A Casual Revolution

Posted on May 26th, 2016 by:

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casualrevolution

Jesper Juul’s book, A Casual Revolution is a deep look into how the world of casual gaming has shaped the game industry in the last eight years or so of the game industry. Since things like app gaming and the wii have been released, more and more people have started playing games. Casual games has added demographics of older gamers, more female gamers, or even young males who might not have been playing games as often. Casual games like Farmville, Flappy Birds, Angry Birds, and much more, have allowed players to game for short burst of time. Even more CEOs of companies have been playing games during their break times in order to recharge and get their mind away from work.

The division between “hardcore gaming” and casual gaming as gotten larger, as most AAA games are for those who are willing to dedicate 40+ hours to completing a game. In the early days of gaming, there weren’t many options of easy games to play. You had games like Donkey Kong (arcade), Galaga, and others that were designed to be difficult, in order to get players to part with more quarters by losing and having to retry. But today, now that most gaming can be done at home or on your phone, you only need to pay a one time fee in order to partake. Games in general have gotten much easier over time, but comparatively AAA games still require much more skill and time dedication to be able to complete.

Jesper Juul’s book illustrates some common themes of casual games, and the gamers who like them as well. Casual games usually have minimal story lines, and they also take place in much more benign and friendly environments. The settings are usually more colorful and happy in tone, and they usually require less skill and time to learn than AAA games. One interesting fact to note that is pointed out in this book, is that most gamers in general would much prefer to be challenged than to not be. Gamers do not want too easy of a game. It is actually better to make a game a little bit too hard, and not. To have a game be too easy takes away the fun and the stimulating nature of the game.

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Since the release of the Wii, a much wider demographic of gamers has emerged. Many old folks homes keep a wii console there to get the residents to play games that get them moving, but without the hassle of having to leave or take a trip. Their time spent in the home can be used to play social games that require a bit of minimal exercise. The wii console had also gotten many adults and parents into gaming, since the appeal of the console’s wii fit and tennis has changed people’s attitudes to how useful owning a console can be.

Overall Jesper Juul’s book and his insights are still useful to those who want to take a retrospective look on how the game industry has been changing over time, and will still continue to change. His writing style isn’t terribly engaging, and at times it made me drift off, but otherwise it is a great book and very informative.

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