Newsgames

Journalism at Play

Author: Ian Bogost,Simon Ferrari,Bobby Schweizer

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262014874

Category: Games

Page: 235

View: 4324

Journalism has embraced digital media in its struggle to survive. But most online journalism just translates existing practices to the Web: stories are written and edited as they are for print; video and audio features are produced as they would be for television and radio. The authors of Newsgames propose a new way of doing good journalism: videogames. Videogames are native to computers rather than a digitized form of prior media. Games simulate how things work by constructing interactive models; journalism as game involves more than just revisiting old forms of news production. The book describes newsgames that can persuade, inform, and titillate; make information interactive; re-create a historical event; put news content into a puzzle; teach journalism; and build a community. Wired magazine's game Cutthroat Capitalism, for example, explains the economics of Somali piracy by putting the player in command of a pirate ship, offering choices for hostage negotiation strategies. And Powerful Robot's game September 12th offers a model for a short, quickly produced, and widely distributed editorial newsgame. Videogames do not offer a panacea for the ills of contemporary news organizations. But if the industry embraces them as a viable method of doing journalism--not just an occasional treat for online readers--newsgames can make a valuable contribution.
Posted in Games

10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10

Author: Nick Montfort,Patsy Baudoin,John Bell,Ian Bogost,Jeremy Douglass,Mark C. Marino,Michael Mateas,Casey Reas,Mark Sample,Noah Vawter

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262304570

Category: Computers

Page: 328

View: 8307

This book takes a single line of code -- the extremely concise BASIC program for the Commodore 64 inscribed in the title -- and uses it as a lens through which to consider the phenomenon of creative computing and the way computer programs exist in culture. The authors of this collaboratively written book treat code not as merely functional but as a text -- in the case of 10 PRINT, a text that appeared in many different printed sources -- that yields a story about its making, its purpose, its assumptions, and more. They consider randomness and regularity in computing and art, the maze in culture, the popular BASIC programming language, and the highly influential Commodore 64 computer.
Posted in Computers

Persuasive Games

The Expressive Power of Videogames

Author: Ian Bogost

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262261944

Category: Games

Page: 464

View: 3180

Videogames are an expressive medium, and a persuasive medium; they represent how real and imagined systems work, and they invite players to interact with those systems and form judgments about them. In this innovative analysis, Ian Bogost examines the way videogames mount arguments and influence players. Drawing on the 2,500-year history of rhetoric, the study of persuasive expression, Bogost analyzes rhetoric's unique function in software in general and videogames in particular. The field of media studies already analyzes visual rhetoric, the art of using imagery and visual representation persuasively. Bogost argues that videogames, thanks to their basic representational mode of procedurality (rule-based representations and interactions), open a new domain for persuasion; they realize a new form of rhetoric. Bogost calls this new form "procedural rhetoric," a type of rhetoric tied to the core affordances of computers: running processes and executing rule-based symbolic manipulation. He argues further that videogames have a unique persuasive power that goes beyond other forms of computational persuasion. Not only can videogames support existing social and cultural positions, but they can also disrupt and change these positions themselves, leading to potentially significant long-term social change. Bogost looks at three areas in which videogame persuasion has already taken form and shows considerable potential: politics, advertising, and learning.
Posted in Games

Assembling the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Essays on the Social, Cultural and Geopolitical Domains

Author: Julian C. Chambliss,William L. Svitavsky,Daniel Fandino

Publisher: McFarland

ISBN: 1476664188

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 262

View: 1102

The Marvel Cinematic Universe--comprised of films, broadcast television and streaming series and digital shorts--has generated considerable fan engagement with its emphasis on socially relevant characters and plots. Beyond considerable box office achievements, the success of Marvel's movie studios has opened up dialogue on social, economic and political concerns that challenge established values and beliefs. This collection of new essays examines those controversial themes and the ways they represent, construct and distort American culture.
Posted in Performing Arts

Media Technologies

Essays on Communication, Materiality, and Society

Author: Tarleton Gillespie,Pablo J. Boczkowski,Kirsten A. Foot

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262525372

Category: Computers

Page: 325

View: 1881

Scholars from communication and media studies join those from science and technology studies to examine media technologies as complex, sociomaterial phenomena.
Posted in Computers

