Video game

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Now a major motion picture directed by Steven Spielberg.

“Enchanting . . . Willy Wonka meets The Matrix.”—USA Today • “As one adventure leads expertly to the next, time simply evaporates.”—Entertainment Weekly

A world at stake. A quest for the ultimate prize. Are you ready?

In the year 2045, reality is an ugly place. The only time Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the OASIS, a vast virtual world where most of humanity spends their days.

When the eccentric creator of the OASIS dies, he leaves behind a series of fiendish puzzles, based on his obsession with the pop culture of decades past. Whoever is first to solve them will inherit his vast fortune—and control of the OASIS itself. 

Then Wade cracks the first clue. Suddenly he’s beset by rivals who’ll kill to take this prize. The race is on—and the only way to survive is to win.

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Entertainment Weekly • San Francisco Chronicle • Village Voice • Chicago Sun-Times • iO9 • The AV Club

“Delightful . . . the grown-up’s Harry Potter.”HuffPost

“An addictive read . . . part intergalactic scavenger hunt, part romance, and all heart.”—CNN

“A most excellent ride . . . Cline stuffs his novel with a cornucopia of pop culture, as if to wink to the reader.”Boston Globe

“Ridiculously fun and large-hearted . . . Cline is that rare writer who can translate his own dorky enthusiasms into prose that’s both hilarious and compassionate.”—NPR

“[A] fantastic page-turner . . . starts out like a simple bit of fun and winds up feeling like a rich and plausible picture of future friendships in a world not too distant from our own.”iO9

Tom Bissell is a prizewinning writer who published three widely acclaimed books before the age of thirty-four. He is also an obsessive gamer who has spent untold hours in front of his various video game consoles, playing titles such as Far Cry 2, Left 4 Dead, BioShock, and Oblivion for, literally, days. If you are reading this flap copy, the same thing can probably be said of you, or of someone you know.
 
Until recently, Bissell was somewhat reluctant to admit to his passion for games. In this, he is not alone. Millions of adults spend hours every week playing video games, and the industry itself now reliably outearns Hollywood. But the wider culture seems to regard video games as, at best, well designed if mindless entertainment.
 
Extra Lives is an impassioned defense of this assailed and misunderstood art form. Bissell argues that we are in a golden age of gaming—but he also believes games could be even better. He offers a fascinating and often hilarious critique of the ways video games dazzle and, just as often, frustrate. Along the way, we get firsthand portraits of some of the best minds (Jonathan Blow, Clint Hocking, Cliff Bleszinski, Peter Molyneux) at work in video game design today, as well as a shattering and deeply moving final chapter that describes, in searing detail, Bissell’s descent into the world of Grand Theft Auto IV, a game whose themes mirror his own increasingly self-destructive compulsions.
 
Blending memoir, criticism, and first-rate reportage, Extra Lives is like no other book on the subject ever published. Whether you love video games, loathe video games, or are merely curious about why they are becoming the dominant popular art form of our time, Extra Lives is required reading.
Masters of Doom is the amazing true story of the Lennon and McCartney of video games: John Carmack and John Romero. Together, they ruled big business. They transformed popular culture. And they provoked a national controversy. More than anything, they lived a unique and rollicking American Dream, escaping the broken homes of their youth to co-create the most notoriously successful game franchises in history—Doom and Quake—until the games they made tore them apart.

Americans spend more money on video games than on movie tickets. Masters of Doom is the first book to chronicle this industry’s greatest story, written by one of the medium’s leading observers. David Kushner takes readers inside the rags-to-riches adventure of two rebellious entrepreneurs who came of age to shape a generation. The vivid portrait reveals why their games are so violent and why their immersion in their brilliantly designed fantasy worlds offered them solace. And it shows how they channeled their fury and imagination into products that are a formative influence on our culture, from MTV to the Internet to Columbine. This is a story of friendship and betrayal, commerce and artistry—a powerful and compassionate account of what it’s like to be young, driven, and wildly creative.

