This encyclopedia collects and organizes theoretical and historical content on the topic of video games, covering the people, systems, technologies, and theoretical concepts as well as the games themselves.
Addresses the ongoing theoretical and methodological development of game studies, providing students, scholars, and game designers with a definitive look at contemporary video game studies. Features include: comprehensive and interdisciplinary models and approaches for analyzing video games; new perspectives on video games both as art form and cultural phenomenon; explorations of the technical and creative dimensions of video games; accounts of the political, social, and cultural dynamics of video games.
Provides a comprehensive introduction to the field of game studies, and highlights changes in the gaming industry, advances in video game scholarship, and recent trends in game design and development--including mobile, casual, educational, and indie gaming.
Companion book to the Smithsonian American Art Museum exhibition, The Art of Video Games, which will ran from March 16 to September 30, 2012. Melissinos chose a pool of 240 games across five different eras to represent the diversity of the game world. Criteria included visual effects, creative use of technologies, and how world events and popular culture manifested in the games. From the Space Invaders of the seventies to sophisticated contemporary epics BioShock and Uncharted 2, Melissinos examines each of the winning games, providing a behind-the-scenes look at their development and innovation, and commentary on the relevance of each in the history of video games.
Video gaming: it's a boy's world, right? That's what the industry wants us to think. Why and how we came to comply are what Carly A. Kocurek investigates in this provocative consideration of how an industry's craving for respectability hooked up with cultural narratives about technology, masculinity, and youth at the video arcade. Coin-Operated Americans explores the development and implications of the "video gamer" as a cultural identity and is a history that holds valuable lessons for contemporary culture as we struggle to address pervasive sexism in the domain of video games--and in the digital working world beyond.
Internationally renowned media and literature scholars, social scientists, game designers and artists explore the cultural potential of computer games in this rich anthology, which introduces the latest approaches in the central fields of game studies and provides an extensive survey of contemporary game culture.
Traces the cultural connections between videogames, masculinity, and digital culture. It fuses feminist, psychoanalytic, Marxist, and poststructuralist theory to analyze the social imaginary that is produced by - and produces - a particular form of masculinity: boyhood.
Emotions, Technology, and Digital Games explores the need for people to experience enjoyment, excitement, anxiety, anger, frustration, and many other emotions. The book provides essential information on why it is necessary to have a greater understanding of the power these emotions have on players, and how they affect players during, and after, a game. This book takes this understanding and shows how it can be used in practical ways, including the design of video games for teaching and learning, creating tools to measure social and emotional development of children, determining how empathy-related thought processes affect ethical decision-making, and examining how the fictional world of game play can influence and shape real-life experiences.
Bissell argues that we are in a golden age of gaming--but he also believes games could be even better. He offers a fascinating and often hilarious critique of the ways video games dazzle and, just as often, frustrate. Along the way, we get firsthand portraits of some of the best minds (Jonathan Blow, Clint Hocking, Cliff Bleszinski, Peter Molyneux) at work in video game design today. Blending memoir, criticism, and first-rate reportage, Extra Lives is like no other book on the subject ever published. Whether you love video games, loathe video games, or are merely curious about why they are becoming the dominant popular art form of our time, Extra Lives is required reading.
Gamelife is the memoir of a childhood transformed by technology. Afternoons spent gazing at pixelated maps and mazes train Michael's eyes for the uncanny side of 1980s suburban Illinois. A game about pirates yields clues to the drama of cafeteria politics and locker-room hazing. And in the year of his parents' divorce, a spaceflight simulator opens a hole in reality. In telling the story of his youth through seven computer games, Michael W. Clune captures the part of childhood we live alone.
Video and computer games in their cultural contexts. Highlights the ways in which ideology is coded into games. Computer games have transformative effects on the consciousness of players, like poetry, fiction, journalism, and film, but the implications of these transformations are not always clear. Games can work to maintain the status quo or celebrate liberation or tolerate enslavement, and they can conjure feelings of hope or despair, assent or dissent, clarity or confusion. Overall, by making and managing meanings, computer games and the work they involve and the industry they spring from are also negotiating power. This book sets out a method for "recollecting" some of the diverse and copious influences on computer games and the industry they have spawned.
This volume takes a textual studies approach to an increasingly important form of expression in today's culture. It begins by assuming that video games are meaningful, not just as sociological or economic or cultural evidence, but in their own right, as cultural expressions worthy of scholarly attention."
