and feature fewer narrative elements.

    That makes them, as a means of communicating ideas, stories and emotion, inferior. That doesn't make them less fun, but is anyone going to say that Transformers is a better movie than The Godfather? Quality is not the same as enjoyability, which might seem strange, but it's true.

    Casual is appropriate.

    Sigh, he should stop crying

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