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Understanding Video Games: The Essential Introduction

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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 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/978041597...) 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.


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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 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/978041597...) 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.

30 review for Understanding Video Games: The Essential Introduction

  1. 4 out of 5

    Braden

    A good general overview of what avenues of interest game studies and scholars are looking into. Lots of hand-holding for people who don't play games, but sometimes there are glimpses of real criticism in the paragraphs that I found interesting enough to want to investigate on my own. Would make a good text book for an intro class.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    This is by far the best (and maybe the only?) textbook on video games I have encountered. The chapter on history gave a good overview and didn't bore me; the philosophical and literature reviews were thorough without excess meanderings. The chapter on "serious games" and edutainment was one of the most coherent critiques of the educational games that came out of the behaviorist era that I have ever read (though in my opinion the application of theory in games like math blaster is somewhat misgui This is by far the best (and maybe the only?) textbook on video games I have encountered. The chapter on history gave a good overview and didn't bore me; the philosophical and literature reviews were thorough without excess meanderings. The chapter on "serious games" and edutainment was one of the most coherent critiques of the educational games that came out of the behaviorist era that I have ever read (though in my opinion the application of theory in games like math blaster is somewhat misguided; the "rewards" for correct answers are too trivial). Additionally, the authors themselves had opinions on other literature and game theory. One example that stood out to me was how they critiqued James Gee's book as lacking in an awareness of previous research, which I found accurate. The authors read and summarized books that I had dismissed as tangential and hence, saved me the trouble of reading them (i.e., Hamlet on the Holodeck).Through reading the narrative chapter I realized that the approach I took in my thesis toward analyzing "interactive fiction" was somewhat dated. Sadly, the edition I read is marred by what appears to be a rush to the printers. Parentheses are left unresolved and words misspelled; a few paragraphs seem untouched by an editor. It is my hope that another addition will rectify these errors and also update the analysis to include more recent trends.

  3. 4 out of 5

    David Blanar

    An initially facile, mechanical walkthrough of the video games industry yielded to a thoroughly absorbing conclusion, including: a sensitive introduction to the narratology v ludology debate; a useful analysis of cultural and commercial context for serious games; and finally a fascinating overview of the ongoing (ultimately inconclusive) research into the physical, emotional and behavioural effects of playing video games. Already in its second edition, Understanding Video Games is probably due an An initially facile, mechanical walkthrough of the video games industry yielded to a thoroughly absorbing conclusion, including: a sensitive introduction to the narratology v ludology debate; a useful analysis of cultural and commercial context for serious games; and finally a fascinating overview of the ongoing (ultimately inconclusive) research into the physical, emotional and behavioural effects of playing video games. Already in its second edition, Understanding Video Games is probably due another update - some references are already effectively outdated – but I found it a solid resource for accessing major areas of industry research.

  4. 5 out of 5

    María Ruipérez Martínez

    Se queda algo desactualizado a la hora de hablar de la industria en general pero como base para iniciarse en game studies es muy completo y está muy bien

  5. 5 out of 5

    Autumn Shuler

    A good introduction to the world of game studies.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Genovese

    Solid introduction to the study of video games. The chapters gave good overviews of the study of video games, the history of video games, aesthetics, culture, narrative, and more. I especially liked the discussion on the difference between ludology (the study of games based on their rules) and narratology (the study of games based on their narrative qualities). I think that the author could've given more explanation here and there about concepts mentioned from secondary sources, so delving into Solid introduction to the study of video games. The chapters gave good overviews of the study of video games, the history of video games, aesthetics, culture, narrative, and more. I especially liked the discussion on the difference between ludology (the study of games based on their rules) and narratology (the study of games based on their narrative qualities). I think that the author could've given more explanation here and there about concepts mentioned from secondary sources, so delving into those secondary sources would definitely help in going beyond an introduction.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Peter Makai

    Annoying typographic errors mar an otherwise useful textbook. Alas, the field has changed much during the latter half of the decade, and the book already feels outdated, a common woe of much of new media/digital entertainment studies and textbooks.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sami salim

    about what ?

  9. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

  10. 4 out of 5

    Michael Lesniak

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jeromy Teeples

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lída Hrnčířová

  13. 4 out of 5

    Andre L'huillier

  14. 5 out of 5

    Azadeh

  15. 4 out of 5

    Chris P. Bacon

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lisllovesreading

  17. 5 out of 5

    tishani Toussaint

  18. 5 out of 5

    David Kirschner

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jess Kadow

  20. 4 out of 5

    Peyton Chapmam

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jazz Salo

  22. 4 out of 5

    Dana

  23. 4 out of 5

    Nirovski

  24. 4 out of 5

    Bee

  25. 4 out of 5

    Atirath Kosireddy

  26. 4 out of 5

    Levi

  27. 4 out of 5

    N

  28. 4 out of 5

    To Ni

  29. 5 out of 5

    Keith Lee

  30. 4 out of 5

    Chris

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