A Casual Revolution: Reinventing Video Games and Their Players

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Overview

"The enormous popularity of the Nintendo Wii, Guitar Hero, and smaller games like Bejeweled or Zuma has turned the stereotype of the obsessed young male gamer on its head. Players of these casual games are not required to possess an intimate knowledge of video game history or to devote weeks or months to play. At the same time, many players of casual games show a dedication and skill that is anything but casual. In A Casual Revolution, Jesper Juul describes this as a reinvention of video games, and of our image of video game players, and explores what this tells us about the players, the games, and their interaction." "With this reinvention of video games, the game industry reconnects with a general audience. Many of today's casual game players once enjoyed Pac-Man, Tetris, and other early games, only to drop out when video games became more time consuming and complex. For a long time, video games asked players to structure their lives to fit the demands of a game; with casual games, it is the game that is designed to fit into the lives of players. These flexible games make it possible for everyone to be a video game player." Juul shows that it is only by understanding what a game requires of players, what players bring to a game, how the game industry works, and how video games have developed historically that we can understand what makes video games fun and why we choose to play (or not to play) them.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"…[F]or anyone working in the games industry or studying games and their role in popular culture, A Casual Revolution is a succinct and indispensable summary of the current state of video games." -- Stewart
Woods
, Game Studies

The MIT Press

"Let's start with the hype. A Casual Revolution is terrific. A succinct, informative, thoughtful examination of the forces that have been, as its subtitle says, reinventing video games and their players. Oh, and on top of all that, it's just plain fun to read." Tap-Repeatedly (5/5 stars)

The MIT Press

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262013376
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 10/9/2009
  • Pages: 252
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Jesper Juul is Assistant Professor at the New York University Game Center. He is the author of Half-Real: Video Games between Real Rules and Fictional
Worlds
and A Casual Revolution: Reinventing Video Games and
Their Players
, both published by the MIT Press.
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Table of Contents

1 A Casual Revolution 1

2 What Is Casual? 25

3 All the Games You Played Before 65

4 Innovations and Clones: The Gradual Evolution of Downloadable Casual Games 79

5 Return to Player Space: The Success of Mimetic Interface Games 103

6 Social Meaning and Social Goals 121

7 Casual Play in a Hardcore Game 129

8 Players, Developers, and the Future of Video Games 145

Appendix A Player Survey 153

Appendix B Player Stories 157

Appendix C Developer Interviews 175

Notes 219

References 233

Index 247

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