New Release: Well Played Journal (Vol. 8, No. 3) Special Issue

The ETC Press is proud to announce the release of Well Played (Vol. 8, No. 3), a special issue on the Sporting Mindset edited by John Sharp.

Though often viewed as special category of games, sports is really an approach to play. The popular conception of the sporting mindset puts certain values ahead of others, and positioning games as a means to an end rather than an experience unto itself. Sometimes, the sporting mindset brings out the best in us; sometimes, the worst.

Sports as community institutions play a complex role in our culture. Sports produce values, behaviors, and cultural conventions that simultaneously include and exclude; that encourage and nurture some while rejecting others; and that celebrate aesthetic performance and violent behavior all at once. The essays here span a wide range of games—Crossfit but also  Android: Netrunner; Destiny and baseball spectatorship; fantasy football in addition to streaming eSports. Each of the essays explores the way we think about play from a particular point of view either as players or as spectators.

About Well Played

Contributors are encouraged to analyze sequences in a game in detail in order to illustrate and interpret how the various components of a game can come together to create a fulfilling playing experience unique to this medium. Through contributors, the journal will provide a variety of perspectives on the value of games.

The term “well played” is being used in two senses. On the one hand, well played is to games as well read is to books. So, a person who reads books a lot is “well read” and a person who plays games a lot is “well played.” On the other hand, well played as in well done. So, a hand of poker can be “well played” by a person, and a game can be “well played” by the development team.

Contributors are encouraged to look at video games through both senses of “well played.” So, with well played as in well read, contributors are looking closely at the experience of playing a game. And with well played as in well done, contributors are looking at a game in terms of how well it is designed and developed.

The goal of the journal is to continue developing and defining a literacy of games as well as a sense of their value as an experience. Contributors are invited to also discuss games in general (ranging from tabletop, to big games and more) and how they are often designed for different fields (education, entertainment, etc) as we more fully develop a literacy around games and play. Contributors are encouraged to consider using screenshots and video of their gameplay in order to help illustrate their ideas. And we’re open to suggestions on themed issues around a specific game or a topic across games.

About Carnegie Mellon University’s ETC Press

ETC Press is a publishing imprint with a twist. We publish books, but we’re also interested in the participatory future of content creation across multiple media. We are an academic, open source, multimedia, publishing imprint affiliated with the Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and in partnership with

ETC Press publications will focus on issues revolving around entertainment technologies as they are applied across a variety of fields. Authors publishing with ETC Press retain ownership of their intellectual property. ETC Press publishes a version of the text with author permission and ETC Press publications will be released under Creative Commons licenses. Every text is available for free download, and we price our titles as inexpensively as possible because we want people to have access to them. We’re most interested in the sharing and spreading of ideas.

About CMU’s Entertainment Technology Center

The ETC is the premier professional graduate program for interactive entertainment as it’s applied across a variety of fields. Our unique, two-year, Master of Entertainment Technology (MET) degree is jointly conferred by Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science and the College of Fine Arts.

The ETC was founded in 1998 with Randy Pausch and Don Marinelli as the co-directors. The faculty and staff worked together to articulate our academic mission which focuses on educational goals and creative development. And we also created an R&D Agenda exploring transformational games, innovation by design and interactive storytelling. Throughout, we work to prepare students to graduate as creative professionals.