Slow down and relax: emerging scene of “pop in/pop out” games offers casual approach

With the recent release of such games as “Call of Duty: Ghosts” or “Grand Theft Auto V,” many gamers have probably been getting pretty chummy with their couches and gaming system of choice as of late. Those same people can probably attest to the hours at a time they have played such games in the past, and the fun they’ve had while doing it. Video games have always had the “time sink” element to them, whether for better or for worse, but a new type of game has been emerging over the past couple of years that seek to challenge these norms for the sake of more casual gamers.

Not convinced? Here’ one good example: “Clash of Clans.” One of the more popular games that students have been playing since the iPad launch mid last year, students have been having a blast upgrading and destroying each others’ bases during their free time (and often not-so-sneakily in classes). iPad game fads appear and disappear throughout the year, but “Clash of Clans” seems to be a stay-in for many of us. But what makes it so popular, exactly? “Its just a fun game overall,” junior Casey Taylor said. “I mean, if you don’t play for two days, you may have lost a week’s worth of progress. Its a game that requires you to use tactics and strategy.”

This formula of having the player only having to invest small increments of their day at a time can be a great way for people with long periods of their schedule taken up to still have a bit of relaxation every now and then. “I usually play for [a total of] about an hour per week,” sophomore Matthew Cooper said. “It keeps me occupied.”

Have a test sixth period? Harvest some resources and upgrade that archer tower and your workers will take care of it while you’re gone. Gotta head to work in five? Do a quick skirmish on a rival’s castle before ordering your troops to regroup while you’re en route so they can be battle-ready when you arrive. The amount of time it takes for these small actions–a resource node here, another mortar there–gradually add up for satisfying progression of the game from a small, defenseless little village to a towering, impenetrable fortress. “Its like a pop tart,” Taylor said. “You push it in, and it pops back out. The time you put into it adds up, but it could take you years to be the very best [in the game rankings].”

The popularity of this new genre of gaming need hardly be articulated; other similar games such as “Farmville” boast millions of ‘subscribers’ that regularly purchase game cards in retail, and countless more playing ‘casually.’

“I don’t really like it,” sophomore Brian Hanigan said. “It’s like they want you to buy a game you already have.”

Ever since their inception in the late 2000’s, this business of “freemium” games have had their ups and downs, especially since Facebook-centered developer Zynga has recently been having financial problems, according to such sources as’s money pages. Still, there’s no denying that these kinds of games have made changes to the gaming landscape, and some people see it as a good thing. “If you don’t work hard enough to get enough gems [in “Clash of Clans”], you’d have to pay for them,” Taylor said.

With the genre still going through its financial puberty, the future is still uncertain for the burgeoning genre. In the mean time, however, there are still hundreds of thousands of clans to clash with.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

The Black & White encourages the student body to comment on the issues covered by the newspaper. The Black & White believes that user feedback is beneficial to maintain a balanced journalistic perspective. However, we encourage all comments to remain respectful and constructive to the issue. We also encourage students to restrain from using profanity and making inappropriate comments. The Black & White editors review all online comments before being posted. The Black & White reserves the right to refuse to publish individual comments, remove previously published comments and to suspend the comment function on a story.
All The Black & White Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *