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Overview

Essays discuss the terminology, etymology, and history of key terms, offering a foundation for critical historical studies of games.

Even as the field of game studies has flourished, critical historical studies of games have lagged behind other areas of research. Histories have generally been fact-by-fact chronicles; fundamental terms of game design and development, technology, and play have rarely been examined in the context of their historical, etymological, and conceptual underpinnings. This volume attempts to “debug” the flawed historiography of video games. It offers original essays on key concepts in game studies, arranged as in a lexicon—from “Amusement Arcade” to “Embodiment” and “Game Art” to “Simulation” and “World Building. ”

Written by scholars and practitioners from a variety of disciplines, including game development, curatorship, media archaeology, cultural studies, and technology studies, the essays offer a series of distinctive critical “takes” on historical topics. The majority of essays look at game history from the outside in; some take deep dives into the histories of play and simulation to provide context for the development of electronic and digital games; others take on such technological components of games as code and audio. Not all essays are history or historical etymology—there is an analysis of game design, and a discussion of intellectual property—but they nonetheless raise questions for historians to consider. Taken together, the essays offer a foundation for the emerging study of game history.

Contributors
Marcelo Aranda, Brooke Belisle, Caetlin Benson-Allott, Stephanie Boluk, Jennifer deWinter, J. P. Dyson, Kate Edwards, Mary Flanagan, Jacob Gaboury, William Gibbons, Raiford Guins, Erkki Huhtamo, Don Ihde, Jon Ippolito, Katherine Isbister, Mikael Jakobsson, Steven E. Jones, Jesper Juul, Eric Kaltman, Matthew G. Kirschenbaum, Carly A. Kocurek, Peter Krapp, Patrick LeMieux, Henry Lowood, Esther MacCallum-Stewart, Ken S. McAllister, Nick Monfort, David Myers, James Newman, Jenna Ng, Michael Nitsche, Laine Nooney, Hector Postigo, Jas Purewal, Reneé H. Reynolds, Judd Ethan Ruggill, Marie-Laure Ryan, Katie Salen Tekinbas, Anastasia Salter, Mark Sample, Bobby Schweizer, John Sharp, Miguel Sicart, Rebecca Elisabeth Skinner, Melanie Swalwell, David Thomas, Samuel Tobin, Emma Witkowski, Mark J. P. Wolf

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780262034197
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 06/03/2016
Series: Game Histories
Pages: 464
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.40(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Henry Lowood is Curator for History of Science and Technology and for Film and Media collections at Stanford University and the coeditor of The Machinima Reader (MIT Press).

Raiford Guins is Professor of Culture and Technology at Stony Brook University and the author of Game After: A Cultural Study of Video Game Afterlife (MIT Press).

Nick Montfort is Professor of Digital Media at MIT. He is the author of Twisty Little Passages: An Approach to Interactive Fiction and Exploratory Programming for the Arts and Humanities ; the coauthor of Racing the Beam: The Atari Video Computer System and 1 0 PRINT CHR$ (205. 5+RND (1)); : GOTO 10 ; and the coeditor of The New Media Reader (all published by the MIT Press).

Erkki Huhtamo, media historian and pioneering media archaeologist, is Professor in the Department of Design Media Arts at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the coeditor of Media Archaeology: Approaches, Applications, and Implications .

Katherine Isbister is Professor of Computational Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and is the author of Better Game Characters by Design . She was the founding Director of the Game Innovation Lab at New York University.

Mark Sample is Associate Professor of English at George Mason University.

Raiford Guins is Professor of Culture and Technology at Stony Brook University and the author of Game After: A Cultural Study of Video Game Afterlife (MIT Press).

Steven E. Jones is Professor of English at Loyola University Chicago.

Michael Nitsche is Assistant Professor at the School of Literature, Communication, and Culture at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Bobby Schweizer is a doctoral student in digital media at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Anastasia Salter is Assistant Professor of Information Arts and Technologies at the University of Baltimore.

Jon Ippolito is Associate Professor of New Media and Codirector of the Still Water Lab and Digital Curation Program at the University of Maine.

David Thomas is Assistant Professor in the College of Architecture and Planning at the University of Colorado Denver. A former game journalist, he runs the website Buzzcut. com.

Mary Flanagan is Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Professor in Digital Humanities, Director of the Tiltfactor game research laboratory, and Professor in the Department of Film and Media Studies at Dartmouth College. She is the author of Critical Play: Radical Game Design (MIT Press).

Katie Salen Tekinbas is Professor in the School of Computing and Digital Media at DePaul University and Chief Designer and Researcher at Institute of Play.

Henry Lowood is Curator for History of Science and Technology and for Film and Media collections at Stanford University and the coeditor of The Machinima Reader (MIT Press).

Mark J. P. Wolf is Professor and Chair of the Communication Department at Concordia University Wisconsin. He is the author of Building Imaginary Worlds and coeditor of The Video Game Theory Reader 1 and 2 .

