Casual Anger

by Travis Woodside on

Casual gaming is the buzz word for this generation of consoles. Nintendo regained the market by focusing on this market (the easy to please market) while Microsoft and Sony went after traditional gamers. Knowing that a normal human being can play Bejeweled for an hour and have the time of their life while a gamer can dismiss a game like No More Heroes because of slightly muddied graphics; it’s easy to see why Nintendo went the route they did. As a point of success this is an open and shut case, but I’m not here to talk about Nintendo’s success. Right now I’m more concerned with the growing hatred for casual gamers and, occasionally, the growing hatred in Nintendo.

I’ve been watching a man play Bejeweled on his cell phone for an hour now. That sounds creepy, but I assure you that it’s because I’m in an airplane as I write this and he’s sitting right in front of me. No matter what I do I can see his screen between the seats. My eyes have been so horribly trained to follow any sort of gaming screen that I cannot help but be distracted. It’s like some horribly malfunctioning face detection software in my brain. My point, though, is that he’s having a good time playing Bejeweled for an extended period of time and that’s good for him. But when I first noticed the poor man trying to entertain himself while stuck on a 3+ hour flight my first thought was one of disgust.

Bejeweled sucks and I hate you.

Then I realized he was playing the game on a phone and nearly had a heart attack because I was told that phones would not only crash a plane, but ensure it was the worst possible airline accident known to man. Though after I took ten seconds to remember that we weren’t going down I reverted back to hating him.

But why? Well, the aforementioned suckage of Bejeweled is a start. The fact he was playing on a phone, when the DS is more than competent. He could then switch to Puzzle Quest; same basic game but way more interesting. Then one has to wonder if this easily amused man has ever played Super Mario Bros. If I asked him would his eyes light up or would he perform some demonic half giggle before mentioning he maybe had played it once with his brother? Super Mario Bros. has eight worlds, you whore. You need to finish it.

As you read my somewhat exaggerated anger at this complete stranger I hope you were thinking, wow, lay off the guy and not you’re right, what a freaking prick. It might sound stupid or arrogant to talk about gamer stereotypes or the false need to better represent ourselves so that this form of media can be taken more serious as a form of art, and that’s because it does. These anger uprisings at the casual market are a ridiculous trend that needs to stop, but I’m not appealing to you for the sake of our hobby. I’m appealing to you because if you act this way you’re the prick and if you’re typically a nice guy you’re probably just misplacing anger that should be directed into a more healthy endeavor like cribbage.

After Nintendo’s horrendous E3 press conference a lot of gamers have been upset with what appears to be a company they’ve supported now completely dismissing them. While Nintendo is still making games for our group, and will always, I can sympathize with the annoyance that our demographic doesn’t appear to be as important. However, we’d be doing everyone a favor if we’d stop acting like we’re better people because we defeated the eight master robots.

Let’s stop wasting our time and enjoy the games we do have. Ninja Gaiden Dragon Sword is a great DS game that is in no way casual. I know a lot of you passed that game up entirely. Go check it out and remember what the 64 was like. Back then we didn’t get a lopsided mixture of casual and hardcore games… we just had a handful of games period.