Help me revise A Theory of Fun!

 Posted by (Visited 12527 times)  Game talk, Writing  Tagged with:
Dec 052012

Next year will mark the tenth anniversary of the publication of A Theory of Fun as a book. The publisher is planning a second edition in full color!

The contract isn’t signed just yet, because I owe them an outline for the revisions. Needless to say, I get to do revised text, and this is where I would like to ask for help. The book is so widely used by folks in the industry that I want to make sure that it has all of the right stuff in it — updated science, latest thinking on game cognition and learning, new thoughts on game ethics — all of it.

I would love to get more eyes on the problem. So if you’re up for it, I would love for as many people as possible to

  • (re)read the book – hey, it’s short!
  • make a note of everywhere you want to argue, and tell me where and why. I’ll argue back in the actual text (well, I’ll try to make my case better, how’s that).
  • make a note of any useful or cool references, science, news, or whatever that fits with what is already there. A lot has happened in ten years.
  • any errata? (I already know about the mistake in the drawing of the go board… anything else?)

I realize this is a huge favor… needless to say, anyone who helps will get acknowledged in the new edition.

Another thing that has come up occasionally is use of the book in a classroom setting. If anyone here has ideas on how to make it better for that use, I’d love to hear about those too. Are you an academic who has used the book in a classroom setting? Do you have study guide questions or discussion topics? I am currently unsure whether this sort of material would land in the book or on the website, but given how widely it’s used for this purpose, it seems like a great resource to make available.

Finally, there’s the possibility of adding other new stuff. I don’t want to try cramming game grammar into a single new chapter, but… if there were additional material of some sort in the book, like a whole new chapter, what would you want it to be?

Feel free to add whatever you can in the comment thread here, or to use the contact form to connect with me on this (I’m not going to post an email address here, to avoid spam, but if you use the form, I can email back).

I’m excited about this — though I do expect that most of my time will be spent coloring the cartoons. 🙂


  8 Responses to “Help me revise A Theory of Fun!”

  1. Great news Raph, looking forward to a new version already! Is there any time-frame you are working with for those changes? It’ll be a good excuse to dig out the book again for a reread 🙂

  2. I’ll take a look and make notes over the weekend. Perhaps this time around, you can get O’Reilly to publish an ebook? How about an interactive ebook with Steam stats and achievements? The future of book sales is Steam. We just have to convince Valve of that.

  3. There is an ebook out already, an I am sure they will do the revised version that way as well.

  4. I’ll help you color cartoons…but I tend to go outside the lines.

  5. The ebook version should have multi-reader functionality with a reader vs. reader system, because, you know, risk/reward.

  6. What about a Spanish version?Is there one already?

  7. There isn’t… but it’s dependent on the publisher cutting a deal with a publisher that does stuff in another language. We did talk about it, and they plan to pitch the new edition to more non-US publishers next year. I specifically mentioned Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Italian — I get a lot of Italian requests, for whatever reason…

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