how games move us emotion by design

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How Games Move Us

Author : Katherine Isbister
ISBN : 9780262333245
Genre : Games
File Size : 56. 76 MB
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This is a renaissance moment for video games -- in the variety of genres they represent, and the range of emotional territory they cover. But how do games create emotion? In How Games Move Us, Katherine Isbister takes the reader on a timely and novel exploration of the design techniques that evoke strong emotions for players. She counters arguments that games are creating a generation of isolated, emotionally numb, antisocial loners. Games, Isbister shows us, can actually play a powerful role in creating empathy and other strong, positive emotional experiences; they reveal these qualities over time, through the act of playing. She offers a nuanced, systematic examination of exactly how games can influence emotion and social connection, with examples -- drawn from popular, indie, and art games -- that unpack the gamer's experience.Isbister describes choice and flow, two qualities that distinguish games from other media, and explains how game developers build upon these qualities using avatars, non-player characters, and character customization, in both solo and social play. She shows how designers use physical movement to enhance players' emotional experience, and examines long-distance networked play. She illustrates the use of these design methods with examples that range from Sony's Little Big Planet to the much-praised indie game Journey to art games like Brenda Romero's Train. Isbister's analysis shows us a new way to think about games, helping us appreciate them as an innovative and powerful medium for doing what film, literature, and other creative media do: helping us to understand ourselves and what it means to be human.

Uncertainty In Games

Author : Greg Costikyan
ISBN : 9780262018968
Genre : Games
File Size : 47. 5 MB
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In life, uncertainty surrounds us. Things that we thought were good for us turn out to be bad for us (and vice versa); people we thought we knew well behave in mysterious ways; the stock market takes a nosedive. Thanks to an inexplicable optimism, most of the time we are fairly cheerful about it all. But we do devote much effort to managing and ameliorating uncertainty. Is it any wonder, then, asks Greg Costikyan, that we have taken this aspect of our lives and transformed it culturally, making a series of elaborate constructs that subject us to uncertainty but in a fictive and nonthreatening way? That is: we create games. In this concise and entertaining book, Costikyan, an award-winning game designer, argues that games require uncertainty to hold our interest, and that the struggle to master uncertainty is central to their appeal. Game designers, he suggests, can harness the idea of uncertainty to guide their work. Costikyan explores the many sources of uncertainty in many sorts of games -- from Super Mario Bros. to Rock/Paper/Scissors, from Monopoly to CityVille, from FPS Deathmatch play to Chess. He describes types of uncertainty, including performative uncertainty, analytic complexity, and narrative anticipation. And he suggest ways that game designers who want to craft novel game experiences can use an understanding of game uncertainty in its many forms to improve their designs.

Game Usability

Author : Katherine Isbister
ISBN : 9780123744470
Genre : Art
File Size : 37. 63 MB
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Computers used to be for geeks. And geeks were fine with dealing with a difficult and finicky interface--they liked this--it was even a sort of badge of honor (e.g. the Unix geeks). But making the interface really intuitive and useful--think about the first Macintosh computers--took computers far far beyond the geek crowd. The Mac made HCI (human computer interaction) and usability very popular topics in the productivity software industry. Suddenly a new kind of experience was crucial to the success of software - the user experience. Now, 20 years later, developers are applying and extending these ideas to games. Game companies are now trying to take games beyond the 'hardcore' gamer market--the people who love challenge and are happy to master a complicated or highly genre-constrained interface. Right about now (with the growth of interest in casual games) game companies are truly realizing that usability matters, particularly to mainstream audiences. If it's not seamless and easy to use and engaging, players will just not stay to get to the 'good stuff'. By definition, usability is the ease with which people can emplo a particular tool in order to achieve a particular goal. Usability refers to a computer program's efficiency or elegance. This book gives game designers a better understanding of how player characteristics impact usability strategy, and offers specific methods and measures to employ in game usability practice. The book also includes practical advice on how to include usability in already tight development timelines, and how to advocate for usability and communicate results to higher-ups effectively.

