Are PC gamers who choose fighting wars on terrorism or slaying aliens with an overclocked, liquid-cooled desktop elitists who thumb their noses at those whose gaming interests tend toward building farms? A polemical post on the Games Brief blog argues just that.
Nicholas Lovell argues that those who sneer at the runaway success of casual gaming, which you'll often find on Facebook and which has a majority audience of female and over-30 players, are snobs who can't handle the fact that 233 million people play games from leading casual gaming developer Zynga each month. And he dismisses claims that casual game companies are stealing ideas and dumbing down PC gaming with the argument: If something's so popular, then there must be merit in it. In comparison:
I think that making incredibly expensive, hard-to-play games that require proprietary hardware and prior experience to enjoy is a dumb way of providing gaming entertainment to a global audience.
While I see Lovell's point that there is something inherent in social gaming construction that provides its players with enjoyment -- and that it could be applied to "hardcore" PC games -- I'm not sure that makes everyone who appreciates the artistry and effort that has gone into Dragon Age and Mass Effect a snob. It may just be that the gaming industry has evolved to a point where there's a mainstream audience and a specialized one, just like there is in movies, music, or any other form of entertainment.
Of course, there are some who will dismiss casual games, but painting all serious PC gamers with a broad brush is just as dismissive, even if it's in the name of some sort of populism. Just because you may not get enjoyment out of a FarmVille or Mafia Wars does not make you elitist; it just means that you get enjoyment out of different types of games for different reasons. Maybe you enjoy spending your money on the fastest hardware because you like playing games with the latest and greatest graphics. Maybe you enjoy different types of game play that casual gaming can't produce -- first-person shooters that rely on split-second action, or racing sims that provide maximum accuracy.
What do you think? Are serious PC gamers elitist snobs? Is there any merit to casual games? Let us know in the Comments section.
[Via TG Daily]