Significant Zero

Heroes, Villains, and the Fight for Art and Soul in Video Games

Author: Walt Williams

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1501129953

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 304

View: 7921

"An award-winning videogame writer offers a rare behind-the-scenes look inside the gaming industry, and expands on how games are transformed from mere toys into meaningful, artistic experiences"--
Posted in Biography & Autobiography

Significant Zero

Heroes, Villains, and the Fight for Art and Soul in Video Games

Author: Walt Williams

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 150112997X

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 304

View: 5328

From the award-winning video game writer of such hits as Star Wars Battlefront and BioShock comes an exclusive “compelling look into a world that doesn’t like to spill its secrets to outsiders” (NPR): the video game industry. When his satirical musings in a college newspaper got him discharged from the Air Force, it became clear to Walt Williams that his destiny in life was to be a writer—he just never thought he’d end up writing video games, including some of the biggest franchises today. A veteran video game narrative designer, Williams pulls back the curtain on an astonishingly profitable industry that has put its stamp on pop culture and yet is little known to those outside its walls. As Williams walks you through his unlikely and at times inglorious rise within one of the world’s top gaming companies, he exposes an industry abundant in brain power and out-sized egos, but struggling to stay innovative. Significant Zero also provides clear-eyed criticism of the industry’s addiction to violence and explains how the role of the narrative designer is crucial for expanding the scope of video games into more immersive and emotional experiences. Significant Zero is a rare and illuminating look inside “the video gaming industry in all its lucrative shine and questionable morality…[and] provides a refreshing and realistic portrayal of succeeding at attaining a dream via an unforeseen career trajectory” (Booklist).
Posted in Biography & Autobiography

Author: N.A

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 1501129961

Category:

Page: N.A

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Ain't No Place for a Hero

Borderlands

Author: Kaitlin Tremblay

Publisher: ECW Press

ISBN: 177305077X

Category: Games & Activities

Page: 136

View: 9862

A deep dive into the groundbreaking and bestselling video game series The critically acclaimed first-person shooter franchise Borderlands knows it's ridiculous. It's a badge of pride. After all, Borderlands 2 was promoted with the tagline "87 bazillion guns just got bazillionder." These space-western games encourage you to shoot a lot of enemies and monsters, loot their corpses, and have a few chuckles while chasing down those bazillion guns. As Kaitlin Tremblay explores in Ain't No Place for a Hero, the Borderlands video game series satirizes its own genre, exposing and addressing the ways first-person shooter video games have tended to exclude women, queer people, and people of colour, as well as contribute to a hostile playing environment. Tremblay also digs in to the way the Borderlands game franchise Ñ which has sold more than 26 million copies Ñ disrupts traditional notions of heroism, creating nuanced and compelling storytelling that highlights the strengths and possibilities of this relatively new narrative medium. The latest entry in the acclaimed Pop Classics series, Ain-t No Place for a Hero is a fascinating read for Borderlands devotees as well as the uninitiated.
Posted in Games & Activities

Crash Override

How Gamergate (Nearly) Destroyed My Life, and How We Can Win the Fight Against Online Hate

Author: Zoe Quinn

Publisher: PublicAffairs

ISBN: 1610398092

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 256

View: 8534

You've heard the stories about the dark side of the internet--hackers, #gamergate, anonymous mobs attacking an unlucky victim, and revenge porn--but they remain just that: stories. Surely these things would never happen to you. Zoe Quinn used to feel the same way. She is a video game developer whose ex-boyfriend published a crazed blog post cobbled together from private information, half-truths, and outright fictions, along with a rallying cry to the online hordes to go after her. They answered in the form of a so-called movement known as #gamergate--they hacked her accounts; stole nude photos of her; harassed her family, friends, and colleagues; and threatened to rape and murder her. But instead of shrinking into silence as the online mobs wanted her to, she raised her voice and spoke out against this vicious online culture and for making the internet a safer place for everyone. In the years since #gamergate, Quinn has helped thousands of people with her advocacy and online-abuse crisis resource Crash Override Network. From locking down victims' personal accounts to working with tech companies and lawmakers to inform policy, she has firsthand knowledge about every angle of online abuse, what powerful institutions are (and aren't) doing about it, and how we can protect our digital spaces and selves. Crash Override offers an up-close look inside the controversy, threats, and social and cultural battles that started in the far corners of the internet and have since permeated our online lives. Through her story--as target and as activist--Quinn provides a human look at the ways the internet impacts our lives and culture, along with practical advice for keeping yourself and others safe online.
Posted in Biography & Autobiography

