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tsuomela : game-studies   15

Playing at the World: Jon Peterson
"In the second half of the twentieth century, a new form of popular entertainment captivated the youth of America: games of simulation. The first commercial form of these games, the board wargames sold by Avalon Hill and others, reached a small but devoted audience in the 1950s. Two decades later, growing interest in fantasy genre fiction combined with the principles of wargaming to create the new category of role-playing games, which began with the hugely successful Dungeons & Dragons (1974). These new games matured simultaneously with the personal computer revolution, and the principles of simulation pioneered by role-playing games laid the groundwork for much of the multi-billion dollar computer gaming industry."
book  publisher  role-playing  game-studies 
october 2019 by tsuomela
The Unpredictability of Gameplay: Mark R. Johnson: Bloomsbury Academic
"The Unpredictability of Gameplay explores the many forms of unpredictability in games and proposes a comprehensive theoretical framework for understanding and categorizing non-deterministic game mechanics. Rather than viewing all game mechanics with unpredictable outcomes as a single concept, Mark R. Johnson develops a three-part typology for such mechanics, distinguishing between randomness, chance, and luck in gameplay, assessing games that range from grand strategy and MMORPGs to slot machines and card games. He also explores forms of unanticipated unpredictability, where elements of games fail to function as intended and create new forms of gameplay in the process. Covering a range of game concepts using these frameworks, The Unpredictability of Gameplay then explores three illustrative case studies: 1) procedural generation, 2) replay value and grinding, and 3) player-made practices designed to reduce the level of luck in non-deterministic games. Throughout, Johnson demonstrates the importance of looking more deeply at unpredictability in games and game design and the various ways in which unpredictability manifests while offering an invaluable tool for game scholars and game designers seeking to integrate unpredictability into their work."
book  publisher  game-studies 
april 2019 by tsuomela
The paradox of procedurally generated video games.
"Algorithmically designed video game worlds are more personal because they lack personality."
games  game-studies  algorithms  design  freedom  exploration 
october 2016 by tsuomela
www.nytimes.com
"PLAY ANYTHING The Pleasure of Limits, the Uses of Boredom, and the Secret of Games By Ian Bogost 266 pp. Basic Books. $26.99. THE TETRIS EFFECT The Game That Hypnotized the World By Dan Ackerman 264 pp. PublicAffairs. $25.99. DEATH BY VIDEO GAME Danger, Pleasure, and Obsession on the Virtual Frontline By Simon Parkin 254 pp. Melville House. $25.95."
books  reviews  games  game-studies  gaming  psychology  culture  design  history 
september 2016 by tsuomela
The Aesthetic of Play | The MIT Press
"The impulse toward play is very ancient, not only pre-cultural but pre-human; zoologists have identified play behaviors in turtles and in chimpanzees. Games have existed since antiquity; 5,000-year-old board games have been recovered from Egyptian tombs. And yet we still lack a critical language for thinking about play. Game designers are better at answering small questions (“Why is this battle boring?”) than big ones (“What does this game mean?”). In this book, the game designer Brian Upton analyzes the experience of play—how playful activities unfold from moment to moment and how the rules we adopt constrain that unfolding. Drawing on games that range from Monopoly to Dungeons & Dragons to Guitar Hero, Upton develops a framework for understanding play, introducing a set of critical tools that can help us analyze games and game designs and identify ways in which they succeed or fail. Upton also examines the broader epistemological implications of such a framework, exploring the role of play in the construction of meaning and what the existence of play says about the relationship between our thoughts and external reality. He considers the making of meaning in play and in every aspect of human culture, and he draws on findings in pragmatic epistemology, neuroscience, and semiotics to describe how meaning emerges from playful engagement. Upton argues that play can also explain particular aspects of narrative; a play-based interpretive stance, he proposes, can help us understand the structure of books, of music, of theater, of art, and even of the process of critical engagement itself."
book  publisher  play  games  game-studies  philosophy  epistemology 
march 2015 by tsuomela

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