I noticed that several online bookstores already have this available, so I thought it would be good to drop a line, even if the official publication date is still ahead at the end of March. Sage Publications has kindly put out an introductory textbook of game studies that I have authored, and I hope it will be of use to some of you while designing your courses, or in your own studies. The book is designed to address the character of game studies as an emerging discipline in the academic context, and it will walk students both through the history of digital games as well as the conceptual developments that are useful while addressing the increasing complexity within game cultures. The final part of the book deals with various methodological traditions (humanities, social sciences, design research, play as a method) that are useful while engaging in further studies.
The companion websites are still pretty much under construction, but it is already possible to access www.gamestudiesbook.net — also to ask questions and provide feedback.
Thanks, and all the best to the Spring term!
Description taken from the publisher’s blurb text:
Frans Mäyrä: An Introduction to Game Studies: Games in Culture
SAGE Publications, 2008.
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 will guide 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’
- Trace 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 through the 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 (forthcoming at http://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.
Frans Mäyrä is the Professor of Hypermedia, Digital Culture and Game Studies in the University of Tampere, Finland.