With the fresh news of Apple’s move into the gaming world with the Apple TV and Nintendo’s move to approach a wider audience with Pokemon Go on Android and iOS, there’s growing apprehension of a surge of so-called ‘casual’ gamers. Who are they? What do they play? And... are they a threat? A casual gamer is a type of video game player whose time or interest in playing games is limited compared with a hardcore gamer. That’s how Wikipedia describes a casual gamer. The term itself is often regarded as having a negative connotation. For instance some would dismiss casual gamers as kids, girls or older persons. Well, as much as we know, the casual gamer of today could be the next pro gamer of tomorrow, regardless of their age and/or gender. Don’t forget that we all start off, in some way or another, as casual gamers and definitely not as pro gamers. Video games haven’t been as accessible as they are today. And this ease of access attracts more and more people who would otherwise have dismissed video games as a time wasting activity or an expensive hobby. With the rise of smartphones and social media, social and casual games have followed the trend. It didn’t surprise only gamers but game makers as well, so much so that the latter have had to re-think their business approaches to cater for the current need. Nintendo finally announced its plans for mobile gaming and Konami seems to be leaning heavily towards mobile. It might seem odd and unexpected but it’s all part of the evolution of the gaming industry and we should be happy it’s still around! Casual gamers are also part of the gaming community. And for video game companies to exist, they have to evolve and adapt to the current demands. We’ve seen big game makers like Sega and Square Enix release not only casual games but also games worthy of home consoles on mobile platforms. They are making the most out of the contemporary gaming scene. They are after all, businesses. Sure there’s going to be games you won’t like or won’t stand see people playing. But there’s also going to be those that will help you kill the boredom in the metro/bus/toilet. And those gaming companies haven’t forgotten about their faithful ‘hardcore’ gamers. Your favorite gaming series isn’t going anywhere (well, MGS is a different story but still, PES!). We’ve got so much more games coming and to celebrate for! Instead of fearing the casuals, welcome them with open arms. Make a move, introduce them to your favorite games. Who knows? Maybe you’ll meet your new best friend or gaming buddy in this way! Spread the love!