Not So Magical

Posted on July 8, 2011



If a book is full of arcane gibberish, does that make it magic?

In my last post, I talked about a book called The Magic Circle: Principles of  Gaming and Simulation. I’ve gotten about 70 pages in (of some 380), and decided that the book isn’t worth reading, for my purposes. I was interested in gaining a deeper understanding of games, and maybe game design. The author does discuss those things, but only in a tangential and kind of abstract way. I can’t tell if he’s being deliberately obtuse, or if it’s bad writing, or if I’m simply not smart enough. Could be all three. Reading it, it’s like I understand what the words mean, but when they’re put into sentences and paragraphs and chapters I’m largely baffled at what’s going on.

I think there’s probably some use in this book, but not for me at this point. Maybe later in life I’ll approach it again, and in the meantime I’ll wait for my copy of Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals to arrive. I can’t wait for this one. I flipped through it at Powell’s, and Luke Crane has recommended it. Seems like a great intro for game design, though I know Clyde Rhoer said he couldn’t understand it. We’ll see!

Posted in: Readings