Introduction to Game Analysis

Routledge
2
Free sample

Game analysis allows us to understand games better, providing insight into the player-game relationship, the construction of the game, and its sociocultural relevance. As the field of game studies grows, videogame writing is evolving from the mere evaluation of gameplay, graphics, sound, and replayablity, to more reflective writing that manages to convey the complexity of a game and the way it is played in a cultural context.

Introduction to Game Analysis

serves as an accessible guide to analyzing games using strategies borrowed from textual analysis. Clara Fernández-Vara’s concise primer provides instruction on the basic building blocks of game analysis—examination of context, content and reception, and formal qualities—as well as the vocabulary necessary for talking about videogames' distinguishing characteristics. Examples are drawn from a range of games, both digital and non-digital—from Bioshock and World of Warcraft to Monopoly—and the book provides a variety of exercises and sample analyses, as well as a comprehensive ludography and glossary.
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About the author

Clara Fernández-Vara

is Associate Arts Professor at the Game Center, New York University. She teaches courses on videogame theory and game narrative, and works as a freelance game designer and writer. As a researcher, her main interest is in exploring the integration of stories and gameplay, as well as developing theoretical frameworks to understand games better.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Routledge
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Published on
Jul 17, 2014
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Pages
274
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ISBN
9781134474202
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Language
English
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Genres
Computers / Digital Media / General
Language Arts & Disciplines / Journalism
Social Science / Media Studies
Social Science / Popular Culture
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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An Introduction to Game Studies is the first introductory textbook for students of game studies. It provides a conceptual overview of the cultural, social and economic significance of computer and video games and traces the history of game culture and the emergence of game studies as a field of research.

Key concepts and theories are illustrated with discussion of games taken from different historical phases of game culture. Progressing from the simple, yet engaging gameplay of Pong and text-based adventure games to the complex virtual worlds of contemporary online games, the book guides students towards analytical appreciation and critical engagement with gaming and game studies.

Students will learn to:

- Understand and analyse different aspects of phenomena we recognise as 'game' and play'

- Identify the key developments in digital game design through discussion of action in games of the 1970s, fiction and adventure in games of the 1980s, three-dimensionality in games of the 1990s, and social aspects of gameplay in contemporary online games

- Understand games as dynamic systems of meaning-making

- Interpret the context of games as 'culture' and subculture

- Analyse the relationship between technology and interactivity and between 'game' and 'reality'

- Situate games within the context of digital culture and the information society

With further reading suggestions, images, exercises, online resources and a whole chapter devoted to preparing students to do their own game studies project, An Introduction to Game Studies is the complete toolkit for all students pursuing the study of games.

The companion website at www.sagepub.co.uk/mayra contains slides and assignments that are suitable for self-study as well as for classroom use. Students will also benefit from online resources at www.gamestudiesbook.net, which will be regularly blogged and updated by the author.

Professor Frans Mäyrä is a Professor of Games Studies and Digital Culture at the Hypermedia Laboratory in the University of Tampere, Finland.

Videogames! Aren’t they the medium of the twenty-first century? The new cinema? The apotheosis of art and entertainment, the realization of Wagnerian gesamtkunstwerk? The final victory of interaction over passivity? No, probably not. Games are part art and part appliance, part tableau and part toaster. In How to Talk about Videogames, leading critic Ian Bogost explores this paradox more thoroughly than any other author to date.

Delving into popular, familiar games like Flappy Bird, Mirror’s Edge, Mario Kart, Scribblenauts, Ms. Pac-Man, FarmVille, Candy Crush Saga, Bully, Medal of Honor, Madden NFL, and more, Bogost posits that videogames are as much like appliances as they are like art and media. We don’t watch or read games like we do films and novels and paintings, nor do we perform them like we might dance or play football or Frisbee. Rather, we do something in-between with games. Games are devices we operate, so game critique is both serious cultural currency and self-parody. It is about figuring out what it means that a game works the way it does and then treating the way it works as if it were reasonable, when we know it isn’t.

Noting that the term games criticism once struck him as preposterous, Bogost observes that the idea, taken too seriously, risks balkanizing games writing from the rest of culture, severing it from the “rivers and fields” that sustain it. As essential as it is, he calls for its pursuit to unfold in this spirit: “God save us from a future of games critics, gnawing on scraps like the zombies that fester in our objects of study.”


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