How to Do Things with Videogames

Author: Ian Bogost

Publisher: U of Minnesota Press

ISBN: 145293312X

Category: Games & Activities

Page: 192

View: 9943

In recent years, computer games have moved from the margins of popular culture to its center. Reviews of new games and profiles of game designers now regularly appear in the New York Times and the New Yorker, and sales figures for games are reported alongside those of books, music, and movies. They are increasingly used for purposes other than entertainment, yet debates about videogames still fork along one of two paths: accusations of debasement through violence and isolation or defensive paeans to their potential as serious cultural works. In How to Do Things with Videogames, Ian Bogost contends that such generalizations obscure the limitless possibilities offered by the medium’s ability to create complex simulated realities. Bogost, a leading scholar of videogames and an award-winning game designer, explores the many ways computer games are used today: documenting important historical and cultural events; educating both children and adults; promoting commercial products; and serving as platforms for art, pornography, exercise, relaxation, pranks, and politics. Examining these applications in a series of short, inviting, and provocative essays, he argues that together they make the medium broader, richer, and more relevant to a wider audience. Bogost concludes that as videogames become ever more enmeshed with contemporary life, the idea of gamers as social identities will become obsolete, giving rise to gaming by the masses. But until games are understood to have valid applications across the cultural spectrum, their true potential will remain unrealized. How to Do Things with Videogames offers a fresh starting point to more fully consider games’ progress today and promise for the future.
Posted in Games & Activities

The Gameful World

Approaches, Issues, Applications

Author: Steffen P. Walz,Sebastian Deterding

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262325721

Category: Computers

Page: 688

View: 1129

What if our whole life were turned into a game? What sounds like the premise of a science fiction novel is today becoming reality as "gamification." As more and more organizations, practices, products, and services are infused with elements from games and play to make them more engaging, we are witnessing a veritable ludification of culture.Yet while some celebrate gamification as a possible answer to mankind's toughest challenges and others condemn it as a marketing ruse, the question remains: what are the ramifications of this "gameful world"? Can game design energize society and individuals, or will algorithmicincentive systems become our new robot overlords?In this book, more than fifty luminaries from academia and industry examine the key challenges of gamification and the ludification of culture -- including Ian Bogost, John M. Carroll, Bernie DeKoven, Bill Gaver, Jane McGonigal, Frank Lantz, Jesse Schell, Kevin Slavin, McKenzie Wark, and Eric Zimmerman. They outline major disciplinary approaches, including rhetorics, economics, psychology, and aesthetics; tackle issues like exploitation or privacy; and survey main application domains such as health, education, design, sustainability, or social media.
Posted in Computers

Racing the Beam

The Atari Video Computer System

Author: Nick Montfort,Ian Bogost

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262261529

Category: Games

Page: 192

View: 4870

The Atari Video Computer System dominated the home video game market so completely that "Atari" became the generic term for a video game console. The Atari VCS was affordable and offered the flexibility of changeable cartridges. Nearly a thousand of these were created, the most significant of which established new techniques, mechanics, and even entire genres. This book offers a detailed and accessible study of this influential video game console from both computational and cultural perspectives. Studies of digital media have rarely investigated platforms--the systems underlying computing. This book (the first in a series of Platform Studies) does so, developing a critical approach that examines the relationship between platforms and creative expression. Nick Montfort and Ian Bogost discuss the Atari VCS itself and examine in detail six game cartridges: Combat, Adventure, Pac-Man, Yars' Revenge, Pitfall!, and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. They describe the technical constraints and affordances of the system and track developments in programming, gameplay, interface, and aesthetics. Adventure, for example, was the first game to represent a virtual space larger than the screen (anticipating the boundless virtual spaces of such later games as World of Warcraft and Grand Theft Auto), by allowing the player to walk off one side into another space; and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back was an early instance of interaction between media properties and video games. Montfort and Bogost show that the Atari VCS--often considered merely a retro fetish object--is an essential part of the history of video games.
Posted in Games

