Understanding video games: the essential introduction by Simon Egenfeldt-Nielsen, Jonas Heide Smith, Susana Pajares

By Simon Egenfeldt-Nielsen, Jonas Heide Smith, Susana Pajares Tosca

From Pong to PlayStation three and past, knowing games is the 1st normal advent to the interesting new box of online game reviews. This textbook strains the heritage of games, introduces the key theories used to research video games resembling ludology and narratology, stories the economics of the sport undefined, examines the aesthetics of video game layout, surveys the huge variety of video game genres, explores participant tradition, and addresses the main debates surrounding the medium, from academic advantages to the consequences of violence.
Throughout the e-book, the authors ask readers to think about greater questions on the medium:
* what defines a video game?
* who performs games?
* why will we play games?
* how do video games have an effect on the player?
Extensively illustrated, realizing games is an vital and accomplished source for these drawn to the methods games are reshaping leisure and society. A better half web site (www.routledge.com/textbooks/9780415977210) gains pupil assets together with dialogue questions for every bankruptcy, a word list of key words, a online game timeline, and hyperlinks to different game stories assets for additional examine.

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No, the conventions of each genre create expectations. Take movies. When watching a slasher movie, you might have the opposite expectations. Perhaps more importantly, producers make movies that conform to established genres. Box office receipts may indicate that war epics do well financially, and this may influence a producer’s decision to approve the next World War II movie instead of a teen comedy. How exactly one chooses to split the cake and divide up games may be a largely arbitrary decision but some methods are more consistent than others.

In video games, it is found most vividly in racing games like Stunt Car Racer, and Super Monkey Ball. When describing a particular game, these features can be combined to form complex play forms such as mimicry-ago-n-ilinx. Super Monkey Ball, for example, is a video game where the player controls a monkey (mimicry), who competes against other players (ago-n), and who drives fast around various tracks, and sometimes over the side and into the abyss (ilinx). These different categories of play can be further analyzed on the spectrum between paidia and ludus.

Many of the phenomena that we label here as games in fact do not qualify according to Parlett’s concept of a game, as something that can be won, and by only one player or team. Parlett writes mostly on non-electronic games and this focus shows. Processoriented single-player video games, for example, cannot be won in the sense that poker can be won. The 1983 classic Elite is a game where the player explores deep space; part of the game’s brilliance which has been copied by more recent games like is that it has no fixed endpoint, no single goal.

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