Bit by Bit

How Video Games Transformed Our World

Author: Andrew Ervin

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465096581

Category: Games & Activities

Page: 304

View: 5180

An acclaimed novelist and critic argues that video games are the most vital art form of our time Video games have seemingly taken over our lives. Whereas gamers once constituted a small and largely male subculture, today 67 percent of American households play video games. The average gamer is now thirty-four years old and spends eight hours each week playing-and there is a 40 percent chance this person is a woman. In Bit by Bit, Andrew Ervin sets out to understand the explosive popularity of video games. He travels to government laboratories, junk shops, and arcades. He interviews scientists and game designers, both old and young. In charting the material and technological history of video games, from the 1950s to the present, he suggests that their appeal starts and ends with the sense of creativity they instill in gamers. As Ervin argues, games can be art because they are beautiful, moving, and even political.
Posted in Games & Activities

Heroes and Monsters

An Honest Look at What It Means to Be Human

Author: Josh James Riebock

Publisher: Baker Books

ISBN: 144123585X

Category: Religion

Page: 304

View: 8421

Every one of us is both a hero and a monster, and the world we inhabit is both beautiful and twisted. We are shaken by changes, losses, gains, insights, desires, mistakes, and transitions. And just when we've gotten settled back down, things get shaken up again. This is the life we've been given. So how do we make sense of life's unexpected nature, find a way to embrace the tension, and live with a sense of peace despite pain? In this stunningly honest, compelling, and ultimately hopeful book, Josh James Riebock explores issues of trust, obedience, intimacy, dreams, grief, purpose, and the unexpected stops along the journey that form us into the people we are. In a creative way, he shows readers that pain and beauty are so inextricably linked that to lose the former costs us the latter. Those grappling with life's inconsistencies and trials will especially find a welcome resonance between their lives and Heroes and Monsters. Riebock both validates their experiences and challenges them to live beyond them in this ever-changing life.
Posted in Religion

Blood, Sweat, and Pixels

The Triumphant, Turbulent Stories Behind How Video Games Are Made

Author: Jason Schreier

Publisher: HarperCollins

ISBN: 0062651242

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 320

View: 4508

NATIONAL BESTSELLER Developing video games—hero's journey or fool's errand? The creative and technical logistics that go into building today's hottest games can be more harrowing and complex than the games themselves, often seeming like an endless maze or a bottomless abyss. In Blood, Sweat, and Pixels, Jason Schreier takes readers on a fascinating odyssey behind the scenes of video game development, where the creator may be a team of 600 overworked underdogs or a solitary geek genius. Exploring the artistic challenges, technical impossibilities, marketplace demands, and Donkey Kong-sized monkey wrenches thrown into the works by corporate, Blood, Sweat, and Pixels reveals how bringing any game to completion is more than Sisyphean—it's nothing short of miraculous. Taking some of the most popular, bestselling recent games, Schreier immerses readers in the hellfire of the development process, whether it's RPG studio Bioware's challenge to beat an impossible schedule and overcome countless technical nightmares to build Dragon Age: Inquisition; indie developer Eric Barone's single-handed efforts to grow country-life RPG Stardew Valley from one man's vision into a multi-million-dollar franchise; or Bungie spinning out from their corporate overlords at Microsoft to create Destiny, a brand new universe that they hoped would become as iconic as Star Wars and Lord of the Rings—even as it nearly ripped their studio apart. Documenting the round-the-clock crunches, buggy-eyed burnout, and last-minute saves, Blood, Sweat, and Pixels is a journey through development hell—and ultimately a tribute to the dedicated diehards and unsung heroes who scale mountains of obstacles in their quests to create the best games imaginable.
Posted in Business & Economics

Moral Combat

Why the War on Violent Video Games Is Wrong

Author: Patrick M. Markey,Christopher J. Ferguson

Publisher: BenBella Books, Inc.