Minitel

Welcome to the Internet

Author: Julien Mailland,Kevin Driscoll

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262340216

Category: Computers

Page: 240

View: 3572

A decade before the Internet became a medium for the masses in the United States, tens of millions of users in France had access to a network for e-mail, e-commerce, chat, research, game playing, blogging, and even an early form of online porn. In 1983, the French government rolled out Minitel, a computer network that achieved widespread adoption in just a few years as the government distributed free terminals to every French telephone subscriber. With this volume, Julien Mailland and Kevin Driscoll offer the first scholarly book in English on Minitel, examining it as both a technical system and a cultural phenomenon. Mailland and Driscoll argue that Minitel was a technical marvel, a commercial success, and an ambitious social experiment. Other early networks may have introduced protocols and software standards that continue to be used today, but Minitel foretold the social effects of widespread telecomputing. They examine the unique balance of forces that enabled the growth of Minitel: public and private, open and closed, centralized and decentralized. Mailland and Driscoll describe Minitel's key technological components, novel online services, and thriving virtual communities. Despite the seemingly tight grip of the state, however, a lively Minitel culture emerged, characterized by spontaneity, imagination, and creativity. After three decades of continuous service, Minitel was shut down in 2012, but the history of Minitel should continue to inform our thinking about Internet policy, today and into the future.
Posted in Computers

Play Matters

Author: Miguel Sicart

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262325969

Category: Games

Page: 176

View: 5942

What do we think about when we think about play? A pastime? Games? Childish activities? The opposite of work? Think again: If we are happy and well rested, we may approach even our daily tasks in a playful way, taking the attitude of play without the activity of play. So what, then, is play? In Play Matters, Miguel Sicart argues that to play is to be in the world; playing is a form of understanding what surrounds us and a way of engaging with others. Play goes beyond games; it is a mode of being human. We play games, but we also play with toys, on playgrounds, with technologies and design. Sicart proposes a theory of play that doesn't derive from a particular object or activity but is a portable tool for being--not tied to objects but brought by people to the complex interactions that form their daily lives. It is not separated from reality; it is part of it. It is pleasurable, but not necessarily fun. Play can be dangerous, addictive, and destructive. Along the way, Sicart considers playfulness, the capacity to use play outside the context of play; toys, the materialization of play -- instruments but also play pals; playgrounds, play spaces that enable all kinds of play; beauty, the aesthetics of play through action; political play -- from Maradona's goal against England in the 1986 World Cup to the hactivist activities of Anonymous; the political, aesthetic, and moral activity of game design; and why play and computers get along so well.
Posted in Games

Critical Play

Radical Game Design

Author: Mary Flanagan

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262258196

Category: Computers

Page: 368

View: 3127

For many players, games are entertainment, diversion, relaxation, fantasy. But what if certain games were something more than this, providing not only outlets for entertainment but a means for creative expression, instruments for conceptual thinking, or tools for social change? In Critical Play, artist and game designer Mary Flanagan examines alternative games -- games that challenge the accepted norms embedded within the gaming industry -- and argues that games designed by artists and activists are reshaping everyday game culture. Flanagan provides a lively historical context for critical play through twentieth-century art movements, connecting subversive game design to subversive art: her examples of "playing house" include Dadaist puppet shows and The Sims. She looks at artists' alternative computer-based games and explores games for change, considering the way activist concerns -- including worldwide poverty and AIDS -- can be incorporated into game design.Arguing that this kind of conscious practice -- which now constitutes the avant-garde of the computer game medium -- can inspire new working methods for designers, Flanagan offers a model for designing that will encourage the subversion of popular gaming tropes through new styles of game making, and proposes a theory of alternate game design that focuses on the reworking of contemporary popular game practices.
Posted in Computers

Codename Revolution

The Nintendo Wii Platform

Author: Steven E. Jones,George K. Thiruvathukal

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262300532

Category: Games

Page: 216

View: 6325

The Nintendo Wii, introduced in 2006, helped usher in a moment of retro-reinvention in video game play. This hugely popular console system, codenamed Revolution during development, signaled a turn away from fully immersive, time-consuming MMORPGs or forty-hour FPS games and back toward family fun in the living room. Players using the wireless motion-sensitive controller (the Wii Remote, or "Wiimote") play with their whole bodies, waving, swinging, swaying. The mimetic interface shifts attention from what's on the screen to what's happening in physical space. This book describes the Wii's impact in technological, social, and cultural terms, examining the Wii as a system of interrelated hardware and software that was consciously designed to promote social play in physical space. Each chapter of Codename Revolution focuses on a major component of the Wii as a platform: the console itself, designed to be low-powered and nimble; the iconic Wii Remote; Wii Fit Plus, and its controller, the Wii Balance Board; the Wii Channels interface and Nintendo's distribution system; and the Wii as a social platform that not only affords multiplayer options but also encourages social interaction in shared physical space. Finally, the authors connect the Wii's revolution in mimetic interface gaming -- which eventually led to the release of Sony's Move and Microsoft's Kinect -- to some of the economic and technological conditions that influence the possibility of making something new in this arena of computing and culture.
Posted in Games

