Casual games

Casual games are all those cool games on your cell phone and the little games that you can play on your computer when you’re bored. Casual games are a particular type of electronic game that is easy to play, require no time commitment, and can be started very quickly. The little solitare program that was released with Windows is considered to be the first casual game, with Minesweeper following close behind. Current popular casual games are Tetris, JewelQuest, and Feeding Frenzy.

I used to love to play Texas Hold’em on my cell phone during a break or at lunch. Casual games usually allow the player the opportunity to leave a game and then resume it later. I was able to start the poker game with a small bankroll and then eventually bring down the casino. My skill in a real Texas Hold’em tournament has yet to be determined.

I found some interesting data on casual games from RealArcade one of the major online providers of casual games.

A recent survey by the ISG group found that women and families continue to dominate casual gaming. In fact, about two-thirds of RealArcade customers are women and about two-thirds have children, according to internal surveys. About 49 percent of RealArcade game players say they access RealArcade daily. More than 25 percent of families with children spend time downloading games for their children.

I also found an quote from Dr. Kathleen Hall, a stress expert and founder of The Stress Institute Inc., who worked in conjunction with MSNĀ® Games on a project called Pause2Play. (Which sounds oddly familiar…)

I often counsel my patients on simple steps they can take to reduce stress in their lives, and one of those is giving your brain a breather every now and then. Taking 20 minutes or your lunch hour to solve an engaging puzzle or take on a fun vocabulary challenge with any of the hundreds of games on MSN Games is a perfect way to clear your mind of the clutter and stress that can pile up during the day.

I gave RealArcade a try last night and really enjoyed the free JewelQuest download.
They also offer a GamePass program that you can try out for free, which allows you to download one game each month. If you like the program, you can continue for a monthly fee of $9.99. If you decide to cancel, you still get to keep the games you downloaded. I also tried the Feeding Frenzy game, which was just hilarious. You take on the role of this little fish that tries to eat smaller fish to get bigger, while avoiding the fish that are bigger than yourself, since they are trying to eat you!

Take some time for yourself and play some games. Sure it seems a little silly sometimes, but it’s really helping you unwind mentally and will help you be more productive in the long run.