Palgrave Games in Context

Games in Context

Games in Context trilogy

Games are pervasive in contemporary life, intersecting with leisure, work, health, culture, history, technology, politics, industry, and beyond. These contexts span topics, cross disciplines, and bridge professions. Palgrave Games in Context situates games and play within such interdisciplinary and interprofessional contexts, resulting in accessible, applicable, and practical scholarship for students, researchers, game designers, and industry professionals.  What does it mean to study, critique, and create games in context? This series eschews conventional classifications—such as academic discipline or game genre—and instead looks to practical, real-world situations to shape analysis and ground discussion. A single text might bring together professionals working in the field, critics, scholars, researchers, and designers. The result is a broad range of voices from a variety of disciplinary and professional backgrounds contributing to an accessible, practical series on the various and varied roles of games and play.

Series Editors: Neil Randall and Steve Wilcox

Check out the books in the series:

Queerness in Play | Masculinities in Play | Feminism in Play | Exploring Minecraft | Tabletop RPG Design in Theory and Practice at the Forge | Tabletop Role-Playing Games and the Experience of Imagined Worlds

All summaries can be found on the Palgrave site, here


Queerness in Play

About

queerness in playQueerness in Play examines the many ways queerness of all kinds—from queer as ‘LGBT’ to other, less well-covered aspects of the queer spectrum—intersects with games and the social contexts of play. The current unprecedented visibility of queer creators and content comes at a high tide of resistance to the inclusion of those outside a long-imagined cisgender, heterosexual, white male norm. By critically engaging the ways games—as a culture, an industry, and a medium—help reproduce limiting binary formations of gender and sexuality, Queerness in Play contributes to the growing body of scholarship promoting more inclusive understandings of identity, sexuality, and games.

About the Authors

Todd Harper is Assistant Professor in the Division of Science, Information Arts and Technologies at the University of Baltimore, USA. His research centers on games as culture and communication.

Meghan Blythe Adams is a PhD Candidate at the University of Western Ontario, Canada. Their research interests include representations of androgyny in media, as well as death and difficulty in games. Their work has appeared in LoadingKinephanos, and First Person Scholar.

Nicholas Taylor is Assistant Professor of Digital Media in the Department of Communication at North Carolina State University, USA. His work applies critical, feminist, and socio-technical perspectives to experimental and mixed-methods research with digital gaming communities.

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Masculinities in Play

About

Masculinities in playThis volume addresses the persistent and frequently toxic associations between masculinity and games. It explores many of the critical issues in contemporary studies of masculinity—including issues of fatherhood, homoeroticism, eSports, fan cultures, and militarism—and their intersections with digital games, the contexts of their play, and the social futures associated with sustained involvement in gaming cultures. Unlike much of the research and public discourse that put the onus of “fixing” games and gaming cultures on those at its margins—women, LGBTQ, and people of color—this volume turns attention to men and masculinities, offering vital and productive avenues for both practical and theoretical intervention.

About the Authors

Nicholas Taylor is Assistant Professor of Digital Media in the Department of Communication at North Carolina State University, USA. His work applies critical, feminist, and socio-technical perspectives to experimental and mixed-methods research with digital gaming communities.

Gerald Voorhees is Assistant Professor of Digital Culture and Communication in the Department Communication Arts at the University of Waterloo, Canada. His research is on games and new media as sites for the construction and contestation of identity and culture.

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Feminism in Play

About

feminism in playFeminism in Play focuses on women as they are depicted in video games, as participants in games culture, and as contributors to the games industry. This volume showcases women’s resistance to the norms of games culture, as well as women’s play and creative practices both in and around the games industry. Contributors analyze the interconnections between games and the broader societal and structural issues impeding the successful inclusion of women in games and games culture. In offering this framework, this volume provides a platform to the silenced and marginalized, offering counter-narratives to the post-racial and post-gendered fantasies that so often obscure the violent context of production and consumption of games culture.

About the Authors

Kishonna L. Gray is an assistant professor in the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies and Communication at the University of Illinois at Chicago, USA. She is also a faculty associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, USA.

Gerald Voorhees is Assistant Professor of Digital Culture and Communication in the Department of Communication Arts at the University of Waterloo, Canada. His research is on games and new media as sites for the construction and contestation of identity and culture.

Emma Vossen is an award-winning public speaker and writer with a PhD from the University of Waterloo, Canada. She served as Editor-in-Chief of game studies publication First Person Scholar and her research about gender and games was the focus of a nationally broadcast CBC Radio documentary.

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Exploring Minecraft

minecraft bookThis book directs critical attention to one of the most ubiquitous and yet under-analyzed games, Minecraft. Drawing on three years of ethnographic fieldwork into mobile games in Australian homes, the authors seek to take Minecraft seriously as a cultural practice. The book examines how Minecraft players engage in a form of gameplay that is uniquely intergenerational, creative, and playful, and which moves ambivalently throughout everyday life. At the intersection of digital media, quotidian literacy, and ethnography, the book situates interdisciplinary debates around mundane play through the lens of Minecraft. Ultimately, Exploring Minecraft seeks to coalesce the discussion between formal and informal learning, fostering new forms of digital media creativity and ethnographic innovation around the analysis of games in everyday life.

About the Authors

Larissa Hjorth is Distinguished Professor and Director of the Design & Creative Practice Platform at RMIT University, Australia.

Ingrid Richardson is Professor in the School of Media & Communication at RMIT University, Australia.

Hugh Davies is a postdoctoral fellow in the Design & Creative Practice Platform at RMIT University, Australia.

William Balmford has a PhD in media and communications from RMIT University, Australia.

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Tabletop RPG Design in Theory and Practice at the Forge

Tabletop RPG Design book coverThis book provides an introduction to the Forge, an online discussion site for tabletop role-playing game (TRPG) design, play, and publication that was active during the first years of the twenty-first century and which served as an important locus for experimentation in game design and production during that time. Aimed at game studies scholars, for whom the ideas formulated at or popularized by the Forge are of key interest, the book also attempts to provide an accessible account of the growth and development of the Forge as a site of participatory culture. It situates the Forge within the broader context of TRPG discourse, and connects “Forge theory” to the academic investigation of role-playing.

About the Author

William J. White (Ph.D., Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey) is Associate Professor of Communication Arts & Sciences at Penn State Altoona, USA. He is a contributor to Role-Playing Game Studies: Transmedia Foundations (2018) as well as Analog Game Studies, and an editor of the International Journal of Role-Playing.

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Tabletop Role-Playing Games and the Experience of Imagined Worlds

Tabletop RPG imagined worlds coverIn 1974, the release of Dungeons & Dragons forever changed the way that we experience imagined worlds. No longer limited to simply reading books or watching movies, gamers came together to collaboratively and interactively build and explore new realms. Based on four years of interviews and game recordings from locations spanning the United States, this book offers a journey that explores how role-playing games use a combination of free-form imagination and tightly constrained rules to experience those realms. By developing our understanding of the fantastic worlds of role-playing games, this book also offers insight into how humans come together and collaboratively imagine the world around us.

About the Author

Nicholas J. Mizer is a lecturer in games and culture at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA. His work has been published in numerous edited collections and in such journals as the Journal of Popular Culture and Evolution and Human Behavior. Mizer serves as co-chair of Game Studies for the Popular/American Culture Association, and is an editor at The Geek Anthropologist.

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