Unit Operations

An Approach to Videogame Criticism

Author: Ian Bogost

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262261898

Category: Social Science

Page: 264

View: 1794

In Unit Operations, Ian Bogost argues that similar principles underlie both literary theory and computation, proposing a literary-technical theory that can be used to analyze particular videogames. Moreover, this approach can be applied beyond videogames: Bogost suggests that any medium -- from videogames to poetry, literature, cinema, or art -- can be read as a configurative system of discrete, interlocking units of meaning, and he illustrates this method of analysis with examples from all these fields. The marriage of literary theory and information technology, he argues, will help humanists take technology more seriously and hep technologists better understand software and videogames as cultural artifacts. This approach is especially useful for the comparative analysis of digital and nondigital artifacts and allows scholars from other fields who are interested in studying videogames to avoid the esoteric isolation of "game studies."The richness of Bogost's comparative approach can be seen in his discussions of works by such philosophers and theorists as Plato, Badiou, Zizek, and McLuhan, and in his analysis of numerous videogames including Pong, Half-Life, and Star Wars Galaxies. Bogost draws on object technology and complex adaptive systems theory for his method of unit analysis, underscoring the configurative aspects of a wide variety of human processes. His extended analysis of freedom in large virtual spaces examines Grand Theft Auto 3, The Legend of Zelda, Flaubert's Madame Bovary, and Joyce's Ulysses. In Unit Operations, Bogost not only offers a new methodology for videogame criticism but argues for the possibility of real collaboration between the humanities and information technology.
Posted in Social Science

Respawn

Gamers, Hackers, and Technogenic Life

Author: Colin Milburn

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 1478002786

Category: Social Science

Page: 312

View: 8560

In Respawn Colin Milburn examines the connections between video games, hacking, and science fiction that galvanize technological activism and technological communities. Discussing a wide range of games, from Portal and Final Fantasy VII to Super Mario Sunshine and Shadow of the Colossus, Milburn illustrates how they impact the lives of gamers and non-gamers alike. They also serve as resources for critique, resistance, and insurgency, offering a space for players and hacktivist groups such as Anonymous to challenge obstinate systems and experiment with alternative futures. Providing an essential walkthrough guide to our digital culture and its high-tech controversies, Milburn shows how games and playable media spawn new modes of engagement in a computerized world.
Posted in Social Science

Interactive Storytelling

4th International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling, ICIDS 2011, Vancouver, Canada, November 28-1 December, 2011, Proceedings

Author: Mei Si,David Thue,Elisabeth André,James Lester,Joshua Tanenbaum,Veronica Zammitto

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 3642252893

Category: Computers

Page: 384

View: 5388

This book constitutes the refereed proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling, ICIDS 2011, held in Vancouver, Canada, in November/December 2011. The 17 full papers, 14 short papers and 16 poster papers were carefully reviewed and selected from 72 paper and poster submissions. In addition, the volume includes 6 workshops descriptions. The full and short papers have been organized into the following topical sections: interactive storytelling theory, new authoring modes, virtual characters and agents, story generation and drama managment, narratives in digital games, evaluation and user experience reports, tools for interactive storytelling.
Posted in Computers

Playing Dystopia

Nightmarish Worlds in Video Games and the Player's Aesthetic Response

Author: Gerald Farca

Publisher: transcript Verlag

ISBN: 3839445973

Category: Social Science

Page: 434

View: 1637

Video games permeate our everyday existence. They immerse players in fascinating gameworlds and exciting experiences, often inviting them in various ways to reflect on the enacted events. Gerald Farca explores the genre of dystopian video games and the player's aesthetic response to their nightmarish gameworlds. Players, he argues, will gradually come to see similarities between the virtual dystopia and their own 'offline' environment, thus learning to stay wary of social and political developments. In his analysis, Farca draws from a variety of research fields, such as literary theory and game studies, combining them into a coherent theory of aesthetic response to dystopian games.
Posted in Social Science

Inter/vention

Free Play in the Age of Electracy

Author: N.A

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262300907

Category:

