Hard to believe it's been ten years since the initial release of Raph Koster's indispensable A Theory of Fun for Game Design, a book that does for game-design what Understanding Comics did for sequential art.
Koster and O'Reilly have produced a tenth anniversary edition, which updates all the interior art (all-color, now!), and takes account of the past decade's developments in psychology and games. The new edition comes out on December 5. Here's details on the updated text from a Wired Gamelife piece:
Many other small details have been changed between the original and newer editions of the book. Research about cognitive differences between men and women, for example, has advanced significantly in the last 10 years. When discussing psychology, Koster also removed all references to the Myers-Briggs system, which has gone out of favor amongst psychologists, who now generally prefer the OCEAN model.
Another, funnier change: In the original edition of the book, there was a throwaway line about how nobody plays farming games anymore. “That,” Koster says, has now “turned into a page-long riff about farming games and about how modern farming games teach business rather than farming.”
Koster acknowledges that in a world as turbulent as the videogames industry, some parts of Theory of Fun may seem like obvious dogma, “a monolithic thing you rebel against.” But the book still matters, Koster says, in part because nobody else has come along to knock it off its pedestal
A Game Design Legend Revisits His Theory of Fun [Ryan Rigney/Wired]
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.