Graham Herrli's Reviews > Theory of Fun for Game Design

Theory of Fun for Game Design by Raph Koster
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's review
Jan 10, 2014

liked it
bookshelves: game-design-and-gamification, design-related

This is a fun-spirited book. It alternates pages of text with whimsical cartoon. The text on one page continues the idea of the text two pages previous, and the cartoon on one page often continues an idea from the previous cartoon, while also tying in to the text.

This book stands as a call to action to game designers to step beyond the traditional formal abstract systems used in games. Such systems teach skills we would have needed as cavemen (such as aiming, territory, and timing), but Koster proposes that games can be created to train people in more advanced social issues instead. He examines the media of existing art forms and uses this analysis to argue that games are just another medium that can serve as an art to illuminate more about human nature, a medium that is sometimes disdained because theories of game criticism are still in their infancy.

Toward the end, the book gets a bit too abstract and philosophical in nature, rambling in a vague bugle-blaring tone to turn the previous information into a prolonged call for action.

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Quotes Graham Liked

Raph Koster
“That’s what games are, in the end. Teachers. Fun is just another word for learning.”
Raph Koster, Theory of Fun for Game Design

Raph Koster
“Noise is any pattern we don't understand. [...] If we perceive something as noise, it's most likely a failure of ourselves, not a failure of the universe.”
Raph Koster, Theory of Fun for Game Design

Reading Progress

Started Reading
January 10, 2014 – Shelved
January 10, 2014 – Shelved as: game-design-and-gamification
January 10, 2014 – Shelved as: design-related
January 10, 2014 – Finished Reading

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