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Free Gaming, Gameplay, Gamers, and Game Design Books
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  • The Rule Book: The Building Blocks of Games (Jaakko Stenros)

    How games are built on the foundations of rules, and how rules - of which there are only five kinds - really work. This book explores how different kinds of rules work as building blocks of games.

  • Games and Rules: Game Mechanics for the Magic Circle

    Why do we play games and why do we play them on computers? The contributors of »Games and Rules« take a closer look at the core of each game and the motivational system that is the game mechanics.

  • The Stuff Games Are Made Of (Pippin Barr)

    A deep dive into practical game design through playful philosophy and philosophical play. What are video games made of? And what can that tell us about what they mean? This book explores the materials of video game design.

  • Time and Space in Video Games: A Cognitive-Formalist Approach

    Video games are temporal artifacts: They change with time as players interact with them in accordance with rules. This book investigates the formal aspects of video games that determine how these changes are produced and sequenced.

  • What is the Avatar? Fiction and Embodiment in Computer Games

    What are the characteristic features of avatar-based singleplayer videogames, from Super Mario Bros. to Grand Theft Auto? Examines this question with a particular focus on issues of fictionality and realism, and their relation to cinema and Virtual Reality.

  • Playful Materialities: The Stuff That Games Are Made Of

    Game culture and material culture have always been closely linked. Analog forms of rule-based play (ludus) would hardly be conceivable without dice, cards, and game boards. Even digital play is suffused with material culture.

  • Video Games, Crime and Next-Gen Deviance: Reorienting the Debate

    Video games have becoming a substantial part of our everyday lives.Drawing upon the emerging deviant leisure perspective, this book seeks to re-orientate the debate on video games and their associated potential harms.

  • The New Video Game Idea Book (Lucifer White)

    This book gives game makers ideas for a great new video game. It does so by giving the game maker new and old ideas to work with. It also goes over the philosophy of what makes a good video game, helps the game maker's imagination, etc.

  • Comics and Videogames (Andreas Rauscher, et al)

    This book offers the first comprehensive study of the many interfaces shaping the relationship between comics and videogames. It combines in-depth conceptual reflection with a rich selection of paradigmatic case studies from contemporary media culture.

  • Videogames and Agency (Bettina Bódi)

    This book explores the trend in videogames and their marketing to offer a player higher volumes, or even more distinct kinds, of player freedom, and how this freedom to act is discussed by designers, and how that in turn reflects in their design principles.

  • Storyplaying: Agency and Narrative in Video Games

    Incontestably, Future Narratives are most conspicuous in video games: they combine narrative with the major element of all games: agency. Agency is the degree to which a player is able to cause significant change in a game world.

  • Missions For Thoughtful Gamers (Andrew Cutting)

    Who am I? How do I live a good life? What is reality? Such perennial questions may seem remote from the pleasures of playing videogames for entertainment and fantasy. This book presents a sequence of 40 challenges for gamers.

  • The New Game Makers Bible (Lucifer White)

    This is the premier book for game makers wanting their games to be the best they can be. It covers a large range of topics allowing the game maker to make the best games they can even down to the smallest of details.

  • Persuasive Gaming in Context (Teresa de la Hera, et al.)

    It offers a multifaceted reflection on persuasive gaming, that is, on the process of these particular games being played by players. The purpose is to better understand when and how digital games can be used for persuasion by further exploring persuasive games.

  • More than a Game: The Computer Game as Fictional Form

    This book considers the computer game as a new and emerging mode of contemporary storytelling, discusses questions of narrative and realism in four of the most significant games of the last decade: Tomb Raider, Half-Life, Close Combat and SimCity.

  • Wandering Games (Melissa Kagen)

    Wandering in games can be a theme, a formal mode, or a player action. It can mean walking, escaping, traversing, meandering, or returning. This book introduces the concept of "wandering games," exploring the uses of wandering in a variety of game worlds.

  • Possible Worlds in Video Games (Antonio Jose Planells de la Maza)

    This book proposes a model, inspired by the Semantics of Fiction and Possible Worlds, which is oriented to the analysis of video games as integrated systems. Contemporary video games should be read more like playable worlds than as interactive stories.