ISBN: 1942952996

Category: Social Science

Page: 256

View: 4173

In family rooms across America, millions of children and teenagers are playing video games, such as Call of Duty, Halo, and Grand Theft Auto, roaming violent virtual worlds—with virtual guns in their hands. In what sometimes seems like an increasingly violent world, it’s only natural to worry about the effects of all this pixelated gore. But is that concern misplaced? Authors and psychologists Patrick M. Markey and Christopher J. Ferguson say it is. The media and politicians have been sounding the alarm for years, and with every fresh tragedy involving a young perpetrator comes another flurry of articles about the dangers of violent media. The problem is this: Their fear isn’t supported by the evidence. In fact, unlike the video game–trained murder machines depicted in the press, school shooters are actually less likely to be interested in violent games than their peers. In reality, most well-adjusted children and teenagers play violent video games, all without ever exhibiting violent behavior in real life. What’s more, spikes in sales of violent games actually correspond to decreased rates of violent crime. If that surprises you, you’re not alone—the national dialogue on games and violence has been hopelessly biased. But that’s beginning to change. Scholars are finding that not only are violent games not one of society’s great evils, they may even be a force for good. In Moral Combat, Markey and Ferguson explore how video games—even the bloodiest—can have a positive impact on everything from social skills to stress, and may even make us more morally sensitive. Tracing the rise of violent games from arcades to online deathmatches, they have spent years on the front lines of the video game debate and now offer a comprehensive overview of the scientific research on gaming. With humor, complete honesty, and extensive research, they separate the myth from the medium. Moral Combat is an irreverent and informative guide to the worries—and wonders—of our violent virtual world.
Posted in Social Science

The Ultimate History of Video Games

from Pong to Pokemon and beyond...the story behind the craze that touched our li ves and changed the world

Author: Steven L. Kent

Publisher: Three Rivers Press

ISBN: 9780307560872

Category: Social Science

Page: 624

View: 464

Inside the Games You Grew Up with but Never Forgot With all the whiz, bang, pop, and shimmer of a glowing arcade. The Ultimate History of Video Games reveals everything you ever wanted to know and more about the unforgettable games that changed the world, the visionaries who made them, and the fanatics who played them. From the arcade to television and from the PC to the handheld device, video games have entraced kids at heart for nearly 30 years. And author and gaming historian Steven L. Kent has been there to record the craze from the very beginning. This engrossing book tells the incredible tale of how this backroom novelty transformed into a cultural phenomenon. Through meticulous research and personal interviews with hundreds of industry luminaries, you'll read firsthand accounts of how yesterday's games like Space Invaders, Centipede, and Pac-Man helped create an arcade culture that defined a generation, and how today's empires like Sony, Nintendo, and Electronic Arts have galvanized a multibillion-dollar industry and a new generation of games. Inside, you'll discover: ·The video game that saved Nintendo from bankruptcy ·The serendipitous story of Pac-Man's design ·The misstep that helped topple Atari's $2 billion-a-year empire ·The coin shortage caused by Space Invaders ·The fascinating reasons behind the rise, fall, and rebirth of Sega ·And much more! Entertaining, addictive, and as mesmerizing as the games it chronicles, this book is a must-have for anyone who's ever touched a joystick. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Posted in Social Science

After the War

The Lives and Images of Major Civil War Figures After the Shooting Stopped

Author: David Hardin

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 1566638593

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 345

View: 4170

"Show me a hero and I will write you a tragedy," said F. Scott Fitzgerald. Perhaps no event in American history better illustrates this view than the Civil War and its principal players in the years after the conflict. David Hardin's stories of eleven Civil War figures are revealing and touching. Whether Northerner or Southerner, their lives did not end at Appomattox. Their dissimilar outcomes are a feast of irony and, collectively, a portrait of national change. With eleven black-and-white photographs.
Posted in Biography & Autobiography

The Hero with a Thousand Faces

Author: Joseph Campbell

Publisher: New World Library

ISBN: 1577315936

Category: Psychology

Page: 418

View: 7666

Discusses the universal legend of the hero in world mythology, focusing on the motif of the hero's journey through adventure and transformation.
Posted in Psychology

Opening the XBox

Inside Microsoft's Plan to Unleash an Entertainment Revolution

Author: Dean Takahashi

Publisher: Prima Lifestyles

ISBN: N.A

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 370

View: 1612

"In Opening the Xbox, journalist and gaming-industry expert Dean Takahashi guides you deep into the story of this much-anticipated game console. Through exclusive interviews with top executives at Microsoft, exhaustive research, and a penetrating investigation, he unveils the story behind the development of the project and how it could change the entertainment industry forever."--BOOK JACKET.
Posted in Business & Economics

The Art of Game Design

A Book of Lenses, Second Edition

Author: Jesse Schell

Publisher: CRC Press

ISBN: 1498759564

Category: Computers

Page: 600

View: 2059

Good game design happens when you view your game from as many perspectives as possible. Written by one of the world's top game designers, The Art of Game Design presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, visual design, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, puzzle design, and anthropology. This Second Edition of a Game Developer Front Line Award winner: Describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design Demonstrates how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in top-quality video games Contains valuable insight from Jesse Schell, the former chair of the International Game Developers Association and award-winning designer of Disney online games The Art of Game Design, Second Edition gives readers useful perspectives on how to make better game designs faster. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again.
Posted in Computers

