A Theory of Fun for Game Design / Edition 1

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If you are interested in game structure and design you'll really enjoy how A Theory of Fun works on two levels - as a quick inspiration guide for game designers, and as a thought-provoking discussion on how we learn, why we play games, and how learning and playing are connected.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781932111972
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/21/2010
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 9.11 (w) x 7.03 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Raph Koster (San Diego, CA) is the Chief Creative Officer for Sony Online Entertainment and author of the bestselling book, A Theory of Fun for Game Design. For many years he has served as a lead designer for teams building online virtual worlds. His first job was as a designer working on persistent worlds at Origin Systems. His last project there was working on Ultima Online, opening the online persistent world market to the general gaming public.

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Table of Contents

Prologue : my grandfather
Ch. 1 Why write this book? 2
Ch. 2 How the brain works 12
Ch. 3 What games are 34
Ch. 4 What games teach us 48
Ch. 5 What games aren't 80
Ch. 6 Different fun for different folks 100
Ch. 7 The problem with learning 110
Ch. 8 The problem with people 128
Ch. 9 Games in context 140
Ch. 10 The ethics of entertainment 160
Ch. 11 Where games should go 172
Ch. 12 Taking their rightful place 184
Epilogue : fun matters, grandpa 200
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2005

    Interested in game design? Start here.

    This is an essential primer for any budding game designer - computer or otherwise. While Koster's attention is mostly on computer games, the theory of fun he develops is widely applicable, especially if your goal is to make your game engaging and replayable. Don't be fooled into thinking the illustrations are just pretty, either. They illuminate the text and offer insights of their own in ways that are easy to absorb. This is a volume to read, re-read and count yourself glad to grok.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2004

    craves respectability

    The cover is a cartoon. And inside, so too is every second page. Yet Koster is quite serious. He tries to describe why a computer game is enjoyable. Or at least what makes the successful ones so. En route, he gives an informal synopsis and taxonomy of the games that have appeared since the 1970s. The seminal Space Invaders, Pac Man, Defender, Tempest and others from your mis-spend youth. (Well, mine anyway.) Ambitiously, he tries to put games into a broader context. Comparing them to other communications media, like music, books and movies. He craves intellectual respectability for games, on a par with those activities, for which academic analysis is now commonplace, Though it certainly was not so for movies, during their first decades. Koster suggests that with now over 20 years of gaming, it is likewise time for games to be regarded seriously.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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