Critical Play

Author : Mary Flanagan
ISBN : 9780262062688
Genre : Computers
File Size : 38. 57 MB
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For many players, games are entertainment, diversion, relaxation, fantasy. But what if certain games were something more than this, providing not only outlets for entertainment but a means for creative expression, instruments for conceptual thinking, or tools for social change? In Critical Play, artist and game designer Mary Flanagan examines alternative games -- games that challenge the accepted norms embedded within the gaming industry -- and argues that games designed by artists and activists are reshaping everyday game culture. Flanagan provides a lively historical context for critical play through twentieth-century art movements, connecting subversive game design to subversive art: her examples of "playing house" include Dadaist puppet shows and The Sims. She looks at artists' alternative computer-based games and explores games for change, considering the way activist concerns -- including worldwide poverty and AIDS -- can be incorporated into game design. Arguing that this kind of conscious practice -- which now constitutes the avant-garde of the computer game medium -- can inspire new working methods for designers, Flanagan offers a model for designing that will encourage the subversion of popular gaming tropes through new styles of game making, and proposes a theory of alternate game design that focuses on the reworking of contemporary popular game practices.

Better Game Characters By Design

Author : Katherine Isbister
ISBN : 9781558609211
Genre : Art
File Size : 32. 57 MB
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This work gives game design professionals and other interactive media designers a framework for understanding how social roles and perceptions affect players reactions to characters. Includes extensive illustrations, game examples, interviews with game designers, and clips from popular games on the DVD to illustrate concepts and best practices.

Games Design And Play

Author : Colleen Macklin
ISBN : 0134392078
Genre : Computers
File Size : 56. 95 MB
Format : PDF, Kindle
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The play-focused, step-by-step guide to creating great game designs This book offers a "play-focused, process-oriented" approach for designing games people will love to play. Drawing on a combined 35 years of design and teaching experience, Colleen Macklin and John Sharp link the concepts and elements of play to the practical tasks of game design. Using full-color examples, they reveal how real game designers think and work, and illuminate the amazing expressive potential of great game design. Focusing on practical details, this book guides you from idea to prototype to playtest and fully realized design. You ll walk through conceiving and creating a game s inner workings, including its core actions, themes, and especially its play experience. Step by step, you ll assemble every component of your videogame, creatingpractically every kind of play: from cooperative to competitive, from chance-based to role-playing, and everything in between. Macklin and Sharp believe that games are for "everyone," and game design is an exciting art form with a nearly unlimited array of styles, forms, and messages. Cutting across traditional platform and genre boundaries, they help you find inspiration wherever it exists. "Games, Design and Play" is for all game design students, and for beginning-to-intermediate-level game professionals, especially independent game designers. Bridging the gaps between imagination and production, it will help you craftoutstanding designs for incredible play experiences! Coverage includes: Understanding core elements of play design: actions, goals, rules, objects, playspace, and players Mastering tools such as constraint, interaction, goals, challenges, strategy, chance, decision, storytelling, and context Comparing types of play and playerexperiences Considering the demands videogamesmake on players Establishing a game s design values Creating design documents, schematics, and tracking spreadsheets Collaborating in teams on a shared design vision Brainstorming and conceptualizing designs Using prototypes to realize and playtest designs Improving designs by making the most of playtesting feedback Knowing when a design is ready for production Learning the rules so you can break them! "

Play Matters

Author : Miguel Sicart
ISBN : 9780262325967
Genre : Games
File Size : 49. 23 MB
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What do we think about when we think about play? A pastime? Games? Childish activities? The opposite of work? Think again: If we are happy and well rested, we may approach even our daily tasks in a playful way, taking the attitude of play without the activity of play. So what, then, is play? In Play Matters, Miguel Sicart argues that to play is to be in the world; playing is a form of understanding what surrounds us and a way of engaging with others. Play goes beyond games; it is a mode of being human. We play games, but we also play with toys, on playgrounds, with technologies and design. Sicart proposes a theory of play that doesn't derive from a particular object or activity but is a portable tool for being--not tied to objects but brought by people to the complex interactions that form their daily lives. It is not separated from reality; it is part of it. It is pleasurable, but not necessarily fun. Play can be dangerous, addictive, and destructive. Along the way, Sicart considers playfulness, the capacity to use play outside the context of play; toys, the materialization of play -- instruments but also play pals; playgrounds, play spaces that enable all kinds of play; beauty, the aesthetics of play through action; political play -- from Maradona's goal against England in the 1986 World Cup to the hactivist activities of Anonymous; the political, aesthetic, and moral activity of game design; and why play and computers get along so well.

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