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Second Person: Role Playing and Story in Games and Playable Media Hardcover – 20 Feb 2007


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Review

" The book is not 100 percent a how-to guide for designing better video games, but rather is a thought-provoker, spanning both the theoretical and the practical." -- "Game Developer"

& quot; The book is not 100 percent a how-to guide for designing better video games, but rather is a thought-provoker, spanning both the theoretical and the practical.& quot; -- Game Developer

"If you hold the traditional views that games are something you play (such as chess), role playing is something you do (such as acting), and stories are something that a writer writes and a reader reads, brace yourself--this book will turn these ideas inside out. It is a thought-provoking, intimidating, revealing, and encouraging work."-- J. M. Artz, "Computing Reviews"

"The book is not 100 percent a how-to guide for designing better video games, but rather is a thought-provoker, spanning both the theoretical and the practical."-- "Game Developer"

"If you hold the traditional views that games are something you play (such as chess), role playing is something you do (such as acting), and stories are something that a writer writes and a reader reads, brace yourself--this book will turn these ideas inside out. It is a thought-provoking, intimidating, revealing, and encouraging work." J. M. Artz Computing Reviews

"The book is not 100 percent a how-to guide for designing better video games, but rather is a thought-provoker, spanning both the theoretical and the practical." Game Developer

If you hold the traditional views that games are something you play (such as chess), role playing is something you do (such as acting), and stories are something that a writer writes and a reader reads, brace yourself -- this book will turn these ideas inside out. It is a thought-provoking, intimidating, revealing, and encouraging work. --J. M. Artz "Computing Reviews "

If you hold the traditional views that games are something you play (such as chess), role playing is something you do (such as acting), and stories are something that a writer writes and a reader reads, brace yourself -- this book will turn these ideas inside out. It is a thought-provoking, intimidating, revealing, and encouraging work.

--J. M. Artz "Computing Reviews "

About the Author

Pat Harrigan, a freelance writer and editor, is the coeditor (with Noah Wardrip-Fruin) of First Person: New Media as Story, Performance, and Game, Second Person: Role-Playing and Story in Games and Playable Media, and Third Person: Authoring and Exploring Vast Narratives, all published by the MIT Press. Noah Wardrip-Fruin is Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He is the coeditor of four collections published by the MIT Press: with Nick Montfort, The New Media Reader (2003); with Pat Harrigan, First Person: New Media as Story, Performance, and Game (2004), Second Person: Role-Playing and Story in Games and Playable Media (2007), and Third Person: Authoring and Exploring Vast Narratives (2009).


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Amazon.com: 3.3 out of 5 stars 3 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Plenty of replay value 12 Mar. 2010
By Michael J. Tresca - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Where First Person was a series of essays between squabbling scholars, Second Person is a refreshingly focused review of storytelling and role-playing. Instead of authors inventing new phrases in each essay we get a real grounding in the foundation of role-playing games: their origins (Mona), theory (Costikyan), and all of these elements put into practice (George R.R. Martin, among others).

The book is divided into three sections, covering tabletop systems, computational fictions, and real worlds. Tabletop role-players will recognize the heavy hitters here: Ken Hite, the late Keith Herber, Jonathan Tweet, Rebecca Borgstrom, Nick Montfort, John Tynes, and more. Throughout are short essays detailing what worked and what didn't, from interactive fiction to Call of Cthulhu, Alternate Reality Games (ARGs) to The Howard Dean for Iowa Game (yes, really).

Second Person goes a step further in including three tabletop role-playing games: Puppetland by Tynes, Bestial Acts by Costikyan, and The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen by Wallis. It's unlikely this book will be used as an actual gaming reference, but the inclusion of these three games is enlightening as the essayists put their words into practice.

Second Person isn't afraid to stretch boundaries, sharing insights as diverse as the Prince of Persia and the adventure gamebook Life's Lottery, from Martin's collaborative Wild Cards stories to the interactive fiction Planetfall. As you read through each essay a pattern emerges, of authors trying to tell stories, frustrated by the limits of the medium, and adjusting to adapt. It's an education of showing rather than telling. Tynes' essays are particularly illuminating. His thoughts on escapism neatly sums up the plight of fantasy gaming today.

With dozens of essays on the evolution of storytelling games and three role-playing games to boot, Second Person is an important work that even has replay value. A must have for any game scholar.
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars 31 Dec. 2014
By Thiago Augusto - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excelents articles about games.
0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Hard to read because of the typeface - thin, small, light, discourages you from reading this book 4 Feb. 2015
By Suzanne - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Horrifyingly difficult typeface - WHY would anyone choose such a thin, light, small type if they wanted their book to get read? (My eyesight is fine, it's the typeface!). This is a completely preventable problem and there is no excuse to do this to the reader.

I was immediately disgusted and don't know if I'll get to the content or look up the return policy.
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