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Half-Real: Video Games between Real Rules and Fictional Worlds (MIT Press) Paperback – August 19, 2011

3.8 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Jesper Juul gives us an insightful analysis of the interplay of rules and fiction. Unlike so much of the academic literature on gaming, it's both concise and readable. Strongly recommended.

(Ernest W. Adams, freelance game designer)

Half-Real tackles key issues in games, from rules and structure to aesthetics and fiction to the complexities of player experience. Juul puts these topics in the context of current intellectual debates, making the book not just a playful exploration of games themselves but a celebration of the emerging fields of game studies and game design theory. Half-Real is essential reading for scholars, designers, and everyone in between.

(Eric Zimmerman, Cofounder & CEO, gameLab)

About the Author

Jesper Juul is Visiting Assistant Arts Professor at the New York University Game Center. He is the author of Half-Real: Video Games between Real Rules and Fictional Worlds (2005), published by the MIT Press.

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Product Details

  • Series: MIT Press
  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press (August 19, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262516519
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262516518
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #571,883 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was one of the first textbook-length studies of game design I ever read, and there's nothing that I regret about it. Full of tangible and theoretical knowledge, Half-Real is a great study backed up by evidence and themes. As an amateur game designer, and as an educator, the insights to how people engage with interactive content is one of the parts of this book that I really found to be memorable.

While many of the examples are dated (even for when I first read the book years ago), Half-Real is full of useful knowledge for designers, and its theory holds up solid. By connecting the elements of video games with a variety of other disciplines, Jesper Juul may very well change the way that you think about games at a fundamental level.
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Format: Hardcover
In Half-Real, Jesper Juul presents us a not only a new definition for games (computer-based or not), but also an original perspective on videogames and how they operate. Going beyond the 'Ludology x Narratology' discussion, Juul balances the 'Rules' and 'Fiction' elements of video games, emphasizing how they relate to each other.

The book is very insightful, containing information that will be valuable to game designers, academics, gamers and new media enthusiasts. Although you could find some of the its content on Juul's previous articles available on the internet, they are much more complete polished in Haf-Real.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had to purchase this book for an English class where we discuss how we can use videogames to produce fiction, and also how to produce a videogame that is fiction, as well as how the two relate. From what we have covered so far it has really sparked my interest to pursue other literature in this category. Jesper Juul does a great job putting his thoughts out there, and it's been a great read so far.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an interesting read for anyone who wants a perspective about games and gaming from someone who isn't a typical "fanboy" or "industry geek." Some of the insights were a bit typical for what you might expect, but there were a few nuggets that showed that Juul actually took some time to think about the genre and how rules both affect and are effected in games. I found it a bit light on scholarly sources, but since he is a professor, perhaps this book is more what he is teaching in his class than his own research. Not a bad read, if you can stomach some of prose.
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By fiendish on September 27, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very well-structured, well-researched and readable. Rather than losing us in the theoretical weeds, Juul continually grounds his assertions with very easy-to-understand examples, reflections and quips. A must-read for anyone currently engaged in the tedious "story vs. gameplay" debate.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fantastic book for anyone who is curious about game design but has just started looking into it. Whether you would want to make games later on or just better understand them, this book explains things in a very effective way. Although I understood most of the book already, there were still a few bits I learned from it. Give it to someone who needs to appreciate videogames more.
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