An Introduction to Game Studies is the first introductory textbook for students of game studies. It provides a conceptual overview of the cultural, social and economic significance of computer and video games and traces the history of game culture and the emergence of game studies as a field of research. Key concepts and theories are illustrated with discussion of games taken from different historical phases of game culture. Progressing from the simple, yet engaging gameplay of Pong and text-based adventure games to the complex virtual worlds of contemporary online games, the book guides students towards analytical appreciation and critical engagement with gaming and game studies. Students will learn to: - Understand and analyse different aspects of phenomena we recognise as 'game' and play' - Identify the key developments in digital game design through discussion of action in games of the 1970s, fiction and adventure in games of the 1980s, three-dimensionality in games of the 1990s, and social aspects of gameplay in contemporary online games - Understand games as dynamic systems of meaning-making - Interpret the context of games as 'culture' and subculture - Analyse the relationship between technology and interactivity and between 'game' and 'reality' - Situate games within the context of digital culture and the information society With further reading suggestions, images, exercises, online resources and a whole chapter devoted to preparing students to do their own game studies project, An Introduction to Game Studies is the complete toolkit for all students pursuing the study of games. The companion website at www.sagepub.co.uk/mayra contains slides and assignments that are suitable for self-study as well as for classroom use. Students will also benefit from online resources at www.gamestudiesbook.net, which will be regularly blogged and updated by the author. Professor Frans Mäyrä is a Professor of Games Studies and Digital Culture at the Hypermedia Laboratory in the University of Tampere, Finland.
The number of publications dealing with video game studies has exploded over the course of the last decade, but the field has produced few comprehensive reference works. The Routledge Companion to Video Game Studies, compiled by well-known video game scholars Mark J. P. Wolf and Bernard Perron, aims to address 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. Each essay provides a lively and succinct summary of its target area, quickly bringing the reader up-to-date on the pertinent issues surrounding each aspect of the field, including references for further reading. Together, they provide an overview of the present state of game studies that will undoubtedly prove invaluable to student, scholar, and designer alike.
This handbook collects, for the first time, the state of research on role-playing games (RPGs) across disciplines, cultures, and media in a single, accessible volume. Collaboratively authored by more than 50 key scholars, it traces the history of RPGs, from wargaming precursors to tabletop RPGs like Dungeons & Dragons to the rise of live action role-play and contemporary computer RPG and massively multiplayer online RPG franchises, like Fallout and World of Warcraft. Individual chapters survey the perspectives, concepts, and findings on RPGs from key disciplines, like performance studies, sociology, psychology, education, economics, game design, literary studies, and more. Other chapters integrate insights from RPG studies around broadly significant topics, like transmedia worldbuilding, immersion, transgressive play, or player–character relations. Each chapter includes definitions of key terms and recommended readings to help fans, students, and scholars new to RPG studies find their way into this new interdisciplinary field.
The computer games industry has rapidly matured. Once a preoccupation only of young technophiles, games are now one of the dominant forms of global popular culture. From consoles such as Nintendo Wii and Microsoft Xbox to platforms such as iPhones and online gaming worlds, the realm of games and their scope has become all-pervasive. The study of games is no longer a niche interest but rather an integral part of cultural and media studies. The analysis of games reveals much about contemporary social relations, online communities and media engagement. Presenting a range of approaches and analytical tools through which to explore the role of games in everyday life, and packed with case material, Games and Gaming provides a comprehensive overview of this new media and how it permeates global culture in the twenty-first century.
This expanded and revised second edition of Understanding Video Games provides a comprehensive introduction to the growing field of game studies. Understanding Video Games, 2nd Edition is an essential read for newcomers to video game studies and experienced game scholars alike. This follow-up to the pioneering first edition takes video game studies into the next decade of the twenty-first century, highlighting changes in the game business, advances in video game scholarship, and recent trends in game design and development—including mobile, social, and casual gaming. In Understanding Video Games, 2nd Edition students will: Assess the major theories used to analyze games, such as ludology and narratology Gain familiarity with the commercial and organizational aspects of the game industry Trace the history of video games from Pong to Playstation 3 and beyond Explore the aesthetics of game design Evaluate the cultural position of video games Consider the potential effects of both violent and "serious" games. Extensively illustrated, and featuring discussion questions, a glossary of key terms, and a detailed video game history timeline (including an interactive online version), Understanding Video Games, 2nd Edition is an indispensable resource for anyone interested in examining the ways video games are reshaping entertainment and society.
