Weekly Books: Influential Video Game Designers
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Weekly Books: Influential Video Game Designers
28 June, 2019
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Our next set of books is dedicated to the influence of famous game designers that shaped the industry we have today: Shigeru Miyamoto, Jane Jensen, and Brenda Laurel.

Shigeru Miyamoto: Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda

Joining Nintendo as a video game designer in the late 1970s, Miyamoto is the mastermind behind Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, and Donkey Kong-games. Learn about one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People in 2007 with the first book this week.

Video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto introduces Nintendo’s Super Mario Maker at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles in 2014.

The book features critical essays, interviews, bibliographies, and striking visuals, unveiling the artist behind thousands of glowing gaming screens, his design decisions, aesthetic preferences, and the material conditions that shaped his work.

Jane Jensen: Gabriel Knight, Adventure Games, Hidden Objects

Jane Jensen’s work brought new darkness and personality to PC gaming, showing what games could be as they came of age. The second book is all about detailed research to make game settings come to life, attention to mature dilemmas and complex character development, and an audience-driven vision for genres reaching beyond the typical market approaches of the gaming industry, and more.

Brenda Laurel: Pioneering Games for Girls

The third book will tell you about the genius behind Purple Moon, the pioneering game company Brenda Laurel cofounded in the 1990s. “Purple Moon’s games were based on years of research Laurel completed in an effort to understand why computer games seemed to be of so little interest to girls,” states the description. “Using diverse archival sources such as trade journals, newspapers, and recorded interviews, alongside Laurel’s completed games and own writings and an original interview with Laurel herself, this volume offers insight into both the early development of the games for girls movement of the 1990s and the lasting impact of Laurel’s game design breakthroughs.”

The bonus this week is two books that might help you spend a great weekend. The first one is dedicated to Zelda, while the second is about production pipeline fundamentals:

The Psychology of Zelda: Linking Our World to the Legend of Zelda Series

The Psychology of Zelda is a great read about that applies the latest psychological findings, plus insights from classic psychology theory, to Link, Zelda, Hyrule, and the players who choose to wield Master Sword.

In The Psychology of Zelda, you will learn:

  • How do Link’s battles in Ocarina of Time against Dark Link, his monstrous doppelganger, mirror the difficulty of confronting our personal demons and the tendency to be our own worst enemies?
  • What lessons about pursuing life’s greater meaning can we take away from Link’s quests through Hyrule and beyond the stereotypical video game scenario of rescuing a Princess (Zelda)?
  • What do we experience as players when we hear that familiar royal lullaby on the ocarina, Saria’s spirited melody in the Lost Woods, or the iconic main theme on the title screen?
  • How do the obstacles throughout Majora’s Mask represent the Five Stages of Grief?
  • What can Link’s journey to overcome the loss of the fairy Navi teach us about understanding our own grief and depression?
  • Why are we psychologically drawn to the game each and every time a new version becomes available even when they all have a similar storyline?

Production Pipeline Fundamentals for Film and Games

Production Pipeline Fundamentals for Film and Games discusses how to direct limited resources to the right technological initiatives, getting the most for every dollar spent.

  • Learn how to prepare for and manage all aspects of the pipeline with this entirely unique, one-of-a-kind guide.
  • Expand your knowledge with real-world pipeline secrets handed to you by a stellar group of professionals from across the globe.
  • Visit the companion website for even further resources on the pipeline.

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SnarkyJoe

LOL a real game designer and two social justice picks.

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