In My Life as a Night Elf Priest, Bonnie Nardi, a well-known ethnographer who has published extensively on how theories of what we do intersect with how we adopt and use technology, compiles more than three years of participatory research in Warcraft play and culture in the United States and China into this field study of player behavior and activity. She introduces us to her research strategy and the history, structure, and culture of Warcraft; argues for applying activity theory and theories of aesthetic experience to the study of gaming and play; and educates us on issues of gender, culture, and addiction as part of the play experience. Nardi paints a compelling portrait of what drives online gamers both in this country and in China, where she spent a month studying players in Internet cafes. One of the first in-depth studies of a game that has become an icon of digital culture, My Life as a Night Elf Priest will capture the interest of both the gamer and the ethnographer.
This study sketches some of the various trajectories of digital games in modern Western societies, looking first at the growth and persistence of the moral panic that continues to accompany massive public interest in digital games. The book then continues with what it deems a new phase of games research exemplified by systematic examination of specific aspects of digital games and gaming.
Shaman, paragon, God-mode: modern video games are heavily coded with religious undertones. From the Shinto-inspired Japanese video game Okami to the internationally popular The Legend of Zelda and Halo, many video games rely on religious themes and symbols to drive the narrative and frame the storyline. Playing with Religion in Digital Games explores the increasingly complex relationship between gaming and global religious practices. Offers a unique perspective to the intersections of religion and the virtual world.
Ambitious description and critical analysis of the aesthetic pleasures of video game play, drawing on early twentieth-century formalist theory and models of literature. Argues for a clear delineation between the aesthetics of play and the aesthetics of texts. Intended as a provocative corrective to the currently ascendant, if not dominant, cultural and ethnographic approach to game studies and play, Play Redux will generate interest among scholars of communications, new media, and film.
In eight essays, the authors develop rich and nuanced understandings of the aesthetic appeals and pleasurable engagements of digital gameplay. Topics include the role of cheats and easter eggs in influencing cheating as an aesthetic phenomenon of gameplay; the relationship between videogames, gambling, and addiction; players' aesthetic and kinaesthetic interactions with computing technology; and the epistemology and phenomenology of popular strategy-based wargames and their relationship with real-world military applications. Notes and a bibliography accompany each essay, and the work includes several screenshots, images, and photographs.
Attempts to contextualize the importance of virtual play within a broader social, cultural, and political environment that raises the question of the significance of work, play, power, and inequalities in the modern world. Questions how power is produced or reproduced by publishers, gamers, or even social media; how social exclusion (based on race, class, or gender) in the virtual environment is reproduced from the real world; and how actors are able to use new media to transcend their fears, anxieties, prejudices, and assumptions.
The State Of Play is a call to consider the high stakes of video game culture and how our digital and real lives collide. Here, video games are not hobbies or pure recreation of reality; they are their own reality, as real a vehicle for ideas about racial and sexual politics to play out as any 'real-life' social environment. Essential reading for anyone interested in equality, video games or the changing culture.
Brings together some of the most iconic, influential, and interesting voices from across the gaming industry and asks them to weigh in on the past, present, and future of video games. Among them are legendary game designers Nolan Bushnell (Pong) and Eugene Jarvis (Defender), who talk about their history of innovations from the earliest days of the video game industry through to the present; contemporary trailblazers Kellee Santiago (Journey) and Casey Hudson (Mass Effect), who discuss contemporary relationships between those who create games and those who play them; and scholars Ian Bogost (How to Do Things With Videogames) and Edward Castronova (Exodus to the Virtual World), who discuss how to research and write about games in ways that engage a range of audiences. These experts and others offer fascinating perspectives on video games, game studies, gaming culture, and the game industry more broadly.
Invites us to move further and consider questions on appropriate methods of researching games, understanding the carnival quality of modern life, the role of marketing in altering game narratives, and the role of fantasy and desire in modern video game play. Embracing an approach that combines a cultural and/or critical studies approach with a sociological understanding of this new media moves the debate beyond simple media effects, moral panics, and industry boosterism to one of asking critical questions, what does modern video game play "mean," what questions should we be asking, and what can sociological research contribute to answering these questions. This collection includes works which use textual analysis, audience based research, symbolic interactionism, as well as political economic and psychoanalytic perspectives to illuminate areas of inquiry that preserves the pleasure of modern play while asking tough questions about what such pleasure means in a world divided by political, economic, cultural and social inequalities.
A theoretical and practical framework for identifying socially recognized moral and political values in digital games. Flanagan and Nissenbaum provide detailed examinations of selected games, demonstrating the many ways in which values are embedded in them. They introduce the Values at Play heuristic, a systematic approach for incorporating values into the game design process. Interspersed among the book's chapters are texts by designers who have put Values at Play into practice by accepting values as a design constraint like any other, offering a real-world perspective on the design challenges involved.
