Atari Age

Author: Michael Z. Newman
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262035712
Release Date: 2017-02-10
Genre: Games & Activities

The cultural contradictions of early video games: a medium for family fun (but mainly for middle-class boys), an improvement over pinball and television (but possibly harmful) Beginning with the release of the Magnavox Odyssey and Pong in 1972, video games, whether played in arcades and taverns or in family rec rooms, became part of popular culture, like television. In fact, video games were sometimes seen as an improvement on television because they spurred participation rather than passivity. These “space-age pinball machines” gave coin-operated games a high-tech and more respectable profile. In Atari Age, Michael Newman charts the emergence of video games in America from ball-and-paddle games to hits like Space Invaders and Pac-Man, describing their relationship to other amusements and technologies and showing how they came to be identified with the middle class, youth, and masculinity. Newman shows that the “new media” of video games were understood in varied, even contradictory ways. They were family fun (but mainly for boys), better than television (but possibly harmful), and educational (but a waste of computer time). Drawing on a range of sources—including the games and their packaging; coverage in the popular, trade, and fan press; social science research of the time; advertising and store catalogs; and representations in movies and television—Newman describes the series of cultural contradictions through which the identity of the emerging medium worked itself out. Would video games embody middle-class respectability or suffer from the arcade's unsavory reputation? Would they foster family togetherness or allow boys to escape from domesticity? Would they make the new home computer a tool for education or just a glorified toy? Then, as now, many worried about the impact of video games on players, while others celebrated video games for familiarizing kids with technology essential for the information age.

Atari Age

Author: Michael Z. Newman
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262338196
Release Date: 2017-02-03
Genre: Games & Activities

Beginning with the release of the Magnavox Odyssey and Pong in 1972, video games, whether played in arcades and taverns or in family rec rooms, became part of popular culture, like television. In fact, video games were sometimes seen as an improvement on television because they spurred participation rather than passivity. These "space-age pinball machines" gave coin-operated games a high-tech and more respectable profile. In Atari Age, Michael Newman charts the emergence of video games in America from ball-and-paddle games to hits like Space Invaders and Pac-Man, describing their relationship to other amusements and technologies and showing how they came to be identified with the middle class, youth, and masculinity.Newman shows that the "new media" of video games were understood in varied, even contradictory ways. They were family fun (but mainly for boys), better than television (but possibly harmful), and educational (but a waste of computer time). Drawing on a range of sources -- including the games and their packaging; coverage in the popular, trade, and fan press; social science research of the time; advertising and store catalogs; and representations in movies and television -- Newman describes the series of cultural contradictions through which the identity of the emerging medium worked itself out. Would video games embody middle-class respectability or suffer from the arcade's unsavory reputation? Would they foster family togetherness or allow boys to escape from domesticity? Would they make the new home computer a tool for education or just a glorified toy? Then, as now, many worried about the impact of video games on players, while others celebrated video games for familiarizing kids with technology essential for the information age.

Atari Age

Author: Michael Z. Newman
Publisher:
ISBN: 0262536110
Release Date: 2018-10-12
Genre:

The cultural contradictions of early video games: a medium for family fun (but mainly for middle-class boys), an improvement over pinball and television (but possibly harmful) Beginning with the release of the Magnavox Odyssey and Pong in 1972, video games, whether played in arcades and taverns or in family rec rooms, became part of popular culture, like television. In fact, video games were sometimes seen as an improvement on television because they spurred participation rather than passivity. These "space-age pinball machines" gave coin-operated games a high-tech and more respectable profile. In Atari Age, Michael Newman charts the emergence of video games in America from ball-and-paddle games to hits like Space Invaders and Pac-Man, describing their relationship to other amusements and technologies and showing how they came to be identified with the middle class, youth, and masculinity. Newman shows that the "new media" of video games were understood in varied, even contradictory ways. They were family fun (but mainly for boys), better than television (but possibly harmful), and educational (but a waste of computer time). Drawing on a range of sources -- including the games and their packaging; coverage in the popular, trade, and fan press; social science research of the time; advertising and store catalogs; and representations in movies and television -- Newman describes the series of cultural contradictions through which the identity of the emerging medium worked itself out. Would video games embody middle-class respectability or suffer from the arcade's unsavory reputation? Would they foster family togetherness or allow boys to escape from domesticity? Would they make the new home computer a tool for education or just a glorified toy? Then, as now, many worried about the impact of video games on players, while others celebrated video games for familiarizing kids with technology essential for the information age.

