Theory of Fun for Game Design
Everyone from professional game developers to those who want to understand why we play games will enjoy this book. A book about fun which is actually fun to read.
This book provides a very compelling framework for thinking about games and the psychology of engaging people in games. I found it very insightful as someone coming in from a related but different field. His insights resonate as being intuitive and on target.
There's a little bit of defensiveness of the industry which seemed off track though. The basic thesis is that any learning is good learning and playing games is about learning. That's fine, but I'm not sure it's a great argument -- it begs a reasonable countargument of "yes, but what about learning something more productive." All in all, the book would stand on its own merits as a great synthesis of the field without this defensiveness and is well worth the read and 5 stars.