ISBN-10:
0470597186
ISBN-13:
9780470597187
Pub. Date:
07/10/2012
Publisher:
Wiley
Game Invaders: The Theory and Understanding of Computer Games / Edition 1

Game Invaders: The Theory and Understanding of Computer Games / Edition 1

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780470597187
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 07/10/2012
Pages: 230
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

CLIVE FENCOTT, PhD, is a freelance writer and researcher in new media. For many years, he taught and researched the theory of computer games at Teesside University in the UK. He also worked in the games industry. Dr. Fencott has authored over fifty publications, including the successful textbook Formal Methods for Concurrency.

MIKE LOCKYER, BSc, PhD, is a Professor of Web Services at Teesside University, where he has taught for over twenty-five years. He has published over thirty journal papers, successfully supervised more than ten PhDs, and is currently involved with developments in web services and rich client applications.

JO CLAY completed a multimedia master's degree at Teesside University, under the supervision of Clive Fencott, before joining the games analysis team. As a gamer herself and apprentice semiotician, Jo assisted in the development of the Game Invaders method for application in computer software.

PAUL MASSEY, CEng, MBCS, CITP, is a senior lecturer in computing at Teesside University, where he teaches and consults on databases. Paul believes databases are central to most IT systems and applies techniques (such as data mining) to a range of disciplines (such as games analysis and decision support).

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Table of Contents

Preface ix

Abbreviations xi

Part I Why Do People Play Games?

1. You Are the One 3
Tools to Think With 5
Getting Started 8
Summary 12

2. Genre 13
What Are Genres? 14
What Are Genres For? 16
Genre Maps 18
Computer Game Genres 19
A Theory of Computer Game Genres 21
Summary 25
Further Reading and Tasks 26

3. Activity 29
The Story of Activity Groups 29
An Overview of Activity Profiles 33
Three Driving Games 35
Calculating Genres 38
Summary 43
Tasks 44

4. Pleasure 45
Aesthetics and Computer Games 47
Spacewar 51
Zork 52
Pac-Man 56
Comparative Aesthetics 57
Summary 59
Tasks 60

5. Two Rail-Shooters 61
Star Fox and Rez 61
Activity Profiling and Genre Theory 63
Applying Aesthetic Theory 65
The Method of Game Analysis 67
Tetsuya Mizuguchi, Rez, and Beyond 67
Summary 69
Further Reading and Tasks 70

6. Why Don’t People Play Games 71
What Do We Mean by Games? 72
Resident Evil 73
Why Not Ask the Players? 75
Emotional Models of Play 76
Player Types 79
Demographic Research 81
Why Don’t People Play Games? 82
Conclusions 83

Part II What Is a Game?

7. Just an Ordinary Day 87
The Glass Vial 89
Unrealisms 90
Perceptual Opportunities 91
Sureties 92
Surprises 93
Attractors 93
Connectors 95
Rewards 97
Getting It All Together in SinCity 99
Perceptual Mapping in SinCity 100
AS-OceanFloor 103
Summary 108
Further Reading and Tasks 109

8. Big Bad Streets 111
Driver School 111
Sureties 113
Surprises 114
Driver and SinCity Comparisons 119
Summary 122
Further Reading and Tasks 123

9. Time to Visit Yokosuka 125
Shenmue 125
Genre and Activity Profile 126
Aesthetics 128
Shenmue POs 129
PSAS and Cut Scenes 131
Interactive Storytelling? 133
And On With General Aesthetics 134
Summary 135
Further Reading and Tasks 137

10. Meaning What? 139
Semiotics and Signs 140
Pac-Man’s Signs 143
Icons, Indexes, and Symbols 144
Denotation, Connotation, and Myth 146
Syntagms and Paradigms 148
Codes 151
Making Up Pac-Man 154
Filling Gaps 155
Summary 159
Further Reading and Tasks 161

11. All Work and Play 163
The Work of Meaning 164
Signs of Interaction 167
The Mechanics of Interaction 170
The Inside-Out Code 176
Where Is the Player? 178
Summary 180
Further Reading and Tasks 181

12. Big Game Hunting 183
Semiosphere 183
The Code of Interaction 185
The Myth of Interaction 189
What Is a Game? 191
How Do You Get Out of Here? 192
Big Game Hunting 194

Glossary 197

List of Games 203

Bibliography 205

Index 207

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