Sunday, March 26, 2023

2020 was the year of the casual gamer

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However, to simply say that it came out during the Perfect Window is to ignore the changes Nintendo made to the series that contributed to its fame: the presence of the share button on the Switch allowed gamers to take captures. screen and broadcast them on social networks. The media and a more streamlined friend code system made it easier to visit friends and strangers.

New Horizons would still have sold well even without a pandemic, but these new features have given it more visibility and made it easier for Animal Crossing faithful to spread the word. And they did, with the game pervading social media for its first month or so, inspiring countless parodies, branded publicity and ultimately, a talk show with famous guests like Sting, Elijah Wood and T-Pain.

Another title that caught the attention of celebrities this year was the 2018 title of Innersloth, Among us. The two-year game exploded over the summer for a number of reasons – not the least of which was its superficial resemblance to another popular title, Fall guys. But it was also cheap to play, $ 5 (or less) for the PC version and free on mobile, and it was super easy to set up games with friends or complete strangers.

The relatively straightforward gameplay has made it a favorite with casual gamers, as it’s mostly point and click, the hardest part being the mind games you play with your fellow crew members. I’ve met a few people who don’t even care about the larger purpose of trying to expose the impostor; they just love being in space, doing their chores and seeing how all the drama unfolds. It’s a fun game to watch – as evidenced by the 430,000 people which saw Reps Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar take on several top Twitch streamers in October.

Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout was also one of those titles where players didn’t particularly care if they won, although in this case it was because the game was super hard to beat. Players were pitted against 59 other contestants in a series of physical game show challenges that were often ridiculous and extremely unpredictable – many hardcore gamers found the title’s fickle controls to be a turning point, but many more simply fell apart. lost in madness. The ability to quickly get back into the game after the loss made each loss less tragic and, thanks to the spectator mode, it was another of those games where it was fun to just hang out just to see how things went.

The social aspect of the game has definitely come to the fore this year. Streaming has been an integral part of the medium for a few years now, with people feeling an affinity for their favorite players and forming communities on YouTube, Twitch and Discord. But big multiplayer games have played their part as well, and many casual gamers have turned to them not as a way to enjoy the game itself, but as a place where they can fuck with their friends.

Both Minecraft and Fortnite served as great hangouts in the past, but 2020 has seen a huge increase Roblox players, an online platform where kids can create their own spaces – and games – to play. The biggest draw was that it was free to download, which meant any kid who had a device could get in, and parents were only happy to let them because it was less violent than Fortnite and encouraged their child’s creativity. The game gained enough cachet this year that Lil Nas X even held a virtual concert there last month, releasing her new single “Holiday”.

For adults, socializing in 2020 meant a lot of virtual happy hours, which quickly got tired. To try to structure these events a bit more, a lot of people have invested in one or more Jackbox Party Packs. Each pack contains a number of games, such as trivia games and drawing activities, which can be streamed on a Zoom feed. Unlike many other titles, gamers did not need to own the game itself or even a console: gamers participated through their phones, entering the unique four-character session code into a web browser. . Jackbox even has a spectator mode, allowing people to vote on certain rounds even if they didn’t want to be a full-fledged player – the ultimate in casual gaming.


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