The Game Design Reader: A Rules of Play Anthology by Salen and Zimmerman

CAILLOIS, Roger, “The Definition of Play & The Classification of Games,” in Salen, Katie & Zimmerman, Eric, (eds) The Game Design Reader: A Rules of Play Anthology (MIT, 2006)

Patterns in Game Design (Game Development Series)

by Bjork, Staffan and Holopainen, Jusse, (Charles River Media, 2005)

Man, Play and Games

by Roger Caillois (Author)
According to Roger Caillois, play is “an occasion of pure waste: waste of time, energy, ingenuity, skill, and often of money.” In spite of this – or because of it – play constitutes an essential element of human social and spiritual development. In this classic study, Caillois defines play as a free and voluntary activity that occurs in a pure space, isolated and protected from the rest of life. Play is uncertain, since the outcome may not be foreseen, and it is governed by rules that provide a level playing field for all participants.In its most basic form, play consists of finding a response to the opponent’s action – or to the play situation – that is free within the limits set by the rules. Caillois qualifies types of games – according to whether competition, chance, simulation, or vertigo (being physically out of control) is dominant – and ways of playing, ranging from the unrestricted improvisation characteristic of children’s play to the disciplined pursuit of solutions to gratuitously difficult puzzles. Caillois also examines the means by which games become part of daily life and ultimately contribute to various cultures their most characteristic customs and institutions. Presented here in Meyer Barash’s superb English translation, “Man, Play and Games” is a companion volume to Caillois’ “Man and the Sacred”.

First Person: New Media as Story, Performance, and Game

by Noah Wardrip-Fruin, Pat Harrigan

Electronic games have established a huge international market, significantly outselling non-digital games; people spend more money on The Sims than on “Monopoly” or even on “Magic: the Gathering.” Yet it is widely believed that the market for electronic literature—predicted by some to be the future of the written word—languishes. Even bestselling author Stephen King achieved disappointing results with his online publication of “Riding the Bullet” and “The Plant.”

Isn’t it possible, though, that many hugely successful computer games—those that depend on or at least utilize storytelling conventions of narrative, character, and theme—can be seen as examples of electronic literature? And isn’t it likely that the truly significant new forms of electronic literature will prove to be (like games) so deeply interactive and procedural that it would be impossible to present them as paper-like “e-books”? The editors of First Person have gathered a remarkably diverse group of new media theorists and practitioners to consider the relationship between “story” and “game,” as well as the new kinds of artistic creation (literary, performative, playful) that have become possible in the digital environment.

This landmark collection is organized as a series of discussions among creators and theorists; each section includes three presentations, with each presentation followed by two responses. Topics considered range from “Cyberdrama” to “Ludology” (the study of games), to “The Pixel/The Line” to “Beyond Chat.” The conversational structure inspired contributors to revise, update, and expand their presentations as they prepared them for the book, and the panel discussions have overflowed into a First Person web site (created in conjunction with the online journal Electronic Book Review).

Relevant Entries from, Jason’s Bib. Book Project

Theory, History, and Philosophy

Anderson, Peter B., Berit Holmqvist, and Jen F. Jensen. The Computer as Medium. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1992.

Bates, Bob. Game Design: The Art and the Business of Creating Games. Roseville, CA: Premier Press, 2002.

Damer, Bruce. Avatars! Exploring and Building Virtual Worlds on the Internet. Berkeley, CA: Peachpit Press. 1998.

Eco, Umberto. Travels in Hypereality. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1986.

Ehrenberg, Margaret. Women in Prehistory. Norman, OK: Univ. of Oklahoma Press, 1989.

Falkener, Edward. Games Ancient and Oriental and How to Play Them. Reprint edition. New York: Dover Publications, 1992.

Fishwick, Paul A. Aesthetic Computing. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2006.

Gibson, James J. The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1979.

Gibson, James J. The Senses Considered as Perceptual Systems. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1966.

Gibson, James J. The Perception of the Visual World. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1950.

Giedion, Siegfried. The Eternal Present: The Beginnings of Art. London: Oxford Univ. Press, 1962.