  • Players Unleashed! Modding The Sims and the Culture of Gaming

    This book provides a fascinating examination of modding, tracing its evolution and detailing its impact on The Sims and the game industry as a whole. It shares insights into specific modifications and the cultural contexts from which they emerge.

  • Gamer Theory (McKenzie Wark)

    This book uncovers the significance of games in the gap between the near-perfection of actual games and the highly imperfect gamespace of everyday life in the rat race of free-market society.

  • This Gaming Life: Travels in Three Cities (Jim Rossignol)

    A fascinating and eye-opening look into the real human impact of gaming culture. Traveling the globe and drawing anecdotes from many walks of life, it takes us beyond the media hype and into the lives of real people whose lives have been changed by gaming.

  • Trigger Happy: Videogames and Entertainment Revolution

    This revolutionary book is the first-ever academically worthy and deeply engaging critique of one of today's most popular forms of play: videogames are on track to supersede movies as the most innovative form of entertainment in the new century.

  • Co-creating Videogames (John Banks)

    Drawing on a decade of research within the industry, it offers a rich description and analysis of the emerging participatory, co-creative relationships within the videogames industry, and valuable insight into the growing world of video games.

  • DOOM: SCARYDARKFAST (Dan Pinchbeck)

    This is a book about what is considered the most important first-person game ever made; about the blueprint that has defined one of the most successful genres of digital gaming. The author brings together the complete story of DOOM for the first time.

  • Game Plan: Designs That Changed the Face of Computer Gaming

    Illustrated with original concept sketches, work in progress CGI renders, and screenshots of the finished creations, Game Plan offers a chance to both savor its past and catch a glimpse of its stellar future.

  • Well Played 1.0: Video Games, Value and Meaning (Drew Davidson)

    This book is full of in-depth close readings of video games that parse out the various meanings to be found in the experience of playing a game. The goal is to help develop and define a literacy of games as well as a sense of their value as an experience.

  • Well Played 2.0: Video Games, Value and Meaning (Drew Davidson)

    This book analyzes sequences in a game in detail in order to illustrate and interpret how the various components of a game can come together to create a fulfilling playing experience unique to this medium.

  • Well Played 3.0: Video Games, Value and Meaning (Drew Davidson)

    This book again looks at video games, some that were covered in Well Played 1.0 and 2.0 as well as new ones, in order to provide a variety of perspectives on more great games - to provide a variety of perspectives on more great games.

  • PSX: The Guide to the Sony Playstation (Kevin Bryan)

    The complete guide to the Sony Playstation. Collector info, interviews, history of the PSX, prototypes, images, everything you could want. Here is the story of how an eccentric Tokyo-born engineer succeeded in his dream of bringing 3D games to the masses.

  • Play Redux: The Form of Computer Games (David Myers)

    Play Redux is an ambitious description and critical analysis of the aesthetic pleasures of video game play, drawing on early twentieth-century formalist theory and models of literature.

  • The Ecology of Games: Connecting Youth, Games, and Learning

    Aims to expand upon and add nuance to the debate over the value of games which so far has been vociferous but overly polemical and surprisingly shallow, looks at games as systems in which young users participate, as gamers, producers, and learners.

  • Flight Simulation Books (Kevin Savetz, et al)

    A collection of 21 Classical Flight Simulation Books available on the web. Everything there is available with permission of the copyright holders. More than 2,200 printed pages have been digitized into 800+ web pages.

  • Designing Virtual Worlds (Richard A. Bartle)

    This book is the most comprehensive treatment of Virtual World design to-date from one of the true pioneers and most sought-after design consultants. It brings a rich, well-developed approach to the design concepts behind virtual worlds.

  • A Beginner's Guide to Understanding Game Hacking Techniques

    Game hacking allows you to add functionality and change how games work. Whether your goal is to add a new unit to an RTS game or create an aimbot for a FPS game, this book will teach you what you need to become a true game hacker.

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