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Casual game reviewer responds to EA, demands respect

Kyle Orland

Seems not everyone was very happy with EA's recent comments about the relative unimportance of casual game reviews. Over at casual games supersite Gamezebo, editor Erin Bell has posted a well-written response to EA Marketing VP Russell Aarons' argument that casual gamers trust their friends' game recommendations more than professional reviews. "Statements like these are intensely patronizing, not only to media outlets like Gamezebo who focus on the casual market, but also to the millions of discerning, media savvy casual gamers who drive the multi-billion dollar casual games industry," Bell writes. "If casual gamers didn't read reviews, I wouldn't have a job."

To be fair, EA's comments probably weren't directed at casual-focused sites like Gamezebo, but instead at the majority of specialist game sites that just don't seem to understand the appeal of casual games. Still, it's true that casual gamers sometime don't get enough respect from the gaming community. Just because a gamer doesn't have the time or inclination to dive into a Mass Effect or a Halo 3 doesn't mean they don't take their hobby seriously. Or, as Bell puts it, being a casual gamer doesn't necessarily mean being "the kind of person who buys a game based on how pretty the box is or because it's based on their favorite television show." Of course, this doesn't apply to the Deal or No Deal game. After all, who could resist Howie Mandel's come-hither grin?

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