A View From the Road: FarmVille Isn't Going Away

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John Funk:

Kristina Frazier-Henry:
So social games are here to stay. Um yes, I agree. Is the point of this article just to hear yourself talk?

Are you not familiar with the idea of an editorial arguing a point...?

Johnny, can I call you Johnny? I don't mean to interject my two cents but sometimes you just need to put out what you wanted to say and just leave it out there, you can't make people react the certain way you want them to, if you could I'd have a job like yours (which I'm trying to get on various other sites), arguing with people who missed your point or anything like that will just lead to unnecessary aggravation, but I've rambled on too long and you probably think I'm a tool from my overly long statement, so I'll just say keep up the good work.

Funny how people seem to be assuming that they're being forced to believe that everything newsworthy is good.

Zynga makes games that we, as a community, do not want. So perhaps it is news when people start to emulate them, isn't it? I don't buy this crap about everything that's brings in more gamers is good for us. All other things being equal more gamers is good for us, but when games are becoming simpler, cheaper and less interesting, all other things are not equal.

The main point of this article was that it's news either way though, and that is absolutely correct.

Honestly, I don't personally believe that FarmVille and its ilk are really that big of a deal. There's a lot of money being spent by gamers, and a lot of companies dedicated to that market. That's not all going to evaporate overnight. Some companies may move on to simpler and more profitable things, but there are still millions of us with money and expectations of quality. There will always be someone ready to fill that niche. To claim that 100 million people playing an electronic game is irrelevant to us is pretty ridiculous though.

John Funk:
I'm saying that people need to stop being surprised/angry at the games being considered noteworthy by press and developers alike.

And you need to stop being surprised/angry at people violently disliking those noteworthy games.

I don't think anyone disagrees that a lot of people play these games and that the industry is going to try to make some money out of it. The "Why is this news?" comments aren't suggesting otherwise, they're most likely just "Why is this news here?".

Let me go for the music business parallel again, it's like if you posted a news item on Justin Beiber on a music site focusing on Heavy Metal. You may be writing about how some new Heavy Metal bands are looking into youtube and twitter for promotion, but you'll get a lot of "Why is this news?" if not a bit more... let's say graphic reactions.

Personally, I think you definitely should write about those aspects of the industry, just getting surprised that Heavy Metal fans don't like Justin Beiber is a bit silly.

Hopeless Bastard:

John Funk:

Hopeless Bastard:

John Funk:
And yet, the VP of Zynga is speaking as the keynote speaker at GDC Canada. Whoops, guess the people in the industry disagree with you.

And whats he going to be able to say, exactly? What valuable insight is he going to be able to grant to actual video game developers?

"Make your game as shitty, but rewarding as possible, and people will flock to you in droves."
"If someone else has a good idea, just rip it off completely and release it as your own."
"If you're strapped for cash, offer a "full version" which is really just a 3kb html file, containing a link to a copy of the .swf file."
"Turn your players into free advertising, by offering extensive rewards for spamming links to the game all over their social networks."

Yea, zygna has made some money through extremely shoddy business practice. Does it translate to actual gaming? No. Should it? No. Will it? We all better pray not.

"Oops, you're out of bullets, get 3 more people to play to reload."

Edit: Forgot that outwar beat zygna to the whole "turn your players into free advertising" bit by about a decade. Pretty sure they weren't the first either.

I don't know. He hasn't given the keynote yet - I have no idea what he'll say. But the fact that you're automatically dismissing it outright shows what I think is a profoundly willful ignorance on your part.

The fact of the matter is, people who call the shots in the industry think that there are things that can be learned from what Zynga does. And to pretend that it isn't the case because their products don't appeal to you personally is, I feel, narrowminded.

My point is zygna products shouldn't appeal to anyone. The fact they do is some sort of twisted perversion of reality in my mind. Its as confusing as how popular that "feed the flash fish" thing was a few years ago.

Zygna's products are essentially non-satirical versions of progress quest (yet another confusing popularity explosion). Except with in-game rewards for spamming links for progress quest.

Zygna took what other people were doing and made money off it. The amount of money got them noticed by people who actually develop games. The attention they're getting is a terrifying precedent. If every real developer started copying zygna's business model, then... sites like this would cease to exist. You would all be out of a job. There wouldn't be any need for any sort of centralized "gaming press" as each gamer would become little more than a spam-bot for whatever "game" they played.

