Games Research Network

Researching analogue and digital games

Category: Uncategorised (page 1 of 2)

Book Review – A Composer’s Guide to Game Music

A Composer’s Guide to Game Music
Winifred Phillips
Cambridge, MA:
MIT Press, 2017
ISBN: 978026253449

There is no doubting the strength of Winfred’s Phillips’ credentials as a game composer, she is the creative mind behind the musical scores to a string of major titles that include Assassin’s Creed III, God of War, Total War Battles: Kingdom and Little Big Planet 2. If you are already familiar with these scores it will come as little surprise that a quite orchestral approach to composition forms the major backdrop for discussion within this exploration of music for computer games. read more

Book review – It’s All A Game

It’s All A Game: The History of Board Games from Monopoly to Settlers of Catan
Tristan Donovan
New York: Thomas Dunne Books, 2017
ISBN: 9781250082725

Following in the footsteps of Replay: The History of Video Games (2010), Tristan Donovan’s new book, It’s All A Game turns to the analogue world to offer an enjoyable meander through the history of board games ranging from Ancient Egypt to the contemporary moment. With chapters covering games including chess, backgammon, The Game of Life, Monopoly, Risk, Cluedo (presented by Donovan as Clue for his presumably larger American readership), Scrabble, Mouse Trap, Twister, Go, Trivial Pursuit, and Settlers of Catan (to name but the headline games), it’s a rapid journey through the world of games and gaming, and Donovan proves to be an amiable and knowledgeable guide. read more

Podcast: Drawn to the Flame

I recently had the pleasure of chatting to Frank and Peter from Drawn to the Flame, a podcast about Fantasy Flight’s Arkham Horror Living Card Game.

We talked about our histories with board gaming, why we enjoy Arkham Horror, and how it plays with the idea of the ‘magic circle’, which plays a significant role in my research. read more

Event: The Future of Esports

The Future of Esports: Challenging Work and Gender Issues in the UK’s Professional Computer Gaming Industry

Part of the Sociological Review Research Seminar Series

Funded by The Sociological Review Foundation

Wednesday, 16th August 2017
Ground Floor, ‘MadLab’, 36-40 Edge Street, Manchester, M4 1HN

‘Esports’ or electronic sports is the umbrella term for organised, competitive computer gaming usually played by paid professionals. It is an emerging entertainment market worth an estimated $1.5 billion and is comparable in size to many traditional sports, with audiences of tens, even hundreds, of millions of people worldwide. This one-day symposia seeks to build expertise between early career researchers, professional players, and industry experts who are interested in problematising the social, cultural, and economic dimensions of Esports. Sociological research on Esports has begun to highlight the precarious working conditions, such as temporary contracts and exploitative pay practices that characterise professional computer gaming. Similarly, early research into women and Esports suggests that these competitive gaming environments tend to reproduce ‘hegemonic masculinities’ which can leave women isolated and a structural disadvantage in terms of employment opportunities. At this moment, there is the need to launch fruitful and long-term collaborative research agendas to understand the nature of these issues, and establish the networks needed to bring about practical and sustainable social change. Papers and talks will be presented by academics, organisers, and campaigners, addressing a range of issues from exploitative labour practices, gender representation, social inclusion, as well as the challenges of studying player careers, and the complexities of different Esports ecologies. read more

CFP: Indie Interfaces Symposium on indie game dev (Sep 28-30, Montréal)

Call for Papers – Indie Interfaces Symposium
Technoculture, Art and Games Research Centre
Concordia University, Montréal, Canada
Thursday, September 28 – Saturday, September 30, 2017

Indie Interfaces” is an intimate industry-academic symposium designed to facilitate knowledge exchange between academics and influential actors working in the field of indie games. Held in Montréal, a city renowned for its diverse and vibrant game development communities, this pathbreaking event will combine roundtable discussions among industry attendees and academic research presentations to foster productive, critical dialogue and collaboration. Moving beyond definitional debates about what counts as indie, this symposium is intended to stimulate innovative, interdisciplinary academic work that can feed forward into game industry practices. read more

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