Playing with Videogames
Playing with Videogames
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Playing with Videogames documents the richly productive, playful and social cultures of videogaming that support, surround and sustain this most important of digital media forms and yet which remain largely invisible within existing studies.
James Newman details the rich array of activities that surround game-playing, charting the vibrant and productive practices of the vast number of videogame players and the extensive 'shadow' economy of walkthroughs, FAQs, art, narratives, online discussion boards and fan games, as well as the cultures of cheating, copying and piracy that have emerged.
Playing with Videogames offers the reader a comprehensive understanding of the meanings of videogames and videogaming within the contemporary media environment.
hard to traverse the text (see Aarseth 1997) and the interpretative skills demanded by such games are considerable. These are far from the caricatures of players mesmerically engaged in a stimulus-reflex relationship. Not least of the literacies required is discerning the structure and trajectory of interchanges by learning the conventions of dialogue attribution in each game (e.g. the physical placement of dialogue boxes or the tagging of boxes with the speaking character’s name). We will return
than just ‘fun’ as Adams 2007: 263 suggests) rather than understanding, celebrating and criticising what they are and typically dissolves into an endlessly recursive attempt to define ‘art’. Rather, here I wish to draw attention to a few of the ways in which videogames have begun to make their presence felt in the art establishment. Perhaps more particularly, however, I 9780415385220_4_004.qxd 70 29/5/08 11:38 AM Page 70 Fanart, music and cosplay am interested in considering how the
game through these creative endeavours, insinuating oneself if only virtually, into the genesis of the development process. The focus on previsualisation has another effect that works in concert with the community reviewing and commentary. The revision and reworking that are an inherent part of videogame development and that are made visible and manifest in both the evolving concept drawing and the successive refinement of technique under group advice and guidance encourage the gamer to see their
glitch exploit: Sequence Breaking means you do things in Metroid Prime the developers probably didn’t intend, such as getting items out of order or going places you’re not supposed to go yet. Why Sequence Break? If you’ve played through Metroid Prime a couple times, and you think you’ve seen all the game has to offer, think again. You can hone your skills and do things you probably never thought possible (while getting better and better completion times to boot). (‘An Introduction to Sequence
the beta than this. The code provides glimpses into the production and pre-production processes and sheds light on the development cycle. In this way, even though it precedes it in development time, the beta is a means of better understanding and recontextualising the original, canonical game as a playable experience. However, while the revelation of these palimpsests may represent a considerable technical achievement and is evidence of a dedication and interest in the very workings of the game,