Games Research Network

Researching analogue and digital games

Category: books (page 1 of 3)

Storytelling in the Modern Board Game

Storytelling in the Modern Board Game: Narrative trends from the Late 1960s to Today

Marco Arnaudo

Jefferson: McFarland, 2018

9-781476-669519

Marco Arnaudo’s new book, Storytelling in the Modern Board Game joins the growing body of critical work on analogue games, finding a place alongside books such as Paul Booth’s Game Play (2015), Stewart Wood’s Eurogames (2012), Jon Peterson’s Playing at the World (2012), and Pat Harrigan and Matthew G. Kirschenbaum’s Zones of Control (2016). read more

Knowledge Games by Karen Schrier

Knowledge Games: How Playing Games can Solve Problems, Create Insight, and Make Change 

Karen Schrier 

Johns Hopkins University Press, 2016.

ISBN: 9781421419206

Karen Schrier, Associate Professor of Games/Interactive Media, Director of the Play Innovation Lab, and Director of the Games and Emerging Media at Marist College (NY), presents a fantastic volume on knowledge games, which she defines as games that, “produce knowledge; solve authentic, applicable problems; or generate new ideas and possibilities for real-world change (25).”  Although compared alongside serious and persuasive games which also seek topical insight (see Michael & Chen and Bogost, respectively), the clear delineator is that knowledge games ideally produce knowledge that did not exist before.  Dr. Schrier’s overall argument is that a well-designed knowledge game synergizes human ingenuity and spatial reasoning with computer processing power and storage capacity to produce new and quality data at large scale. read more

A Play of Bodies: How We Perceive Videogames

A Play of Bodies: How We Perceive Videogames

By Brendan Keogh

MIT Press, 2018. ISBN 9780262037631

The cult comedy videogames site Old Man Murray developed an innovative and completely objective ‘time to crate’ review system, whereby games would be assessed on the amount of time elapsed between the start of the game and the first crate that the player sees. Often (in the late 1990s and early 2000s) this would be a matter of seconds, leading to some incredibly low scoring reviews. I sometimes feel that a similar system might be required for games studies books; often you can go into a title knowing that it’s going to mention Rez, Proteus, and the Psycho Mantis fight from Metal Gear Solid. It’s just a matter of when rather than if. When I flicked through Brendan Keogh’s new book A Play of Bodies: How We Perceive Videogames (2018) and saw these titles mentioned again, I got a horrible feeling of déjà vu; however, the approach that Keogh takes to even the most ubiquitously discussed games is so refreshing that I quickly abandoned any preconceptions as to where the book would take me. read more

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

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

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