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A Game Design Vocabulary: Exploring the Foundational Principles Behind Good Game Design Paperback – 26 Feb 2014

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Addison Wesley; 01 edition (26 Feb. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321886925
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321886927
  • Product Dimensions: 23.9 x 2 x 24.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 501,418 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


A Game Design Vocabulary succeeds where many have failed–to provide a broad-strokes overview of videogame design. Utilizing analytic smarts, an encyclopedic knowledge of games, and subcultural attitude, Naomi Clark and Anna Anthropy get to the heart of how games work.


“Why is this book important? Videogames are the defining mass medium of our time, yet even those who make games lack a clear language for understanding their fundamental mechanics. A Game Design Vocabulary is essential reading for game creators, students, critics, scholars, and fans who crave insight into how game play becomes meaningful.”

Eric Zimmerman, Independent Game Designer and Arts Professor, NYU Game Center

A Game Design Vocabulary marks an important step forward for our discipline. Anna Anthropy and Naomi Clark’s extraordinarily lucid explanatio ns give us new ways to unpick the complexities of digital game design. Grounded in practical examples and bursting with original thinking, you need this book in your game design library.”

Richard Lemarchand, Associate Professor, USC, Lead Designer, Uncharted

“Anthropy and Clark have done it! Created an intuitive vocabulary and introduction to game design in a concise, clear, and fun-to-read package. The exercises alone are a great set of limbering-up tools for those new to making games and seasoned designers, both.”

Colleen Macklin, Game Designer and Professor, Parsons The New School for Design


“Two of my favorite game design minds sharing a powerful set of tools for designing meaningful games? I’m so excited for this book. A Game Design Vocabulary may very well be the best thing to happen to game design education in more than a decade. I can’t wait to put this book in the hands of my students and dev friends alike.”

John Sharp, Associate Professor of Games and Learning, Parsons The New School for Design

“Some of the greatest challenges to the intelligent advancement of game-making can be found in the ways we conceptualize and discuss them. This simple yet profound new vocabulary is long-overdue and accessible enough to help new creators work within a meaningful framework for games.”

Leigh Alexander, Game Journalist and Critic

About the Author

Anna Anthropy is an artist, author and game creatrix working in the East Bay area. As an ambassador for game creation, she works to empower marginalized voices to gain access to game creation. Her first book, Rise of the Videogame Zinesters, is an autobiography / manifesto / DIY guide. She's radical.


Naomi Clark has been designing and producing games for more than two decades, ever since she started creating text-based virtual worlds as a teenager. She’s worked on multiplayer web games (Sissyfight 2000), casual downloadable games (Miss Management), Flash games for kids (LEGO Junkbot). and Facebook games (Dreamland) while working with companies like Gamelab, LEGO, Rebel Monkey, and Fresh Planet. Naomi has also taught classes and workshops at Parsons School of Design, the NYU Game Center, and the New York Film Academy, and written game analysis and feminist critique for Feministe. She is currently developing an independent game with the Brooklyn Game Ensemble.

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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews
Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 starsGreat book for both practical and conceptual game design
7 March 2017 - Published on Amazon.com
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2 people found this helpful.
Andrew Larimer
5.0 out of 5 starsFantastic book. This book feels like it is for ...
7 September 2017 - Published on Amazon.com
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One person found this helpful.
Ahmed A.
5.0 out of 5 starsit's so good. It is to the point
8 October 2017 - Published on Amazon.com
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One person found this helpful.
David Dunham
4.0 out of 5 starsThoughtful discussion of game design
27 September 2014 - Published on Amazon.com
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10 people found this helpful.
Joseph J. Cassavaugh
1.0 out of 5 starsToo rambling and unfocused.
5 April 2015 - Published on Amazon.com
7 people found this helpful.
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