I took a short trip out of town with my wife and the baby this weekend and in a game store I happened across this small book sitting by the counter. I flipped through it briefly and the cashier gave me a nod and told me that she really enjoyed it herself, it was a great collection of thoughts about games. I told her that I was an upstart game designer with several projects in progress and a few key contacts at various publishers, and she said it would be perfect for me…so I bought it.
She was right.
Things We Think About Games is a collection of bite-sized ideas, feelings, recommendations, and warnings all about what it means to play games, make games, sell games, and love games. It dares you to consider why you play games in the first place, what makes you enjoy them, and why you prefer them (or don’t) over other types of entertainment media.
With contributions from a collective of gamers and experts including Wil Wheaton, this book, although it could be considered light reading, is a barrage of eye-opening feasts-for-thought about the world of gaming, some presented enigmatically in an “Art of War” sort of way- challenging you to apply the principals of World of Warcraft to your everyday life, to things as silly (although poignant) as “Don’t be a dick.”
I read this book entirely in a single afternoon, and that’s saying something, I typically don’t sit down to read very often anymore, and I probably haven’t read anything cover to cover (outside of audiobooks if you want to count that) since my early years of college. Each page could be taken individually and reflected upon for an entire day before going to the next. I learned a lot about game design just with a few short passages, and I feel that these writings would be a great asset to any game player that would help himself (and everyone around him) to have more fun playing. If I ever taught a class or seminar about game design, this would be required reading.
Check this book out at gameplaywright.net