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Understanding Games

Please download the latest Flash Player to play Understanding Games.

Understanding Games is series of four games explaining the basic concepts of video games. The tutorial-style episodes deal with rules, motivation, learning and identification in video games. The player is guided through each episode by the narrators Bob and Bub, who explain core concepts of games to the player. The player can experience these concepts directly while playing the integrated games.

If you’re trying to explain games to someone – a student, a loved one, your parents – this is a great way to start. Boing Boing
Understanding Games explains the underlying concepts behing gaming by having you play a series of flash games. Simple. And utterly charming.Kotaku
Recommended Readings

Chen, Jenova: Flow in Games.

Costikyan, Greg: I Have No Words & I Must Design.

Crawford, Chris: The Art of Computer Game Design.

Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly: Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. New York : HarperCollins.

Gee, James Paul: What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy. New York : Palgrave Macmillan.

Gingold, Chaim: Miniature Gardens & Magic Crayons: Games, Spaces & Worlds. Georgia : Institute of Technology.

Huizinga, Johan: Homo Ludes: A Study of the Play Element in Culture. Boston : Beacon Press.

Johnson, Steven: Everything Bad Is Good for You. London : Penguin Books.

Juul, Jesper: Half-Real: Video Games between Real Rules and Fictional Worlds. Cambridge, Massachusetts : MIT Press.

Koster, Ralph: A Theory of Fun for Game Design. Scottsdale, Arizona : Paraglyph Press.

Linderoth, Jonas: Animated game pieces. Avatars as roles, tools and props. Aesthetics of Play Conference. University of Bergen.

McCloud, Scott: Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art. New York : Harper Perennial.

Salen, Katie; Zimmerman, Eric: Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals. Cambridge, Massachusetts : MIT Press.

Salen, Katie; Zimmerman, Eric: The Game Design Reader: A Rules of Play Anthology. Cambridge, Massachusetts : MIT Press.

How to play
  • Follow the Bub and Bob’s on-screen instructions
Awards & Recognition

FILE International Festival
São Paulo, Brazil – 2008

Potsdam, Germany – 2007

Serious Games Award
Second price in the category Best realization of a Serious Game – 2007


Andreas Zecher Game Design, Development
Martin Straka Sound Design

Understanding Games is a diploma thesis project designed and developed by Andreas Zecher at the University of Applied Sciences in Potsdam, Germany. The project was advised by Prof. Boris Müller, Prof. Klaus Dufke and Mattias Ljungström.

© 2006–2007 / All rights reserved.