Grau, Oliver. Virtual Art: From Illusion to Immersion. Trans. Gloria Constance. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2003.

Hansen, Mark B.N. Bodies in Code: Interfaces with Digital Media. New York: Routledge, 2006.

Hansen, Mark B.N. Embodying Technesis: Technology Beyond Writing. Ann Arbor: Univ. of Michigan Press, 2000.

Haraway, Donna J. Simians, Cyborgs and Women: The Reinvention of Nature. New York: Routledge, 1991.

Hayles, N. Katherine. How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1999.

Hayles, N. Katherine. “Virtual Creatures.” Critical Inquiry. (Winter 1999): 1-26.

Helsel, S. and J. Paris Roth eds. Virtual Reality: Theory, Practice, and Promise. Westport, CT: Meckler 1991.

Hillis, Ken. Digital Sensations: Space, Identity, and Embodiment in Virtual Reality. Minneapolis: Univ. of Minnesota Press, 1999.

Jameson, Fredric. Postmodernism, or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism. Durham: Duke Univ. Press, 1991.

Jones, Steven G. Virtual Culture: Identity and Communication in Cybersociety. London: Sage Publications Ltd., 1997.

Kent, Stephen L. The Ultimate History of Video Games. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2001.

King, Lucien, ed. Game On: The History and Culture of Videogames. New York: Universe Publishing, 2002.

Leary, Timothy. Chaos and Cyberculture. Ed. Michael Horowitz. Berkeley: Ronin, 1994.

Loftus, Elizabeth F. and Geoffrey R. Mind at Play: The Psychology of Videogames. New York: Basic Books, 1983.

Lunenfel, Peter. The Digital Dialectic: New Essays on New Media. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1999.

Matrix, Sidney Eve. Cyberpop: Digital Lifestyles and Commodity Culture. New York: Routledge, 2006.

Markley, Robert ed. Virtual Reality and its Discontents. Baltimore: John Hopkins Univ. Press, 1996.

McMahon, Alison. “Immersion, Engagement, and Presence: A Method for Analyzing 3-D Video Games.” In The Video Game Theory Reader. Ed. Mark J. P. Wolf and Bernard Perron. New York: Routledge, 2003. 67-86.

Meadows, Mark Stephen. Pause and Effect: The Art of Interactive Media. Indianapolis: IN: New Riders, 2003.

Merleau-Ponty, Maurice. The Phenomenology of Perception. Trans. C. Smith. London: Routledge, 1962.

Mitchell, William J. ME++: The Cyborg Self and the Networked City. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2003.

Mitchell, William J. eTopia: “Urban Life, Jim—But not as we Know it.” Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2000.

Munster, Anna. Materializing New Media: Embodiment in Information Aesthetics. Lebanon, NH: Dartmouth College Press, 2006.

Murray, Janet H. Hamlet on the Holodeck: The Future of Narrative in Cyberspace. 1997. Reprint edition. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1998.

Odzer, Cleo. Virtual Spaces: Sex and the Cyber Citizen. New York: Berkley Books, 1997.

Ong, Walter J. Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word. New York: Methuen, 1982.

Provenzo, Eugene. Video Kids: Making Sense of Nintendo. Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Press, 1991.

Springer, Claudia. Electronic Eros: Bodies and Desire in the Postindustrial Age. Austin, TX: Univ. of Texas Press, 1996.

Stafford, Barbara Maria. Body Criticism: Imaging The Unseen in Enlightenment Art and Medicine. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1991.

Turkle, Sherry. The Second Self: Computers and the Human Spirit. Twentieth Anniversary Edition. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2005.

Turkle, Sherry. Life of the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1995.

Wallace, Patricia. The Psychology of the Internet. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1999.

White, Michael. The Body and the Screen: Theories of Internet Spectatorship. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2006.

Winnicott, D. W. Playing and Reality. Mew York: Routledge, 1971.

Wolf, Mark J. P. and Bernard Perron eds. The Video Game Theory Reader. New York: Routledge, 2003.

Wooley, Benjamin. Virtual Worlds. New York: Blackwell, 1992.

Žižek, Slovoj. Welcome to the Desert of the Real. New York: Semiotext, 2002.

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