- Still enjoying the editorials from the folks at HDRLying.com, and their latest is entitled 'Quirky Games: Making Boring Tasks into Great Games'. It's a little on the meandering side, but worth highlighting because it takes a thoughtful look into what makes casual hits such as Nintendogs into, well, casual hits.

As HDRLying blogger Nayan notes: "Accessibility goes a long way to making a game successful. In the case of Nintendogs, the game provided a chance for players to raise, walk, and even enter dogs into shows, without the undesirable time investment. I myself felt quite silly playing Nintendogs in my own house in the US, while my two, very real Golden Retrievers went hungry and unloved. My feeling towards the game changed when I moved to Japan, and began to understand its pull far more."

He continues: "Not only does the game offer a lot of reward with very little time investment, but it gives players the chance to play with their puppies anywhere they are. The game’s success makes an incredible amount of sense in the context of Japanese society. Despite space concerns and the impracticality of owning a mid-sized dog, Japan is dog-obsessed."

HDRLying's conclusion suggests that it's really the wish fulfillment element and ease of success of a lot of games which helps them break through to the mainstream: "Perhaps that is the secret in casual gaming success. Its success lies in the same vein as more traditional games. Despite a far more down-to-earth or traditional grounding, casual games, much like their hardcore counterparts, offer success and achievement without gross investment and fatigue. Without the years of investment in attaining the knowledge, and without all of the negative portions of the experience, players are able to enjoy all the positives of a given activity, with a constant and almost immediate reward." This may or may not be obvious, but is well phrased here, I think.