With great fanfare, BusinessWeek released a compilation of twenty "free, independently developed Web-based games" on its website today. "Casual games," free games that are easy to play and addictive (think Tetris), are big business. Nickelodeon recently announced it was developing 600 games for its websites. Why is BusinessWeek playing tastemaker in this market, though, under the guise of praising the outlandishly simplistic videogames for their "design"?
Whatever the reason, the magazine's editors failed at BusinessWeek Arcade. A number of the listed games, like Echoes, aren't Web-based at all. When I click "Play Now," the games attempt to download to my computer. Finally, we've found an audience for whom even casual games are too hard a concept.