Games Research Network

Researching analogue and digital games

Category: books (page 1 of 2)

Book Review: Role-Playing Game Studies: Transmedia Foundations

Role-Playing Game Studies: Transmedia Foundations

Edited by Sebastian Deterding and José Zagal

Routledge, 2018. ISBN:9780815369202

Originally conceived during discussions amongst the Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) Role-Playing Studies Special Interest Group, this impressive volume represents an essential collection of essays and perspectives for any scholar currently researching, or thinking about researching, Role Playing Games (RPGs). With contributors ranging from internationally renowned academics (e.g. Staffan Björk and Sarah Lynne Bowman) to games designers (Moyra Turkington) and experts in narrative design (Whitney Beltrán), this compendium presents a multifaceted and holistic approach to the consideration of the subject. read more

Book Review: Horror Video Games edited by Bernard Perron

Horror Video Games: Essays on the Fusion of Fear and Play

Edited by Bernard Perron

McFarland & Co, 2009. ISBN 978-0786441976

As a fan of horror video games, the rush of being low on ammo in Resident Evil 2 is something that academic texts usually don’t live up to. However, Bernard Perron’s edited collection Horror Video Games: Essays on the Fusion of Fear and Play (2009) is about as close as it gets. Perron, the author of Silent Hill: The Terror Engine (2012) and The World of Scary Video Games (2018) as well as the co-editor of The Video Game Theory Reader (2003) and The Video Game Theory Reader 2 (2009), weaves together both academic and industry voices into the first horror reader for Game Studies. We’re fortunate that the first, and as of this writing only, game in town is a real horrorshow. read more

Book Review – Tabletop Gaming Manual

Tabletop Gaming Manual
Matt Thrower
Haynes Manuals, 2018
ISBN: 1785211498

This new book from games journalist Matt Thrower is published by Haynes Publishing, who are perhaps best known for their car, motorcycle, scooter and ATV manuals, and who in recent years have developed an interesting and lucrative sideline in General Interest Manuals, with topics ranging from Zombie Survival to the Imperial Death Star. With such a wide range of fan culture on offer, it was surely only a matter of times before tabletop games got the Haynes treatment, and in Matt Thrower (who as well as his excellent Fortress blog is perhaps best known for his work with Shut up and Sit Down) they have the ideal gamer for the job. read more

Book review – Hamlet on the Holodeck

Hamlet on the Holodeck:
The Future of Narrative in Cyberspace
(Updated Edition)
Janet H. Murray
Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2017
ISBN: 9780262533485
 

Twenty years on from the publication of Janet H. Murray’s Hamlet on the Holodeck: The Future of Narrative in Cyberspace, The MIT Press have published an updated edition of the book originally published by The Free Press in 1997. That the book is deserving of such an update is not in question, its impact on those working on literature, narrative, technology, and games, was and remains significant (as is easily demonstrated by its ever- growing number of citations) and it well deserves its position as a landmark of literary criticism and digital culture. read more

Book Review: Hacking the Curriculum

Hacking the Curriculum: Creative Computing and the Power of Play

By Ian Livingstone & Shahneola Saeed

John Catt Educational Limited, 2017. ISBN 9781909717824

Given the massive impact of the videogames industry on the UK economy, computing in schools is still catching up to a large extent. Prior to 2014 the ICT curriculum in schools focused on the use of Microsoft Office software and little else; the creative programming skill required to grow a huge games industry was developed by individual hobbyists in their bedrooms rather than through the school system. Acknowledging that our children need to be ready for a digital future, recent curriculum changes have attempted to address this, with coding being described as ‘the new Latin’ by many reformers since 2010 . However, this in turn has landed a mass of new curriculum initiatives on the plates of teachers, many of whom only studied the old ICT curriculum if they studied ICT at all. read more

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