Racing the Beam

Author: Nick Montfort
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262261524
Release Date: 2009-01-09
Genre: Games

The Atari Video Computer System dominated the home video game market so completely that "Atari" became the generic term for a video game console. The Atari VCS was affordable and offered the flexibility of changeable cartridges. Nearly a thousand of these were created, the most significant of which established new techniques, mechanics, and even entire genres. This book offers a detailed and accessible study of this influential video game console from both computational and cultural perspectives. Studies of digital media have rarely investigated platforms--the systems underlying computing. This book (the first in a series of Platform Studies) does so, developing a critical approach that examines the relationship between platforms and creative expression. Nick Montfort and Ian Bogost discuss the Atari VCS itself and examine in detail six game cartridges: Combat, Adventure, Pac-Man, Yars' Revenge, Pitfall!, and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. They describe the technical constraints and affordances of the system and track developments in programming, gameplay, interface, and aesthetics. Adventure, for example, was the first game to represent a virtual space larger than the screen (anticipating the boundless virtual spaces of such later games as World of Warcraft and Grand Theft Auto), by allowing the player to walk off one side into another space; and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back was an early instance of interaction between media properties and video games. Montfort and Bogost show that the Atari VCS--often considered merely a retro fetish object--is an essential part of the history of video games.

Before the Crash

Author: Mark J. P. Wolf
Publisher: Wayne State University Press
ISBN: 0814337228
Release Date: 2012-06-15
Genre: Games

Contributors examine the early days of video game history before the industry crash of 1983 that ended the medium’s golden age.

Codename Revolution

Author: Steven E. Jones
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262300537
Release Date: 2012-02-24
Genre: Games

The Nintendo Wii, introduced in 2006, helped usher in a moment of retro-reinvention in video game play. This hugely popular console system, codenamed Revolution during development, signaled a turn away from fully immersive, time-consuming MMORPGs or forty-hour FPS games and back toward family fun in the living room. Players using the wireless motion-sensitive controller (the Wii Remote, or "Wiimote") play with their whole bodies, waving, swinging, swaying. The mimetic interface shifts attention from what's on the screen to what's happening in physical space. This book describes the Wii's impact in technological, social, and cultural terms, examining the Wii as a system of interrelated hardware and software that was consciously designed to promote social play in physical space. Each chapter of Codename Revolution focuses on a major component of the Wii as a platform: the console itself, designed to be low-powered and nimble; the iconic Wii Remote; Wii Fit Plus, and its controller, the Wii Balance Board; the Wii Channels interface and Nintendo's distribution system; and the Wii as a social platform that not only affords multiplayer options but also encourages social interaction in shared physical space. Finally, the authors connect the Wii's revolution in mimetic interface gaming -- which eventually led to the release of Sony's Move and Microsoft's Kinect -- to some of the economic and technological conditions that influence the possibility of making something new in this arena of computing and culture.

Atari to Zelda

Author: Mia Consalvo
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262034395
Release Date: 2016-04-15
Genre: Games

The cross-cultural interactions of Japanese videogames and the West, from DIY localization by fans to corporate strategies of "Japaneseness."

Video Games Around the World

Author: Mark J. P. Wolf
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262527163
Release Date: 2015-05-15
Genre: Games

Thirty-nine essays explore the vast diversity of video game history and culture across all the world's continents.

Super Power Spoony Bards and Silverware

Author: Dominic Arsenault
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262341509
Release Date: 2017-08-25
Genre: Games & Activities

This is a book about the Super Nintendo Entertainment System that is not celebratory or self-congratulatory. Most other accounts declare the Super NES the undisputed victor of the "16-bit console wars" of 1989--1995. In this book, Dominic Arsenault reminds us that although the SNES was a strong platform filled with high-quality games, it was also the product of a short-sighted corporate vision focused on maintaining Nintendo's market share and business model. This led the firm to fall from a dominant position during its golden age (dubbed by Arsenault the "ReNESsance") with the NES to the margins of the industry with the Nintendo 64 and GameCube consoles. Arsenault argues that Nintendo's conservative business strategies and resistance to innovation during the SNES years explain its market defeat by Sony's PlayStation. Extending the notion of "platform" to include the marketing forces that shape and constrain creative work, Arsenault draws not only on game studies and histories but on game magazines, boxes, manuals, and advertisements to identify the technological discourses and business models that formed Nintendo's Super Power. He also describes the cultural changes in video games during the 1990s that slowly eroded the love of gamer enthusiasts for the SNES as the Nintendo generation matured. Finally, he chronicles the many technological changes that occurred through the SNES's lifetime, including full-motion video, CD-ROM storage, and the shift to 3D graphics. Because of the SNES platform's architecture, Arsenault explains, Nintendo resisted these changes and continued to focus on traditional gameplay genres.

