People of SU / Research

"Free to Play"

January 27, 2021

Communication Professor Chris Paul’s latest book examines a growing, but often disparaged, segment of the video game industry.

Internationally recognized for his analysis of video games and the socio-cultural context of game design and play, Communication Professor Chris Paul’s latest book is Free-to-Play: Mobile Video Games, Bias, and Norms. Published by the MIT Press, the book is described as follows:

“Free-to-play and mobile video games are an important and growing part of the video game industry, and yet they are often disparaged by journalists, designers, and players and pronounced inferior to games with more traditional payment models.

“In this book, (Professor) Paul shows that underlying the criticism is a bias against these games that stems more from who is making and playing them than how they are monetized. Free-to-play and mobile games appeal to a different kind of player, many of whom are women and many of whom prefer different genres of games than multi-level action-oriented killing fests. It’s not a coincidence that some of the few free-to-play games that have been praised by games journalists are League of Legends and World of Tanks.” 

Free to Play is Paul’s third book; he previously authored Wordplay and the Discourse of Video Games and The Toxic Meritocracy of Video Games.