Embed with Games

A Year on the Couch with Game Developers

Author: Cara Ellison

Publisher: Birlinn Publishers

ISBN: 9781846973444

Category: Computer games

Page: 136

View: 9429

COMPUTER GAMES DESIGN. In 2014 games critic Cara Ellison rather flippantly pledged to the internet she'd leave home, become itinerant, and travel around the world to live with and write about some of the most interesting game developers and their cultural outlook. As your 'cyberpunk hair-dyed Attenborough', originally Cara put up the Embed With Games series monthly on a free blog as she travelledfrom couch to couch, writing about the people she met and about the way our game creators express the culture around them. The internet generously helped fund her travel costs through a subscription service, egging her on in the only way it could. This is the collected work, called Embed With Games with an exclusive introduction from Kieron Gillen, a cover from Irene Koh, and a conclusion exclusive to the ebook.
Posted in Computer games

The Cave and the Light

Plato Versus Aristotle, and the Struggle for the Soul of Western Civilization

Author: Arthur Herman

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 0553907832

Category: History

Page: 704

View: 3963

Arthur Herman has now written the definitive sequel to his New York Times bestseller, How the Scots Invented the Modern World, and extends the themes of the book—which sold half a million copies worldwide—back to the ancient Greeks and forward to the age of the Internet. The Cave and the Light is a magisterial account of how the two greatest thinkers of the ancient world, Plato and Aristotle, laid the foundations of Western culture—and how their rivalry shaped the essential features of our culture down to the present day. Plato came from a wealthy, connected Athenian family and lived a comfortable upper-class lifestyle until he met an odd little man named Socrates, who showed him a new world of ideas and ideals. Socrates taught Plato that a man must use reason to attain wisdom, and that the life of a lover of wisdom, a philosopher, was the pinnacle of achievement. Plato dedicated himself to living that ideal and went on to create a school, his famed Academy, to teach others the path to enlightenment through contemplation. However, the same Academy that spread Plato’s teachings also fostered his greatest rival. Born to a family of Greek physicians, Aristotle had learned early on the value of observation and hands-on experience. Rather than rely on pure contemplation, he insisted that the truest path to knowledge is through empirical discovery and exploration of the world around us. Aristotle, Plato’s most brilliant pupil, thus settled on a philosophy very different from his instructor’s and launched a rivalry with profound effects on Western culture. The two men disagreed on the fundamental purpose of the philosophy. For Plato, the image of the cave summed up man’s destined path, emerging from the darkness of material existence to the light of a higher and more spiritual truth. Aristotle thought otherwise. Instead of rising above mundane reality, he insisted, the philosopher’s job is to explain how the real world works, and how we can find our place in it. Aristotle set up a school in Athens to rival Plato’s Academy: the Lyceum. The competition that ensued between the two schools, and between Plato and Aristotle, set the world on an intellectual adventure that lasted through the Middle Ages and Renaissance and that still continues today. From Martin Luther (who named Aristotle the third great enemy of true religion, after the devil and the Pope) to Karl Marx (whose utopian views rival Plato’s), heroes and villains of history have been inspired and incensed by these two master philosophers—but never outside their influence. Accessible, riveting, and eloquently written, The Cave and the Light provides a stunning new perspective on the Western world, certain to open eyes and stir debate. Praise for The Cave and the Light “A sweeping intellectual history viewed through two ancient Greek lenses . . . breezy and enthusiastic but resting on a sturdy rock of research.”—Kirkus Reviews “Examining mathematics, politics, theology, and architecture, the book demonstrates the continuing relevance of the ancient world.”—Publishers Weekly “A fabulous way to understand over two millennia of history, all in one book.”—Library Journal “Entertaining and often illuminating.”—The Wall Street Journal From the Hardcover edition.
Posted in History

Ten Things Video Games Can Teach Us

(about life, philosophy and everything)

