How to Talk about Videogames

Author: Ian Bogost

Publisher: U of Minnesota Press

ISBN: 1452949875

Category: Social Science

Page: 208

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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: I.B.Tauris

ISBN: 178672250X

Category: Games & Activities

Page: 336

View: 6965

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Video games are a defining part of mass visual culture. 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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On the Existence of Digital Objects

Author: Yuk Hui

Publisher: U of Minnesota Press

ISBN: 1452949921

Category: Social Science

Page: 336

View: 2396

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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: 7588

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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

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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: 500

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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: 7099

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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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Play, Development, and Early Education

Author: James Ewald Johnson,James F. Christie,Francis Wardle

Publisher: Allyn & Bacon

ISBN: N.A

Category: Education

Page: 428

View: 356

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Helps teachers and soon-to-be teachers learn how play as a form of communication can be adapted to the classroom.Play, Development, and Early Education, challenges the reader to discover what play is and how to incorporate it into a curriculum for children from toddlerhood through the primary grades. Utilizing three major ideas—the quality of play in early childhood, play as a means of self-expression, and play as a channel of communication to achieving social sense—the authors examine the beliefs, perspectives, and theories relating to play and what effects culture, media and technology have on play. In addition, the text addresses the role of parents in supporting and elaborating play, the direct connections between research and play practice, and the value of play in relation to the total development (cognitive, affective, emotional, social, and physical) of all children.Play, Early childhood, child development. Appropriate for teachers and other professionals that work with children from toddler through primary grades. Also appropriate for those studying to work in the field of early childhood education.
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Mediation and the Communication Matrix

Author: C. Kaha Waite

Publisher: Peter Lang Pub Incorporated

ISBN: N.A

Category: Social Science

Page: 179

View: 7357

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Annotation. Waite (rhetoric and communication, Hamilton College) examines the essential features of the screen, the ways in which it changes our phenomenological awareness of space, sound, and motion, and the consequences of these alterations. The text includes a detailed study of the transition from orality to literacy, and argues that, where the emergence of the book contributed to a growing awareness of individuality, the screen undermines the autonomy of the person. Though Waite's theory has implications for both East and West, the focus is on the screen's unique challenge to American culture and its emphasis on individualism. Annotation 2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com).
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Small Business Sourcebook

Author: Thomson Gale

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780787663810

Category: Small business

Page: N.A

View: 2679

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A two-volume annotated guide to 26,670 listings of live and print sources of information designed to facilitate the start-up, development, and growth of specific small businesses, as well as 26,158 similar listings for general small business topics. An additional 11,167 entries are provided on a state-by-state basis; also included are 965 relevant U.S. federal government agencies and branch offices.
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