Meaningful play - Design - Systems - Interactivity - Defining games - The magic circle - Defining rules - Rules on three levels - The rules of digital games - Games as systems of uncertainty - Games as systems of information - Games as cybernetic systems - Games as systems of conflict - Games as the play of experience - Games as the play of meaning - Games as the play of simulation - Games as cultural rhetoric - Games as cultural resistance - Games as cultural environment.
This book fills a genuine need in the emerging field of game design for a collection of key texts on game analysis and criticism. Written and designed to accompany Katie Salen and Eric Zimmerman's earlier textbook Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals, The Game Design Reader can be used in the classroom or as a resource for game design practitioners. Thirty-two classic and cutting-edge essays by game designers, game journalists, game fans, sociologists, media theorists, and other writers from diverse fields consider foundational questions: What are games and how do they function? How do they interact with the culture at large? What critical approaches can game designers take to create meaningful experiences for players? Salen and Zimmerman have collected writings that span nearly 50 years of game analysis and offer a wide range of perspectives. Game journalists describe the rhythms of gameplay, game designers explicate their designs, sociologists consider such topics as role-playing in virtual worlds, and players offer their hands-on opinions and rants. Each text is "teachable": it can act as a springboard for discussion, a class assignment, or a design project. Each text offers insights to the professional game designers or scholar as well. The book is organized around a series of "Topics" -- ideas fundamental to the study of games, or emerging areas of research -- each of which is introduced with a short essay by Salen and Zimmerman that points to relevant texts in the Reader. "Interstitials" -- visual essays, documents, game ephemera -- act as counterpoint to the texts themselves.
Explore Level Design through the Lens of Architectural and Spatial Experience Theory Written by a game developer and professor trained in architecture, An Architectural Approach to Level Design is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. It explores the principles of level design through the context and history of architecture, providing information useful to both academics and game development professionals. Understand Spatial Design Principles for Game Levels in 2D, 3D, and Multiplayer Applications The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. The author connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. Create Meaningful User Experiences in Your Games Bringing together topics in game design and architecture, this book helps designers create better spaces for their games. Software independent, the book discusses tools and techniques that designers can use in crafting their interactive worlds.
Literary Art in Digital Performance examines electronic works of literary art, a category integrating the visual+textual including interactive poetry, narrative computer games, filmic sculpture and projective art. Each case study/chapter is followed by a 'post-chapter' dialogue between editor and author - providing further entry points for theoretical analysis.
The Video Game Theory Reader 2 picks up where the first Video Game Theory Reader (Routledge, 2003) left off, with a group of leading scholars turning their attention to next-generation platforms-the Nintendo Wii, the PlayStation 3, the Xbox 360-and to new issues in the rapidly expanding field of video games studies. The contributors are some of the most renowned scholars working on video games today including Henry Jenkins, Jesper Juul, Eric Zimmerman, and Mia Consalvo. While the first volume had a strong focus on early video games, this volume also addresses more contemporary issues such as convergence and MMORPGs. The volume concludes with an appendix of nearly 40 ideas and concepts from a variety of theories and disciplines that have been usefully and insightfully applied to the study of video games.
Myth and Meaning in World of Warcraft and Second Life
Author: Robert M. Geraci
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Millions of users have taken up residence in virtual worlds, and in those worlds they find opportunities to revisit and rewrite their religious lives. Robert M. Geraci argues that virtual worlds and video games have become a locus for the satisfaction of religious needs, providing many users with devoted communities, opportunities for ethical reflection, a meaningful experience of history and human activity, and a sense of transcendence. Using interviews, surveys, and his own first-hand experience within the virtual worlds, Geraci shows how World of Warcraft and Second Life provide participants with the opportunity to rethink what it means to be religious in the contemporary world. Not all participants use virtual worlds for religious purposes, but many online residents use them to rearrange or replace religious practice as designers and users collaborate in the production of a new spiritual marketplace. Using World of Warcraft and Second Life as case studies, this book shows that many residents now use virtual worlds to re-imagine their traditions and work to restore them to "authentic" sanctity, or else replace religious institutions with virtual communities that provide meaning and purpose to human life. For some online residents, virtual worlds are even keys to a post-human future where technology can help us transcend mortal life. Geraci argues that World of Warcraft and Second Life are "virtually sacred" because they do religious work. They often do such work without regard for-and frequently in conflict with-traditional religious institutions and practices; ultimately they participate in our sacred landscape as outsiders, competitors, and collaborators.
