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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.
"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.
The number of publications dealing with video game studies has exploded over the course of the last decade, but the field has produced few comprehensive reference works. The Routledge Companion to Video Game Studies, compiled by well-known video game scholars Mark J. P. Wolf and Bernard Perron, aims to address the ongoing theoretical and methodological development of game studies, providing students, scholars, and game designers with a definitive look at contemporary video game studies. Features include: comprehensive and interdisciplinary models and approaches for analyzing video games; new perspectives on video games both as art form and cultural phenomenon; explorations of the technical and creative dimensions of video games; accounts of the political, social, and cultural dynamics of video games. Each essay provides a lively and succinct summary of its target area, quickly bringing the reader up-to-date on the pertinent issues surrounding each aspect of the field, including references for further reading. Together, they provide an overview of the present state of game studies that will undoubtedly prove invaluable to student, scholar, and designer alike.
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.
Game analysis allows us to understand games better, providing insight into the player-game relationship, the construction of the game, and its sociocultural relevance. As the field of game studies grows, videogame writing is evolving from the mere evaluation of gameplay, graphics, sound, and replayablity, to more reflective writing that manages to convey the complexity of a game and the way it is played in a cultural context. Introduction to Game Analysis serves as an accessible guide to analyzing games using strategies borrowed from textual analysis. Clara Fernández-Vara’s concise primer provides instruction on the basic building blocks of game analysis—examination of context, content and reception, and formal qualities—as well as the vocabulary necessary for talking about videogames' distinguishing characteristics. Examples are drawn from a range of games, both digital and non-digital—from Bioshock and World of Warcraft to Monopoly—and the book provides a variety of exercises and sample analyses, as well as a comprehensive ludography and glossary.
A fresh look at computer games as a mature mass medium with unlimited potential for cultural transformation

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