How to Play Video Games (User's Guides to Popular Culture, 1)
Forty original contributions on games and gaming culture
What does Pokémon Go tell us about globalization? What does Tetris teach us about rules? Is feminism boosted or bashed by Kim Kardashian: Hollywood? How does BioShock Infinite help us navigate world-building?
From arcades to Atari, and phone apps to virtual reality headsets, video games have been at the epicenter of our ever-evolving technological reality. Unlike other media technologies, video games demand engagement like no other, which begs the question―what is the role that video games play in our lives, from our homes, to our phones, and on global culture writ large?
How to Play Video Games brings together forty original essays from today’s leading scholars on video game culture, writing about the games they know best and what they mean in broader social and cultural contexts. Read about avatars in Grand Theft Auto V, or music in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. See how Age of Empires taught a generation about postcolonialism, and how Borderlands exposes the seedy underbelly of capitalism. These essays suggest that understanding video games in a critical context provides a new way to engage in contemporary culture. They are a must read for fans and students of the medium.
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