This introduction to cybercultures provides a cutting-edge and much needed guide to the rapidly changing world of new media and communication. Considers cyberculture and new media through contemporary race, gender and sexuality studies and postcolonial theory Offers a clear analysis of some of the most complex issues in cybercultures, including identity, network societies, new geographies, and connectivity Includes discussions of gaming, social networking, geography, net-democracy, aesthetics, popular internet culture, the body, sexuality and politics Examines key questions in the political economy, racialization, gendering and governance of cyberculture
Game analysis allows us to understand games better, providing insight into the player-game relationship, the construction of the game, and its sociocultural relevance. As the field of game studies grows, videogame writing is evolving from the mere evaluation of gameplay, graphics, sound, and replayablity, to more reflective writing that manages to convey the complexity of a game and the way it is played in a cultural context. Introduction to Game Analysis serves as an accessible guide to analyzing games using strategies borrowed from textual analysis. Clara Fernández-Vara’s concise primer provides instruction on the basic building blocks of game analysis—examination of context, content and reception, and formal qualities—as well as the vocabulary necessary for talking about videogames' distinguishing characteristics. Examples are drawn from a range of games, both digital and non-digital—from Bioshock and World of Warcraft to Monopoly—and the book provides a variety of exercises and sample analyses, as well as a comprehensive ludography and glossary.
The last twenty or so years have seen a phenomenal expansion in the variety of forms of creative and narrative audiovisual expression. The increasing role of relatively recent developments such as the internet, mobile telephony and computer gaming, which complement the narrative representation of more traditional media, seems to have acted as a catalyst to unfreeze the standard types of story form that had been appearing on screens for over a hundred years. Storytelling has taken on new forms, in the physical format(s) of the narrative material, the place or device where it is experienced, and the way it is accessed by the viewer – in particular, a viewer who might now also be a creator, modifier, or active participant in the represented audiovisual experience. Including texts by leading media scholars Erkki Huhtamo and Ryszard W. Kluszczynski, this book offers both historical and contemporary analyses of a variety of these “expanding practices in audiovisual narrative”. Chapters discuss mobile and locative (and hybrid) narrative media; the connection between computer gaming and more traditional forms of storytelling and game-playing; the use of computational algorithms to organise and access narrative content; and explain how the traditional documentary film form is being transformed by the potential of the audience to participate in, or change the form of, a non-fictional narrative. Historically, the work of Luc Courchesne and Radúz Činčera is analysed, as is the media-archaeological context of interactivity, pushing buttons, and group experiences. Narrative forms will undoubtedly continue their process of expansion and evolution, such that one can never truly represent the “state of the art” of current practice in audiovisual digital media. Nevertheless, the articles presented here offer useful source material to inform scholars and practitioners from a variety of related fields about certain historical, cultural and theoretical aspects of the evolution of the narrative form in the digital age.
In this in-depth critical and theoretical analysis of the horror genre in video games, 14 essays explore the cultural underpinnings of horror’s allure for gamers and the evolution of “survival” themes. The techniques and story effects of specific games such as Resident Evil, Call of Cthulhu, and Silent Hill are examined individually.
An Introduction to the History, Theory, and Practice of Video Game Music and Sound Design
Author: Karen Collins
Publisher: MIT Press
A distinguishing feature of video games is their interactivity, and sound plays an important role in this: a player's actions can trigger dialogue, sound effects, ambient sound, and music. This book introduces readers to the various aspects of game audio, from its development in early games to theoretical discussions of immersion and realism.