Dear Jason Tanz,
Your article "The Curse of Cow Clicker: How a Cheeky Satire Became a Videogame Hit" was an interesting read. Personally, I would classify myself as a gamer. Therefore I can understand some of the reasons why certain games become hits and popular in such a short amount of time. There are plenty of games that can be used as examples. With the extreme popularity of social media and smartphone applications a lot of games are taking advantage of the social aspect of our current culture. Games that take advantage of social media sites and updates become overnight sensations. For example (and not to beat a dead horse) but Farmville and Diner Dash. Games where you can share your status and progress in the game allow you to play with multiple people in your social circle.
As I've mentioned before, a lot of games are taking advantage of a persons natural desire to be social. Even through online multiplayer games you have the ability to friend other people and add them to your online social circle. And the implementation of an online avatar allows a person to add their personality to the game and allow customization. The game mentioned in your article "cow clicker" just goes to explain how people how play games have a desire to get involved and if a good amount of other people are playing the game they are willing to at least attempt it.