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Understanding Video Games is a crucial guide for newcomers to video game studies and experienced game scholars alike. This revised and updated third edition of the pioneering text provides a comprehensive introduction to the field of game studies, and highlights changes in the gaming industry, advances in video game scholarship, and recent trends in game design and development--including mobile, casual, educational, and indie gaming. In the third edition of this textbook, students will: Learn the major theories and schools of thought used to study games, including ludology and narratology; Understand the commercial and organizational aspects of the game industry; Trace the history of games, from the board games of ancient Egypt to the rise of mobile gaming; Explore the aesthetics of game design, including rules, graphics, audio, and time; Analyze the narrative strategies and genre approaches used in video games; Consider the debate surrounding the effects of violent video games and the impact of "serious games." Featuring discussion questions, recommended games, a glossary of key terms, and an interactive online video game history timeline, Understanding Video Games provides a valuable resource for anyone interested in examining the ways video games are reshaping entertainment and society.
From Pong to PlayStation 3 and beyond, Understanding Video Games is the first general introduction to the exciting new field of video game studies. This textbook traces the history of video games, introduces the major theories used to analyze games such as ludology and narratology, reviews the economics of the game industry, examines the aesthetics of game design, surveys the broad range of game genres, explores player culture, and addresses the major debates surrounding the medium, from educational benefits to the effects of violence. Throughout the book, the authors ask readers to consider larger questions about the medium: what defines a video game? who plays games? why do we play games? how do games affect the player? Extensively illustrated, Understanding Video Games is an indispensable and comprehensive resource for those interested in the ways video games are reshaping entertainment and society. A Companion Website (www.routledge.com/textbooks/9780415977210) features student resources including discussion questions for each chapter, a glossary of key terms, a video game timeline, and links to other video game studies resources for further study.
A fresh look at computer games as a mature mass medium with unlimited potential for cultural transformation
Do video games cause violent, aggressive behavior? Can online games help us learn? When it comes to video games, these are often the types of questions raised by popular media, policy makers, scholars, and the general public. In this collection, international experts review the latest research findings in the field of digital game studies and weigh in on the actual physical, social, and psychological effects of video games. Taking a broad view of the industry from the moral panic of its early days up to recent controversies surrounding games like Grand Theft Auto, contributors explore the effects of games through a range of topics including health hazards/benefits, education, violence and aggression, addiction, cognitive performance, and gaming communities. Interdisciplinary and accessibly written, The Video Game Debate reveals that the arguments surrounding the game industry are far from black and white, and opens the door to richer conversation and debate amongst students, policy makers, and scholars alike.
An Introduction to Game Studies is the first introductory textbook for students of game studies. It provides a conceptual overview of the cultural, social and economic significance of computer and video games and traces the history of game culture and the emergence of game studies as a field of research. Key concepts and theories are illustrated with discussion of games taken from different historical phases of game culture. Progressing from the simple, yet engaging gameplay of Pong and text-based adventure games to the complex virtual worlds of contemporary online games, the book guides students towards analytical appreciation and critical engagement with gaming and game studies. Students will learn to: - Understand and analyse different aspects of phenomena we recognise as 'game' and play' - Identify the key developments in digital game design through discussion of action in games of the 1970s, fiction and adventure in games of the 1980s, three-dimensionality in games of the 1990s, and social aspects of gameplay in contemporary online games - Understand games as dynamic systems of meaning-making - Interpret the context of games as 'culture' and subculture - Analyse the relationship between technology and interactivity and between 'game' and 'reality' - Situate games within the context of digital culture and the information society With further reading suggestions, images, exercises, online resources and a whole chapter devoted to preparing students to do their own game studies project, An Introduction to Game Studies is the complete toolkit for all students pursuing the study of games. The companion website at www.sagepub.co.uk/mayra contains slides and assignments that are suitable for self-study as well as for classroom use. Students will also benefit from online resources at www.gamestudiesbook.net, which will be regularly blogged and updated by the author. Professor Frans Mäyrä is a Professor of Games Studies and Digital Culture at the Hypermedia Laboratory in the University of Tampere, Finland.
"Anna Anthropy is a key personality in the ongoing paradigm shift that is slowly changing the way videogames are understood, by creators and players, and by the wider culture." —Patrick Alexander, Eegra.com "Equal parts autobiography, ethnography, and how-to manual, this book concisely makes the case for the unique power of 'zinester' games." —Adam Parrish, NYU's Interactive Telecommunication Program (Tisch School of the Arts), and author of the ZZT game "Winter" "These days, everybody can make and distribute a photograph, or a video, or a book. Rise of the Videogame Zinesters shows you that everyone can make a videogame, too. But why should they? For Anna Anthropy, it's not for fame or for profit, but for the strange, aimless beauty of personal creativity.” —Ian Bogost, Director, Graduate Program in Digital Media, Georgia Institute of Technology "Rise is a great guidebook to understanding—and more importantly, participating in—this dynamically evolving culture." —Jim Munroe, co-founder of the Hand Eye Society and the Difference Engine Initiative “Here, Anna Anthropy demonstrates how people from every background and walk of life are breaking free of the commercial cowardice of major publishers, and bringing their individual visions of the game to life. . . . If game design is to be an art, as those of us who love games fervently hope, it must be rescued from its crushing commercial pressures. You can be a part of its future.” —Greg Costikyan, author of I Have No Mouth and I Must Design "Anna gives the world of video games a crucial perspective from her seat of authority within outsider culture, and illustrates how essential it is for the space to empower voices of all kinds if it is to evolve." —Leigh Alexander, editor-at-large of Gamasutra
Imprint. In this text, built entirely around computer games and game play, the author shows how good video games marry pleasure and learning and, at the same time, have the potential to empower people.

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