Reset

Changing the Way We Look at Video Games

Rusel DeMaria (Author)

Publication date: 03/01/2008

Reset
Video games have been a source of controversy in the media almost since their invention. At best, these digital diversions are thought of as trivial, childish obsessions. At worst, they are attacked as violent, antisocial, corrupting, and dangerous to our youth. But as Rusel DeMaria shows, video games may represent one of the most powerful learning technologies ever invented. He turns the controversy on its head and shows the positive potential of the much-maligned video game to inspire, motivate, and teach. DeMaria delves deeply into the realities of the gaming world, analyzing both the business forces driving game development and the unique qualities that distinguish video games from all other popular media. Drawing on the latest research on play and learning, he explains that it is precisely these qualities--a combination DeMaria calls the "magic edge"--that make video games such potentially powerful tools. He shows how games can be designed to integrate content that educates, inspires, motivates, and empowers players--even as they lure them in with their drama and thrill them with special effects--and offers numerous examples of popular games that do just that. He even offers a primer to help curious non-gamers begin to explore the gaming world and discover the positive potential of games for themselves. DeMaria presents video games in a new light and details many of the ways they can facilitate learning. Because millions of people are playing games all around the world, we owe it to ourselves to utilize their positive power to spark imaginations and make learning fun for our own kids and for gamers around the world.
  • Refutes myths about video game violence, antisocial content, and addiction
  • Reveals how video games can become a force for positive personal and social change
  • Written by a video game expert whose books have sold over two million copies

Read more and meet author below



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Overview

Video games have been a source of controversy in the media almost since their invention. At best, these digital diversions are thought of as trivial, childish obsessions. At worst, they are attacked as violent, antisocial, corrupting, and dangerous to our youth. But as Rusel DeMaria shows, video games may represent one of the most powerful learning technologies ever invented. He turns the controversy on its head and shows the positive potential of the much-maligned video game to inspire, motivate, and teach. DeMaria delves deeply into the realities of the gaming world, analyzing both the business forces driving game development and the unique qualities that distinguish video games from all other popular media. Drawing on the latest research on play and learning, he explains that it is precisely these qualities--a combination DeMaria calls the "magic edge"--that make video games such potentially powerful tools. He shows how games can be designed to integrate content that educates, inspires, motivates, and empowers players--even as they lure them in with their drama and thrill them with special effects--and offers numerous examples of popular games that do just that. He even offers a primer to help curious non-gamers begin to explore the gaming world and discover the positive potential of games for themselves. DeMaria presents video games in a new light and details many of the ways they can facilitate learning. Because millions of people are playing games all around the world, we owe it to ourselves to utilize their positive power to spark imaginations and make learning fun for our own kids and for gamers around the world.

  • Refutes myths about video game violence, antisocial content, and addiction
  • Reveals how video games can become a force for positive personal and social change
  • Written by a video game expert whose books have sold over two million copies

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Meet the Author


Visit Author Page - Rusel DeMaria

Rusel DeMaria is the author or coauthor of more than sixty books, most of them in the gaming field, including Myst: The Official Strategy Guide, which sold more than 1.2 million copies, as well as one of the most comprehensive histories of the industry, High Score! The Illustrated History of Electronic Games. He founded and served as creative director for the most successful strategy guide publishing imprint in the industry and is a former senior editor and columnist for several national video game magazines.

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Endorsements

"This is a book parents and educators should read before they make any final judgments about the place of games in the lives of young people, and young people should read if they are looking for arguments about why playing games doesn't rot the brain."
--Henry Jenkins, author of Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide and Fans, Gamers and Bloggers: Exploring Participatory Culture

"Reset is a smart and thought-provoking new take on why we play in these new ways, and why we should. There is proof here for the long overdue acceptance of video games by mainstream society."
--Trip Hawkins, Founder, Electronic Arts and CEO, Digital Chocolate

"DeMaria has long been a unique and insightful voice inside the games industry. Reset is the first book about video games that covers the whole area, in a completely lucid and entertaining way, for a wide audience. Anyone can now get 'up to speed' on a controversial topic of vital concern to our culture and our economy."
--James Paul Gee, Tashia Morgridge Professor of Reading, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and author of What Video Games Can Teach Us About Learning and Literacy

".... An absolute must for parents, students, policymakers, educators, or anyone who wants to be enlightened about how learning itself will forever change because of the influence of video games."
--Corey P. Carbonara, PhD, Professor, Film and Digital Media Director, Digital Communication Technologies Project, Baylor University

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