A Precarious Game is an ethnographic examination of video game production. The developers that Ergin Bulut researched for almost three years in a medium-sized studio in the U.S. loved making video games that millions play. Only some, however, can enjoy this dream job, which can be precarious and alienating for many others.
This book presents a study of so-called indie video game developers that are widely regarded as the creative and innovative fringe of the video game industry. The video game industry is an exemplary entrepreneurial high growth industry that combines digital media, cinematographic representations and interactive gaming technologies, and uses global digital distribution channels to reach local gaming communities.
While games are marketed as authentic representations of war, they often provide a selective form of realism that eschews problematic, yet salient aspects of war. In addition, changes in the way Western states wage and frame actual wars makes contemporary conflicts increasingly resemble videogames when perceived from the vantage point of Western audiences. This volume brings together scholars to examine the complex relationships between military-themed videogames and real-world conflict, and to consider how videogames might deal with history and conflict in alternative ways.
The topics treated in this handbook cover all areas of games and entertainment technologies, such as digital entertainment; technology, design/art, and sociology. The handbook consists of contributions from top class scholars and researchers from the interdisciplinary topic areas.
With its unique focus on video game engines, the data-driven architectures of game development and play, this innovative textbook examines the impact of software on everyday life and explores the rise of engine-driven culture. Through a series of case studies, Eric Freedman lays out a clear methodology for studying the game development pipeline, and uses the video game engine as a pathway for media scholars and practitioners to navigate the complex terrain of software practice.
Using textual analysis, interviews with game designers, audience surveys, and close analysis of player forum discussion, this book examines the unique nature of the producer/consumer relationship within promotional Alternate Reality Games (ARGs).
How games have been used to establish and combat Asian American racial stereotypes. As Pokémon Go reshaped our neighborhood geographies and the human flows of our cities, mapping the virtual onto lived realities, so too has gaming and game theory played a role in our contemporary understanding of race and racial formation in the United States.
How we talk about games as real or not-real, and how that shapes what games are made and who is invited to play them. In videogame criticism, the worst insult might be "That's not a real game!" For example, "That's not a real game, it's on Facebook!" and "That's not a real game, it's a walking simulator!" But how do people judge what is a real game and what is not--what features establish a game's gameness?
While popular discussions about queerness in video games often focus on big-name, mainstream games that feature LGBTQ characters, like Mass Effect or Dragon Age, Bonnie Ruberg pushes the concept of queerness in games beyond a matter of representation, exploring how video games can be played, interpreted, and designed queerly, whether or not they include overtly LGBTQ content.
An investigation of independent video games--creative, personal, strange, and experimental--and their claims to handcrafted authenticity in a purely digital medium. Video games are often dismissed as mere entertainment products created by faceless corporations.The last twenty years, however, have seen the rise of independent, or "indie," video games: a wave of small, cheaply developed, experimental, and personal video games that react against mainstream video game development and culture.
Hidden beneath the surface of the web, lost in our wrong-headed debates about AI, a new menace is looming. Anthropologist Mary L. Gray and computer scientist Siddharth Suri team up to unveil how services delivered by companies like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Uber can only function smoothly thanks to the judgment and experience of a vast, invisible human labor force. These people doing "ghost work" make the internet seem smart.
How to Play Video Games brings together forty original essays from today's leading scholars on video game culture, writing about the games they know best and what they mean in broader social and cultural contexts.
Gracefully reconciling new media theory with environmental criticism, Playing Nature examines an exciting range of games and related art forms, including historical and contemporary analog and digital games, alternate- and augmented-reality games, museum exhibitions, film, and science fiction.
In an account that will appeal to hardcore gamers, digital skeptics, and the joystick-curious, Woodcock unravels the vast networks of artists, software developers, and factory and logistics workers whose seen and unseen labor flows into the products we consume on a gargantuan scale.
In this volume, an international group of contributors discuss not only intermedial phenomena in video games, but also the intermedial networks surrounding them. Intermedia Games--Games Inter Media will deepen readers' understanding of the convergence culture of the early twenty-first century and video games' role in it.
Mark R. Johnson develops a three-part typology for distinguishing between randomness, chance, and luck in gameplay, assessing games that range from grand strategy and MMORPGs to slot machines and card games. He also explores forms of unanticipated unpredictability, where elements of games fail to function as intended and create new forms of gameplay in the process.
Czechoslovakia hosted a remarkably active DIY microcomputer scene in the 1980s, producing more than two hundred games that were by turns creative, inventive, and politically subversive. Jaroslav Svelch offers the first social history of gaming and game design in 1980s Czechoslovakia, and the first book-length treatment of computer gaming in any country of the Soviet bloc.
What can videogames tell us about the politics of contemporary technoculture, and how are designers and players responding to its impositions? To what extent do the technical features of videogames index our assumptions about what exists and what is denied that status? And how can we use games to identify and shift those assumptions without ever putting down the controller? Ludopolitics responds to these questions with a critique of one of the defining features of modern technology: the fantasy of control.
As for film and literature, the horror genre has been very popular in the video game. The World of Scary Video Games provides a comprehensive overview of the videoludic horror, dealing with the games labelled as "survival horror" as well as the mainstream and independent works associated with the genre. It examines the ways in which video games have elicited horror, terror and fear since Haunted House (1981).
Drawing on case studies across the Asia-Pacific region, Gaming in Social, Locative and Mobile Media explores the 'playful turn' in contemporary everyday life, and the role of mobile devices, games and social media in this transformation.
'Simulating War' explores the theory and practice of conflict simulation, as applied in many thousands of wargames published over the past 50 years. It discusses the utility of this form of conflict simulation by setting it in its proper context alongside military and professional wargaming.