The proliferation of tiny, super-powered gaming consoles (otherwise known as smartphones) has given rise to the "stupid game" — the bite-sized morsel we play when we're not doing other, more important things. This New York Times Magazine editorial takes a look at the rise of the genre, from its Tetris origins, to the advent of the cow clickers, to the insane popularity and pervasiveness of games like Angry Birds and Draw Something. The piece also looks at the addictive nature of the games, as the writer examines his own issues with compulsive game playing, as well as the rise of gamification — applying reward-based mechanics to more mundane tasks like shopping. It's definitely worth a read, and the article even has its own built-in game in case you start feeling antsy halfway through.
Homebrew neuroscience: the rise of 'stupid games'
Homebrew neuroscience: the rise of 'stupid games'/
The New York Times Magazine takes a look at the rise of smartphone-based casual gaming.