by Cris Crawford
Preface to the Electronic Version
This text was originally composed by computer game designer
Chris Crawford in 1982. When searching for literature on the
nature of gaming and its relationship to narrative in 1997, Prof.
Sue Peabody learned of The Art of Computer Game Design,
which was then long out of print. Prof. Peabody requested Mr.
Crawford's permission to publish an electronic version of the
text on the World Wide Web so that it would be available to her
students and to others interested in game design. Washington
State University Vancouver generously made resources avail-
able to hire graphic artist Donna Loper to produce this elec-
tronic version. WSUV currently houses and maintains the site.
Correspondance regarding that site should be addressed to
Prof. Sue Peabody, Department of History, Washington State
University Vancouver, email@example.com.
If you are interested in more recent writings by Chris
Crawford, see the "Reflections" interview at the end of The Art
of Computer Game Design. Also, visit Chris Crawford's web-
This document was convert by Mario Croteau, from the Web
site of the Department of History of Washington State
University at Vancouver.
Cris Crawford (the author) and Sue Peabody (of department of
History of Washington State University at Vancouver) gave me
a great support in my project: making that important document
available to everyone.
by Cris Crawford
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 - What is a Game?
Games versus Simulations
Subset of Reality
Summary of Representation
Games versus Puzzles
Games versus Stories
Games versus Toys
Significance of Interaction
Nature of Interaction
Games without conflict?
Summary of Conflict
Summary of Safety