Archive for April, 2008

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience

Posted in Books with tags , , , on April 4, 2008 by frans

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has studied the psychology of intense concentration into challenging tasks and related feelings. His work does not provide all solutions that a student of player experiences requires, but is central reading nevertheless.

Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly (1991) Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. New York: Harper Perennial. (Excerpts available online from


The Art of Computer Game Design

Posted in Books with tags , , , , on April 4, 2008 by frans

Many of the early critical works of digital game studies have been authored by games industry professionals, rather than academics. Chris Crawford published this classic text originally in 1982, and it has then been made available online by professor Sue Peabody from Washington State University Vancouver. The book has been very influential in the way it discusses games through comparisons to some neighboring cultural forms.

Crawford, Chris (1982/1997) The Art of Computer Game Design. The electronic edition. Online:

Toward a Critical Vocabulary for Games

Posted in Online papers with tags , , , on April 4, 2008 by frans

There is a continuing need to clarify the concepts used within game studies, and defining ‘game’ is one of continuing interest. This article by game designer and critic Greg Costikyan is interesting in the way it discusses the process of constructing the definition it puts forward. The original version was published in 1994 in Interactive Fantasy #2, the revised version in CGDC conference proceedings in 2002.

Costikyan, Greg (2002) ‘I Have No Words & I Must Design: Toward a Critical Vocabulary for Games’. In: Frans Mäyrä (ed), CGDC Conference Proceedings. Studies in Information Sciences. Tampere: Tampere University Press, pp. 9–33. Online:

Internet World Stats

Posted in Online resources with tags , , on April 4, 2008 by frans

There are various sources of Internet usage statistics — one of the most easily accessible (but maybe not necessarily the most reliable) is this site, Internet World Stats. As all digital games — not only virtual role-playing worlds — are increasingly transforming into online services, it becomes increasingly important for game studies to follow what is taking place in the use of Internet.

Miniwatts Marketing Group (2000–2008) “Internet World Stats”. Online:

Development of Dance Dance Revolution Community

Posted in Online papers with tags , , , on April 4, 2008 by frans

There are relatively few published academic sources that discuss newer forms of games cultures; this student work is an informative account of the dance gaming scene:

Chan, Alexander (2004) ‘CPR for the Arcade Culture: A Case History on the Development of Dance Dance Revolution Community’. Unpublished coursework, History of Computer Game Design, Stanford University. Online: