The International Game Developers Association website has just unveiled, on its IGDA Casual SIG website, the 2006 Casual Games Whitepaper.

It's explained: This document [.PDF] represents the best practices and knowledge of more than 30 in the casual game space. The paper follows on the success of previous editions, and is a must read for anyone working in the casual game industry." Mind you, with 116 pages and multiple sections, including sections on distribution, technology, and much more, reading it will be anything but casual!

One small tidbit - I like this definition of casual games from the whitepaper intro: "The term "casual games" is used to describe games that are easy to learn, utilize simple controls and aspire to forgiving gameplay. Without a doubt, the term "casual games" is sometimes an awkward and ill-fitting term – perhaps best described as games for everyone. Additionally, the term "casual" doesn’t accurately depict that these games can be quite addictive, often delivering hours of entertainment similar to that provided by more traditional console games. To be sure, there is nothing "casual" about the level of loyalty, commitment and enjoyment displayed by many avid casual game players – just as there is nothing "casual" about the market opportunity and market demand for these games. " Rah rah!