Casual games owe their name to their ready accessibility, simplicity of the game-play and easy to follow rule sets. Players can jump in and out of a casual game at any time and can save their progress in the game at any moment. With no checkpoints to reach, casual games can be played for a few minutes or hours at will. Games of such format have existed long before the term was coined and include such video games as Solitaire.
Serious games are games that are designed for purposes beyond entertainment – primarily to convey a message of some sort of to provide a learning experience to the player. Some serious games may not fit the traditional definition of a video game. As educational software is treated as a separate category, serious games serve specific purpose, not always associated with entertainment, such as training, recruitment, knowledge management, scientific research, etc. Serious games seem very realistic and often have particular specifications so that they can be used for specific purposes.
For example, competition, collaboration, individual challenge may be the main focus of different types of simulators, which do not serve to play but as serious training facilitators for specific professions.
Designed for reasons outside pure entertainment, serious games are generally made for professionals or to be used as part of a specific task or for skill set to be improved. They represent different genre, similar to casual games, although there may be more games such as propaganda, educational or exergames due to their subject matter and purpose they are supposed to serve.
Educational games are games especially designed for educational purposes, or games which have incidental or secondary educational value. Such games have features similar to both casual and serious games. Most of them target a younger audience in the attempt to “smuggle knowledge in the form of fun and simple games”. Developed for the purpose of making learning easy and fun, educational games revolve around a wide array of subjects. They help to expand concepts, enhance learning and development, grasp the essence of culture or visualise a historical event. Educational games assist in learning skills during play.
The notion of gaming goes way beyond entertainment. It is the whole industry that involves numerous branches of the computer market, from game creators through marketers and product positioning experts to global game domain registrars. A whole lot of new domain extensions are about to be unleashed to the Internet, unlocking website owners’ creativity in choosing domain names that would go beyond the limited choices of .com, .net or .org. of today. Gaming industry is about to undergo transformation in the way they are positioned online. There will be domain extensions available for all industries, businesses and professions. Gaming industry will particularly benefit from new domains such as: .game, .games, .play or .win.