Although there has been a considerable amount written on games and young people’s use of them, there has been little work done to establish an overall "ecology" of gaming, game design, and play—in the sense of how all of the various elements, from code to social practices to aesthetics, cohabit and populate the game world. In this volume, we seek to explore the design and behavior of games as systems in which young people participate, as gamers, producers, and learners. Purposefully broad, the volume is intended to complexify a debate around the value of games that has been to date, overly polemic and surprisingly shallow. While many credit game play with fostering new forms of social organization and new ways of thinking and interacting more work needs to be done to situate these forms of learning within a dynamic media ecology that has the participatory nature of gaming at its core. Chapters selected for inclusion collectively address several core themes, reflected in the online public dialogue series, Everywhere Now: Three Dialogues on Kids, Games, and Learning. One theme looks at the kinds of participatory practices games engender for youth, asking in what ways are we seeing youth empowered through their participation in the creation, uptake, and revision of games? A second theme focuses on emergent gaming literacies, or domains of media engagement produced by games and gaming attitudes. Modding and world-building, which form the basis for much of the play of MMOs and virtual worlds, for example, might be one such literacy, while learning how to navigate a complex system of out of game resources, from game guides, FAQs, walkthroughs, and forums, to P2P learning, might represent another. A third theme interrogates pathways and points of entry into gaming. How do games act as points of departure, for example, toward other forms of knowledge, literacy, and social organization? The Ecology of Games aims to bring a complex and informed awareness of the meaning, significance, and practicalities of games in young people’s lives.