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Digital gaming is today a significant economic phenomenon as well as being an intrinsic part of a convergent media culture in postmodern societies. Its ubiquity, as well as the sheer volume of hours young people spend gaming, should make it ripe for urgent academic enquiry, yet the subject was a research backwater until the turn of the millennium. Even today, as tens of millions of young people spend their waking hours manipulating avatars and gaming characters on computer screens, the subject is still treated with scepticism in some academic circles. This handbook aims to reflect the relevance and value of studying digital games, now the subject of a growing number of studies, surveys, conferences and publications.
As an overview of the current state of research into digital gaming, the 42 papers included in this handbook focus on the social and cultural relevance of gaming. In doing so, they provide an alternative perspective to one-dimensional studies of gaming, whose agendas do not include cultural factors. The contributions, which range from theoretical approaches to empirical studies, cover various topics including analyses of games themselves, the player-game interaction, and the social context of gaming. In addition, the educational aspects of games and gaming are treated in a discrete section. With material on non-commercial gaming trends such as 'modding', and a multinational group of authors from eleven nations, the handbook is a vital publication demonstrating that new media cultures are far more complex and diverse than commonly assumed in a debate dominated by concerns over violent content.
This book is a practical guide on how to create artwork for computer games - a burgeoning area in which thousands of artists are hired each year.
"Fundamentally, making games is designing with others, everyone contributing from different angles towards the best possible product. Conclusively, Garcia-Ruiz has chosen a collection of chapters that demonstrates several different aspects of working in gaming and working with others that stands to raise the level of expertise in the field." -Veronica Zammitto, Senior Lead Games User Research, Electronic Arts, Inc., from the Foreword Usability is about making a product easy to use while meeting the requirements of target users. Applied to video games, this means making the game accessible and enjoyable to the player. Video games with high usability are generally played efficiently and frequently while enjoying higher sales volumes. The case studies in this book present the latest interdisciplinary research and applications of games user research in determining and developing usability to improve the video game user experience at the human-computer interface level. Some of the areas examined include practical and ethical concerns in conducting usability testing with children, audio experiences in games, tangible and graphical game interfaces, controller testing, and business models in mobile gaming. Games User Research: A Case Study Approach provides a highly useful resource for researchers, practitioners, lecturers, and students in developing and applying methods for testing player usability as well as for conducting games user research. It gives the necessary theoretical and practical background for designing and conducting a test for usability with an eye toward modifying software interfaces to improve human-computer interaction between the player and the game.
Computer programs that simulate complex processes in the real world can provide a quantitative tool for determining how much debt can be added safely to a company's capital structure. The increasing number of bankruptcies and defaults in today's international business arena result from debt overload and point to major shortcomings in the conventional financial evaluation process. In this book, Roy L. Nersesian describes why current methods of risk management fail and how computer simulation can be employed to determine the safe level of debt more accurately. Because the decision to add debt to an organization requires favorable, and essentially independent, decisions from both the borrower and lender, it is necessary to quantify both perspectives. Through actual examples readers will learn how to do this and to translate an actual business situation into a simulation model or program. Current evaluation systems, according to Nersesian, fail to incorporate the cyclical nature of business activity. They result all too often in an overly optimistic projection of cash flow. Simulation techniques are better able to incorporate the transience of good times and put quantitative analysis of risk on par with quantitative analysis of reward. Simulation techniques also reduce the role of speculative, and highly subjective, judgment. For example, decisionmakers who are not familiar personally with a particular business area, assign more risk to that area than those who are. A quantified risk management system enables executives to rank projects by the degree of risk much as they currently rank them by degree of profitability. The book presents the concept of simulation in terms that can be understood by generalists in corporations and financial institutions. At the same time, it provides computer programmers with an understanding of risk management principles. It will provide a valuable resource for: financial executives, planners and strategists in corporate and governmental organizations; bank lending officers; and computer programmers working with these organizations.
The family history begins strangely, the family name is strange, the family's success is fortuitous, and the family's ride through the centuries is the roller coaster kind.
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