Quote of the Moment: Learning the wrong lesson


"The popularity of Farmville advances a thesis I've been working on for years: Gaming is the best form of entertainment (ever!!) and a lot more people would take part in it if the barrier to entry wasn't so high. But the masses don't have a good way to find out how fun it is. Once they do, it's generally prohibitively expensive to get started. (That can't be helped on the console side, but PC developers could certainly stop making things worse.) And even once you find out about games and have the machine, games do a bad job at welcoming the truly uninitiated.

What I'm worried about is that publishers will see Zynga's success and wrongly conclude that these people are playing Farmville and Mafia Wars because the gameplay is uniquely fun. This is the wrong lesson to learn. Zynga is simply going after a demographic that's been largely ignored for the past three decades: People who aren't already gamers. This new surge doesn't mean that simple management games with adorable graphics are the wave of the future. It means that years of advertising hardcore games to hardcore gamers in hardcore gaming communities has made the hobby far more insular than it needs to be. The next move should be to see what other kinds of games these people might like to play."

-The Escapist's Shamus Young takes Zynga's cookie cutter imitators to task for not branching out from the same tired old social gaming genres [Emphasis in original]