“To my taste, the greatest American myth of cosmogenesis features the maladjusted, antisocial, genius teenage boy who, in the insular laboratory of his own bedroom, invents the universe from scratch. Masters of Doom is a particularly inspired rendition. Dave Kushner chronicles the saga of video game virtuosi Carmack and Romero with terrific brio. This is a page-turning, mythopoeic cyber-soap opera about two glamorous geek geniuses—and it should be read while scarfing down pepperoni pizza and swilling Diet Coke, with Queens of the Stone Age cranked up all the way.”—Mark Leyner, author of I Smell Esther Williams
Want to design your own video games? Let expert Scott Rogers show you how!

If you want to design and build cutting-edge video games but aren’t sure where to start, then the SECOND EDITION of the acclaimed Level Up! is for you! Written by leading video game expert Scott Rogers, who has designed the hits Pac Man World, Maximo and SpongeBob Squarepants, this updated edition provides clear and well-thought out examples that forgo theoretical gobbledygook with charmingly illustrated concepts and solutions based on years of professional experience.

Level Up! 2nd Edition has been NEWLY EXPANDED to teach you how to develop marketable ideas, learn what perils and pitfalls await during a game’s pre-production, production and post-production stages, and provide even more creative ideas to serve as fuel for your own projects including:
  • Developing your game design from the spark of inspiration all the way to production
  • Learning how to design the most exciting levels, the most precise controls, and the fiercest foes that will keep your players challenged
  • Creating games for mobile and console systems – including detailed rules for touch and motion controls
  • Monetizing your game from the design up
  • Writing effective and professional design documents with the help of brand new examples

Level Up! 2nd Edition is includes all-new content, an introduction by David “God of War” Jaffe and even a brand-new chili recipe –making it an even more indispensable guide for video game designers both “in the field” and the classroom.

Grab your copy of Level Up! 2nd Edition and let’s make a game!

From the global authority in record-breaking comes the 11th edition of the world’s best-selling videogames annual. Packed with the latest records, coolest stars and the biggest games, the Guinness World Records Gamer’s Edition is the go-to bible for every gaming fan. Just ask the five million readers who’ve made it an international sensation!

Inside you’ll find amazing stats, thrilling facts, inspirational tales, lightning-quick speed-runs and dazzling photos. Read about the records behind your favorite games including Mario, Overwatch, FIFA, WWE and Rocket League, plus recap on a year of crazy Pokémon GO stories. Go behind the scenes of the world’s longest-running eSports organizer. Spook yourself silly with real-life videogame mysteries. Check out the fastest videogame completions. And gaze in envy at the world’s largest Zelda and Tomb Raider collections!

You’ll also meet gaming heroes such as the world’s oldest games YouTuber at 81, a man with a real-life cyborg arm that was inspired by Deus Ex, and the kingpin of eSports fighting games. But the videogame stars don’t get much bigger than DanTDM, whose Minecraft channel has been watched nearly 10 billion times! So we’re thrilled he’s written a special intro just for the Guinness World Records Gamer’s Edition.

Speaking of heroes...grab your cape and turn to this year’s special chapter featuring superhero games. It hard to believe it’s been nearly 40 years since Superman first exploded onto our consoles! So, we’re celebrating with your favorite costumed crime-battlers. From Spider-Man’s web-crawling to Batman’s gadgetry, they’re just as powerful in pixels as they are in the movies.

So, whether you want to know who scored the fastest goal in FIFA or achieved the fastest speed-run of Final Fantasy XV, or just want to see the world’s biggest Game Boy, this is the book for you!

NOW THE ACCLAIMED HBO SERIES GAME OF THRONES—THE MASTERPIECE THAT BECAME A CULTURAL PHENOMENON
 
Winter is coming. Such is the stern motto of House Stark, the northernmost of the fiefdoms that owe allegiance to King Robert Baratheon in far-off King’s Landing. There Eddard Stark of Winterfell rules in Robert’s name. There his family dwells in peace and comfort: his proud wife, Catelyn; his sons Robb, Brandon, and Rickon; his daughters Sansa and Arya; and his bastard son, Jon Snow. Far to the north, behind the towering Wall, lie savage Wildings and worse—unnatural things relegated to myth during the centuries-long summer, but proving all too real and all too deadly in the turning of the season.
 
