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From Pong to PlayStation 3 and beyond, Understanding Video Gamesis 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 Gamesis 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.
Simon Egenfeldt-Nielsen is CEO of Serious Games Interactive and has worked as an assistant professor at the Center for Computer Games Research at the IT University of Copenhagen. Jonas Heide Smith has taught computer-mediated communication at the University of Copenhagen, the Copenhagen Business School, the IT University of Copenhagen, and Roskilde University. Susana Pajares Tosca is an associate professor at the IT University of Copenhagen and is a founding editor of the journal Game Studies.
Table of Contents
|List of Illustrations||p. vii|
|About the Reader|
|Structure of the Book|
|The Larger Questions|
|Studying Video Games||p. 7|
|Who Studies Video Games?|
|How do you Study Video Games?|
|Types of Analysis|
|Schools of Thought?|
|The Game Industry||p. 15|
|The Size of the Game Industry|
|The Structure of the Game Industry|
|The Development Process|
|Roles in Game Development|
|What is a Game?||p. 27|
|General Models for Understanding Games|
|The Issue of Genre|
|A Brief Pre-history of Video Games|
|Does History Matter?|
|A History of Video Games|
|The 2010s and Beyond|
|Video Game Aesthetics||p. 117|
|Geography and Representation|
|Number of Players|
|Games without Boundaries|
|Video Games in Culture||p. 157|
|The Cultural Position of Video Games|
|Reception-The Player's Experience of a Story|
|A Brief History of Literary Theory and Video Games|
|Serious Games-When Entertainment is Not Enough||p. 229|
|Traditional Games for Serious Purposes|
|Categorizing Educational Computer Games|
|The Rationale Behind Edutainment|
|The Instructional Approach to Edutainment|
|The Modern Approach to the Educational Use of Computer Games|
|The Educational Effectiveness of Video Games|
|Political Games and Newsgames|
|Gamification-Plug'n'Play Games for Real?|
|Video Games and Risks||p. 255|
|Two Research Perspectives|
|The Active Media Perspective|
|The Active User Perspective|
|Video Game Timeline||p. 281|
|Games Cited||p. 289|
|Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.|