Get your Theory Fix: Game Studies 12/01 out

Technology Trees: Freedom and Determinism in Historical Strategy Games

by Tuur Ghys

This article deals with the representation of the history of technology in historical strategy games by the use of evolutionary tree diagrams called technology trees, in relation to the concept of technological determinism. It does so by comparing four important strategy games: Age of Empires, Empire Earth, Rise of Nations and Civilization IV.[more]

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Tombstones, Uncanny Monuments and Epic Quests: Memorials in World of Warcraft

by Martin Gibbs, Joji Mori, Michael Arnold, Tamara Kohn

In this paper memorials in World of Warcraft are described and analysed. The repertoires of materials used to build these memorials within the game world are discussed. We argue that game designers draw on diverse cultural materials to create memorials that resemble and allude to traditional and contemporary forms of memorialization.[more]

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Constitutive Tensions of Gaming’s Field: UK gaming magazines and the formation of gaming culture 1981-1995

by Graeme Kirkpatrick

The paper describes a study of UK gaming magazines in the 1980s and 90s. It argues that a structural transformation of gaming discourse can be discerned in these publications, one which has been fateful both for our understanding of what computer games are and for the identity of the modern ‘gamer’.[more]

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The Agony and the Exidy: A History of Video Game Violence and the Legacy of Death Race

by Carly A. Kocurek

Released in 1976, Exidy’s Death Race precipitated the first moral panic in video gaming. The incident resonates with contemporary debates about video gaming and provides insight into the evolution of violent games as a topic of special concern for moral guardians and the industry.[more]

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“Interactive Cinema” Is an Oxymoron, but May Not Always Be

by Kevin Veale

This article engages with the critical history of ‘interactive cinema’ as a term in order to explore why it has been so problematic, and uses close analysis of case-studies in the context of their affective experience to argue for a class of game texts that are neither ‘watched’ nor ‘played.’[more]
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Pretty Hate Machines: A Review of Gameplay Mode

by Ian Bogost

Gameplay Mode: War, Simulation, and Technoculture. Patrick Crogan, 2011. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. ISBN 978-0-8166-5334-8[more]

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