A Casual Revolution
We used to think that video games were mostly for young men, but with the success of the Nintendo Wii, and the proliferation of games in browsers, cell phone games, and social games video games changed changed fundamentally in the years from 2000 to 2010. These new casual games are now played by men and women, young and old. Players need not possess an intimate knowledge of video game history or 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. 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.
About 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.
“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)
“ [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
"An indispensible read for anyone interested or working in the field of video games. Jesper Juul makes sense of the shifting terrain of video game audiences and proves to be one of the finest minds in video games. A ground-breaking book!"
Sean Baptiste, Manager of Community Development, Harmonix Music Systems
"A Casual Revolution is a hard look at the unique characteristics of games outside of the hardcore. Juul pushes past the prejudice that casual games are somehow lesser experiences and presents a multifaceted view of 'casualness,' casual players and the non-trivial role of these deeply engaging games in our social and cultural lives."
Tracy Fullerton, Director, USC Game Innovation Lab, USC School of Cinematic Arts, Interactive Media Division
"A thoughtful examination of casual gaming. I wouldn't be surprised to find this book sitting on the shelves of game developers, marketers, and scholars. Juul has combined player ethnography, developer interviews, and informed analysis to produce an exemplary piece of game research."
Chaim Gingold, Designer, Spore Creature Creator