Since the Doom series, First Person Shooter (FPS) videogames have ricocheted through the gaming community, often reaching outside that community to the wider public. While critics primarily lampoon FPSs for their aggressiveness and on-screen violence, gamers see something else. Halo is one of the greatest, most successful FPSs ever to grace the world of gaming. Although Halo is a FPS, it has a science-fiction storyline that draws from previous award-winning science fiction literature. It employs a game mechanic that limits the amount of weapons a player can carry to two, and a multiplayer element that has spawned websites like Red vs. Blue and games within the game created by players themselves. Halo’s unique and extraordinary features raise serious questions. Are campers really doing anything wrong? Does Halo’s music match the experience of the gamer? Would Plato have used Halo to train citizens to live an ethical life? What sort of Artificial Intelligence exists in Halo and how is it used? Can the player’s experience of war tell us anything about actual war? Is there meaning to Master Chief’s rough existence? How does it affect the player’s ego if she identifies too strongly with an aggressive character like Master Chief? Is Halo really science fiction? Can Halo be used for enlightenment-oriented thinking in the Buddhist sense? Does Halo's weapon limitation actually contribute to the depth of the gameplay? When we willingly play Halo only to die again and again, are we engaging in some sort of self-injurious behavior? What is expansive gameplay and how can it be informed by the philosophy of Michel Foucault? In what way does Halo’s post-apocalyptic paradigm force gamers to see themselves as agents of divine deliverance? What can Red vs. Blue teach us about personal identity? These questions are tackled by writers who are both Halo cognoscenti and active philosophers, with a foreword by renowned Halo fiction author Fred Van Lente and an afterword by leading games scholar and artist Roger Ngim.
Creative License and Collaboration in the Culture Industries
Author: Derek Johnson
Publisher: NYU Press
Category: Social Science
"Johnson astutely reveals that franchises are not Borg-like assimilation machines, but, rather, complicated ecosystems within which creative workers strive to create compelling 'shared worlds.' This finely researched, breakthrough book is a must-read for anyone seeking a sophisticated understanding of the contemporary media industry." —Heather Hendershot, author of What's Fair on the Air?: Cold War Right-Wing Broadcasting and the Public Interest While immediately recognizable throughout the U.S. and many other countries, media mainstays like X-Men, Star Trek, and Transformers achieved such familiarity through constant reincarnation. In each case, the initial success of a single product led to a long-term embrace of media franchising—a dynamic process in which media workers from different industrial positions shared in and reproduced familiar cultureacross television, film, comics, games, and merchandising. In Media Franchising, Derek Johnson examines the corporate culture behind these production practices, as well as the collaborative and creative efforts involved in conceiving, sustaining, and sharing intellectual properties in media work worlds. Challenging connotations of homogeneity, Johnson shows how the cultural and industrial logic of franchising has encouraged media industries to reimagine creativity as an opportunity for exchange among producers, licensees, and evenconsumers. Drawing on case studies and interviews with media producers, he reveals the meaningful identities, cultural hierarchies, and struggles for distinction that accompany collaboration within these production networks. Media Franchising provides a nuanced portrait of the collaborative cultural production embedded in both the media industries and our own daily lives.
The study of what is collectively labeled "New Media"—the cultural and artistic practices made possible by digital technology—has become one of the most vibrant areas of scholarly activity and is rapidly turning into an established academic field, with many universities now offering it as a major. The Johns Hopkins Guide to Digital Media is the first comprehensive reference work to which teachers, students, and the curious can quickly turn for reliable information on the key terms and concepts of the field. The contributors present entries on nearly 150 ideas, genres, and theoretical concepts that have allowed digital media to produce some of the most innovative intellectual, artistic, and social practices of our time. The result is an easy-to-consult reference for digital media scholars or anyone wishing to become familiar with this fast-developing field.