An Introduction to Game Studies: Games in Culture


Frans Mäyrä

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  • Chapters
  • Front Matter
  • Back Matter
  • Subject Index
  • Copyright

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    List of Tables and Figures

    • 5.1 All-time top twenty games by sales 77
    • 5.2 Four game categories as a matrix between the temporality of interaction and the randomness of game world 80
    • 5.3 The Ultima IV virtues, character classes and starting towns 83
    • 7.1 Available subscription data for twenty popular online game worlds 134
    • 7.2 Ten different player perceptions of RMT [real money trade] 140
    • 8.1 Selected titles of papers presented in Chancing Views – Worlds in Play155
    • 1.1 The focus of game studies in the interaction between game and player 2
    • 2.1 Screenshot from Breakout15
    • 2.2 The dialectic of core and shell, or gameplay and representation in the basic structure of games 18
    • 3.1 Primary Schemas 37
    • 3.2Tic-Tac-Toe, created by A. S. Douglas, 1952 40
    • 3.3Tennis for Two – a screenshot and a controller 41
    • 3.4 The seven interlocking spheres of performance 46
    • 4.1Pong cabinet and an in-game screenshot 60
    • 4.2Space Invaders arcade console, set of instructions, and a screenshot with overlay colour effects 63
    • 5.1Pac-Man arcade console and screenshots 71
    • 5.2Donkey Kong console and screenshots 74
    • 5.3 Sample screen elements from Roguelike games 79
    • 5.4 Screenshots from Ultima IV, taken from the Commodore 64 version 83
    • 5.5 A cloth map of Britannia 88
    • 6.1 Commodore 64 and Nintendo Gameboy 92
    • 6.2 A collection of Civilization screenshots from different phrases of the game 97
    • 6.3 A collection of screenshots from Doom103
    • 6.4 Changes in the design of game level ‘Episode 1, Map 4’ from Doom106
    • 6.5 (a) Screenshot from the original Tomb Raider game and (b) image of Lara from Tomb Raider: Legend production 107
    • 6.6 Gameplay experience model with three types of immersion 110
    • 6.7 (a) Screenshot from ‘Castle Smurfenstein’ mod (1981) and (b) screenshot from Counter-Strike (1991) 113
    • 7.1 (a) Screenshot from Meridian 59 (b) Screenshot from EverQuest (c & d) Screenshots from World of Warcraft131
    • 7.2 (a) Foot Craz pad for Atari 2600 (b) EyeToy camera (c) DDR dance game players (d) Guitar Hero package 144
    • 8.1 Hermeneutic circle as a spiralling process of inquiry 153

    List of Boxes

    • 1.1 Game Studies Resources Online 5
    • 1.2 On Hypertext, Cybertext, and Interactive Fiction 9
    • 2.1 What is Gameplay? 16
    • 2.2 On Subcultures 26
    • 4.1 On the History of Digital Games 55
    • 4.2 On the history of Game Controllers 62
    • 6.1 On Understanding and Analysing Game Spaces 102
    • 7.1 On New Games Movement 149


    I want to thank all my colleagues in Hypermedia Laboratory at the University of Tampere who have over years contributed greatly to my thinking about digital games and game studies, as well as to that knowledgeable and wide-reaching international community of scholars who have worked with me in DiGRA. Particular thanks to Aki Järvinen and Olli Sotamaa who read the manuscript and made many very useful comments and suggestions. And my warmest thanks go to Laura who has been both a co-author and an inspiration in many of the key ideas that have now taken the form of this book. It has been an adventure and it is nowhere over yet!

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