The Game Design Reader: A Rules of Play Anthology / Edition 1

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The Game Design Reader is a one-of-a-kind collection on game design and criticism, from classic scholarly essays to cutting-edge case studies. A companion work to Katie Salen and Eric Zimmerman's textbook Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals, The Game Design Reader is a classroom sourcebook, a reference for working game developers, and a great read for game fans and players.Thirty-two essays by game designers, game critics, game fans, philosophers, anthropologists,media theorists, and others consider fundamental questions: What are games and how are they designed? How do games interact with culture at large? What critical approaches can game designers take to create game stories, game spaces, game communities, and new forms of play? Salen and Zimmerman have collected seminal writings that span 50 years to offer a stunning array of perspectives. Game journalists express the rhythms of game play, sociologists tackle topics such as role-playing in vast virtual worlds, players rant and rave, and game designers describe the sweat and tears of bringing a game to market. Each text acts as a springboard for discussion, a potential class assignment, and a source of inspiration. The book is organized around fourteen topics, from The Player Experience to The Game Design Process, from Games and Narrative to Cultural Representation. Each topic, introduced with a short essay by Salen and Zimmerman,covers ideas and research fundamental to the study of games, and points to relevant texts within the Reader. Visual essays between book sections act as counterpoint to the writings.Like Rules of Play, The Game Design Reader is an intelligent and playful book. An invaluable resource for professionals and a unique introduction for those new to the field, The Game Design Reader is essential reading for anyone who takes games seriously.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
"Katie Salen and Eric Zimmerman have done a great service to the academic community with their well-composed and highly usable work. With all these key texts now conveniently accessible, there is one reason less to postpone setting up game-studies courses and degrees."—Frans Mäyrä, Hypermedia Laboratory, University of Tampere, Finland, and President, Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA)Please note: Arrived too late to appear on book jacket.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262195362
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 12/1/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 954
  • Sales rank: 742,962
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.56 (d)

Meet the Author

Katie Salen Tekinbaş is Professor in the School of Computing and Digital Media at DePaul University and Chief Designer and Researcher at Institute of Play.

Eric Zimmerman is a game designer, game design theorist, and co-founder and CEO of gameLab. He has taught at universities including MIT, the University of Texas,Parsons School of Design, New York University, Rhode Island School of Design, and the School of Visual Arts.

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Table of Contents

Interstitial : how to win "Super Mario Bros"
The player experience 3
The rules of a game 9
Gaming the game 15
The game design process 21
Player and character 27
Games and narrative 33
Game communities 39
Speaking of games 45
Game design models 53
Game economies 59
Game spaces 65
Cultural representation 71
What is a game? 77
What is play? 83
Interstitial : cosplay
Interstitial : urban invasion
Nature and significance of play as a cultural phenomenon (1955) 96
The definition of play : the classification of games (1962) 122
Shoot club : the DOOM 3 review (2004) 156
Interstitial : collateral romance
Construction of a definition (1990) 172
I have no words & I must design (1994) 192
The cabal : valve's design process for creating half-life (1999) 212
Interstitial : urban games
Semiotic domains : is playing video games a "waste of time?" (2003) 228
The evil summoner FAQ v1.0 : how to be a cheap ass (2001) 268
Play and ambiguity (2001) 296
A theory of play and fantasy (1972) 314
"Complete freedom of movement" : video games as gendered play spaces (1998) 330
Interstitial : DDR step charts
Formal abstract design tools (1999) 366
Game theory (1992) 382
Games and design patterns (2005) 410
Tools for creating dramatic game dynamics (2005) 438
Game analysis : Centipede (2001) 460
Interstitial : indie game jam
Unwritten rules (1999) 476
Beyond the rules of the game : why are Rooie rules nice? (1983) 504
Changing the game (1978) 518
The design evolution of magic : the gathering (1993 | 2004) 538
Interstitial : blast theory
Eyeball and cathexis (1983) 558
Frames and games (1983) 578
Bow, Nigger (2004) 602
Cultural models : do you want to be the blue sonic or the dark sonic? (2003) 610
Interstitial : red vs. blue
Interaction and narrative (2000 | 2005) 642
Game design as narrative architecture (2004) 670
Adventure as a video games : adventure for the atari 2600 (1983-84) 690
Eastern front (1941) (2003) 714
Interstitial : serious games
The lessons of Lucasfilm's habitat (1990) 728
Hearts, clubs, diamonds, spades : players who suit MUDs (1996) 754
Declaring the rights of players (2000) 788
Virtual worlds : a first-hand account of market and society on the cyberian frontier (2001) 814
Interstitial : painstation
Coda : piercing the spectacle (2005) 866
Interstitial : Le Parkour
Final word 924
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