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This chapter explores games as a major object of study in both media theory and practice. We begin by identifying two competing critical approaches to games: the proceduralist (which emphasizes rules, objectives, and systems) and the play-centric (which emphasizes modes of player response). By distinction, we advocate for a middle ground, a type of experience design that foregrounds the ways players can affect and be affected by a game: experientially, kin - es thetically, and ideologically. The main site for this elaboration of affect is game mechanics. The chapter draws from close readings of existing digital and analog games, as well as tech - niques developed through the creative process in the Game Changer Chicago (GCC) Design Lab, to which we both belong. Ultimately, we offer a sketch of a practice-based research method for designing learning-oriented and serious games in media studies.
The Table of Contents for the volume The Routledge Companion to Media Studies and Digital Humanities, is available here:


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