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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Publisher: MIT Press
Page Count (est.): 252
Pub Date: 11/15/2009