Table of Contents

This is the table of contents for An Introduction to Game Studies: Games in Culture textbook:

List of Tables and Figures viii
List of Boxes x
Acknowledgements xi
1 Introduction: what is game studies? 1
Making sense of games 1
A (very) short history of game studies 5
Summary and conclusions 11
Suggested further reading 11
Orientation assignment: Personal game history 11
Notes 12

2 Game culture: meaning in games 13
Games as cultural systems 13
Game cultures as subcultures 21
Summary and conclusions 27
Suggested further reading 28
Assignment: Game culture survey 28

3 Play and games in history 30
Writing for game history 30
Defining games 32
Prehistory of games 37
Study of play in culture 43
Summary and conclusions 50
Suggested further reading 50
Assignment: Remediation of a non-digital game 50

4 Dual structure and the action games of the 1970s 52
Digital games as multi-layered meaning-making systems 52
How to define a ‘classic’? 55
Three decades of digital games: The rise of modern
information society 56
Games in the 1970s: Learning the lexicon 58
Pong (1972): Introducing enjoyable core gameplay 58
Significance in gaming devices 61
Space invaders (1978) and the playability of a shooter 62
Summary and conclusions 65
Suggested further reading 66
Assignments on early digital games 66

5 Adventures and other fiction in the 1980s’ games 68
Games and culture in the 1980s 68
Pac-Man (1980) and digital game as pop culture 68
Donkey Kong (1981), the rise of interactive story-worlds 73
Text adventures and the evolution of computer role-playing games 78
Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar (1985) and games’
thematic depth 81
Summary and conclusions 86
Suggested further reading 87
Assignments on diversifying game cultures 87
Notes 89

6 Three-dimensionality and the early 1990s 90
Debating games in the 1990s 90
Meaningful audiovisual technology? 91
Civilization (1991): Ideological simulation or just
strategic play? 95
Doom (1993): Controversy, immersion and player-created
mod culture 101
Summary and conclusions 115
Suggested further reading 116
Assignments on 3D and turn-taking 116

7 The real and the game: game culture entering the new millennium 118
Games as worlds, the world as a game 118
The growth of online games 119
EverQuest (1999) World of Warcraft (2004) and other
virtual worlds 127
Multimodal and pervasive games 141
Summary and conclusions 150
Suggested further reading 151
Assignments on mixed reality and multiplayer games 151

8 Preparing for a game studies project 152
Learning to ask 152
Selecting and building the toolbox of methods 155
Humanities methods 157
Social sciences methods 158
Design research methods 162
Game playing as a method 165
Writing for an audience 167

References 171
Index 184

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