Ethics 101

“Gamasutra interviews Bethesda’s Emil Pagliarulo and 2K Marin’s Jordan Thomas to discuss the importance of building challenging, satisfying ethical gameplay — both in games the duo created such as Oblivion, Fallout 3 and BioShock 2, and in the work of others.” – J. Matthew Zoss

A Theory of Fun

“A Theory of Fun for Game Design is not your typical how-to book. It features a novel way of teaching interactive designers how to create and improve their designs to incorporate the highest degree of fun. As the book shows, designing for fun is all about making interactive products like games highly entertaining, engaging, and addictive. The book’s unique approach of providing a highly visual storyboard approach combined with a narrative on the art and practice of designing for fun is sure to be a hit with game and interactive designers.” – Publisher

Challenges for Game Designers

“Welcome to a book written to challenge you, improve your brainstorming abilities, and sharpen your game design skills! Challenges for Game Designers: Non-Digital Exercises for Video Game Designers is filled with enjoyable, interesting, and challenging exercises to help you become a better video game designer, whether you are a professional or aspire to be.” – Publisher

Syllabus: Fundamentals of Game Design

“GAM 226 provides students with a practical foundation in game design with a focus on concept development, design decomposition, and prototyping. Using game design theory, analysis, physical prototyping, playtesting, and iteration students learn how to translate game ideas,
themes, and metaphors into gameplay and player experiences. Students will further be exposed to the basics of effective game idea communication.” – Syllabus [PDF]

Syllabi: Teaching with & about Games

“Courses cover game development and design, but also treat games as a topic in fields such as computer science, history, media studies, and rhetoric. In other words, video games are not just an economic force (they make lots of money and so we should teach students to make them) nor are they only a psychological force (games teach people violence and so we need to study policy to limit them); they are also a cultural and creative force, and courses are cropping up that attend to games in this particular framework…This special issue of the Syllabus Journal, then, offers a multi-disciplinary approach to video game studies.” – Issue Overview

The Art of Game Design

“Good game design happens when you view your game from as many perspectives as possible. Written by one of the world’s top game designers, The Art of Game Design presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, visual design, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, puzzle design, and anthropology.” – Publisher

How I Teach Game Design

“Why should you read some blog post about how someone teaches? I started out wanting to write a series of essays in order to share my teaching techniques – syllabi and readings, concepts and methods, exercises and assignments. However, early on in the process I realized that I was not just writing about how to teach game design. These short pieces are really about how to learn game design.” – Eric Zimmerman

Video Games’ Blackness Problem

“Video games have a blackness problem. This has been a known thing for a while, and we do talk about it from time to time. But I’d like to keep talking about it. When they appear at all, black video game characters are often reduced to outdated, embarrassing stereotypes.” – Evan Narcisse, Kotaku

Integrating Climate Change Mechanics Into a Common Pool Resource Game

“The topic of climate change offers unique challenges to simulation game designers largely because standard game mechanics fail to capture the complexity of this real-world problem. Climate change dynamics are characterized by the second-order delayed effects of carbon emissions on global temperatures and by political actors, who often have unique individual goals and asymmetrical abilities.”