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This book introduces the critical concepts and debates that are shaping the emerging field of game studies. Exploring games in the context of cultural studies and media studies, it analyses computer games as the most popular contemporary form of new media production and consumption.The book: Argues for the centrality of play in redefining reading, consuming and creating culture Offers detailed research into the political economy of games to generate a model of new media production Examines the dynamics of power in relation to both the production and consumption of computer games This is key reading for students, academics and industry practitioners in the fields of cultural studies, new media, media studies and game studies, as well as human-computer interaction and cyberculture.
Helen W. Kennedy is Senior Lecturer and MA Award Leader in the School of Cultural Studies, University of the West of England, Bristol.
Table of Contents
Series Editor's Foreword
Studying Computer Games
What is games culture?
Theories of technology
Spectatorship and the 'problem' of immersion
Representation and simulation
Work and play
Play, Technology and Culture
The ludological turn
Play theory history
The time and space of play
The magic circle and its contexts - seven rhetorics
The subject in play
The social subject in play
Gendering play space
Ludic cultures and critiques
Cultures of Production
The Trojan Horse in the digital parlour
The economic system
The technologists in the economic system
The system of technology
Making it real
The system of culture
Networks of Technicity
Identity, culture and technology
Technicity and hegemony
Framing technicity - hackers and cyborgs
The hacker ethos and mythos
The cyborg - manifesto and manifestations
From margin to centre - discourses of dominant technicity
Magical things of wonderment
Edge as cultural capital
The invisible 'others' in cyberculture
The 'other' histories of computer gaming cultures
Computer Game as Media Text?
Can a computer game be treated as a text?
Case studies in computer game analysis
Computer games as fictional worlds
Lara as object and subject
Identification, investment and immersion
Avatar as 'vehicle'
Representation and experience
Narrative to navigation
Character to capability
Representation to ritual
Bodies and Machines: Cyborg Subjectivity and Gameplay
Flow, immersion and configuration
Why the body matters in gameplay
Bodies and avatars
Why the cyborg? - gameplay as cybernetic
The cyborg at the machine
The cyborg in the machine
Gameplay and technicity
Gameplay as cyborg performance
Cyborg performances and playful selves
Interventions and Recuperations?
Computer games as co-creative media
Aspiration, tributes and tactics
Productive paradox - women and Quake
From piracy to open systems - configurative practice as brand loyalty?
A brief history of modding
The age of co-creative media
Playing at technicity
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