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For a casual gamer, Peggle seems too heavily based on luck. You aim the ball, but once you’ve dropped it and it hits the first peg, all bets are off: It bounces and careens through the forest of pegs in crazy, zigzagging patterns. For casual players, there doesn’t seem to be a clear enough correlation between how they aim and the results. But hard-core gamers see the game quite differently. When they look at the Peggle board, they see the Euclidean geometry that governs how the ball falls and pings around. “They’ll be sitting there thinking, ‘Oh, if I bounce the ball off that peg it’ll hit this other peg and jump over here, where it’ll take out two other colored pegs,” Canessa said. In other words, hard-core players are comfortable mentally manipulating Peggle’s complex physics. They can build models about where the ball is going to go, even after the seventh or eight collision. A frustrated casual gamer looks at Peggle and sees chaos; a hard-core one sees causality.

Getting Lucky: Hard-Core Gamers Penetrate Peggle’s Physics

Really fascinating, and I think it’s interesting that my step-mom is perceptive enough to see the causality even though she’s generally only interested in extremely casual games.