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 Pogo.com -- 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 iGoogle.com users can plug into their home pages.

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

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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz really isn't a friend of MySpace's ubiquitous "Tom" character, but he doesn't want to hurt his feelings by giving him the boot. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is a member of the Rule Breakers analytical team, seeking out the next great growth stock early in its defiance. The Fool has a disclosure policy.