How to Do Things With Videogames

How to Do Things With Videogames
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BOOK REVIEWS

All rights reserved. Videodame Follow. They are kind of very culturally specific. I'm trying to understand what that is all about, what we are experiencing, what we are looking for, what parts of those experiences are new in games. I will quote from the latter as an example of what the book offers: "Yes, the player must discharge his or her weapons inside [Manchester] cathedral to avoid defeat. Without sociological methods, there can be no question of revealing the 'impact' of anything on 'society'.

Between lackluster games and gamergate, the gaming community took quite a hit. As a female gamer, this year was the first time I had logged off of a multiplayer experience in fear of being bullied beyond repair. In the end, this event only seemed to reaffirm the misogynistic conception of gamers in the public eye.

CURATOR'S NOTE

In recent years, computer games have moved from the margins of popular culture to its center. Reviews of new games and profiles of game designers now regularly appear in the New York Times and the New Yorker, and sales figures for games are. How to Do Things With Videogames and millions of other books are available for Amazon Kindle.​ How to Do Things with Videogames (Electronic Mediations) Paperback – August 5, ​ His books include Persuasive Games: The Expressive Power of Videogames and Newsgames: Journalism at.

This series of Player 2 posts will consist of two books every gamer should read to help the community. This book is a collection of short essays about a range of topics. Each topic is explored in plain language to be accessible for every reader while introducing important new media scholars like Marshall McLuhan.

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Each essay is full of applicable, real game world examples that act as flint for deeper discussions of the medium. The gameography alone is expansive enough to traverse a diverse amount of gaming content. For me, it was the content management behind those creepy Burger King Xbox games a few years back.

Bogost covers a range of topics from games-as-art to Easter eggs to political use of the medium.

For now and for the New Year, I would like to talk about one chapter in particular: Reverence. In recent years, computer games have moved from the margins of popular culture to its center. Reviews of new games and profiles of game designers now regularly appear in the New York Times and the New Yorker , and sales figures for games are reported alongside those of books, music, and movies.

They are increasingly used for purposes other than entertainment, yet debates about videogames still fork along one of two paths: accusations of debasement through violence and isolation or defensive paeans to their potential as serious cultural works. Bogost, a leading scholar of videogames and an award-winning game designer, explores the many ways computer games are used today: documenting important historical and cultural events; educating both children and adults; promoting commercial products; and serving as platforms for art, pornography, exercise, relaxation, pranks, and politics.

Examining these applications in a series of short, inviting, and provocative essays, he argues that together they make the medium broader, richer, and more relevant to a wider audience. Does How to Do Things with Videogames fulfil its scholarly obligations? To me, at least, it seems that the answer is both yes and no.

How to do things with videogames

How to Do Things with Videogames is a short collection of essays, most of them a little over six pages in length. The title is a throwaway allusion to J. Austin's classic study in the philosophy of language, and in fact provides little clue as to the book's content, which is hard to summarise because the thematic connections between essays are often very loose. For example, Chapter 11, 'Texture', briefly surveys the history of rendering and haptic feedback in videogames before offering a few words of advice to game designers, while Chapter 3, 'Reverence', is a reading of a level in the first person shooter, Resistance: Fall of Man Insomniac Games, I will quote from the latter as an example of what the book offers:.

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But when the dust settles, the cathedral empties, and the player is left to spend as much or as little time as he or she wants exploring the cathedral's cavernous interior It's a time to pause, to reflect, perhaps even to meditate on the relationship between God, human, and alien. We are thus given no idea as to whether any real player has ever actually been inspired with feelings of reverence by Resistance: Fall of Man , nor of whether it was the intention of the game's designers to inspire such feelings.

On this level, Bogost fulfils the scholar's aforementioned "special obligation to explain something new about the works [he or she] discuss[es]", and the book can be considered a great success: the interpretations he constructs are perceptive, thought-provoking, and often wholly unexpected.

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However, given that the back cover blurb promises a book that "explores the many ways computer games are used today" emphasis added , one might perhaps be forgiven for expecting a little more: an account not just of how certain videogames might conceivably be experienced, but of how real people generally use games. Such an account may perhaps be implied in Bogost's stated aim to "reveal the impact of a medium's properties on society Staiger, , and cultural sociology, e. Hall et al, In this, we see the need to take Bogost's above-quoted critique of aca-fandom further, and challenge the wider problems of media studies as a discipline in which "literary interpretation has marginalised sociological methods" Rojek and Turner, Without sociological methods, there can be no question of revealing the 'impact' of anything on 'society'.