Resources for Learning and Thinking about Games

on Monday, April 2, 2012
Recently, someone on Reddit asked, "What are some must read texts for game design and fluency in reading deeper into games?" I gathered up all my favorite game-writing links and gave a brief summary of some of my own personal advice, and I posted a response. The content of that response has relevance to the stuff I write about on this blog, so I've transcribed it here in slightly edited form for the benefit of anyone grappling with a similar question:

My standard advice for becoming proficient in analysis is to not limit yourself to reading about games. To be truly good at it, you need a broader base; you should become fluent in film and literature and their analysis as well. Obviously, this also requires experiencing a decent selection of the important games, films, and writings, in addition to the essential games.

Some other reddit discussions that might be helpful in this regard (I replied to all of them with links and ideas):
Generally useful game websites:
For becoming literate in film, you can find out what some of the more important ones are at They Shoot Pictures. I won't add a list of film writings and websites because there are just too many. It might be worth picking up an intro to film studies text book like Film Art: An Introduction and a compilation of critical film writing like Film Theory and Criticism. If you want more detailed suggestions on readings in film, let me know; I'm a huge film nerd. Similarly, picking up a book on analyzing literature might be helpful, too.

Another trick to finding out what you should be reading for any area like this, whether it be game design or film studies, is to search for syllabi for university courses on the subject. Typically, such documents have lists of suggested reading. Of course, if you're a student still, you might even be able to take such a course.
Hope that helps someone out there!


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