This is an video recording of a lecture Jesper Juul gave to us on November 28, 2006.
What happens when a player picks up a video game, learns to play it, masters it, and leaves it? Using concepts from my book on video games, Half-Real: Video Games between Real Rules and Fictional Worlds, I will argue that video game players are neither rational solvers of abstract problems, nor daydreamers in fictional worlds, but both of these things with shifting emphasis. The unique quality of video games is to be located in their intricate interplay of rules and fictions, which I will examine across genres, from casual games to massively multiplayer games.
Jesper Juul is a video game theorist and assistant professor in video game theory and design at the Centre for Computer Game Research Copenhagen where he also earned his Ph.D. His book Half-Real on video game theory was published by MIT Press in 2005. Additionally, he works as a multi-user chat systems and casual game developer. He is currently a visiting scholar at Parsons School of Design in New York.