Games Research Network

Researching analogue and digital games

Category: Uncategorised (page 1 of 2)

Event: Dr Mark Johnson – The Importance of Gambling to Game Studies

Wednesday, 14 Feb 2018
, 14:30-16:00.

Geoffrey Manton Building, GM307.

This talk will explore a number of potential intersections between game studies and gambling studies, focusing on how both disciplines can yield a wide range of insight into the domains studied by the other, yet have remained almost entirely separate up to the present day. Game studies has been almost universally uninterested in exploring games in which gambling takes place – casino games, card games, many online games – due concerns over the ethical weight the word “gambling” carries, a dominant focus on video games and to a lesser extent board games, and the central roles of scholars from humanities and social science rather than psychology and other positivistic disciplines which dominate gambling studies. Gambling studies, meanwhile, emphasises questions of problem and responsible gambling which leave little room for critical studies, has only just begun to address the importance of understanding video games to contemporary gambling practice, and can often view any form of gameplay as the first step towards pathology, deviance, and negative life outcomes. read more

It’s all fun and games until someone learns something

In a guest post for Errant Science, Sam Illingworth talks about how science can be effectively communicated using tabletop games:

I think that it is actually the games that use science which offer the greatest potential for developing meaningful engagement. As well as being (for the large part) extremely well-designed games, they also offer the opportunity for further discussion and debate. Questions such as ‘how effective have previous efforts been at virus containment?’ or ‘should we be investing time and money on creating a liveable planet on Mars, or instead focus on trying to make the one that we live on now more habitable?’ are interesting and important questions that have arisen when playing these games with both scientists and non-scientists. read more

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

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