A Theory of Fun for Game Design

A book popped up on my radar earlier in the week. The first thing that caught my eye was the author of the book, Raph Koster. I’ve probably lost a few years of my life collectively playing games that Raph has created or directed.

Instead of trying to detail his accomplishment here, how about a link to his Wikipedia page instead?

After reading some excellent reviews of this book, I logged onto Amazon.com and ordered up a copy. I just spent some time flipping through the book and it looks to be very good. I love the design and artwork (sketches on most of the odd pages highlighting his points in the book). I already picked out a few choice nuggets of wisdom in this first scan of the pages.

The Foreword of the book is written by Will Wright (SimCity, Sims and soon to be Spore fame). Will takes issue with the title of the book, but goes on to talk about education and gaming. One insightful observation from the foreword:

“One slight problem: there are very few teachers that understand games well enough to teach them, no matter how motivated their students happen to be. Actually it’s worse than that because there are very few people working in the games industry today (and Raph Koster is definitely one of them) who understand games well enough to even communicate what they know and how they know it.”  (link to the full text of the foreward by Will Wright and a few chapters to read online)

The book is a nicely produced paperback that retails for $22.99. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that if this subject interests you in the least, this is probably a small price to pay for a peek inside one of the great minds in game design today.

Here’s a link to a page dedicated to the book (with several links of places to order at the bottom of the page):

A Theory of Fun for Game Design

This is definitely one to add to the Game Design library.


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