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Synopsis

Understanding Video Games is a crucial guide for newcomers to video game studies and experienced game scholars alike. This revised and updated third edition of the pioneering text provides a comprehensive introduction to the field of game studies, and highlights changes in the gaming industry, advances in video game scholarship, and recent trends in game design and development—including mobile, casual, educational, and indie gaming.

In the third edition of this textbook, students will:

  • Learn the major theories and schools of thought used to study games, including ludology and narratology;
  • Understand the commercial and organizational aspects of the game industry;
  • Trace the history of games, from the board games of ancient Egypt to the rise of mobile gaming;
  • Explore the aesthetics of game design, including rules, graphics, audio, and time;
  • Analyze the narrative strategies and genre approaches used in video games;
  • Consider the debate surrounding the effects of violent video games and the impact of "serious games."

Featuring discussion questions, recommended games, a glossary of key terms, and an interactive online video game history timeline, Understanding Video Games provides a valuable resource for anyone interested in examining the ways video games are reshaping entertainment and society.

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