Archive for the Books Category

Subculture: the Meaning of Style

Posted in Books with tags , , on June 2, 2008 by frans

One of the key concepts for approaching ‘game cultures’ is the ‘subculture’. There is an entire tradition of scholarship dedicated to studies of subcultures and this book does nice job in explaining the fundamentals of the field.

Hebdige, Dick (1979) Subculture: the Meaning of Style. London: Methuen. Amazon preview available here.

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What Video Games Have To Teach Us About Learning And Literacy

Posted in Books with tags , , , , on June 1, 2008 by frans

The pedagogic and cognitive character of digital games has been long in the interests of academic educators, but recent years have seen strong rise in the study of so-called ‘serious games’. James Paul Gee points out in his book that we should turn our attention to entertainment games in order to learn about effective pedagogic in interactive media.

Gee, James Paul (2003) What Video Games Have To Teach Us About Learning And Literacy. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Amazon.com preview into the revised edition here.

New Games Book

Posted in Books with tags , , on June 1, 2008 by frans

This is an original document from the New Games Movement, but (like its sequel, More New Games) might be a bit difficult to find these days – second hand bookshops are helpful here. New Games were forms of play that aimed to make a positive impact on culture and society.

Fluegelman, Andrew (ed) (1976) New Games Book. New Games Foundation. New York: Dolphin/Doubleday.

Shared Fantasy: Role-Playing Games as Social Worlds

Posted in Books with tags , , , on June 1, 2008 by frans

This book is a classic in the area of fantasy role-playing studies; making use of Erving Goffman and other social-psychological theories it provides useful perspectives to the use of imagination and the ‘role’ or ‘game character’ also in digital play experiences.

Fine, Gary Alan (1983) Shared Fantasy: Role-Playing Games as Social Worlds. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press. Amazon.com preview available here.

Doing Cultural Studies: The Story of the Sony Walkman

Posted in Books with tags on June 1, 2008 by frans

Cultural studies has many tools and approaches to offer to those interested in the complex signification and production processes surrounding digital games, too. This is an interesting book focused on various aspects of Sony Walkman.

du Gay, Paul, Stuart Hall, Linda Janes, Hugh Mackay and Keith Negus (1997) Doing Cultural Studies: The Story of the Sony Walkman. Culture, Media & Identities, Vol. 1. London: Sage Publications.

Game Cultures: Computer Games as New Media

Posted in Books with tags , , , on June 1, 2008 by frans

Many of the key analyses of contemporary games are based on cultural studies and media studies approaches; this book by Dovey and Kennedy is one of the more interesting ones.

Dovey, Jon and Helen W. Kennedy (2006) Game Cultures: Computer Games as New Media. Maidenhead: Open University Press. Preview available from Amazon.co.uk.

The Well Played Game

Posted in Books with tags , , on June 1, 2008 by frans

The New Games Movement of the 1970s provides an example on how games and play can take an active stance in societal, ethical and philosophical matters. DeKoven’s book is an accessible presentation that is also available (for an obligatory donation) as a downloadable PDF:

DeKoven, Bernie (2002) The Well Played Game: A Playful Path to Wholeness (3rd edn). San Jose (CA): Writers Club Press. Online site: http://www.deepfun.com/WPG.htm.