10.08.2006

Casual and Avid

There's been some buzz lately about casual gaming: people who play a game for 30 minutes to an hour before going on to do something else with their time. Some of these gamers, sighting family and other obligations, complain about how the best games out there aren't designed for that sort of play and they end up missing out, or never finishing a game.

Stop crying.

I have a packed life. Ask my husband sometime how much I do in a day. But I always have time for a long, drawn out game. (And if I hear any whining about save points, while I write this, I will thwap you.)

All games, especially the long, drawn out RPGs and Adventure types with in depth stories, are all, essentially, mission based. You complete the story by parts. You finish part one and go on to part two. Simple. Each of these parts will usually take an hour to complete and longer ones provide save points. You have an hour before the kids come home and dinner is ready? Pop in that disk!

So playing for an hour doesn't get you into 'the zone.' So what? It doesn't for me either. I still managed to beat Kingdom Hearts II in less than 26 hours by playing for an hour every morning before work. And I'm no spring chicken. I don't have the coordination I should (if Dirge of Cerebus is any indication :P ).

Let's take a moment to go back to the article linked at the top. Check out the survey results.

Older gamers still play everyday. So they aren't hard-core. That doesn't mean that can't make the long game.

I read an article somewhere (please forgive me I can't find or remember the link, another sign of my age) where the gamer complained that he couldn't finish all the games he played because of kids and work, and to top that off, new ones came out all the time. Cry me a river.

I don't see the massive influx of games a horrible thing. There's always a loll in good games part way through the year when previously released good ones go down in price (saving you money). Play what you've got, wait a bit on the good ones, and continue to play.

Heck, do what my friend Amy does. Her whole family shares a game. Mom, Dad, Aunts, Uncles, and kids all play a game together, allowing you to see the story even if you aren't playing it.

I love Final Fantasy, but for some reason, I can't ever get past the first twenty minutes of any of the games (I mentioned Dirge of Cerebus so I'd like to point out that a first person shooter Final Fantasy doesn't count). And I get way too anxious with games like Resident Evil and Silent Hill. So I let someone else play and watch while doing something else. I don't feel like I've missed out on the game because I wasn't gripping the controller, and neither will you.

So stop griping about not being able to play a game. No one is requiring you to play 8-10 hour sessions. Turning a big rpg, adventure, or in depth story game into a family activity will solve your problem, introduce your children to good gameplay and sharing habits, and still give you the satisfaction of a job well done.

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