Considering that there are over 6 billion people in this world I would have to say that Zyngas products will appeal to someone. It is not a twisted perversion of reality. It would be annoying if game developers tried Zyngas business model but I don't think they will.

I'm not a flamer or anything , but can you bring a few arguments to this affirmation : " but you hating them doesn't mean for a moment that they aren't relevant to society or the gaming industry" ? .
I fail to see how farmville revolutionises gaming industry.

I feel this article misses the point somewhat.

I don't think anyone can argue that Zynga isn't a massive influence on millions of people.

However, comparing Zynga to 'real' developers is like comparing McDonalds to Michelin star restaurants. Sure it may appeal to millions as it's cheap and easy, but you start telling food critics that it should be seen on par with L'Atelier de JoŽl Robuchon and they'll lose their shit.

Yes, this sort of gaming is appealing to millions. Yes, it is many times more popular than console and PC gaming. However, from a gaming site, I would expect articles on Zynga as rare as the food column in The Times discussing the new McFlurry.

Kristina Frazier-Henry:
So social games are here to stay. Um yes, I agree. Is the point of this article just to hear yourself talk?

So you have a tenuous grasp of the concept of an editorial. Um yes, I agree. Is the point of this post just to hear yourself talk?

Insult an editor, who gives you free entertainment and news on a daily basis. Really cool. Fuck away with you.

I love farmville

Zynga is not "relevant to the industry." Unless, of course, you're talking about the industry that revolves around Affiliate programs who try as hard as they can to scam people.

Do I have a problem with games like FarmVille, Mafia Wars, et al? No, I don't. I still have Drug Wars on my calculator. ALL of my calculators. For two decades now, I've had version of Drug Wars on *some* device I own. I've had a Harvest Moon game on the majority of my consoles. I have a L14 Kongregate account, so I obviously have no issues with flash games. I don't get upset about PopCap's existence. I don't have a problem with Big Fish, or the Casual Game Portals out there (that is to say, the ones which don't resort to the same scam-ridden Affiliate programs as Zynga).

Zynga, and the companies like them, hurt gaming. Zynga, and the companies like them, hurt the *legitimate* Affiliate programs. Zynga, and the companies like them, hurt social networking. Why? Because the company is run by a scammer. This would normally be a statement I'd have to back up with some conspiracy theorist's nonsense about how Zynga stole his cat, but I don't. Why? Because I have stories about advertisers, more stories about advertisers, video of Pincus himself talking about what a scammer he was, Pincus talking about how he accidentally had sex with that woman, and wouldn't drink that much again, guess you shouldn't make promises you can't keep, and an article that basically sums up the whole ordeal.

And I'm hardly the first to link to stories on Zynga's scam-filled background. Even the stories about how much 'fun' a Zynga game is can't stay away from the scamming nature of the company.

How long before you find other slimy companies to praise?

You have to understand that the individuals who hate Zynga because "they make crappy games" are largely idiots. The majority of us hate Zynga because they have done everything in their power to cheat users out of their money, shortly before lying about it.

I still can't believe I read that the discussion "isn't about its ethical practices."

That's the only discussion we should be having. The only discussion that matters.

RvLeshrac:
Zynga is not "relevant to the industry."

The gaming industry disagrees with you, what the awards and the speaking at major conferences, and the working with the government to use gaming as a vehicle to promote healthier living in youth.

JEBWrench:

RvLeshrac:
Zynga is not "relevant to the industry."

The gaming industry disagrees with you, what the awards and the speaking at major conferences, and the working with the government to use gaming as a vehicle to promote healthier living in youth.

Healthier living at the expense of what comes with Zynga? We don't want the rest of the games industry learning to be a bunch of spyware using, add spamming, game stealing morons. The games industry has nothing to learn from Zynga other than facebook apps and dirty business practices earn cheap success.

And being addicted to Farmville isn't exactly healthy, neither is being addicted to facebook which is all this is, a facebook fad. Nothing more.

Dark Templar:

Healthier living at the expense of what comes with Zynga? We don't want the rest of the games industry learning to be a bunch of spyware using, add spamming, game stealing morons. The games industry has nothing to learn from Zynga other than facebook apps and dirty business practices earn cheap success.

And being addicted to Farmville isn't exactly healthy, neither is being addicted to facebook which is all this is, a facebook fad. Nothing more.

A fad with 83,000,000 MAUs and around 30,000,000 DAUs.

And I have no idea what exactly they're planning on doing, and I doubt it will be anything halfways decent. But that's not the point. The point is Zynga is extremely relevant to the industry.

