Strange New World: Tech Picks of the Week

But the emergence of the Wii and the idea that gaming is becoming an all-generations activity has opened up a whole new front for video game makers. There is a certain brand of gamer out there who isn't looking for ultra-realism or visceral experiences. These gamers want something simple when they pick up a controller -- plug-and-play gaming, if you will.

So EA is planning easy-to-play games that are ostensibly geared at kids. But don't be fooled. Most importantly, this whole effort is aimed at the moms who are so often responsible for video game buying. You can't go into a GameStop without seeing an elementary school kid begging his mom to buy everything in sight. And you're not going to hook the moms with create-a-player mode on "NBA 08."

Can EA do for casual gaming what it's done for sports simulations? That remains to be seen. But consider this: It's got people talking about casual gaming two weeks after the release of one of the most immersive titles ever -- "Grand Theft Auto IV." To us, that says a lot.

Jonathan Blum and Dan Evans co-host "Strange New World," a weekly syndicated radio show. Blum hosts the blog Blumsday.com and Evans is a features editor at PC Magazine.

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