Games - Game Design - Game Studies: An Introduction

Games - Game Design - Game Studies: An Introduction

by Gundolf S Freyermuth


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How did games rise to become the central audiovisual form of expression and storytelling in digital culture? How did the practices of their artistic production come into being? How did the academic analysis of the new medium's social effects and cultural meaning develop? Addressing these fundamental questions and aspects of digital game culture in a holistic way for the first time, Gundolf S. Freyermuths introduction outlines the media-historical development phases of analog and digital games, the history and artistic practices of game design, as well as the history, academic approaches, and most important research topics of game studies.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9783837629835
Publisher: Transcript Verlag, Roswitha Gost, Sigrid Nokel u. Dr. Karin Werner
Publication date: 12/31/2015
Series: Cultural and Media Studies , #20
Pages: 280
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.80(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Gundolf S. Freyermuth (PhD) is a founding director of the Cologne Game Lab and Professor of Media and Game Studies. He also teaches Comparative Media Studies at the ifs international film school Cologne. His research interests include video games, audiovisuality, transmediality and network culture.

Table of Contents


Playing, Making, Thinking Games 11


Making Games-Game Design

Thinking Games-Game Studies


I Games

Introduction 33

1 What is a Game? Systematic and Historical Approaches 35

Attempts at Systematic Definitions

Failure of Systematic Definitions

Historical Definition: The Alterity of Digital Games

2 Games in the Modern Era. A Short Media History 43


Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary Mediality

Case Study: Soccer-A Game's Journey Through Medialities

Quaternary Mediality: From Spectator to Player

3 Procedural Turn (since the 1950s) 59

Quadruplicate Origin of Digital Games

Digital Technology

Artificial Intelligence

Flight Simulation

Virtualization of Analog Games

Playful Use of Digital Technology


4 Hyperepic Turn (since the 1970s) 69

Game Economics

From Mainframe and Arcade Games to Console and PC Games

The Innovative Genie of Text-Adventures

The Evolution of Audiovisual Storytelling

The Hyperepic

5 Hyperrealistic Turn (since the 1990s) 81

Digital Technology

From the Model of the Novel to the Model of the Film


Authenticity and Operativity

The Innovative Genre of the First-Person Shooter

6 The Double Alterity of Digital Games 91

The Evolution of Games into an Audiovisual Medium

Digital Games vs. Analog Games and Linear Audiovisions

The Defining Medium of Digital Culture

7 A Look Ahead: Hyperimmersive Turn? 97

The Evolution of Digital Games

Lifelike Agency in Games

Utopia Holodeck

Gamelike Agency in Real Life

Potential for Hyperimmersive Turn

Intermezzo: Game // Film

Introduction 111

1 Game and Film 115




2 Audiovisual Rivalries 125

Media History

Media Theory

3 Modes of Audiovisual Storytelling 131

Storytelling in Space and Time

Pre-Industrial Audiovisions: Theater

Industrial Audiovisions: Film and Television

Digital Audiovisions: Games


Summary: The Four Cs

II Game Design

Introduction 143

1 Analog Design 147

The Evolution of Industrial Design Practices

The Evolution of Industrial Design Thinking

2 Digital Design 153

The Digitalization of Design Practice

The Digitalization of Design Thinking

3 A Short History of Game Design 161

The First 40 Years

Present and Future

4 Areas of Game Design 165

The Role of the Game Designer

Triad, Tetrad, and the Function of Narration

5 Practices of Game Design 171

The Process of Game Development

The Principle of Worldbuilding

Authorship in Game Design

Don't Follow These Rules! A Primer for Playtesting by Nathalie Pozzi and Eric Zimmerman

III Game Studies

Introduction 187

1 Theories of Analog Games vs. Theories of Digital Games 191

Pre-Industrial Theories of Playing and Games

Industrial Theories of Playing and Games

2 The Schisms of Game Studies 201

Sedimentative Approaches: Game Design Theories

Exaptative Approaches 1: Theories from Social Sciences

Exaptative Approaches 2: Theories from the Humanities

3 Desideratum: Overcoming the Schisms 209

Longing for Synthesis

Adaptative Approaches

4 Perspectives of Research 1: Digital Games 217






5 Perspectives of Research 2: Serious Games 225

Mechanics, Story, Aesthetics, Technology, Transmedia


Opposition to Industrialism


Academization and Aesthetic Production 235

The Cultural Rise of Games

Game Studies and Digital Game Design Education in Germany

International Higher Game Design Education: Six Examples from Five Countries by André Czanderna

Structure of an Undergraduate Program for Game Design

Consequences of Academization

Sources 263

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