The reason I don't like it is that it implies that a shorter game is only good for filling time. Not everyone has shown up yet for Dungeons and Dragons? Get a filler. There's only a little bit of time left in game right? Get a filler. Waiting for your food to arrive at a restaurant? Get a filler.
Okay, I have used games for all of those things. But the term still implies scorn for shorter games. I have heard it applied to games that are shorter than fifteen minutes or shorter than two hours. Personally, if you have two hours to fill, you might want to question your lifestyle.
For me personally, a half an hour is the cut off work. If the game reasonably lasts 45 minutes, it is on its way to being the centerpiece of a short game night. Over two hours, we are on our way to a long game. And, with a busier life, those are the kind of games do you need to get scheduled ahead of time.
And, as life has gotten busier and more complicated, the amount of time that I am for gaming has shrunk. A friend of mine calls this adult responsibilities and we both agree that if you have them, you are doing something right.
Particularly with a small child, a half hour is sometimes the most that we can hope for on a game night, that is a night where Carrie and I decide to play a game after he goes to sleep.
And while there are short little games out there that are basically mindless, there are increasing number of short games the do offer a satisfying decisions in depth. And I am constantly on the hunt for more :)
So, games like that aren't games used just to make the time go by. These are the games that you help me make the best use of my time and still enjoy gaming. At least one person has suggested that the name Interlude would be a better term than Filler. And I do like that more and it describes me experiences better. But filler has proven to have strong staying power :(