A Game-Filled Holiday Surprise | Casual Game Revolution

A Game-Filled Holiday Surprise

Holiday Surprise

I recently returned home after spending Christmas with my in-laws. In addition to my husband’s parents, there were four of his siblings and their families that spent the holidays with us for a total of 21 people in all. It was a lot of fun, and at the center of that fun was almost always a good casual game. We’ve become known as the game people and the first thing everyone asked when they walked in the door was, “What games did you bring?” The exciting thing to me is that just a year or two ago it was all we could do to get anyone in this crowd to play games with us. Now, they are almost all enthusiastic casual gamers.

The most amazing transformation was my mother- and father-in-law. Even though we’ve been playing games forever and designing and publishing games for years (all of which they are very supportive of) it wasn’t until just this past holiday season that we finally got them to actually give games a serious try.

Sure, they had played games with us. But they were always reluctant, distracted, and uninterested, which pretty well guaranteed they wouldn’t like it. This time, however, they had a little more time and a little less stress and we sat down and played some fantastic casual games. And lo and behold, they liked them. They were actually asking to play again and try new games. Even though we have constantly been exposing them to casual games over the past few years, they said things like, “Wow, I didn’t know there were games like this out there. I thought games were just for kids. These are really fun.” They were also playing some 2-player games and talking about which games they will continue to play on their own. Some of the favorites were Bazaar, Tsuro, Eruption, Can’t Stop, DiceAFARI, and Love it! Hate it!

What is fascinating to me is what brought on this change. We brought some new games and some they had played before, but finally it clicked for them. Games are fun. Games are for grown-ups, too. There are interesting games that are not too complicated to learn, play, and even win. We could have given up on them long ago and decided that they just weren’t interested in games, but we would have missed out on some great times. It’s not about making them like what we like just because we can. We know that games are a great way to bring our family together, keep our thinking sharp, get to know each other better, and just plain have fun.

To me, what this says is that we have lots of opportunities to introduce people to games, even if we think they aren’t that interested or already know about games. If they still think games are too hard, too boring, or made for kids, then find an opportunity to show them what great casual games are really all about. The excitement in their eyes as they truly delve into their first game is certainly worth it.

Happy New Year and keep up the gaming!

("Merry Christmas Present" image courtesy Dry Icons)