How to Talk about Videogames

Author: Ian Bogost

Publisher: U of Minnesota Press

ISBN: 1452949875

Category: Social Science

Page: 208

View: 7294

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Videogames! Aren’t they the medium of the twenty-first century? The new cinema? The apotheosis of art and entertainment, the realization of Wagnerian gesamtkunstwerk? The final victory of interaction over passivity? No, probably not. Games are part art and part appliance, part tableau and part toaster. In How to Talk about Videogames, leading critic Ian Bogost explores this paradox more thoroughly than any other author to date. Delving into popular, familiar games like Flappy Bird, Mirror’s Edge, Mario Kart, Scribblenauts, Ms. Pac-Man, FarmVille, Candy Crush Saga, Bully, Medal of Honor, Madden NFL, and more, Bogost posits that videogames are as much like appliances as they are like art and media. We don’t watch or read games like we do films and novels and paintings, nor do we perform them like we might dance or play football or Frisbee. Rather, we do something in-between with games. Games are devices we operate, so game critique is both serious cultural currency and self-parody. It is about figuring out what it means that a game works the way it does and then treating the way it works as if it were reasonable, when we know it isn’t. Noting that the term games criticism once struck him as preposterous, Bogost observes that the idea, taken too seriously, risks balkanizing games writing from the rest of culture, severing it from the “rivers and fields” that sustain it. As essential as it is, he calls for its pursuit to unfold in this spirit: “God save us from a future of games critics, gnawing on scraps like the zombies that fester in our objects of study.”
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On Video Games

The Visual Politics of Race, Gender and Space

Author: Soraya Murray

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1786732505

Category: Social Science

Page: 336

View: 572

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Today over half of all American households own a dedicated game console and gaming industry profits trump those of the film industry worldwide. In this book, Soraya Murray moves past the technical discussions of games and offers a fresh and incisive look at their cultural dimensions. She critically explores blockbusters likeThe Last of Us, Metal Gear Solid, Spec Ops: The Line, Tomb Raider and Assassin's Creed to show how they are deeply entangled with American ideological positions and contemporary political, cultural and economic conflicts.As quintessential forms of visual material in the twenty-first century, mainstream games both mirror and spur larger societal fears, hopes and dreams, and even address complex struggles for recognition. This book examines both their elaborately constructed characters and densely layered worlds, whose social and environmental landscapes reflect ideas about gender, race, globalisation and urban life. In this emerging field of study, Murray provides novel theoretical approaches to discussing games and playable media as culture. Demonstrating that games are at the frontline of power relations, she reimagines how we see them - and more importantly how we understand them.
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Perpetual Motion

Dance, Digital Cultures, and the Common

Author: Harmony Bench

Publisher: U of Minnesota Press

ISBN: 1452962499

Category: Social Science

Page: 288

View: 7005

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A new exploration of how digital media assert the relevance of dance in a wired world How has the Internet changed dance? Dance performances can now be seen anywhere, can be looped endlessly at user whim, and can integrate crowds in unprecedented ways. Dance practices are evolving to explore these new possibilities. In Perpetual Motion, Harmony Bench argues that dance is a vital part of civil society and a means for building participation and community. She looks at how, after 9/11, it became a crucial way of recuperating the common character of public spaces. She explores how crowdsourcing dance contributes to the project of performing a common world, as well as the social relationships forged when we look at dance as a gift in the era of globalization. Throughout, she asks how dance brings people together in digital spaces and what dance’s digital travels might mean for how we experience and express community. From original research on dance today to political economies of digital media to the philosophy of dance, Perpetual Motion provides an ambitious, invigorating look at a commonly shared practice.
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On the Existence of Digital Objects

Author: Yuk Hui

Publisher: U of Minnesota Press

ISBN: 1452949921

Category: Social Science

Page: 336

View: 8442

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Digital objects, in their simplest form, are data. They are also a new kind of industrial object that pervades every aspect of our life today—as online videos, images, text files, e-mails, blog posts, Facebook events.Yet, despite their ubiquity, the nature of digital objects remains unclear. On the Existence of Digital Objects conducts a philosophical examination of digital objects and their organizing schema by creating a dialogue between Martin Heidegger and Gilbert Simondon, which Yuk Hui contextualizes within the history of computing. How can digital objects be understood according to individualization and individuation? Hui pursues this question through the history of ontology and the study of markup languages and Web ontologies; he investigates the existential structure of digital objects within their systems and milieux. With this relational approach toward digital objects and technical systems, the book addresses alienation, described by Simondon as the consequence of mistakenly viewing technics in opposition to culture. Interdisciplinary in philosophical and technical insights, with close readings of Husserl, Heidegger, and Simondon as well as the history of computing and the Web, Hui’s work develops an original, productive way of thinking about the data and metadata that increasingly define our world.
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Mixed Realism

Videogames and the Violence of Fiction

Author: Timothy J. Welsh

Publisher: U of Minnesota Press

ISBN: 1452952019

Category: Social Science

Page: 232

View: 2936

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Mixed Realism is about how we interact with media. Timothy J. Welsh shows how videogames, like novels, both promise and trouble experiences of “immersion.” His innovative methodology offers a new understanding of the expanding role of virtuality in contemporary life. Today’s wired culture is a mixed reality, conducted as exchanges between virtual and material contexts. We make balance transfers at an ATM, update Facebook timelines, and squeeze in sessions of Angry Birds on the subway. However, the “virtual” is still frequently figured as imaginary, as opposed to “real.” The vision of 1990s writers of a future that would pit virtual reality against actual reality has never materialized, yet it continues to haunt cultural criticism. Our ongoing anxiety about immersive media now surrounds videogames, especially “shooter games,” and manifests as a fear that gamers might not know the difference between the virtual world and the real world. As Welsh notes, this is the paradox of real virtuality. We understand that the media-generated virtualities that fill our lives are not what they represent. But what are they if they are not real? Do they have presence, significance, or influence exceeding their material presence and the user processes that invoke them? What relationships do they establish through and beyond our interactions with them? Mixed Realism brims with fresh analyses of literary works such as Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood and Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves, along with sustained readings of controversial videogames such as Super Columbine Massacre and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Continually connecting the dots between surprising groupings of texts and thinkers, from David Foster Wallace to the cult-classic videogame Eternal Darkness and from Cormac McCarthy to Grand Theft Auto, it offers a fresh perspective on both digital games and contemporary literature.
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Me, MySpace, and I

