There have been a few really interesting articles on Gamasutra recently; it’s about time I took them out of my blog feed and put them here.
The State of the Casual Gaming Industry provides a good introduction to what are casual games, where the industry is now, and where it might be going in future.
Emotion engineering: a scientific approach for understanding game appeal presents a complex analysis of the ways in which the interactions that take place can affect the players’ emotions. Includes a table that relates specific emotions to variables in the game. There isn’t much evidence to back up this theory (other than common sense) but I think it’s an interesting perspective nonetheless.
What do older gamers want? According to this article it’s repeat tutorials, printed manuals, legible text, removal of jargon, a wider variety of subject areas, family play, not having to stand up, a comfortable playing environment, collaborative online play at a distance, and shorter game length. (Although there is no indication of exactly how many people took part in this research or how generalisable it is.)