Pleasures of Computer Gaming: Essays on Cultural History, Theory, and Aesthetics

Pleasures of Computer Gaming: Essays on Cultural History, Theory, and Aesthetics

by Melanie Swalwell
     
 

This collection of essays situates the digital gaming phenomenon alongside broader debates in cultural and media studies. Contributors to this volume maintain that computer games are not simply toys, but rather circulate as commodities, new media technologies, and items of visual culture that are embedded in complex social practices. Apart from placing games within

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Overview

This collection of essays situates the digital gaming phenomenon alongside broader debates in cultural and media studies. Contributors to this volume maintain that computer games are not simply toys, but rather circulate as commodities, new media technologies, and items of visual culture that are embedded in complex social practices. Apart from placing games within longer arcs of cultural history and broader critical debates, the contributors to this volume all adopt a pedagogical and theoretical approach to studying games and gameplay, drawing on the interdisciplinary resources of the humanities and social sciences, particularly new media studies.

In eight essays, the authors develop rich and nuanced understandings of the aesthetic appeals and pleasurable engagements of digital gameplay. Topics include the role of "cheats" and "easter eggs" in influencing cheating as an aesthetic phenomenon of gameplay; the relationship between videogames, gambling, and addiction; players' aesthetic and kinaesthetic interactions with computing technology; and the epistemology and phenomenology of popular strategy-based wargames and their relationship with real-world military applications. Notes and a bibliography accompany each essay, and the work includes several screenshots, images, and photographs.

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Editorial Reviews

Choice
excellent...highly recommended
School Library Journal
these essays will give readers a better appreciation of the culture of gaming and why it has become an important aspect of library service
The Journal of Popular Culture
a useful overview and introduction to current research into gameplay across cultural and theoretical scholarship

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780786435951
Publisher:
McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
Publication date:
04/17/2008
Pages:
203
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.60(d)

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Meet the Author

Melanie Swalwell conducts research on the intersections between aesthetics, new media arts and digital games. She is in the Screen & Media Department at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia. Jason Wilson has a range of international publications in videogame studies, on topics including early videogames and independent game design. He is a research associate at Queensland University of Technology.

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