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Imaginary Games by [Bateman, Chris]
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Imaginary Games Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Length: 335 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Product description


In this well-researched book Chris Bateman explores the ambiguous territory between the fictional and the real, and slays some dragons hiding therein. Highly recommended. --(Ernest Adams, Founder of the International Game Developers' Association)

A wonderfully refreshing and inventive look at games of many kinds, but especially digital games. It is seriously philosophical, but Bateman, a professional game designer, draws on a huge variety of resources far beyond the writings of academic philosophers - fascinating and fun! --(Kendall Walton, Charles Stevenson Collegiate Professor of Philosophy and Professor of Art and Design at the University of Michigan)

About the Author

Acclaimed game designer, philosopher and author Chris Bateman is an expert on play and games, and undertakes philosophical investigations in a spirit of open-minded enquiry.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 772 KB
  • Print Length: 335 pages
  • Publisher: John Hunt Publishing (16 Nov. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00652HX0M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,077,382 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I started reading Chris Bateman's books about game design first, out of personal interest. His clear arguments, and logical reasoning in those books convinced me to try one of his other books, where the topic is more abstract.
Imaginary Games is not an easy reading. There are a lot of references and arguments listed from other authors, to give a context and to take the readers to the level where they can now follow Mr. Bateman's reasoning. For someone coming from outside of the academia, it is a dense book that can easily cause an overload. However, I found that reading it on and off, taking it in chapter by chapter, it gives me a lot to think about, and I always feel the desire to come back to it, which is probably the greatest praise that you can give to a book.

In short, this book is a perfect stepping stone for everyone who wants to go deeper in what makes games what they are. It is much more than just a debate about whether games are art. It places the games into a higher plane, where things like ethics start to matter.
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Format: Paperback
There's a good deal to like in Imaginary Games. While it begins by highlighting Roger Ebert's claim that `games can never be art,' thankfully it mostly avoids a hackneyed defence of games as art. It considers what games share with art, but blessedly does not try to collapse one into the other.

Most interestingly, for me, is Chris Bateman's suggestion that both games and art must be understood as representational, even in their most abstract examples. Bateman highlights Noughts and Crosses as an extreme example, the hash mark grid of which he feels `can be seen as a prop prescribing that the players imagine nine positions.' This, like much in Imaginary Games, very much rests upon Kendall Walton's prop theory - but Walton's ideas are mostly used here subtly and intelligently. It might seem a stretch to call a game of Noughts and Crosses an imaginative experience, but Bateman makes his case well and derives thought-provoking conclusions from it.

Throughout Imaginary Games, Bateman's voice is authoritative, yet playful. Anecdotes from the author's life sit alongside more serious theorizing. Bateman, I think, recognizes that to write successfully about games, there must be room in the text to reproduce the fun which lies behind most play. In both content and style, then, Imaginary Games offers a fine example for other works in this developing field.
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Format: Paperback
I enjoyed Imaginary Games a great deal, and it is interesting in particular in that it further explores the relation between art, fiction, and play from a philosophical perspective. Turning the question "are games art?" on its head, Bateman argues along with some other philosophers that art itself, fiction, imagination, and make-believe, all involve some form of play, an acceptance of arbitrary boundaries in order to be able to interpret art in a meaningful way.

As usual, Bateman writes very accessably, but without dumbing down his message and philosophy. An essential book if you're interested in the relation between art and play, and a good summary of some earlier thinkers' ideas as well, combined with Bateman's own perspective.
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Format: Kindle Edition
As I knew Bateman's work on game design I was really interested in seeing what Imaginary Games would be. Bateman is a solid philosopher and does a good read on art and philosophy, but it wasn't as specific as I had hoped that it would be. Not that this was a bad thing at all, but just not what I was looking for at the moment and necessarily what I felt like I had been promised. Now being familiar with this book I know how to use it and who to recommend it for. I am anxious to see what comes next from Bateman in the humanities realm.
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