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Understanding Digital Games

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Understanding Digital Games, 9781412900331 (1412900336), Sage Publications, 2006
The aim of this book is to satisfy the need for a single accessible textbook which offers a broad introduction to the range of literatures and approaches currently contributing to digital game research. Each of the chapters outline key theoretical perspectives, theorists, and literatures to demonstrate their relevance to, and use in, the study of digital games.

This book is about ‘digital games’. This we have chosen as an umbrella term for our object of study and we use it to include everything from the earliest experimental games running in research laboratories to contemporary cutting edge games.

The focus in this collection is on commercially available games rather than those developed primarily for training or therapeutic objectives. However, this does give us the opportunity to explore the ways in which a series of interrelated sectors have evolved to make what we now recognize as the digital games industry. It allows us to see how what was once the province of enthusiasts and bedroom coders has now become a large international industry where licences, development and publishing costs exceed millions of dollars. This is an industry that draws on a highly skilled labour force and which, like other developed parts of the cultural industries, has had to develop an awareness of intellectual property protection, branding and contract negotiation, as well as an imperative to produce quality games which attract both hardcore and more casual games in order to survive.
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