John Sharp is Associate Professor in the School of Art, Media, and Technology at Parsons School of Design at the New School. He is the author of Works of Game: On the Aesthetics of Games and Art (MIT Press) and coauthor (with Colleen Macklin) of Games, Design, and Play: A Detailed Approach to Iterative Game Design and (with David Thomas) Fun, Taste, & Games: An Aesthetics of the Idle, Unproductive, and Otherwise Playful (MIT Press). Sharp and Macklin are Codirectors of the PETLab (Prototyping Education and Technology Lab) at Parsons.

Matthew G. Kirschenbaum is Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of Maryland and the author of the award-winning Mechanisms: New Media and the Forensic Imagination (MIT Press).

Miguel Sicart is Associate Professor at the Center for Computer Game Research at IT University Copenhagen. He is the author of The Ethics of Computer Games and Beyond Choices: The Design of Ethical Gameplay , both published by the MIT Press.

Hector Postigo is Associate Professor in the Department of Broadcasting, Telecommunications, and Mass Media in the School of Communications and Theater at Temple University.

Jesper Juul is Associate Professor in the School of Design at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. He is the author of Half-Real: Video Games between Real Rules and Fictional Worlds ; A Casual Revolution: Reinventing Video Games and Their Players ; and The Art of Failure: An Essay on the Pain of Playing Video Games , all published by the MIT Press.

Table of Contents

Series Foreword xi

Introduction: Why We Are Debugging Henry Lowood Raiford Guins xiii

1 Achievements Mikael Jakobsson 1

2 Adventure Nick Montfort 13

3 Amusement Arcade Erkki Huhtamo 21

4 Artificial Intelligence Rebecca E. Skinner 29

5 Character Katherine Isbister 37

6 Classic Gaming Melanie Swalwell 45

7 Code Mark Sample 53

8 Console Raiford Guins 63

9 Control Peter Krapp 73

10 Controller Steven E. Jones 81

11 Cooperative Play Emma Witkowski 89

12 Culturalization Kate Edwards 97

13 Demo Michael Nitsche 103

14 Difficulty Bobby Schweizer 109

15 Educational Games Anastasia Salter 119

16 Embodiment Don Ihade 127

17 Emulation Jon Ippolito 133

18 Fun David Thomas 143

19 Game Art Mary Flanagan 151

20 Game Audio William Gibbons 159

21 Game Balance David Sirlin 169

22 Game Camera Jennifer deWinter 177

23 Game Culture Reneé H. Reynolds Ken S. McAllister Judd Ethan Ruggill 187

24 Game Development Katie Salen Tekinbas 195

25 Game Engine Henry Lowood 203

26 Game Glitch Peter Krapp 211

27 Games as a Medium Mary Flanagan 221

28 Genre Mark J. P. Wolf 229

29 Identities Carly A. Kocurek 237

30 Immersion Brooke Belisle 247

31 Independent Games John Sharp 259

32 Intellectual Property Jas Purewal 269

33 Kriegsspiel Matthew Kirschenbaum 279

34 Machinima Jenna Ng 287

35 Mechanics Miguel Sicart 297

36 Menu Laine Nooney 305

37 Metagame Stephanie Boluk Patrick LeMieux 313

38 Modification Hector Postigo 325

39 Narrative Marie-Laure Ryan 335

40 Platform Caetlin Benson-Allott 343

41 Playing Jesper Juul 351

42 Perspective Jacob Gaboury 359

43 Procedurally Eric Kaltman 369

44 Role-Play Esther MacCallum-Stewart 377

45 Save Samuel Tobin 385

46 Simulation David Myers 393

47 Toys Jon-Paul C. Dyson 401

48 Walkthrough James Newman 409

49 World Building Marcelo Alejandro Aranda 419

Contributors 425

Index 437

What People are Saying About This

Jeremy K. Saucier

Lowood and Guins have marshaled an impressive group of emerging and preeminent scholars from a multitude of disciplines to examine games as art, artifacts, culture, intellectual property, play, technologies, and toys (among other things). A foundational work, Debugging Game History presses start on the critical historical study of games.

From the Publisher

Lowood and Guins have crafted an impressive foundational volume, bringing together a highly talented and diverse group of authors. The book's many intriguing essays collectively provide a critical reset that is sure to establish a deeply meaningful new iteration—and wider play—for the young field of game studies.

Jeffrey R. Yost, Associate Director, Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota

Lowood and Guins have marshaled an impressive group of emerging and preeminent scholars from a multitude of disciplines to examine games as art, artifacts, culture, intellectual property, play, technologies, and toys (among other things). A foundational work, Debugging Game History presses start on the critical historical study of games.

Jeremy K. Saucier, Assistant Director, International Center for the History of Electronic Games at The Strong

Endorsement

Lowood and Guins have marshaled an impressive group of emerging and preeminent scholars from a multitude of disciplines to examine games as art, artifacts, culture, intellectual property, play, technologies, and toys (among other things). A foundational work, Debugging Game History presses start on the critical historical study of games.

Jeremy K. Saucier, Assistant Director, International Center for the History of Electronic Games at The Strong

Jeffrey R. Yost

Lowood and Guins have crafted an impressive foundational volume, bringing together a highly talented and diverse group of authors. The book's many intriguing essays collectively provide a critical reset that is sure to establish a deeply meaningful new iteration—and wider play—for the young field of game studies.

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