People who want to use the self-imposed label of "gamer" to justify their being introverted not liking that relevance are just deluding themselves to just how massively popular Zynga's games are.

JEBWrench:

Dark Templar:

Healthier living at the expense of what comes with Zynga? We don't want the rest of the games industry learning to be a bunch of spyware using, add spamming, game stealing morons. The games industry has nothing to learn from Zynga other than facebook apps and dirty business practices earn cheap success.

And being addicted to Farmville isn't exactly healthy, neither is being addicted to facebook which is all this is, a facebook fad. Nothing more.

A fad with 83,000,000 MAUs and around 30,000,000 DAUs.

And I have no idea what exactly they're planning on doing, and I doubt it will be anything halfways decent. But that's not the point. The point is Zynga is extremely relevant to the industry.

People who want to use the self-imposed label of "gamer" to justify their being introverted not liking that relevance are just deluding themselves to just how massively popular Zynga's games are.

That massive popularity doesn't automatically mean that the rise of Zynga is a good thing either. Plenty of mediocre crap has been hugely popular for a short time before. Like I said before, if real developers follow the Zynga example the industry as a whole will suffer. And for what? Popularity? Money? You cane make tons of money on a fad on facebook, thats all I see this doing.

Dark Templar:

That massive popularity doesn't automatically mean that the rise of Zynga is a good thing either. Plenty of mediocre crap has been hugely popular for a short time before. Like I said before, if real developers follow the Zynga example the industry as a whole will suffer. And for what? Popularity? Money? You cane make tons of money on a fad on facebook, thats all I see this doing.

I don't think I said anything about it being good. Just relevant.

I don't doubt for a minute that "real developers" (EA comes to mind, since they, you know, did) would be interested in the Zynga example. For popularity and money. The thing the entertainment businesses want. Especially money.

RvLeshrac:
Zynga is not "relevant to the industry." Unless, of course, you're talking about the industry that revolves around Affiliate programs who try as hard as they can to scam people.

Do I have a problem with games like FarmVille, Mafia Wars, et al? No, I don't. I still have Drug Wars on my calculator. ALL of my calculators. For two decades now, I've had version of Drug Wars on *some* device I own. I've had a Harvest Moon game on the majority of my consoles. I have a L14 Kongregate account, so I obviously have no issues with flash games. I don't get upset about PopCap's existence. I don't have a problem with Big Fish, or the Casual Game Portals out there (that is to say, the ones which don't resort to the same scam-ridden Affiliate programs as Zynga).

Zynga, and the companies like them, hurt gaming. Zynga, and the companies like them, hurt the *legitimate* Affiliate programs. Zynga, and the companies like them, hurt social networking. Why? Because the company is run by a scammer. This would normally be a statement I'd have to back up with some conspiracy theorist's nonsense about how Zynga stole his cat, but I don't. Why? Because I have stories about advertisers, more stories about advertisers, video of Pincus himself talking about what a scammer he was, Pincus talking about how he accidentally had sex with that woman, and wouldn't drink that much again, guess you shouldn't make promises you can't keep, and an article that basically sums up the whole ordeal.

And I'm hardly the first to link to stories on Zynga's scam-filled background. Even the stories about how much 'fun' a Zynga game is can't stay away from the scamming nature of the company.

How long before you find other slimy companies to praise?

You have to understand that the individuals who hate Zynga because "they make crappy games" are largely idiots. The majority of us hate Zynga because they have done everything in their power to cheat users out of their money, shortly before lying about it.

I still can't believe I read that the discussion "isn't about its ethical practices."

That's the only discussion we should be having. The only discussion that matters.

Also this. Basically what I was saying.

I play harvest moon myself quite a bit. Casual games aren't the issue, Znyga's douchbaggery is.

JEBWrench:

Dark Templar:

That massive popularity doesn't automatically mean that the rise of Zynga is a good thing either. Plenty of mediocre crap has been hugely popular for a short time before. Like I said before, if real developers follow the Zynga example the industry as a whole will suffer. And for what? Popularity? Money? You cane make tons of money on a fad on facebook, thats all I see this doing.

I don't think I said anything about it being good. Just relevant.

I don't doubt for a minute that "real developers" (EA comes to mind, since they, you know, did) would be interested in the Zynga example. For popularity and money. The thing the entertainment businesses want. Especially money.

