Laying down a fresh sheet of flypaper for its growing community, News Corp.'s (NYSE:NWS) MySpace will launch a casual games channel in a few months. The company is teaming up with Oberon Media to create original games that will encourage users of the social networking website to spend more time on MySpace playing addictive multiplayer games.

If the name Oberon doesn't ring a bell, it's because the company typically thrives behind the stage. It teams up with traffic magnets like Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) to deliver unique games.

Casual gaming is a big industry. Even if some of its leading players, like Oberon and PopCap Games, aren't exactly household words, publicly traded heavies like Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:ERTS) and RealNetworks (NASDAQ:RNWK) are all over the niche.

Unlike conventional video games that skew toward a young, male audience, casual gaming users -- at least on sites like EA's -- tend to be adult females. Casual games offer familiar games with simple rules. They are often little more than online versions of popular card and board games. Naturally, Oberon will be cooking up edgier diversions to pander to MySpace's fickle audience.

Combining social networking with gaming won't exactly be weird science for Rupert Murdoch's media company. The company spent $650 million to buy video game hotbed IGN in 2005, just months after it acquired MySpace.

Connecting the pieces is where things get tricky. MySpace has been successful in parlaying its social networking traffic into popular video-sharing and music-discovery applications, but will the games be sticky enough to keep users on the site?

You can certainly get plenty of free online games out there. Even Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) -- a company that hasn't followed rival Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) into stand-alone gaming portals -- now offers games in the form of widgets that users can plug into their home pages.

Wouldn't you know it? Casual games are serious business.

For related Foolishness:

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.