Over a mere three decades, the video game has become the entertainment medium of choice for millions of people, who now spend more time in the interactive virtual world of games than they do in watching movies or even television. The release of new games or game-playing equipment, such as the PlayStation 2, generates great excitement and even buying frenzies. Yet, until now, this giant on the popular culture landscape has received little in-depth study or analysis. In this book, Mark J. P. Wolf and four other scholars conduct the first thorough investigation of the video game as an artistic medium. The book begins with an attempt to define what is meant by the term "video game" and the variety of modes of production within the medium. It moves on to a brief history of the video game, then applies the tools of film studies to look at the medium in terms of the formal aspects of space, time, narrative, and genre. The book also considers the video game as a cultural entity, object of museum curation, and repository of psychological archetypes. It closes with a list of video game research resources for further study.
Mark J.P. Wolf’s study of imaginary worlds theorizes world-building within and across media, including literature, comics, film, radio, television, board games, video games, the Internet, and more. Building Imaginary Worlds departs from prior approaches to imaginary worlds that focused mainly on narrative, medium, or genre, and instead considers imaginary worlds as dynamic entities in and of themselves. Wolf argues that imaginary worlds—which are often transnarrative, transmedial, and transauthorial in nature—are compelling objects of inquiry for Media Studies. Chapters touch on: a theoretical analysis of how world-building extends beyond storytelling, the engagement of the audience, a...
Unlike many children’s television shows, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood did more than simply entertain or occupy children’s attention. The show educated them in the affective domain, encouraging such things as appreciation for difference, collaboration, self-expression, and self-worth. It also introduced them to the areas of culture, art, and music through guests, trips, art objects and processes, and demonstrations, making it accessible and meaningful in a way that a child could understand. While the educational content of children’s television programming has improved greatly since the late 1960s, no other children’s program has ever attempted such a mix of high art, low art, folk art, industrial production, learning in the affective and social domains, and more, all with a whimsical sense of humor, insight, and a level of interconnected detail unmatched by any other children’s television program. This book illuminates and examines the world of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood through world design, narrative, genre, form, content, authorship, reception and more.
An introduction to Tolkiens life, thought, and legacy that focuses specifically on how his imagination and his imaginary world related to his life, works, and faith. Author Mark J. P. Wolf examines themes in Tolkiens work as well as the works themselves such as The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
Abstracting Reality considers the relationship between digital technology and culture and their mutual influences on each other. The book begins with an examination of how everyday life became quantized over time, setting the stage for digital technology, which developed out of communication, machine control, and calculating machines. From there the book explores how digital technology changed the nature of art, inherent culture biases in digitization, composite imagery, machine-mediated communication, the metaphor of cyberspace, virtual reality, and finally, the way in which digital technology and imaging changes the very nature of indexicality itself.
This encyclopedia collects and organizes theoretical and historical content on the topic of video games, covering the people, systems, technologies, and theoretical concepts as well as the games themselves. * More than 300 A–Z cross-referenced and integrated entries, from Atari to Zelda * Dozens of screenshots and photographs * A "Further Reading" bibliography section is included with many entries
While so many books on technology look at new advances and digital technologies, the Routledge Companion to Obsolete and Vanishing Media Technology looks back at analog technologies that are disappearing, considering their demise and what it says about media history, pop culture, and the nature of nostalgia. From card catalogs and typewriters to stock tickers and cathode ray tubes, contributors examine the legacy of analog technologies, including those, like vinyl records, that may be experiencing a resurgency. Each essay includes a brief history of the technology leading up to its peak, an analysis of the reasons for its decline, and a discussion of its influence on newer technologies.