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VWN Product Review: Half-Real : Video Games between Real Rules and Fictional Worlds

Half-Real : Video Games between Real Rules and Fictional Worlds
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By Jesper Juul
Produced By The MIT Press
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This book looks at the halfway there virtual reality of video gaming, arguing that such worlds are half-real, consisting of real rules in a fictitious world. Winning or losing in the physical world, but slaying the beasts within the virtual.

Discussing games from Pong to The Legend of Zelda, from chess to Grand Theft Auto, the book considers how video games are both a departure from and a development of traditional non-electronic games. The book combines perspectives from such fields as literary and film theory, computer science, psychology, economic game theory, and game studies, to outline a theory of what video games are, how they work with the player, how they have developed historically, and why they are fun to play.

Written in a lively style, and arguing that there is a basic affinity between games and computers, this book appeals to academics just as much as game developers and world builders.

It looks as how rules provide challenges, learning, and enjoyment for players, and how a game cues the player into imagining its unreal world.

All in all, a must for anyone developing an immersive, pervasive world, who desires to see the tricks used, and how far they can really go.