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A Casual Revolution: Reinventing Video Games and Their Players [Kindle Edition]

Jesper Juul
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

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 <I>A Casual Revolution</I>, 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 <I> Pac-Man, Tetris</I>, 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.

Editorial Reviews


Jesper Juul's "A Casual Revolution" is a deftly argued and thoroughly researched recommendation.
-Jamin Brophy Warren, "Five Essential Books on Video Games". --The New Yorker

Crowds mobbed Nintendo's booth, clamoring to play it, rushing past the fancier Xbox and Playstation demonstrations. Jesper Juul's "A Casual Revolution" explains what happened, and why.
-Jonathan V. Last --Wall Street Journal

"A trenchant look at the rise of casual gaming."
-Keith Stuart --The Guardian Gamesblog

"A Casual Revolution is indispensable for summarising the current videogame industry, removing casual prejudices at every page."
-Robert Jackson --Leonardo

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

"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

"…[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

"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)

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.

Product Details

  • File Size: 5541 KB
  • Print Length: 264 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press (February 10, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004M8R842
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #672,212 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A solid discussion of casual games and gamers February 1, 2015
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm the sort of gamer that Jesper Juul is writing about in this book. I would occasionally play arcade games as a kid (I miss Tempest!), but the first video game I played regularly was Tetris on the Mac. Nowadays I play several kinds of solitaire and match-three games like Bejeweled Blitz and Candy Crush Saga, as well as things like 2048.

Juul's book is a collection of loosely linked essays that discuss both casual games and casual gamers. He makes the effort to look at the two on their own terms, rather than ring the changes on the already existing range of narratives concerning them. About half the book consists of appendices that document interviews Juul made with gameplayers and game developers, and Juul relies on these interviews heavily. One of the really good essays is an attempt to write a history of matching-tile games.

This is one of the better books on video games I've read--well-written and full of interesting ideas.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Get real about casual gamers August 20, 2010
This book deeply explore the true meaning of the casual/hardcore gaming labels, unveiling myths and demonstrating why casual games are not just easier games. A must for everyone interested in games.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Muy bueno February 3, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Todo a sido perfecto. Ha llegado antes de lo previsto y en perfectas condiciones. No tengo ninguna queja, muy al contrario.
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10 of 31 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An outsiders view at a complex topic July 7, 2010
By Rask
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A Casual Revolution is a nice attempt to explain a constantly changing product like gaming and to his credit the author does a good job of explaining at least one definition of the difference between casual and non-casual gaming and even points out how games can overlap between these two fields.

However throughout the entire book he gives half truths and blatant lies (he's not trying to lie to be fair to the author he simply doesn't know any better) as he tries to explain gaming when he blatantly tells the reader he hasn't played much of any game spanning between pong and tetris up until the Wii's release, even going as far as inferring that casual gaming didn't make any progress between these two stages (he doesn't say this, I just get that vibe from reading the book). To be quite honest this seems to be an outsiders (non-gamer for most of gaming's growth, and a non-developer) looking in on a hobby he hasn't participated in for around a decade and as such there are much better books out there (A book of lenses is a new one I particularly enjoyed if your looking for game design tips).

Do yourself a favor and look for a different book other then this unless you really want outdated information on casual gaming for some reason
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More About the Author

My name is Jesper Juul, and I am a Video Game Theorist. My mission in life is to take video games seriously, while admitting how much I enjoy them.

My latest book is "The Art of Failure: An Essay on the Plain of Playing Video Games". In this book I show myself as a sore loser and ask why we play video games even though they often seem to make us unhappy?

I am an assistant professor at the New York University Game Center. Before that, I have worked at MIT, the Danish Design School and the IT University of Copenhagen. I have a PhD in video game theory (these things exist!), and an MA in Nordic Literature. In addition to writing and teaching about video games, I also develop them on occasion.

I grew up in Denmark, but since 2007 I have been living in New York. For updates or comments, visit my blog The Ludologist on "game research and other important things"!

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