I'm not gonna disagree with you there. In fact I agree wholeheartedly.

I do not for one second though, thing the rise of Zynga is the rise of a new casual gamer or some such nonsense. I also don't think the industry should be praising them for one second and I completely disagree with the article when It says Zynga's scamming should not be part of the picture and that we should focus on their success. Thats bullcrap. The only discussion worth having is about how Zynga scammed and spammed their way into becoming a facebook phenomenon.

Dark Templar:

I'm not gonna disagree with you there. In fact I agree wholeheartedly.

I do not for one second though, thing the rise of Zynga is the rise of a new casual gamer or some such nonsense. I also don't think the industry should be praising them for one second and I completely disagree with the article when It says Zynga's scamming should not be part of the picture and that we should focus on their success. Thats bullcrap. The only discussion worth having is about how Zynga scammed and spammed their way into becoming a facebook phenomenon.

I think, though, that it's pretty evident that Zynga's success has had a large impact on the industry. It's not just that they did it using underhanded tactics. It's that they did it so freakin' fast that's gotten so much attention.

Remember, Farmville launched in summer of last year.

83,000,000 MTUs in less than a year.

That's why the industry has taken notice. That's why Zynga nabbed another EA developer. That's why Nintendo is getting into Social Gaming. That's why Zynga sells gaming currency cards in 12,000 stores in the US alone.

JEBWrench:

Dark Templar:

I'm not gonna disagree with you there. In fact I agree wholeheartedly.

I do not for one second though, thing the rise of Zynga is the rise of a new casual gamer or some such nonsense. I also don't think the industry should be praising them for one second and I completely disagree with the article when It says Zynga's scamming should not be part of the picture and that we should focus on their success. Thats bullcrap. The only discussion worth having is about how Zynga scammed and spammed their way into becoming a facebook phenomenon.

I think, though, that it's pretty evident that Zynga's success has had a large impact on the industry. It's not just that they did it using underhanded tactics. It's that they did it so freakin' fast that's gotten so much attention.

Remember, Farmville launched in summer of last year.

83,000,000 MTUs in less than a year.

That's why the industry has taken notice. That's why Zynga nabbed another EA developer. That's why Nintendo is getting into Social Gaming. That's why Zynga sells gaming currency cards in 12,000 stores in the US alone.

I know, that success is worrying to say the least. The underhanded tactics aside, this rampant growth is pretty astonishing. But thats the power of social networking sites, on its own merits Zynga would never have survived doing what it is doing. Lets not forget that the games themselves are designed so that you need to come back to them to replant crops or whatever, this is done so that people have to come back and see the adds thus generating site revenue. The games BY THESELVES are just a money making scam that taps into the social networking people who are already addicted to facebook and giving them something addictive, simple and mindless to do while browsing facebook. This is not a model of business we want the games industry learning from or much less *shudders* giving awards to.

I'm not too peeved about the lack of play elements in Farmville (I'm already desensitized from all the Wii and DS games on the game shelves). What really peeved me was when I read that the game punishes you for NOT playing it. Games are supposed to be fun. You're not supposed to go, "Oh shoot! If I don't get back to Farmville soon things could get bad!" That's called a job.

sageoftruth:
I'm not too peeved about the lack of play elements in Farmville (I'm already desensitized from all the Wii and DS games on the game shelves). What really peeved me was when I read that the game punishes you for NOT playing it. Games are supposed to be fun. You're not supposed to go, "Oh shoot! If I don't get back to Farmville soon things could get bad!" That's called a job.

Same thing happens in Animal Crossing and Nintendogs. Of course calling it "punishment" is a bit excessive. If you don't tend your crops, they did. Big whoop, plant some more.

JEBWrench:
I think, though, that it's pretty evident that Zynga's success has had a large impact on the industry. It's not just that they did it using underhanded tactics. It's that they did it so freakin' fast that's gotten so much attention.

Remember, Farmville launched in summer of last year.

83,000,000 MTUs in less than a year.

That's why the industry has taken notice. That's why Zynga nabbed another EA developer. That's why Nintendo is getting into Social Gaming. That's why Zynga sells gaming currency cards in 12,000 stores in the US alone.

Saying that Zynga has had an impact on the gaming industry is like saying Madoff had an impact on the financial industry. This is true. But I was talking about *relevance*.

The goal is to make Madoff irrelevant, because his tactics, like Zynga's, do nothing but harm, and are far outside the realm of normal, ethical business practices. Neither of them has any place at the table. Neither of them is relevant to their respective discussions.