Yet a more immediate threat lurks to the south, where Jon Arryn, the Hand of the King, has died under mysterious circumstances. Now Robert is riding north to Winterfell, bringing his queen, the lovely but cold Cersei, his son, the cruel, vainglorious Prince Joffrey, and the queen’s brothers Jaime and Tyrion of the powerful and wealthy House Lannister—the first a swordsman without equal, the second a dwarf whose stunted stature belies a brilliant mind. All are heading for Winterfell and a fateful encounter that will change the course of kingdoms.
 
Meanwhile, across the Narrow Sea, Prince Viserys, heir of the fallen House Targaryen, which once ruled all of Westeros, schemes to reclaim the throne with an army of barbarian Dothraki—whose loyalty he will purchase in the only coin left to him: his beautiful yet innocent sister, Daenerys.
The author of the 400,000-copy bestseller On Killing reveals how violent video games have ushered in a new era of mass homicide -- and what we must do about it.

Paducah, Kentucky, 1997: a 14-year-old boy shoots eight students in a prayer circle at his school.

Littleton, Colorado, 1999: two high school seniors kill a teacher, twelve other students, and then themselves.

Utoya, Norway, 2011: a political extremist shoots and kills sixty-nine participants in a youth summer camp.

Newtown, Connecticut, 2012: a troubled 20-year-old man kills 20 children and six adults at the elementary school he once attended.

What links these and other horrific acts of mass murder? A young person's obsession with video games that teach to kill.

Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, who in his perennial bestseller On Killing revealed that most of us are not "natural born killers" - and who has spent decades training soldiers, police, and others who keep us secure to overcome the intrinsic human resistance to harming others and to use firearms responsibly when necessary - turns a laser focus on the threat posed to our society by violent video games.

Drawing on crime statistics, cutting-edge social research, and scientific studies of the teenage brain, Col. Grossman shows how video games that depict antisocial, misanthropic, casually savage behavior can warp the mind - with potentially deadly results. His book will become the focus of a new national conversation about video games and the epidemic of mass murders that they have unleashed.
To create a great video game, you must start with a solid game design: A well-designed game is easier to build, more entertaining, and has a better chance of succeeding in the marketplace. Here to teach you the essential skills of player-centric game design is one of the industry’s leading authorities, who offers a first-hand look into the process, from initial concept to final tuning.

Now in its second edition, this updated classic reference by Ernest Adams offers a complete and practical approach to game design, and includes material on concept development, gameplay design, core mechanics, user interfaces, storytelling, and balancing. In an easy-to-follow approach, Adams analyzes the specific design challenges of all the major game genres and shows you how to apply the principles of game design to each one. You’ll learn how to:
  • Define the challenges and actions at the heart of the gameplay.
  • Write a high-concept document, a treatment, and a full design script.
  • Understand the essentials of user interface design and how to define a game’s look and feel.
  • Design for a variety of input mechanisms, including the Wii controller and multi-touch iPhone.
  • Construct a game’s core mechanics and flow of resources (money, points, ammunition, and more).
  • Develop appealing stories, game characters, and worlds that players will want to visit, including persistent worlds.
  • Work on design problems with engaging end-of-chapter exercises, design worksheets, and case studies.
  • Make your game accessible to broader audiences such as children, adult women, people with disabilities, and casual players.

