Best Selling Books by Simon Ferrari

Simon Ferrari is the author of Newsgames (2012), The Judgment of Procedural Rhetoric (2010) and Minimalist Game Design (2014).

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Newsgames

release date: Sep 21, 2012
Newsgames
How videogames offer a new way to do journalism. Journalism has embraced digital media in its struggle to survive. But most online journalism just translates existing practices to the Web: stories are written and edited as they are for print; video and audio features are produced as they would be for television and radio. The authors of Newsgames propose a new way of doing good journalism: videogames. Videogames are native to computers rather than a digitized form of prior media. Games simulate how things work by constructing interactive models; journalism as game involves more than just revisiting old forms of news production. Wired magazine's game Cutthroat Capitalism, for example, explains the economics of Somali piracy by putting the player in command of a pirate ship, offering choices for hostage negotiation strategies. Videogames do not offer a panacea for the ills of contemporary news organizations. But if the industry embraces them as a viable method of doing journalism—not just an occasional treat for online readers—newsgames can make a valuable contribution.

The Judgment of Procedural Rhetoric

release date: Jan 01, 2010
The Judgment of Procedural Rhetoric
This thesis establishes a theoretical framework for understanding virtual spaces and roleplaying in relation to Ian Bogost's theory of "procedural rhetoric," the art of persuading through rule systems alone. Bogost characterizes the persuasive power of games as setting up an Aristotelian enthymeme--an incomplete argument--that one completes through play; however, I argue that the dominant rhetoric intended by a team of game designers is subject to manipulation through player choice. Discrete structures within the play experience cause the meaning-making possibilities of a game object to pullulate in a number of directions. Procedural rhetoric is not comprehended or created when reflected back upon after play: we interrogate it, piece it together, and change it through play.

Minimalist Game Design

release date: Feb 05, 2014
Minimalist Game Design
Guided by the theory of design minimalism where the predominant goal is to craft a game where nothing in the design is superfluous or used by coincidence, but carefully chosen to increase the accessibility, improve the interface, and meaningfully contribute to the game, Nealen and Saltsman (Award-winning Indie game designers) demonstrate how to find the smallest possible subset of mechanics and interfaces that lead to interesting and compelling gameplay. They illustrate by example with insights and philosophies from game industry veterans and independent game developers.


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