Games, they’re not just for kids anymore

Mystery Case Files: Return to Ravenhearst - File photo
Mystery Case Files: Return to Ravenhearst - File photo

The very landscape of gaming is going through a fundamental change.

When the term gamer comes to mind, one tends to think of a young and hip audience. An audience that consumes various energy drinks and caffeinated beverages as they stare each other down in virtual combat scenarios played out over a global scale.

The aforementioned types of gamers certainly drive the industry, however, a new breed of game player is making inroads and chipping away at that market share. That new breed is called the casual gamer.

Casual gamers are predominantly female. Nearly 75% of all casual gamers are women. The female audience has long been coveted by the gaming industry. There have been many failed attempts in the past to woo women into the gaming pack. Now with casual games becoming popular that is rapidly changing.

What is a casual game you might ask? Well, it’s defined as a video game or online game that is targeted to a mass audience and typically has wide appeal. The game is usually less complex than hardcore games and requires no long-term commitment or special skill set to play. Casual gamers are typically an older group. The games are easy to pick up and learn the core basics.

Pricing is another area where casual games break ground with there brethren. The typical casual game cost $20 or less and most can be tried for free on a trial basis via a simple internet download.

You may have already tried many casual games without knowing it. As a matter of fact one of the most popular and successful ones is Microsoft Solitaire, which comes free with the Windows Operating System.

Recently, Apple Computers has created a business model based on the casual games it sells on their App Store. The Iphone user simply browses thru the store on their phones and chooses a new game. That game is then downloaded within a matter of seconds to their phone.

Some of the more popular genres are card, puzzle, action and board games. The hottest genre is the hidden object game. The hidden object game, is a type of puzzle video game, where the goal is to find items from a list which are well hidden elements of the picture.

The Mystery Case Files series by Big Fish Games is a very successful example of the genre. Other publishers of hidden object games include Spin Top Games and iWin.

Article by Marc Parker

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