In this collection, international experts review the latest research findings in the field of digital game studies and weigh in on the actual physical, social, and psychological effects of video games. Taking a broad view of the industry from the moral panic of its early days up to recent controversies surrounding games like Grand Theft Auto, contributors explore the effects of games through a range of topics including health hazards/benefits, education, violence and aggression, addiction, cognitive performance, and gaming communities.
War/Play critically examines the role that militarized video games such as Call of Duty play in the lives of young people and the impact these games have had on the evolution of youth culture and the broader society. The book examines and critiques the manner in which the habits and social interactions of young people, particularly boys and young men, have been reconfigured through a form of pedagogy embedded within this genre.
Analyzes how the words we use to talk about video games and the structures that are produced within games shape a particular way of gaming by focusing on how games create meaning, lead to identification and division, persuade, and circulate ideas; examines the broader social discourse about gaming, including: the way players are socialized into games; the impact of the lingering association of video games as kid's toys; the dynamics within specific games (including Grand Theft Auto and EA Sports Games); and the ways in which players participate in shaping the discourse of games, demonstrated through examples like the reward system of World of Warcraft and the development of theorycraft. Overall, this book illustrates how video games are shaped by words, design and play; all of which are negotiated, ongoing practices among the designers, players, and society that construct the discourse of video games.
This Brief History provides a unique look at the history and culture of video games, starting with the 1960s classics like Pong to modern favorites such as Grand Theft Auto V and Bioshock. Offers a global perspective on gaming's past and its cutting-edge future with the evolution of virtual reality, 3D graphics, and thought-interface technology. It also addresses the design process from concept to packaging, considers the influence of manga and anime, and explores the relationship between video games and movies.
This reference highlights popular video games of the 1970s and early 1980s, covering virtually every official U.S. release for programmable home game consoles of the pre-Nintendo NES era. The book is organized alphabetically by console brand, with encyclopedia-style entries for every game released for that console.
A behind-the-scenes business thriller that chronicles how Sega, a small, scrappy gaming company led by an unlikely visionary and a team of rebels, took on the juggernaut Nintendo and revolutionized the videogame industry; in development as a feature film from Sony Pictures In 1990, Nintendo had a virtual monopoly on the videogame industry. Based on more than two hundred interviews with former Sega and Nintendo employees, Console Wars is the tale of how Tom Kalinske miraculously turned an industry punch line into a market leader.
Games that deal with history are sold in ever-increasing numbers, striving to create increasingly lively images of things past. How do games create the feeling that they portray a past acceptable to their players? Do these popular representations of history intersect with academic narratives, or not? While a considerable body of work on similar questions already exists, both for medieval history as well as for those games dealing with the 20th century, early modernity has not yet been treated in this context. As many games draw their imagery - perhaps their success, too? - from the years between 1450 and 1815, it is to their understanding that this volume is dedicated. The contributions encompass a wide range of subjects and games, from Age of Empires to Assassin's Creed, from Critical Discourse Analysis to Ludology. One aim unites them, namely an understanding of what happens when video games encounter early modernity.
This book focuses on the history of video games, consoles, and home computers from the very beginning until the mid-nineties, which started a new era in digital entertainment. The text features the most innovative games and introduces the pioneers who developed them. It offers brief analyses of the most relevant games from each time period. An epilogue covers the events and systems that followed this golden age while the appendices include a history of handheld games and an overview of the retro-gaming scene.
Game Studies is a rapidly growing area of contemporary scholarship, yet volumes in the area have tended to focus on more general issues. With Playing with the Past, game studies is taken to the next level by offering a specific and detailed analysis of one area of digital game play -- the representation of history. The collection focuses on the ways in which gamers engage with, play with, recreate, subvert, reverse and direct the historical past, and what effect this has on the ways in which we go about constructing the present or imagining a future.
A comprehensive overview of the evolution of video games covering topics such as, "Atari revolution; " "rise of cartridge-based consoles; " American video game industry; international video game industry; "Apple Mac; " "Nintendo Entertainment System; " Sega video games; PlayStation video games; and "girl gaming." Includes "Gameography: a round-up of the best and most important games ever made" (p. 371-409)
Vintage Game Consoles tells the story of the most influential videogame platforms of all time, including the Apple II, Commodore 64, Nintendo Entertainment System, Game Boy, Sega Genesis, Sony PlayStation, and many more. It uncovers the details behind the consoles, computers, handhelds, and arcade machines that made videogames possible. It also features hundreds of exclusive full-color screenshots and images that help bring each system s unique story to life. "Vintage Game Consoles" is the ideal book for gamers, students, and professionals who want to know the story behind their favorite computers, handhelds, and consoles, without forgetting about why they play in the first place the fun