The Dark Side of Game Play, book out

Dark Side of Game Play book cover.
Dark Side of Game Play book.

Finally: the very important “Dark Play” volume that has long been in the making is finally out! Titled The Dark Side of Game Play: Controversial Issues in Playful Environments (Routledge 2015), the work is edited by the excellent team of Torill Elvira Mortensen, Jonas Linderoth and Ashley ML Brown. It includes 15 chapters expanding our understanding of what ‘play’ is and what it means, including my text about “dark play of children”, including the sometimes perhaps subversive uses for LEGO pieces and video games they often come up with (a draft version of my chapter is here). Here is the table of contents:

Part I: Introduction

1. Dark Play: The Aesthetics of Controversial Playfulness
Torill Elvira Mortensen and Jonas Linderoth

Part II: Discourses of Dark Play

2. Analyzing Game Controversies: A Historical Approach to Moral Panics and Digital Games
Faltin Karlsen

3. Of Heroes and Henchmen: The Conventions of Killing Generic Expendables in Digital Games
René Glas

4. Don’t Forget to Die: A Software Update is Available for the Death Drive
Emily Flynn-Jones

Part III: Dark Play or Darkly Played?

5. Killing Digital Children: Design, Discourse and Player Agency
Björn Sjöblom

6. Little Evils: Subversive Uses of Children’s Games
Frans Mäyrä

7. Darkly Playing Others
Miguel Sicart

Part IV: Dark Play and Situated Meaning

8. Three Defences for the Fourteen-Inch Barbed Penis: Darkly Playing with Morals, Ethics and Sexual Violence
Ashley ML Brown

9. Exploring the Limits of Play: A Case Study of Representations of Nazism in Games
Adam Chapman and Jonas Linderoth

10. Keeping the Balance: Morals at the Dark Side
Torill Elvira Mortensen

11. Fabricated Innocence: On How People Can be Lured into Feel Bad Games
Staffan Björk

Part V: Designing for Dark Play

12. Massively Multiplayer Dark Play; Treacherous Play in EVE Online
Marcus Carter

13. Dark Play in Dishonored
Kristine Jørgensen

14. Sonic Descents: Musical Dark Play in Survival and Psychological Horror
Isabella van Elferen

15. Boosting, Glitching and Modding Call of Duty: Assertive Dark Play Manifestations, Communities, Pleasures and Organic Resilience
Alan Meades

Link to publisher’s information page about the book:

Author: frans

Professor of Information Studies and Interactive Media, esp. Digital Culture and Game Studies in the Tampere University, Finland. Occasional photographer and gardener.

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