This is an excellent resource for anyone interested in thinking about play and games. There is a very broad selection of essays and articles that touch upon historical and cultural issues of play, as well as specific games ranging from folk games to board games, card games, and of course video games.
The name might be slightly misleading; you won't find much in the way of tutorials or guidance here if you just want to be a game designer. Instead, this is aimed towards when you are interested in game design, but at the same time want to reflect on what games are and mean in the first place. More theoretical and practical, in other words, but to be honest, I think if you're really serious about game design from a creative direction standpoint, you will want to become familiar with many of the writers and pieces in this heavy tome.
As I haven't read Salen and Zimmerman's earlier collection 'Rules of Play', I can't really compare this to it, but I'm definitely interested in seeking it out now.