Author: Jordan Erica Webber,Daniel Griliopoulos

Publisher: Robinson

ISBN: 1472137922

Category: Philosophy

Page: 288

View: 6841

WOULD YOU KILL ONE PERSON TO SAVE FIVE OTHERS? If you could upload all of your memories into a machine, would that machine be you? Is it possible we're all already artificial intelligences, living inside a simulation? These sound like questions from a philosophy class, but in fact they're from modern, popular video games. Philosophical discussion often uses thought experiments to consider ideas that we can't test in real life, and media like books, films, and games can make these thought experiments far more accessible to a non-academic audience. Thanks to their interactive nature, video games can be especially effective ways to explore these ideas. Each chapter of this book introduces a philosophical topic through discussion of relevant video games, with interviews with game creators and expert philosophers. In ten chapters, this book demonstrates how video games can help us to consider the following questions: 1. Why do video games make for good thought experiments? (From the ethical dilemmas of the Mass Effect series to 'philosophy games'.) 2. What can we actually know? (From why Phoenix Wright is right for the wrong reasons to whether No Man's Sky is a lie.) 3. Is virtual reality a kind of reality? (On whether VR headsets like the Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR, and HTC Vive deal in mass-market hallucination.) 4. What constitutes a mind? (From the souls of Beyond: Two Souls to the synths of Fallout 4.) 5. What can you lose before you're no longer yourself? (Identity crises in the likes of The Swapper and BioShock Infinite.) 6. Does it mean anything to say we have choice? (Determinism and free will in Bioshock, Portal 2 and Deus Ex.) 7. What does it mean to be a good or dutiful person? (Virtue ethics in the Ultima series and duty ethics in Planescape: Torment.) 8. Is there anything better in life than to be happy? (Utilitarianism in Bioshock 2 and Harvest Moon.) 10. How should we be governed, for whom and by who? (Government and rights in Eve Online, Crusader Kings, Democracy 3 and Fable 3.) 11. Is it ever right to take another life? And how do we cope with our own death? (The Harm Thesis and the good death in To The Moon and Lost Odyssey.)
Posted in Philosophy

Mounting Frustration

The Art Museum in the Age of Black Power

Author: Susan E. Cahan

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 0822374897

Category: Art

Page: 360

View: 9433

In Mounting Frustration Susan E. Cahan uncovers the moment when the civil rights movement reached New York City's elite art galleries. Focusing on three controversial exhibitions that integrated African American culture and art, Cahan shows how the art world's racial politics is far more complicated than overcoming past exclusions.
Posted in Art

Gaming at the Edge

Sexuality and Gender at the Margins of Gamer Culture

Author: Adrienne Shaw

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780816693153

Category: Games

Page: 304

View: 7096

Video games have long been seen as the exclusive territory of young, heterosexual white males. In a media landscape dominated by such gamers, players who do not fit this mold, including women, people of color, and LGBT people, are often brutalized in forums and in public channels in online play. Discussion of representation of such groups in games has frequently been limited and cursory. In contrast, Gaming at the Edge builds on feminist, queer, and postcolonial theories of identity and draws on qualitative audience research methods to make sense of how representation comes to matter. In Gaming at the Edge, Adrienne Shaw argues that video game players experience race, gender, and sexuality concurrently. She asks: How do players identify with characters? How do they separate identification and interactivity? What is the role of fantasy in representation? What is the importance of understanding market logic? In addressing these questions Shaw reveals how representation comes to matter to participants and offers a perceptive consideration of the high stakes in politics of representation debates. Putting forth a framework for talking about representation, difference, and diversity in an era in which user-generated content, individualized media consumption, and the blurring of producer/consumer roles has lessened the utility of traditional models of media representation analysis, Shaw finds new insight on the edge of media consumption with the invisible, marginalized gamers who are surprising in both their numbers and their influence in mainstream gamer culture.
Posted in Games

A War for the Soul of America

A History of the Culture Wars

Author: Andrew Hartman

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022625464X

Category: History

Page: 384

View: 2154

When Patrick Buchanan took the stage at the Republican National Convention in 1992 and proclaimed, “There is a religious war going on for the soul of our country,” his audience knew what he was talking about: the culture wars, which had raged throughout the previous decade and would continue until the century’s end, pitting conservative and religious Americans against their liberal, secular fellow citizens. It was an era marked by polarization and posturing fueled by deep-rooted anger and insecurity. Buchanan’s fiery speech marked a high point in the culture wars, but as Andrew Hartman shows in this richly analytical history, their roots lay farther back, in the tumult of the 1960s—and their significance is much greater than generally assumed. Far more than a mere sideshow or shouting match, the culture wars, Hartman argues, were the very public face of America’s struggle over the unprecedented social changes of the period, as the cluster of social norms that had long governed American life began to give way to a new openness to different ideas, identities, and articulations of what it meant to be an American. The hot-button issues like abortion, affirmative action, art, censorship, feminism, and homosexuality that dominated politics in the period were symptoms of the larger struggle, as conservative Americans slowly began to acknowledge—if initially through rejection—many fundamental transformations of American life. As an ever-more partisan but also an ever-more diverse and accepting America continues to find its way in a changing world, A War for the Soul of America reminds us of how we got here, and what all the shouting has really been about.
Posted in History