Gaming as Culture: Essays on Reality, Identity and Experience in Fantasy Games

McFarland
4
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Since tabletop fantasy role-playing games emerged in the 1970s, fantasy gaming has made a unique contribution to popular culture and perceptions of social realities in America and around the world. This contribution is increasingly apparent as the gaming industry has diversified with the addition of collectible strategy games and other innovative products, as well as the recent advancements in videogame technology. This book presents the most current research in fantasy games and examines the cultural and constructionist dimensions of fantasy gaming as a leisure activity. Each chapter investigates some social or behavioral aspect of fantasy gaming and provides insight into the cultural, linguistic, sociological, and psychological impact of games on both the individual and society. Section I discusses the intersection of fantasy and real-world scenarios and how the construction of a fantasy world is dialectically related to the construction of a gamer’s social reality. Because the basic premise of fantasy gaming is the assumption of virtual identities, Section II looks at the relationship between gaming and various aspects of identity. The third and final section examines what the personal experiences of gamers can tell us about how humans experience reality. Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.
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About the author

J. Patrick Williams is an assistant professor of Sociology at Arkansas State University. Sean Q. Hendricks is a lecturer and research consultant at the University of Georgia. W. Keith Winkler studied Anthropology and English at Emory University and International Business at Georgia State University. He is an adjunct faculty member at Murray State University in Kentucky.
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Additional Information

Publisher
McFarland
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Published on
Jan 10, 2014
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Pages
232
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ISBN
9780786454068
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Games & Activities / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Many of today's hottest selling games--both non-electronic and electronic--focus on such elements as shooting up as many bad guys as one can (Duke Nuk'em), beating the toughest level (Mortal Kombat), collecting all the cards (Pokemon), and scoring the most points (Tetris). Fantasy role-playing games (Dungeons & Dragons, Rolemaster, GURPS), while they may involve some of those aforementioned elements, rarely focus on them. Instead, playing a fantasy role-playing game is much like acting out a scene from a play, movie or book, only without a predefined script. Players take on such roles as wise wizards, noble knights, roguish sellswords, crafty hobbits, greedy dwarves, and anything else one can imagine and the referee allows. The players don't exactly compete; instead, they interact with each other and with the fantasy setting. The game is played orally with no game board, and although the referee usually has a storyline planned for a game, much of the action is impromptu. Performance is a major part of role-playing, and role-playing games as a performing art is the subject of this book, which attempts to introduce an appreciation for the performance aesthetics of such games. The author provides the framework for a critical model useful in understanding the art--especially in terms of aesthetics--of role-playing games. The book also serves as a contribution to the beginnings of a body of criticism, theory, and aesthetics analysis of a mostly unrecognized and newly developing art form. There are four parts: the cultural structure, the extent to which the game relates to outside cultural elements; the formal structure, or the rules of the game; the social structure, which encompasses the degree and quality of social interaction among players; and the aesthetic structure, concerned with the emergence of role-playing as an art form.
Phil Gordon plays poker with the best players in the world. He has won -- and lost -- in tournaments and cash games around the globe, all the while studying the game and learning from every hand dealt. As the resident expert and cohost of Celebrity Poker Showdown, Phil has quickly become one of the most sought-after teachers of No Limit Texas Hold'em. It's a tough game. But anyone can become a winning player with the right amount of courage, patience, aggression, observation, and, perhaps most important, dedication to becoming a better player.
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A book to rank with Doyle Brunson's Super System and David Sklansky's The Theory of Poker, Phil Gordon's Little Green Book deserves a spot on the shelf of every serious student of the game.
From America's foremost chess teacher and author comes a new standard: a comprehensive course covering all aspects of the game, to improve your technique whether you are a newcomer or a longtime fan.

One of America's best-known chess masters, Bruce Pandolfini has helped millions learn the intricacies of chess through his acclaimed books and workshops. In this exciting volume, he presents a complete overview of the entire game and its culture. Structured as a dialogue between a beginning student and an expert teacher, Pandolfini's Ultimate Guide to Chess takes the student step-by-step from fundamentals to advanced, highly strategic play. Combining easy-to-follow diagrams with trenchant and up-to-date analysis, Pandolfini puts a new twist on accepted chess theory, offering a seamless beginning-to-end approach, including:

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• computers and the future of chess

• the best websites for playing chess online

With Pandolfini's expert insight into the history and modern world of chess, as well as several appendices to enhance play and appreciation, Pandolfini's Ultimate Guide to Chess makes the perfect gift for players of all ages and will be the benchmark title for chess players for years to come.
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