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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.
Forty original contributions on games and gaming culture What does Pokémon Go tell us about globalization? What does Tetris teach us about rules? Is feminism boosted or bashed by Kim Kardashian: Hollywood? How does BioShock Infinite help us navigate world-building? From arcades to Atari, and phone apps to virtual reality headsets, video games have been at the epicenter of our ever-evolving technological reality. Unlike other media technologies, video games demand engagement like no other, which begs the question—what is the role that video games play in our lives, from our homes, to our phones, and on global culture writ large? How to Play Video Games brings together forty original essays from today’s leading scholars on video game culture, writing about the games they know best and what they mean in broader social and cultural contexts. Read about avatars in Grand Theft Auto V, or music in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. See how Age of Empires taught a generation about postcolonialism, and how Borderlands exposes the seedy underbelly of capitalism. These essays suggest that understanding video games in a critical context provides a new way to engage in contemporary culture. They are a must read for fans and students of the medium.
Developed by an acclaimed history teacher in Iowa, this popular resource includes 14 simulations, debates, quiz games and strategy games. It covers key topics from the first explorers to the 2000 presidential elections. Convene a constitutional convention, re-fight the Civil War, relive the Crash of ’29, and much more. Use this ingenious text to reinvigorate your history classes.
A controversial look at the positive things that can be learned from video games by a well known professor of education. James Paul Gee begins his new book with 'I want to talk about vide games- yes, even violent video games - and say some positive things about them'. With this simple but explosive beginning, one of America's most well-respected professors of education looks seriously at the good that can come from playing video games. Gee is interested in the cognitive development that can occur when someone is trying to escape a maze, find a hidden treasure and, even, blasting away an enemy with a high-powered rifle. Talking about his own video-gaming experience learning and using games as diverse as Lara Croft and Arcanum, Gee looks at major specific cognitive activities: How individuals develop a sense of identity; How one grasps meaning; How one evaluates and follows a command; How one picks a role model; How one perceives the world.
The Essential Guide to Flash Games is a unique tool for Flash game developers. Rather than focusing on a bunch of low-level how-to material, this book dives straight into building games. The book is divided into specific game genre projects, covering everything from old classics such as a Missile Command-style game, to hot new genres such as retro evolved. The chapters build in complexity through the book, and new tools are introduced along the way that can be reused for other games. The game projects covered start simple and increase in complexity as more and more tools are added to your tool chest. Ten full game projects are discussed in detail. Each solves a very different game development problem and builds on the knowledge gained from the previous project. Many advanced game development techniques are covered, including particle systems, advanced controls, artificial intelligence, blitting, scrolling, and more.
Unity brings you ever closer to the "author once, deploy anywhere" dream. With its multiplatform capabilities, you can target desktop, web, mobile devices, and consoles using a single development engine. Little wonder that Unity has quickly become the #1 game engine out there. Mastering Unity is absolutely essential in an increasingly competitive games market where agility is expected, yet until now practical tutorials were nearly impossible to find. Creating Games with Unity and Maya gives you with an end-to-end solution for Unity game development with Maya. Written by a twelve-year veteran of the 3D animation and games industry and professor of 3D animation, this book takes you step-by-step through the process of developing an entire game from scratch-including coding, art, production, and deployment. This accessible guide provides a "non-programmer" entry point to the world of game creation. Aspiring developers with little or no coding experience will learn character development in Maya, scripts, GUI interface, and first- and third-person interactions.

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