The Ecology of Games: Connecting Youth, Games, and Learning

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Katie Salen
MIT Press, 2008 - Games - 278 pages
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In the many studies of games and young people's use of them, little has been writtenabout an overall "ecology" of gaming, game design and play--mapping the ways that all thevarious elements, from coding to social practices to aesthetics, coexist in the game world. Thisvolume looks at games as systems in which young users participate, as gamers, producers, andlearners. The Ecology of Games (edited by Rules of Play author Katie Salen) aims to expand upon andadd nuance to the debate over the value of games--which so far has been vociferous but overlypolemical and surprisingly shallow. Game play is credited with fostering new forms of socialorganization and new ways of thinking and interacting; the contributors work to situate this withina dynamic media ecology that has the participatory nature of gaming at its core. They look at theways in which youth are empowered through their participation in the creation, uptake, and revisionof games; emergent gaming literacies, including modding, world-building, and learning how tonavigate a complex system; and how games act as points of departure for other forms of knowledge,literacy, and social organization.ContributorsIan Bogost, Anna Everett, James Paul Gee, Mizuko Ito,Barry Joseph, Laurie McCarthy, Jane McGonigal, Cory Ondrejka, Amit Pitaru, Tom Satwicz, Kurt Squire,Reed Stevens, S. Craig Watkins Katie Salen is a game designer and interactive designer as well asDirector of Graduate Studies in Design and Technology, Parsons School of Design. With EricZimmerman, she is the coauthor of Rules of Play (MIT Press, 2003) and coeditor of The Game DesignReader (MIT Press, 2005).


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About the author (2008)

Katie Salen is Professor of Design and Technology at Parsons the New School for Design. She is the coauthor of "Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals" and coeditor of "The Game Design Reader: A Rules of Play Anthology" and "The Ecology of Games: Connecting Youth, Media and Learning, " all published by the MIT Press. She is also Executive Director of Institute of Play, a design-led games and learning nonprofit.

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