You keep mentioning the number of units they sold. I can scam the holy hell out of people and sell twice as many units of essentially ANYTHING - that's the way Amway has worked for decades. That has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not the company or their products have any relevance.

Relevant to this subject, there was a recent "lunch" about this, of which the BBC blogged a report about. Thankfully, the "social" game developer in question is Playfish. And now, a bunch of quotes from that article.

If Zynga and the like becomes the new major publishers, I will go to Warren Spector's book shop and buy books from him.

Delusibeta:
Relevant to this subject, there was a recent "lunch" about this, of which the BBC blogged a report about. Thankfully, the "social" game developer in question is Playfish. And now, a bunch of quotes from that article.

If Zynga and the like becomes the new major publishers, I will go to Warren Spector's book shop and buy books from him.

Glad to see that the BBC chose a worthwhile social gaming mascot. One who brings legitimate ideas to the gaming industry. We need more Playfish/Armor Games/etc, and much less Zynga.

The gaming press needs to hold them up as the standard, and push Zynga to the back of the bus.

Or off it, either way.

RvLeshrac:
Zynga is not "relevant to the industry." Unless, of course, you're talking about the industry that revolves around Affiliate programs who try as hard as they can to scam people.

Do I have a problem with games like FarmVille, Mafia Wars, et al? No, I don't. I still have Drug Wars on my calculator. ALL of my calculators. For two decades now, I've had version of Drug Wars on *some* device I own. I've had a Harvest Moon game on the majority of my consoles. I have a L14 Kongregate account, so I obviously have no issues with flash games. I don't get upset about PopCap's existence. I don't have a problem with Big Fish, or the Casual Game Portals out there (that is to say, the ones which don't resort to the same scam-ridden Affiliate programs as Zynga).

Zynga, and the companies like them, hurt gaming. Zynga, and the companies like them, hurt the *legitimate* Affiliate programs. Zynga, and the companies like them, hurt social networking. Why? Because the company is run by a scammer. This would normally be a statement I'd have to back up with some conspiracy theorist's nonsense about how Zynga stole his cat, but I don't. Why? Because I have stories about advertisers, more stories about advertisers, video of Pincus himself talking about what a scammer he was, Pincus talking about how he accidentally had sex with that woman, and wouldn't drink that much again, guess you shouldn't make promises you can't keep, and an article that basically sums up the whole ordeal.

And I'm hardly the first to link to stories on Zynga's scam-filled background. Even the stories about how much 'fun' a Zynga game is can't stay away from the scamming nature of the company.

How long before you find other slimy companies to praise?

You have to understand that the individuals who hate Zynga because "they make crappy games" are largely idiots. The majority of us hate Zynga because they have done everything in their power to cheat users out of their money, shortly before lying about it.

I still can't believe I read that the discussion "isn't about its ethical practices."

That's the only discussion we should be having. The only discussion that matters.

If it makes you feel any better, replace every instance of "Zynga" or "FarmVille" in that article with "Playfish" and "Playfish-developed-game of your choice."

Zynga is merely one example of the LARGER issue, which is social gaming being here to stay. Zynga is horribly shady, I hate its practices, but that doesn't mean I don't think that social gaming is newsworthy.

Great article JF.

I am a bit tired of people complaining about things they don't like and being elitist. I hate farmville to but I understand why its popular. There is no sense bitching about it constantly. I just choose not to play it.

So first Funk gets addicted World of Warcraft, now Farmville. The connection here is obvious.

Face it. You're not a real gamer and haven't been for years.

Chris Dmytrow:

BlindMessiah94:
Great article JF.

I am a bit tired of people complaining about things they don't like and being elitist. I hate farmville to but I understand why its popular. There is no sense bitching about it constantly. I just choose not to play it.

It's popular because it's dumbed down just enough so that women can understand it. It's just like Slingo, The Sims, and even Twitter/Facebook. Eventually, those women get bored and all move on to something else. None of that garbage stays relevant among intelligent people for very long.

Yes, like I said, understand that. But how does complaining about it change anything? In the end of the day, they have millions of players and make millions of dollars. It's the same thing with Twilight and every other trend out there. Of course they are not meant to last. But Funk is right, social gaming is here to stay. Farmville will be a footnote eventually, but social gaming won't be.
Them cashing in on these people makes them no worse than any other trend of media be it top 40 copy paste music or cheasy tabloid paparazzi news. It's all the same pile.
Which I why I just avoid it. Stuff like that will always be existent in any form of media.

