This fall gamers will enter into a new phase of casual gaming pioneered by the Wii. Both Microsoft and Sony will be releasing casual movement based controllers for their respective systems. This is great for people new to video games. I love the accessibility of the Wii, my mother won’t touch a Xbox controller but she loves Wii Sports. The Wii truly is a system that anyone can play easily.
Therein lies the problem. Due to the onset of casual gaming video games have started to see a death of skill based games. I can’t count the amount of times one of my younger cousins kicked my ass at a Wii game just by waving the controller with frantic uncontrolled madness. My Xbox 360 and PC used to be my oasis in the sea of casual gaming. With the imminent release of the new motion controllers will the formerly “hardcore” consoles become just another place for casual garbage? Will we see the death of being good at a game?
I recently to an event to try out Microsoft’s new offering the Kinect, I was looking forward to not only testing the interface and how it works but the skills needed in the games. One of the biggest complaints I hear about it is that while it does work you hardly ever win because the games are so casual. Where it used to take a set of controller movements to execute a move now you just wave your hand around. It seems that the industries switch to fun and casual means you will have fun but you will lose.
I believe both the casual and the hardcore can coexist. I think for the hardcore skill based games to become casual would be a mistake. I know it worked in New Super Mario Bros which featured a mode where the game was played by the system for you if you died eight times in one level. New Super Mario Bros was a huge financial success. I just don’t want that to be the go to way to increase sales. I don’t want to play a Kinect based Halo! I have been gaming for going on fifteen years and I believe I should be better than the eight year old trying the demo kiosk at Gamestop. Am I just thinking with the wrong mentality? Am I becoming an “old” gamer because I believe games should reward skill or is skill the casualty of casual gaming?
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