Game Designer by Chris Crawford

A video game is a controlled, structured form of digital play, usually undertaken for fun or entertainment, and at times used as a teaching tool. Video games are quite different from non-digital work, which is typically carried out for recreation, and from literature, which is primarily an expression of personal or aesthetic elements. Game play is largely a function of the player’s experience in the media environment in which he finds himself engaged. It therefore arises from and leads to multiple human satisfactions, including the achievement of objectives, as well as the provision of pleasure.


Many people believe that the major source of revenue in the game industry comes from the sale of computer games and related products. This is certainly the case for the majority of the revenue in the United States and Canada, but this type of revenue is declining. There has been a proliferation of software available for download from home computers, as well as the proliferation of multi-player game servers on the Internet. The sales of packaged computer games have been contracting since the early 1980s. Moreover, while the growth and profitability of the video games industry in the United States and Canada has historically been less than that in European countries, it is nevertheless a growing global industry.

So, what are my recommendations? Individuals interested in becoming involved with the video game industry should consider creating a personal website in which they can publish their personal game detail pages, comment on current games, or discuss topics of interest to other gamers. I encourage individuals to consider the option of using either the WordPress blogging platform, or Magento, which allows one to publish content from a database, control the appearance of the website, and easily update experience details, game stats, user profiles, user favorites and other options. In order to take advantage of the functionality provided by these platforms, one would need to build at least one profile page, which could then be used to publish artworks, personal messages, game reviews, game awards, or other items. Once these are published on the individual game detail pages, they can be indexed by search engines, making them potentially very useful supplemental sources of income.

Chris Crawford’s The Computer Game Industry is an excellent reference for those interested in the history and present state of the video games business in the UK, the United States, Australia, and internationally. While the book is technically about board game design, it is largely focused on the international video game market. It is an excellent companion to any student wanting to become involved with the industry, as it provides a great deal of background on how and why board games have become so popular around the world. Additionally, this text provides a solid introduction to the technical aspects of video games, including, but not limited to, computer game development, electronic publishing, CD-ROMs, and game design. The final section of the book describes in great detail the legal issues surrounding the global video game industry, as well as offering a number of suggested remedies.

Chris Crawford’s text is highly accessible material, with detailed notes and examples liberally sprinkled throughout the text. Although the treatment is intended for first-time authors, anyone who has worked in or with the gaming industry will find many useful tips and references within this book. With over 365 illustrations, this book is the perfect companion to anyone who wants to learn more about the video games and entertainment industry.

As a bonus, the CD-ROM accompanying The Computer Game Industry explains machine specifications, game types, designer credits, computer graphic design capabilities, and other helpful terminology. This easy-to-understand guide serves as an excellent primer for anybody who is new to the industry, as it includes machine specifications for popular titles, as well as a list of typical game types. Chris Crawford’s The Computer Game Industry provides individuals with a wealth of information and resources about this multifaceted industry. The book is jam-packed with both general and industry info, allowing readers to become proficient at both marketing and production techniques. A must for any gamer or game enthusiast, this is a must for everybody.