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The Well-Played Game: A Player's Philosophy

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  85 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
Hardcover, 172 pages
Published August 23rd 2013 by Mit Press (first published January 1st 1978)
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Anna Anthropy
Nov 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
the suggestion of this book is that when we play games, our primary goal is often not victory - it's establishing a satisfying dynamic between all included parties, it's meaningful play. we accomplish that through handicaps, through negotiation, through sometimes checking our egos. with suitable playfulness, bernie dekoven explores the complexities of negotiating what he calls "a well-played game."

as a digital game designer, this is a pretty valuable read: often, the rules of digital games are r
James Klagge
Jan 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Originally written in 1978, it has the feel of the '70's. The book reads like a sort of stream of consciousness conversation as the author moves from one aspect to another of game-playing. I am a fan of the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein who famously used "games" as an example of a concept that could not be strictly defined, and yet had a unity through a series of commonalities that he called a "family resemblance." The author's approach is consistent with this, as he never tries to define the ...more
Ien Cheng
Nov 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love the premise and outlook and spirit of DeKoven and this book.
Sandy Morley
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: playbooks
I'm intrigued by the concepts and interested by the perspective, but this is not an easy read. It's fun for a while, but repetitive.

There's a section in chapter 7 that goes like this: "I was having fun being silly like this. My pseudo professorship was like a prelude—a way of savoring. It was fun taking so long to say what I could have said in perhaps less than a hundred words."

If it was at the start of the book, it would be called prescient. Whole chapters seem written just to "play" with the r
May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
It's kind of an exploration of what Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is talking about with flow. But pretty much in the context of playing games. But then, by the author's definition, lots of things can be games, even things like religious observance. What I like about this is that he brings theory into the world of practice.
Gintaras Aniulis
May 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 1_adam
A well-read book.
Lori Kane
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Seminal book for people who aspire to bring more playfulness into the world, especially poets, game creators, play event creators, and inventors.
pa |
May 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
For my games and learning class. It had good discussions about safety, trust, familiarity, and conventions within the context of games.
Brent Shelley
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“Now, when you play this game, even though you’ve never played it with me before, you’re playing to get even—not with me but with what I represent to you, all those terrible people who cheated you out of your right to win. Then” 0 likes
“to experience that excellence again, you must admit the possibility that you’re going to need to find another game, or something that isn’t a game at all; that the game is, in fact, over and that it’s time for the search for yet something else. We” 0 likes
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