Atari Inc Business Is Fun

Author: Marty Goldberg
Publisher: Syzygy Press
ISBN: 9780985597405
Release Date: 2012
Genre: Video games industry

Atari Inc. - Business is Fun, the book that goes behind the company that was synonymous with the popularization of 'video games.' Nearly 8 years in the making, Atari Inc. - Business is Fun is comprised of thousands of researched documents, hundreds of interviews, and access to materials never before available. An amazing 800 pages (including nearly 300 pages of rare, never before seen photos, memos and court documents), this book details Atari's genesis from an idea between an engineer and a visionary in 1969 to a nearly $2 billion dollar juggernaut, and ending with a $538 million death spiral during 1984. A testament to the people that worked at this beloved company, the book is full of their personal stories and insights. Learn about topics like: * All the behind the scenes stories surrounding the creation of the company's now iconic games and products. * The amazing story of Atari's very own "Xerox PARC" research facility up in the foothills of the Sierra Mountains * The full recounting of Steve Jobs's time at Atari, with comments from the people he worked with on projects and the detailed story of the creation of Atari Breakout, including input by Steve Wozniak on his development of the prototype, and how it couldn't be used and another Atari engineer would have to make the final production Breakout arcade game instead. * The creation of "Rick Rats Big Cheese Restaurants" which later became "Chuck E. Cheese's" * How Atari Inc. faltered and took down an entire industry with it before being put on the chopping block. If you've ever wanted to learn about the truth behind the creation of this iconic company told directly by the people who made FUN for a living, then this is the book for you!

Supercade

Author: Van Burnham
Publisher: MIT Press (MA)
ISBN: 0262024926
Release Date: 2001
Genre: Computers

A fascinating visual tour of the videogame age re-introduces readers to classic games such as Pong, Pac-Man, and Asteroids while exploring--in full color--the evolution of game technology.

Global Games

Author: Aphra Kerr
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781135114640
Release Date: 2017-03-27
Genre: Social Science

In the last decade our mobile phones have been infiltrated by angry birds, our computers by leagues of legends and our social networks by pleas for help down on the farm. As digital games have become networked, mobile and casual they have become a pervasive cultural form. Based on original empirical work, including interviews with workers, virtual ethnographies in online games and analysis of industry related documents, Global Games provides a political, economic and sociological analysis of the growth and restructuring of the digital games industry over the past decade. Situating the games industry as both cultural and creative and examining the relative growth of console, PC, online and mobile, Aphra Kerr analyses the core production logics in the industry, and the expansion of circulation processes as game services have developed. In an industry dominated by North American and Japanese companies, Kerr explores the recent success of companies from China and Europe, and the emergent spatial politics as countries, cities, companies and communities compete to reshape digital games in the networked age.

The War of Desire and Technology at the Close of the Mechanical Age

Author: Allucquère Rosanne Stone
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262691892
Release Date: 1996
Genre: Social Science

In this witty, far-reaching, and utterly original work, AllucquA¨re Rosanne Stone examines the myriad ways modern technology is challenging traditional notions of gender identity. Face-to-face meetings, and even telephone conversations, involuntarily reveal crucial aspects of identity such as gender, age, and race. However, these bits of identity are completely masked by computer-mediated communications; all that is revealed is what we choose to reveal—and then only if we choose to tell the truth. The rise of computer-mediated communications is giving people the means to try on alternative personae—in a sense, to reinvent themselves—which, as Stone compellingly argues, has both positive and potentially destructive implications. Not a traditional text but rather a series of intellectual provocations, the book moves between fascinating accounts of the modern interface of technology and desire: from busy cyberlabs to the electronic solitude of the Internet, from phone sex to "virtual cross-dressers," and from the trial of a man accused of having raped a woman by seducing one of her multiple personalities to the Vampire Lestat. Throughout, Stone wrestles with the question of how best to convey a complex description of a culture whose chief activity is complex description. Writing eloquently of creating a "text that breaks rules," serving as a "sampler of possible choices," she employs elements from a wide range of disciplines and genres, including cultural and critical theory, social sciences, pulp journalism, science fiction, and personal memoirs. Each chapter of the book can be read as a kind of performance piece, with its own individual voice and structure. In the final chapter, Stone threads the various narratives together, holding them in productive tension rather than attempting to collapse them into a single unifying statement: a process that best reflects the confused, ambiguous, and sometimes contradictory state of gender relations at the close of the mechanical age.

Exodus to the Virtual World

Author: Edward Castronova
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
ISBN: 9780230607859
Release Date: 2008-11-11
Genre: Business & Economics

Surveys the growing popularity of virtual reality worlds as represented by such online games as World of Warcraft and Second Life, explaining how virtual arenas have become representative of new social, political, and economic orders that have captured the attention of millions of everyday people. 20,000 first printing.

I Am Error

Author: Nathan Altice
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262028776
Release Date: 2015-05-08
Genre: Computers

The complex material histories of the Nintendo Entertainment System platform, from code to silicon, focusing on its technical constraints and its expressive affordances.