Gamer Types: Casual
To me, a casual gamer is a player who looks at computer games as just an entertaining way to pass the time. These gamers are not the ones prowling through game forums, subscribing to game magazines, trying to find the latest patch or playing for hours just to reach the next mission. To these gamers, games are simply an interactive toy. They turn it on, play for awhile and turn it off. This doesn't mean that they don't play games that are as depth as Oblivion or as action packed as Counter Strike. This just means that if all they have is about thirty minutes to play, then that's fine with them.
Casual gamers don't really concern themselves with finding that cheat to make them invincible or "give all", they play just for the entertainment a few minutes will give them. Also, if while they are playing and something in real life comes up that needs their immediate attention or is more important, they have no hesitation about turning the game off, saved or not!
It is with this playing mentality that simple, easily understood and played games are developed. Again, I point to games like Bejeweled and Zuma (my wife's digital crack). I am not down playing the fun value of these games or trying to make them seem extremely childish, but for the type of players they are designed for they are just right. Besides, it wouldn't make sense for a developer to spend a million or more dollars on effects, voice acting, marketing, writing, dialouge, etc... on a game that will only be played a few minutes at a time. At least to me.
Casual players are the type that spouses, significant others, parents, etc... wish all gamers were like. Players that can tear themselves away to clean the house, take out the trash, wash dishes, tell their wives that the dress is really cute and looks great on them, anything but spend more time playing "vidgit games" than it takes watching a romantic comedy. Okay, I'm ranting a bit. But, let them get hooked on Zuma and the tables turn. I bought Zuma for my wife and now she is on my computer more than me. In a way I am so proud of her. Next stop, Counter Strike!