Did I say I was complaining about it? My only legit complaint with social gaming is how it's a massive pyramid scheme. Other than that, knock yourself out if you're having fun with it and stick with the free stuff.

John Funk:
If it makes you feel any better, replace every instance of "Zynga" or "FarmVille" in that article with "Playfish" and "Playfish-developed-game of your choice."

Zynga is merely one example of the LARGER issue, which is social gaming being here to stay. Zynga is horribly shady, I hate its practices, but that doesn't mean I don't think that social gaming is newsworthy.

I'd prefer they be replaced in the actual articles.

I think that social gaming is newsworthy, too. I don't think Zynga is anything even remotely approaching an accurate or even halfway decent representative of social gaming as a whole. Using "Zynga" as a proxy for social gaming actually damages it.

RvLeshrac:

You keep mentioning the number of units they sold. I can scam the holy hell out of people and sell twice as many units of essentially ANYTHING - that's the way Amway has worked for decades. That has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not the company or their products have any relevance.

I am too. I'm talking about Zynga from a standpoint of relevance in the gaming industry. Which the entire industry is being turned upside down by it. To say that the largest player in that field - Zynga - is irrelevant, is akin to saying the iPhone is irrelevant to the smartphone market because you don't like their practices in selecting apps.

Mark Pincus is a jerkwad. Yes. I understand that completely. But he's a jerkwad being taken seriously by the industry. Because he found something and made it work.

John Funk:
A View From the Road: FarmVille Isn't Going Away

You may not like FarmVille, Facebook, or Twitter, but guess what? They're here to stay.

Read Full Article

Hello Pot, meet Kettle.

You made an entire news post to bitch about bitching. If anything fails to be newsworthy it's topics like this. Bitching about bitching always just leads to more bitching about bitching. You aren't the first and probably wont be the last to make a news post on this site that boils down to being this exact same topic.

While I'm sure news about Farmville is relevant to casual gamers, I have to wonder how much of your audience finds it relevant.

By the way, I hear feeding the trolls is good for page views. Any comment on that?

LordZ:

John Funk:
A View From the Road: FarmVille Isn't Going Away

You may not like FarmVille, Facebook, or Twitter, but guess what? They're here to stay.

Read Full Article

Hello Pot, meet Kettle.

You made an entire news post to bitch about bitching. If anything fails to be newsworthy it's topics like this. Bitching about bitching always just leads to more bitching about bitching. You aren't the first and probably wont be the last to make a news post on this site that boils down to being this exact same topic.

While I'm sure news about Farmville is relevant to casual gamers, I have to wonder how much of your audience finds it relevant.

By the way, I hear feeding the trolls is good for page views. Any comment on that?

You do understand the difference between a news post and an Op-Ed column, yes?

Is it wierd that I hear Jon Funk, and Matt's voices everytime I read their comments?

Anyway, "they" want to learn why such a stupid game was so successfull so that it never ever happens agian

and the best example of a social game is THE GAME (that's right you just all lost)

John Funk:

Mantonio:

I have / had an entire family of non gamers. And they can work out how a controller works just fine.

Despite what you may preach, it isn't rocket science.

Understanding what the controller does is one thing. I remember trying to get my dad to play Smash Brothers with us back in the day, and we could always explain to him the buttons and how to do everything. But actually USING it is something entirely different. How many times have you seen a non-gamer play a shooter and just walk around looking at the floor? Maybe the odd non-gamer will be able to figure it out, but for a lot of people it's a huge barrier.

You can try to argue otherwise, but it's part of the reason the Wii has been so successful, and why Sony and Microsoft are going their own alternative-controller routes. My dad might not know how to hit B-down-push the stick to the side to control angle or whatever, but he sure as hell knows to act like he's swinging a golf club.

Smash Bros seems like quite a high entry level to me (even if it is considered simple for a fighting game). I know some people who have had trouble picking up Sonic the Hedgehog. This is the 2D ones which controlled with the D-pad and 1 button!

I sometimes wish games were a bit easier to get into. I got my GF to play New Super Mario Bros with me and she actually enjoyed it which was a big plus, but I don't think I'll have much luck with a more complicated game. I actually think that Wii has become a big enough cultural phenomenon that it seems more accessible and people are more willing to try it. PS2 sold more, but Playstation probably sounds more intimidating to non-gamers.

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