The New York Times has published an article on casual gaming that is, in itself, a casual game. While the piece itself is an interesting, intelligent examination of why we, as a culture, seem to have suddenly been overtaken by little iPhone games and the like, the game contained within the page is crazy awesome.
Basically, you play as a space ship, and zoom around the article, shooting advertisements, pictures and anything else you like in order to rack up a high score. There's no real enemies, but as an illustration of the draw of "stupid games," it works.
Speaking of stupid games, Sam Anderson's article brings up a bunch of interesting points, including the ideological difference between older games (like Chess) and games like Angry Birds. Chess was an occasion. Something you did. Angry Birds, Words with Friends, Draw Something, and every other casual game, is essentially something you do between events. Something you use to distract yourself. It's almost like playing a casual game is easier than not playing it.
It's hard to read Anderson's article without feeling a bit like bigger, "hardcore" games are dinosaurs, huge and lumbering, waiting for the extinction event.
I tried really hard to pay attention to Anderson's five thousand word article on the trend, which includes interviews with the founder of Zynga, the creator of Drop7, and the entire history of casual video games, but I was drawn, again and again, to the simple pleasure of blowing things up... which is, I think, the point. Pew! Pew! Pew! If they added a couple enemy ships (maybe in the form of Times-hating Conservative politicians), they'd really have something.
Anyway, read the article and check out the game!
Source: New York Times