Parenting the Net Generation

Author: Larry D. Rosen, Ph.D.

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

ISBN: 9780230608573

Category: Family & Relationships

Page: 272

View: 9778

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Young people spend hours online each day, and their abilities to multitask and communicate are often misunderstood by older generations. Dr. Larry Rosen offers a full overview of the various issues young people may experience in their online worlds (cyberbullying, addiction, sexuality, virtual friendships, and more) while at the same time challenging commonly held beliefs that these communities are damaging. Instead of using scare tactics, Me, MySpace, and I shows parents how to be proactive and anticipate potential problems. With his extensive background in both child development and the impact of technology, Dr. Rosen uses down-to-earth explanations of sound psychological theory, incorporates groundbreaking research, and shows parents and educators how social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook can improve adolescent socialization skills.
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Gaming

Essays on Algorithmic Culture

Author: Alexander R. Galloway

Publisher: U of Minnesota Press

ISBN: 1452908680

Category: Social Science

Page: 143

View: 1735

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Video games have been a central feature of the cultural landscape for over twenty years and now rival older media like movies, television, and music in popularity and cultural influence. Yet there have been relatively few attempts to understand the video game as an independent medium. Most such efforts focus on the earliest generation of text-based adventures (Zork, for example) and have little to say about such visually and conceptually sophisticated games as Final Fantasy X, Shenmue, Grand Theft Auto, Halo, and The Sims, in which players inhabit elaborately detailed worlds and manipulate digital avatars with a vast—and in some cases, almost unlimited—array of actions and choices. In Gaming, Alexander Galloway instead considers the video game as a distinct cultural form that demands a new and unique interpretive framework. Drawing on a wide range of disciplines, particularly critical theory and media studies, he analyzes video games as something to be played rather than as texts to be read, and traces in five concise chapters how the “algorithmic culture” created by video games intersects with theories of visuality, realism, allegory, and the avant-garde. If photographs are images and films are moving images, then, Galloway asserts, video games are best defined as actions. Using examples from more than fifty video games, Galloway constructs a classification system of action in video games, incorporating standard elements of gameplay as well as software crashes, network lags, and the use of cheats and game hacks. In subsequent chapters, he explores the overlap between the conventions of film and video games, the political and cultural implications of gaming practices, the visual environment of video games, and the status of games as an emerging cultural form. Together, these essays offer a new conception of gaming and, more broadly, of electronic culture as a whole, one that celebrates and does not lament the qualities of the digital age. Alexander R. Galloway is assistant professor of culture and communication at New York University and author of Protocol: How Control Exists after Decentralization.
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Screen methods

comparative readings in film studies

Author: Jacqueline Furby,Karen Randell

Publisher: Wallflower Press

ISBN: N.A

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 179

View: 320

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Screen Methods: Comparative Readings in Film Studiesis a collection of essays that explores the progression of film studies, an increasingly popular subject at universities, and how it has been approached theoretically, culturally and historically. In doing so, the contributors provide invaluable insight into many of the theories at the heart of film studies. The book focuses on classical theories, culture-based approaches, early and modern theory, statistical approaches and the (potential) future of critical film theory. Divided into three sections, the essays discuss 'film form and method', including notions of time, space and sound in cinema; 'theory and method', including the idea of spectatorship and portrayals of sex, sexuality and family; and 'new technology and method', which includes digital cinema, the influence of special effects and audience studies. Films featured include Went the Day Well?(1942), Rear Window(1954), Star Wars(1977), A Room with a View(1985), Philadelphia(1993), Twelve Monkeys(1995), Romance(1999), American Beauty(1999) and Gladiator(2000), as well as the films of Jacques-Louis David and Ridley Scott.
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Child Development: A Thematic Approach

Author: Danuta Bukatko,Marvin W. Daehler

Publisher: Cengage Learning

ISBN: 0618608656

Category: Education

Page: 752

View: 9070

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Bukatko/Daehler's CHILD DEVELOPMENT: A THEMATIC APPROACH provides a comprehensive, topically organized, up-to-date picture of development from conception to adolescence. Most important, it draws students' attention to the themes that replay themselves throughout the course of development, fundamental issues that resurface continually and that provide coherence to sometimes seemingly disparate research. The themes can serve as frameworks to help students further understand and remember the multitude of facts about child development. Bukatko/Daehler's sixth edition text draws on five themes, Nature and Nurture, Sociocultural Influence, Continuity/Discontinuity, Interaction among Domains, and Risk/Resilience. By drawing on these themes, the authors hope to stimulate readers to think about the process of development, or why it proceeds as it does. Through new For Your Review and Reflection sections, the authors also hope students will engage with the text and become more adept critical thinkers, who are more likely to appreciate the ramifications of theory and research for applied issues such as parenting practices, education, and social policy for children, which are ultimately concerns for us all. Important Notice: Media content referenced within the product description or the product text may not be available in the ebook version.
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