unit operations an approach to videogame criticism mit press

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Unit Operations

Author : Ian Bogost
ISBN : 9780262261890
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 73. 44 MB
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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.

Civic Life Online

Author : W. Lance Bennett
ISBN : 9780262026345
Genre : Computers
File Size : 36. 96 MB
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The relationship of participation in online communities to civic and political engagement.

Persuasive Games

Author : Ian Bogost
ISBN : UOM:49015003442390
Genre : Computers
File Size : 21. 74 MB
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An exploration of the way videogames mount arguments and make expressive statements about the world that analyzes their unique persuasive power in terms of their computational properties.

The Ethics Of Computer Games

Author : Miguel Sicart
ISBN : 9780262261531
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 59. 9 MB
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Despite the emergence of computer games as a dominant cultural industry (and the accompanying emergence of computer games as the subject of scholarly research), we know little or nothing about the ethics of computer games. Considerations of the morality of computer games seldom go beyond intermittent portrayals of them in the mass media as training devices for teenage serial killers. In this first scholarly exploration of the subject, Miguel Sicart addresses broader issues about the ethics of games, the ethics of playing the games, and the ethical responsibilities of game designers. He argues that computer games are ethical objects, that computer game players are ethical agents, and that the ethics of computer games should be seen as a complex network of responsibilities and moral duties. Players should not be considered passive amoral creatures; they reflect, relate, and create with ethical minds. The games they play are ethical systems, with rules that create gameworlds with values at play. Drawing on concepts from philosophy and game studies, Sicart proposes a framework for analyzing the ethics of computer games as both designed objects and player experiences. After presenting his core theoretical arguments and offering a general theory for understanding computer game ethics, Sicart offers case studies examining single-player games (using Bioshock as an example), multiplayer games (illustrated by Defcon), and online gameworlds (illustrated by World of Warcraft) from an ethical perspective. He explores issues raised by unethical content in computer games and its possible effect on players and offers a synthesis of design theory and ethics that could be used as both analytical tool and inspiration in the creation of ethical gameplay.

Racing The Beam

Author : Nick Montfort
ISBN : 9780262261524
Genre : Games
File Size : 72. 56 MB
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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.

Gaming

Author : Alexander R. Galloway
ISBN : 9781452908687
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 30. 54 MB
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Video games have been a central feature of the cultural landscape for over twenty years and now rival older media like movies, television, and music in popularity and cultural influence. Yet there have been relatively few attempts to understand the video game as an independent medium. Most such efforts focus on the earliest generation of text-based adventures (Zork, for example) and have little to say about such visually and conceptually sophisticated games as Final Fantasy X, Shenmue, Grand Theft Auto, Halo, and The Sims, in which players inhabit elaborately detailed worlds and manipulate digital avatars with a vast—and in some cases, almost unlimited—array of actions and choices. In Gaming, Alexander Galloway instead considers the video game as a distinct cultural form that demands a new and unique interpretive framework. Drawing on a wide range of disciplines, particularly critical theory and media studies, he analyzes video games as something to be played rather than as texts to be read, and traces in five concise chapters how the “algorithmic culture” created by video games intersects with theories of visuality, realism, allegory, and the avant-garde. If photographs are images and films are moving images, then, Galloway asserts, video games are best defined as actions. Using examples from more than fifty video games, Galloway constructs a classification system of action in video games, incorporating standard elements of gameplay as well as software crashes, network lags, and the use of cheats and game hacks. In subsequent chapters, he explores the overlap between the conventions of film and video games, the political and cultural implications of gaming practices, the visual environment of video games, and the status of games as an emerging cultural form. Together, these essays offer a new conception of gaming and, more broadly, of electronic culture as a whole, one that celebrates and does not lament the qualities of the digital age. Alexander R. Galloway is assistant professor of culture and communication at New York University and author of Protocol: How Control Exists after Decentralization.

Immersive Education

Author : Martin Ebner
ISBN : 9783319220178
Genre : Computers
File Size : 76. 34 MB
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This book constitutes the refereed proceedings of the 4th European Immersive Education Summit, EiED 2014, held in Vienna, Austria, in November 2014. The 11 revised full papers presented were carefully reviewed and selected from 30 submissions. The papers are organized in topical sections on innovation and technological advancements in e-learning; immersive and emerging technologies for cultural and digital heritage.

Newsgames

Author : Ian Bogost
ISBN : 9780262014878
Genre : Games
File Size : 32. 4 MB
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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.

Game After

Author : Raiford Guins
ISBN : 9780262320184
Genre : Games
File Size : 55. 16 MB
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We purchase video games to play them, not to save them. What happens to video games when they are out of date, broken, nonfunctional, or obsolete? Should a game be considered an "ex-game" if it exists only as emulation, as an artifact in museum displays, in an archival box, or at the bottom of a landfill? In Game After, Raiford Guins focuses on video games not as hermetically sealed within time capsules of the past but on their material remains: how and where video games persist in the present. Guins meticulously investigates the complex life cycles of video games, to show how their meanings, uses, and values shift in an afterlife of disposal, ruins and remains, museums, archives, and private collections.Guins looks closely at video games as museum objects, discussing the recontextualization of the Pong and Brown Box prototypes and engaging with curatorial and archival practices across a range of cultural institutions; aging coin-op arcade cabinets; the documentation role of game cartridge artwork and packaging; the journey of a game from flawed product to trash to memorialized relic, as seen in the history of Atari's infamous E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial; and conservation, restoration, and re-creation stories told by experts including Van Burnham, Gene Lewin, and Peter Takacs. The afterlife of video games -- whether behind glass in display cases or recreated as an iPad app -- offers a new way to explore the diverse topography of game history.

Video Game Spaces

Author : Michael Nitsche
ISBN : 9780262293013
Genre : Games
File Size : 20. 49 MB
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The move to 3D graphics represents a dramatic artistic and technical development in the history of video games that suggests an overall transformation of games as media. The experience of space has become a key element of how we understand games and how we play them. In Video Game Spaces, Michael Nitsche investigates what this shift means for video game design and analysis. Navigable 3D spaces allow us to crawl, jump, fly, or even teleport through fictional worlds that come to life in our imagination. We encounter these spaces through a combination of perception and interaction. Drawing on concepts from literary studies, architecture, and cinema, Nitsche argues that game spaces can evoke narratives because the player is interpreting them in order to engage with them. Consequently, Nitsche approaches game spaces not as pure visual spectacles but as meaningful virtual locations. His argument investigates what structures are at work in these locations, proceeds to an in-depth analysis of the audiovisual presentation of gameworlds, and ultimately explores how we use and comprehend their functionality. Nitsche introduces five analytical layers -- rule-based space, mediated space, fictional space, play space, and social space -- and uses them in the analyses of games that range from early classics to recent titles. He revisits current topics in game research, including narrative, rules, and play, from this new perspective. Video Game Spaces provides a range of necessary arguments and tools for media scholars, designers, and game researchers with an interest in 3D game worlds and the new challenges they pose.

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