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Playful Thinking series

Playful Thinking is a series of short, readable and argumentative books that share some playfulness and excitement with the games that they are about. Each book in the series is small enough to fit in a backpack or coat pocket and combines depth with readability for any reader interested in playing more thoughtfully or thinking more playfully. This includes, but is by no means limited to, academics, game makers, and curious players. Each book in the series provides a blend of new insights and interesting arguments with overviews of knowledge from game studies and other areas. The basic assumption is simple: video games are such a flourishing medium that any new perspective on them is likely to show us something unseen or forgotten, including those from such “unconventional” voices as artists, philosophers, or specialists in other industries or fields of study.

On the Aesthetics of Games and Art

An exploration of the relationship between games and art that examines the ways that both gamemakers and artists create game-based artworks.

How uncertainty in games—from Super Mario Bros. to Rock/Paper/Scissors—engages players and shapes play experiences.

Why play is a productive, expressive way of being, a form of understanding, and a fundamental part of our well-being.

An Essay on the Pain of Playing Video Games

An exploration of why we play video games despite the fact that we are almost certain to feel unhappy when we fail at them.