Page: N.A

View: 6453

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The Future Was Here

The Commodore Amiga

Author: Jimmy Maher

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262300745

Category: Games

Page: 344

View: 9650

Long ago, in 1985, personal computers came in two general categories: the friendly, childish game machine used for fun (exemplified by Atari and Commodore products); and the boring, beige adult box used for business (exemplified by products from IBM). The game machines became fascinating technical and artistic platforms that were of limited real-world utility. The IBM products were all utility, with little emphasis on aesthetics and no emphasis on fun. Into this bifurcated computing environment came the Commodore Amiga 1000. This personal computer featured a palette of 4,096 colors, unprecedented animation capabilities, four-channel stereo sound, the capacity to run multiple applications simultaneously, a graphical user interface, and powerful processing potential. It was, Jimmy Maher writes in The Future Was Here, the world's first true multimedia personal computer. Maher argues that the Amiga's capacity to store and display color photographs, manipulate video (giving amateurs access to professional tools), and use recordings of real-world sound were the seeds of the digital media future: digital cameras, Photoshop, MP3 players, and even YouTube, Flickr, and the blogosphere. He examines different facets of the platform -- from Deluxe Paint to AmigaOS to Cinemaware -- in each chapter, creating a portrait of the platform and the communities of practice that surrounded it. Of course, Maher acknowledges, the Amiga was not perfect: the DOS component of the operating systems was clunky and ill-matched, for example, and crashes often accompanied multitasking attempts. And Commodore went bankrupt in 1994. But for a few years, the Amiga's technical qualities were harnessed by engineers, programmers, artists, and others to push back boundaries and transform the culture of computing.
Posted in Games

Extra Lives

Why Video Games Matter

Author: Tom Bissell

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307379280

Category: Social Science

Page: 208

View: 6587

Tom Bissell is a prizewinning writer who published three widely acclaimed books before the age of thirty-four. He is also an obsessive gamer who has spent untold hours in front of his various video game consoles, playing titles such as Far Cry 2, Left 4 Dead, BioShock, and Oblivion for, literally, days. If you are reading this flap copy, the same thing can probably be said of you, or of someone you know. Until recently, Bissell was somewhat reluctant to admit to his passion for games. In this, he is not alone. Millions of adults spend hours every week playing video games, and the industry itself now reliably outearns Hollywood. But the wider culture seems to regard video games as, at best, well designed if mindless entertainment. Extra Lives is an impassioned defense of this assailed and misunderstood art form. Bissell argues that we are in a golden age of gaming—but he also believes games could be even better. He offers a fascinating and often hilarious critique of the ways video games dazzle and, just as often, frustrate. Along the way, we get firsthand portraits of some of the best minds (Jonathan Blow, Clint Hocking, Cliff Bleszinski, Peter Molyneux) at work in video game design today, as well as a shattering and deeply moving final chapter that describes, in searing detail, Bissell’s descent into the world of Grand Theft Auto IV, a game whose themes mirror his own increasingly self-destructive compulsions. Blending memoir, criticism, and first-rate reportage, Extra Lives is like no other book on the subject ever published. Whether you love video games, loathe video games, or are merely curious about why they are becoming the dominant popular art form of our time, Extra Lives is required reading. From the Hardcover edition.
Posted in Social Science

Super Power, Spoony Bards, and Silverware

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System

Author: Dominic Arsenault

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262341506

Category: Games & Activities

Page: 240

View: 3654

This is a book about the Super Nintendo Entertainment System that is not celebratory or self-congratulatory. Most other accounts declare the Super NES the undisputed victor of the "16-bit console wars" of 1989--1995. In this book, Dominic Arsenault reminds us that although the SNES was a strong platform filled with high-quality games, it was also the product of a short-sighted corporate vision focused on maintaining Nintendo's market share and business model. This led the firm to fall from a dominant position during its golden age (dubbed by Arsenault the "ReNESsance") with the NES to the margins of the industry with the Nintendo 64 and GameCube consoles. Arsenault argues that Nintendo's conservative business strategies and resistance to innovation during the SNES years explain its market defeat by Sony's PlayStation. Extending the notion of "platform" to include the marketing forces that shape and constrain creative work, Arsenault draws not only on game studies and histories but on game magazines, boxes, manuals, and advertisements to identify the technological discourses and business models that formed Nintendo's Super Power. He also describes the cultural changes in video games during the 1990s that slowly eroded the love of gamer enthusiasts for the SNES as the Nintendo generation matured. Finally, he chronicles the many technological changes that occurred through the SNES's lifetime, including full-motion video, CD-ROM storage, and the shift to 3D graphics. Because of the SNES platform's architecture, Arsenault explains, Nintendo resisted these changes and continued to focus on traditional gameplay genres.
Posted in Games & Activities