Consider Us Flattered! Redux

As you might imagine, we receive many invitations to attend conferences all over the world. Recently, we received one to the Casual Games Forum to be held in London at the end of the month. Some of you will no doubt remember the stooshie I caused back in July regarding my request to ban the word ‘casual’. Imagine my surprise to find that the keynote description for the Casual Games Forum is as follows:

There is No Such Thing as a Casual Game or a Casual Gamer

Why does everyone persist in trying to pigeonhole the Casual Gamer or to define a Casual Game? They simply don’t exist. You either play games or you don’t. There is no middle ground. Everything we make as developers is designed to appeal to someone (anyone) who plays games. Yes, we can create games that appeal to a specific type of gamer but the word “casual” is misleading and potentially dangerous.

That all sounds a bit familiar, doesn it? In case it doesn’t, here’s what Gamasutra wrote about my talk:

But rather than suggesting that casual games are instead a positive force, Thomson argued we should outright ban the use of the term, stating that we would be better off simply referring to games in terms of their quality or genre, in a similar way to how consumers and critics refer to films.

The keynote is to be given by Harvey Elliott, who heads up EA‘s casual games unit. Harvey, if you read this, you should know you have an ally on this matter. At least, you will when you change the name of your unit to something other than EA Casual.

-David (@dwlt)