by Geoffrey Engelstein

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What games can teach us about life, the universe and ourselves. If you shuffle a deck of cards what are the odds that the sequence is unique? What is the connection between dice, platonic solids and Newton's theory of gravity? What is more random: a dice tower or a number generator? Can you actually employ a strategy for a game as basic as Rock-Paper-Scissors?

These are all questions that are thrown up in games and life. Games involve chance, choice, competition, innovation, randomness, memory, stand-offs and paradoxes - aspects that designers manipulate to make a game interesting, fun and addictive, and players try to master for enjoyment and winning. But they also provide a fascinating way for us to explore our world; to understand how our minds tick, our numbers add up, and our laws of physics work.

This is a book that tackles the big questions of life through the little questions of games.

With short chapters on everything from memory games to the Prisoner's Dilemma, to Goedel's theorems, GameTek is fascinating reading anyone for who wants to explore the world from a new perspective - and a must-read book for serious designers and players.


'Math, physics, psychology and all the other stuff you didn't even realise you were using while playing board games! Dr E has opened the door to the game under the game in fascinating, fun detail. Now you have NO reason to ever lose again! Rock!' Tommy Dean, board-gamer and stand-up comic

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781460711125
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 02/01/2019
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 130,496
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Geoff Engelstein is an adjunct professor of Board Game Design at the NYU Game Center. He has spoken at a variety of venues, including Pax, GDC, Gencon, Rutgers, and USC. He has degrees in Physics and Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and is currently the president of Mars International, a design engineering firm.

Since 2007 he has been a contributor to Dice Tower, the leading table-top game podcast, with 'GameTek', a series on the math, science, and psychology of games. Since 2011 he has hosted Ludology, a weekly podcast. He is also an award-winning table-top game designer, whose games include The Ares Project, Space Cadets, The Fog of War, and Survive: Space Attack, many of which are co-designed with his children, Brian and Sydney.

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