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on 18 April 2011
I spent several hours choosing a game design book, and from the other reviews I figured thi must be the one. However, I discovered that it reads much more as a theoretical textbook than a practical guide. Mind you - I have a Ph.D. in IT so theory is great, but only when it's actually useful for something.

If you want 7 definitions of "what is a game" and an in-depth discussion about what is a rule and what is not a rule, spiced up by discussing how Tic-Tac-Toe permeates and influences the contemporary culture, you're going to be satisfied. If you wish to learn how to design games, you're also going to learn quite a lot but on the way there you'll have to skip quite a few sections of this hefty tome.

I bought The Art of Game Design: A book of lenses at the same time. Although my focus is not on digital games, the Book of lenses is so much more practical and inspirational that I just have to recommend it, along with Challenges for Game Designers which may not be as inspirational but is all the more practical.

Hope I helped :o)
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on 4 March 2015
This book is cited wide and far in all areas of game research and ludology. It is a perfect introduction to game research and academia, although it is rigorous enough that even a professional will want to revisit it. It shows how games can be understood as not just stories or gameplay, but as cybernetic systems, as information systems, as systems of conflict, of gambling, and many other things. If you want to gain a huge amount of knowledge about games, and game design and research, this is a great book. If you're at all interested in game academia, you should read this. If you want to make games, you should definitely own it.
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on 24 March 2006
Rules of Play is a mix of a student textbook about games and a practical guide for game designers. It is extremely comprehensive, clear and well written, admirably synthesising a diverse set of perspectives on the ways in which games function. It is structured to allow the reader to dip into particuar areas and read the book in any order. As a designer of games this is by some measure the finest book I've found on the subject.
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on 21 February 2008
The most irritating thing about this book is it's brilliant presentation (especially the cover), which unfortunately is coupled to a repetitive long winded text which takes ages to get to a point, which it then reiterates eight different ways. As a result the valuable content of this book is simply what is written on each of the chapter summary pages, and much of that is just common sense. Attempts to actually read the main text will simply cause headaches.
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on 28 December 2010
This book is great for anybody wishing to read up on design principles. Some of the ideas discussed within can be applied to areas outside of video game design. As a matter of fact, I used much of this book to write a paper on illustration. I believe that reading this book has enriched my design practice.
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on 28 January 2016
A must have for every game designer, excellent read for anyone interested in game design in general. Highly recommended.
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on 11 May 2016
Any want to be or even published games designer should read this!
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on 10 May 2016
Great asset for my sons degree
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on 19 August 2014
Well written and easy to follow, while taking you on an in depth journey into game mechanics.
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