As pop culture, games are as important as film or television--but game design has yet to develop a theoretical framework or critical vocabulary. In Rules of Play Katie Salen and Eric Zimmerman present a much-needed primer for this emerging field. They offer a unified model for looking at all kinds of games, from board games and sports to computer and video games. As active participants in game culture, the authors have written Rules of Play as a catalyst for innovation, filled with new concepts, strategies, and methodologies for creating and understanding games..Building an aesthetics of interactive systems, Salen and Zimmerman define core concepts like play, design, and interactivity. They look at games through a series of eighteen game design schemas, or conceptual frameworks, including games as systems of emergence and information, as contexts for social play, as a storytelling medium, and as sites of cultural resistance.Written for game scholars, game developers, and interactive designers, Rules of Play is a textbook, reference book, and theoretical guide. It is the first comprehensive attempt to establish a solid theoretical framework for the emerging discipline of game design.
Katie Salen is Professor of Design and Technology at Parsons the New School for Design. She is the coauthor of Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals and coeditor of The Game Design Reader: A Rules of Play Anthology and The Ecology of Games: Connecting Youth, Media and Learning, all published by the MIT Press. She is also Executive Director of Institute of Play, a design-led games and learning nonprofit. Eric Zimmerman is a game designer, game design theorist, and co-founder and CEO of gameLab. He has taught at universities including MIT, the University of Texas, Parsons School of Design, New York University, Rhode Island School of Design, and the School of Visual Arts.