In his 2004 book Game Work, Ken S. McAllister proposed a rigorous critical methodology for the discussion of the "video game complex"-the games themselves, their players, the industry that produces them, and those who review and market them. Games, McAllister demonstrated, are viewed and discussed very differently by different factions: as an economic force, as narrative texts, as a facet of popular culture, as a psychological playground, as an ethical and moral force, even as a tool for military training. In Gaming Matters, McAllister and coauthor Judd Ruggill turn from the broader discussion of video game rhetoric to study the video game itself as a medium and the specific features that give rise to games as similar and yet diverse as Pong, Tomb Raider, and Halo. In short, what defines the computer game itself as a medium distinct from all others? Each chapter takes up a different fundamental characteristic of the medium. Games are: Idiosyncratic, and thus difficult to apprehend using the traditional tools of media study Irreconcilable, or complex to such a degree that developers, players, and scholars have contradictory ways of describing them Boring, and therefore obligated to constantly make demands on players' attention Anachronistic, or built on age-old tropes and forms of play while ironically bound to the most advanced technologies Duplicitous, or dependent on truth-telling rhetoric even when they are about fictions, fantasies, or lies Work, or are often better understood as labor rather than play Alchemical, despite seeming all-too mechanical or predictable Video games are now inarguably a major site of worldwide cultural production. Gaming Matters will neither flatter game enthusiasts nor embolden game detractors in their assessments. But it will provide a vocabulary through which games can be discussed in academic settings and will create an important foundation for future academic discourse.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Publisher||University of Alabama Press|
|Number of pages||155|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2011|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities(all)