Casual Games Discusssion


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Presented in Gamers in Society seminar in Tampere, Finland (spring 2007). Mainly about introducing phenomenon of casual games and terminology for studying the casual IN games phenomenon.

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  • More of an academic take on the growing phenomenon of casual games.
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Casual Games Discusssion

  1. 1. Casual Games Discussion Kuittinen, Kultima, Niemelä and Paavilainen working paper
  2. 2. The GameSpace Project <ul><li>Frans Mäyrä Scientific Leader </li></ul><ul><li>Janne Paavilainen Project Manager </li></ul><ul><li>Annakaisa Kultima Researcher </li></ul><ul><li>Jussi Kuittinen Researcher </li></ul><ul><li>Johannes Niemelä Researcher </li></ul><ul><li>GameSpace studies design and evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>methods of casual mobile multiplayer games </li></ul>2 / 12
  3. 3. Rationale for the paper <ul><li>Casual games are getting big </li></ul><ul><ul><li>2$ billion dollar market in 2008 in U.S (est.) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Casual games are reaching the masses </li></ul><ul><li>How to study and design casual games? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No previous academic study </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Study of the current discussion to map out the phenomenon </li></ul></ul>3 / 12
  4. 4. The Discussion 1/2 <ul><li>Casual games </li></ul><ul><ul><li>i.e Zuma, Diner Dash, Bejeweled, Solitaire, Minesweeper, Snake, Chess, Checkers… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Simple to learn and play, fast rewards, mainly non-violent themes… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Definitions by IGDA, CGA, GDC... </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Casual gamers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Casual games have introduced new demographics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Special emphasis: women over 30 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Also: lapsed gamers, elder people </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Widest possible target audience </li></ul></ul></ul>4 / 12
  5. 5. Zuma Mystery Case Files Diner Dash Solitaire Snake Minesweeper Bejeweled Boggle Bookworm
  6. 6. The Discussion 2/2 <ul><li>Gaming and playing as casual </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Motives for playing: stress relief, relaxation, distraction from pain, keeping mind sharp etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Anytime, anywhere”, short time bursts, on the breaks etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Other issues discussed </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Business models, accessibility, production, innovation and other value-based issues </li></ul></ul>6 / 12
  7. 7. Tentative Terminology <ul><li>Casual IN games </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The phenomenon, the discussion </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Casual games </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ostensive meaning (those games there) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Casual game player </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One that plays games that are called casual </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Casual gamer </li></ul><ul><ul><li>About player attitudes, investments, skills etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Casual gaming </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Low level game culture, instrumental values for games </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Casual playing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Casual play styles and habits (gameplay) </li></ul></ul>7 / 12
  8. 9. Surveys and Casual Games <ul><li>PopCap Games, Macrovision and RealNetworks casual games surveys: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Player demographics, motives, habits, time consumption, other interests… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some results paradoxical </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No distinction over the ones who play casual games and the ones who play casually (casual game players vs. casual gamers) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Surveys most likely reached only the hardcore end of casual gamers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>No valid information about the phenomenon as whole </li></ul></ul></ul>9 / 12
  9. 10. Game Research and Casual <ul><li>Business approach: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Commercial studies have interest on the buyer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Study on most active users </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Conversion rates </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Academic approach: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Wider phenomenon </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Discussion as an indication </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Academic approach needs more refined terminology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Difficult study cases: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Low interest </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Low self-reflection of the player </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Attitudes and playing habits are changing factors (per game, per person, per day?) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How to reach the casual gamers who lurk in the 98%? </li></ul></ul></ul>10 / 12
  10. 11. Conclusion and Discussion <ul><li>The discussion varies </li></ul><ul><li>The phenomenon is evident </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Discussion is indication of the problematic and dynamic meanings </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Further studies should be based on more refined terminology </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Distinction of: casual in games, casual games, casual game player, casual gamer casual playing and casual gaming </li></ul></ul><ul><li>More to it? Need for expanded game experience model </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The emphasis on gameplay experience is not sufficient for casual phenomenon </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What is the phenomenon about anyway? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Is it stabile phenomenon? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is it about the change of digital games cultures? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is it about bridging the cap between digital games cultures and non-digital games cultures? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Or something else? </li></ul></ul>11 / 12
  11. 12. Thank You! GameSpace Janne Paavilainen [email_address] Jussi Kuittinen [email_address] Annakaisa Kultima [email_address] Johannes Niemelä [email_address]