The Game Design Reader is a one-of-a-kind collection on game design and criticism,from classic scholarly essays to cutting-edge case studies. A companion work to Katie Salen and EricZimmerman's textbook Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals, The Game Design Reader is a classroomsourcebook, a reference for working game developers, and a great read for game fans andplayers.Thirty-two essays by game designers, game critics, game fans, philosophers, anthropologists,media theorists, and others consider fundamental questions: What are games and how are theydesigned? How do games interact with culture at large? What critical approaches can game designerstake to create game stories, game spaces, game communities, and new forms of play?Salen andZimmerman have collected seminal writings that span 50 years to offer a stunning array ofperspectives. Game journalists express the rhythms of game play, sociologists tackle topics such asrole-playing in vast virtual worlds, players rant and rave, and game designers describe the sweatand tears of bringing a game to market. Each text acts as a springboard for discussion, a potentialclass assignment, and a source of inspiration. The book is organized around fourteen topics, fromThe Player Experience to The Game Design Process, from Games and Narrative to CulturalRepresentation. Each topic, introduced with a short essay by Salen and Zimmerman, covers ideas andresearch fundamental to the study of games, and points to relevant texts within the Reader. Visualessays between book sections act as counterpoint to the writings.Like Rules of Play, The Game DesignReader is an intelligent and playful book. An invaluable resource for professionals and a uniqueintroduction for those new to the field, The Game Design Reader is essential reading for anyone whotakes games seriously.