“Ernest Adams provides encyclopedic coverage of process and design issues for every aspect of game design, expressed as practical lessons that can be immediately applied to a design in-progress. He offers the best framework I’ve seen for thinking about the relationships between core mechanics, gameplay, and player—one that I’ve found useful for both teaching and research.” — Michael Mateas, University of California at Santa Cruz, co-creator of Façade
In the United States alone, the video game industry raked in an astonishing $12.5 billion last year, and shows no signs of slowing. Once dismissed as a fleeting fad of the young and frivolous, this booming industry has not only proven its staying power, but promises to continue driving the future of new media and emerging technologies. Today video games have become a limitless and multifaceted medium through which Fortune 50 corporations and Hollywood visionaries alike are reaching broader global audiences and influencing cultural trends at a rate unmatched by any other media. The Video Game Explosion: A History from PONG to PlayStation and Beyond traces the growth of a global phenomenon that has become an integral part of popular culture today. All aspects of video games and gaming culture are covered inside this engaging reference, including the leading video game innovators, the technological advances that made the games of the late 1970s and those of today possible, the corporations that won and lost billions of dollars pursing this lucrative market, arcade culture, as well as the demise of free-standing video consoles and the rise of home-based and handheld gaming devices. Narrative chapters explore the ongoing debates surrounding whether video games lead to violence in children and teens-as was the case with the Columbine High School shootings-in addition to other hot-button topics, such as the evolution of adventure games and first-person shooters. Inside readers will discover: l dblHow video games as a novelty grew into a worldwide multi-billion dollar industryl dblHow ethical worldviews can be embodied in video gamesl dblHow to get a job in the video game industryl dbl The storybehind the battle between Sony's PlayStation 3, Nintendo's Wii, and Microsoft's Xbox 360l dbl The pioneers who developed such video games as Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Myst, and more
In family rooms across America, millions of children and teenagers are playing video games, such as Call of Duty, Halo, and Grand Theft Auto, roaming violent virtual worlds—with virtual guns in their hands.

In what sometimes seems like an increasingly violent world, it's only natural to worry about the effects of all this pixelated gore. But is that concern misplaced? Authors and psychologists Patrick M. Markey and Christopher J. Ferguson say it is.

The media and politicians have been sounding the alarm for years, and with every fresh tragedy involving a young perpetrator comes another flurry of articles about the dangers of violent media. The problem is this: Their fear isn't supported by the evidence. In fact, unlike the video game–trained murder machines depicted in the press, school shooters are actually less likely to be interested in violent games than their peers. In reality, most well-adjusted children and teenagers play violent video games, all without ever exhibiting violent behavior in real life. What's more, spikes in sales of violent games actually correspond to decreased rates of violent crime.

If that surprises you, you're not alone—the national dialogue on games and violence has been hopelessly biased. But that's beginning to change. Scholars are finding that not only are violent games not one of society's great evils, they may even be a force for good.

In Moral Combat, Markey and Ferguson explore how video games—even the bloodiest—can have a positive impact on everything from social skills to stress, and may even make us more morally sensitive. Tracing the rise of violent games from arcades to online deathmatches, they have spent years on the front lines of the video game debate and now offer a comprehensive overview of the scientific research on gaming. With humor, complete honesty, and extensive research, they separate the myth from the medium.

Moral Combat is an irreverent and informative guide to the worries—and wonders—of our violent virtual world.
In recent years, computer games have moved from the margins of popular culture to its center. Reviews of new games and profiles of game designers now regularly appear in the New York Times and the New Yorker, and sales figures for games are reported alongside those of books, music, and movies. They are increasingly used for purposes other than entertainment, yet debates about videogames still fork along one of two paths: accusations of debasement through violence and isolation or defensive paeans to their potential as serious cultural works. In How to Do Things with Videogames, Ian Bogost contends that such generalizations obscure the limitless possibilities offered by the medium’s ability to create complex simulated realities.

Bogost, a leading scholar of videogames and an award-winning game designer, explores the many ways computer games are used today: documenting important historical and cultural events; educating both children and adults; promoting commercial products; and serving as platforms for art, pornography, exercise, relaxation, pranks, and politics. Examining these applications in a series of short, inviting, and provocative essays, he argues that together they make the medium broader, richer, and more relevant to a wider audience.

Bogost concludes that as videogames become ever more enmeshed with contemporary life, the idea of gamers as social identities will become obsolete, giving rise to gaming by the masses. But until games are understood to have valid applications across the cultural spectrum, their true potential will remain unrealized. How to Do Things with Videogames offers a fresh starting point to more fully consider games’ progress today and promise for the future.

