Indiana University Press

Digital Game Studies

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Digital Game Studies

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Gaming Representation

Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Video Games

Edited by Jennifer Malkowski and TreaAndrea M. Russworm

Recent years have seen an increase in public attention to identity and representation in video games, including journalists and bloggers holding the digital game industry accountable for the discrimination routinely endured by female gamers, queer gamers, and gamers of color. Video game developers are responding to these critiques, but scholarly discussion of representation in games has lagged far behind. Gaming Representation examines portrayals of race, gender, and sexuality in a range of games, from casuals like Diner Dash, to indies like Journey and The Binding of Isaac, to mainstream games from the Grand Theft Auto, BioShock, Spec Ops, The Last of Us, and Max Payne franchises. Arguing that representation and identity function as systems in games that share a stronger connection to code and platforms than it may first appear, the contributors to this volume push gaming scholarship to new levels of inquiry, theorizing, and imagination.

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Playing to Win

Sports, Video Games, and the Culture of Play

Edited by Robert Alan Brookey and Thomas P. Oates

In this era of big media franchises, sports branding has crossed platforms, so that the sport, its television broadcast, and its replication in an electronic game are packaged and promoted as part of the same fan experience. Editors Robert Alan Brookey and Thomas P. Oates trace this development back to the unexpected success of Atari's Pong in the 1970s, which provoked a flood of sport simulation games that have had an impact on every sector of the electronic game market. From golf to football, basketball to step aerobics, electronic sports games are as familiar in the American household as the televised sporting events they simulate. This book explores the points of convergence at which gaming and sports culture merge.

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Playing with Religion in Digital Games

Edited by Heidi A. Campbell and Gregory Price Grieve

Shaman, paragon, God-mode: modern video games are heavily coded with religious undertones. From the Shinto-inspired Japanese video game Okami to the internationally popular The Legend of Zelda and Halo, many video games rely on religious themes and symbols to drive the narrative and frame the storyline. Playing with Religion in Digital Games explores the increasingly complex relationship between gaming and global religious practices. For example, how does religion help organize the communities in MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft? What role has censorship played in localizing games like Actraiser in the western world? How do evangelical Christians react to violence, gore, and sexuality in some of the most popular games such as Mass Effect or Grand Theft Auto? With contributions by scholars and gamers from all over the world, this collection offers a unique perspective to the intersections of religion and the virtual world.

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Thinking about Video Games

Interviews with the Experts

David S. Heineman

The growth in popularity and complexity of video games has spurred new interest in how games are developed and in the research and technology behind them. David Heineman brings together some of the most iconic, influential, and interesting voices from across the gaming industry and asks them to weigh in on the past, present, and future of video games. Among them are legendary game designers Nolan Bushnell (Pong) and Eugene Jarvis (Defender), who talk about their history of innovations from the earliest days of the video game industry through to the present; contemporary trailblazers Kellee Santiago (Journey) and Casey Hudson (Mass Effect), who discuss contemporary relationships between those who create games and those who play them; and scholars Ian Bogost (How to Do Things With Videogames) and Edward Castronova (Exodus to the Virtual World), who discuss how to research and write about games in ways that engage a range of audiences. These experts and others offer fascinating perspectives on video games, game studies, gaming culture, and the game industry more broadly.

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