Master the Principles and Vocabulary of Game Design

Why aren’t videogames getting better? Why does it feel like we’re playing the same games, over and over again? Why aren’t games helping us transform our lives, like great music, books, and movies do?

The problem is language. We still don’t know how to talk about game design. We can’t share our visions. We forget what works (and doesn’t). We don’t learn from history. It’s too hard to improve.

The breakthrough starts here. A Game Design Vocabulary gives us the complete game design framework we desperately need—whether we create games, study them, review them, or build businesses on them.

Craft amazing experiences. Anna Anthropy and Naomi Clark share foundational principles, examples, and exercises that help you create great player experiences…complement intuition with design discipline…and craft games that succeed brilliantly on every level.

  • Liberate yourself from stale clichés and genres
  • Tell great stories: go way beyond cutscenes and text dumps
  • Control the crucial relationships between game “verbs” and “objects”
  • Wield the full power of development, conflict, climax, and resolution
  • Shape scenes, pacing, and player choices
  • Deepen context via art, animation, music, and sound
  • Help players discover, understand, engage, and “talk back” to you
  • Effectively use resistance and difficulty: the “push and pull” of games
  • Design holistically: integrate visuals, audio, and controls
  • Communicate a design vision everyone can understand
Use Video Games to Drive Innovation, Customer Engagement, Productivity, and Profit!

Companies of all shapes and sizes have begun to use games to revolutionize the way they interact with customers and employees, becoming more competitive and more profitable as a result. Microsoft has used games to painlessly and cost-effectively quadruple voluntary employee participation in important tasks. Medical schools have used game-like simulators to train surgeons, reducing their error rate in practice by a factor of six. A recruiting game developed by the U.S. Army, for just 0.25% of the Army’s total advertising budget, has had more impact on new recruits than all other forms of Army advertising combined. And Google is using video games to turn its visitors into a giant, voluntary labor force--encouraging them to manually label the millions of images found on the Web that Google’s computers cannot identify on their own.

Changing the Game reveals how leading-edge organizations are using video games to reach new customers more cost-effectively; to build brands; to recruit, develop, and retain great employees; to drive more effective experimentation and innovation; to supercharge productivity…in short, to make it fun to do business. This book is packed with case studies, best practices, and pitfalls to avoid. It is essential reading for any forward-thinking executive, marketer, strategist, and entrepreneur, as well as anyone interested in video games in general.

  • In-game advertising, advergames, adverworlds, and beyond
    Choose your best marketing opportunities--and avoid the pitfalls
  • Use gaming to recruit and develop better employees
    Learn practical lessons from America’s Army and other innovative case studies
  • Channel the passion of your user communities
    Help your customers improve your products and services--and have fun doing it
  • What gamers do better than computers, scientists, or governments
    Use games to solve problems that can’t be solved any other way
Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game is the winner of the Nebula and Hugo Awards

In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race's next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew "Ender" Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn't make the cut—young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.

Ender's skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. His psychological battles include loneliness, fear that he is becoming like the cruel brother he remembers, and fanning the flames of devotion to his beloved sister.

Is Ender the general Earth needs? But Ender is not the only result of the genetic experiments. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Ender's two older siblings are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. Between the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world. If, that is, the world survives.

Ender's Game is the winner of the 1985 Nebula Award for Best Novel and the 1986 Hugo Award for Best Novel.

THE ENDER UNIVERSE

Ender series
Ender’s Game / Ender in Exile / Speaker for the Dead / Xenocide / Children of the Mind

Ender’s Shadow series
Ender’s Shadow / Shadow of the Hegemon / Shadow Puppets / Shadow of the Giant / Shadows in Flight

Children of the Fleet

The First Formic War (with Aaron Johnston)
Earth Unaware / Earth Afire / Earth Awakens

The Second Formic War (with Aaron Johnston)
The Swarm /The Hive

Ender novellas
A War of Gifts /First Meetings

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
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