The Medium of the Video Game

The Medium of the Video Game

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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780292791503
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Publication date: 04/15/2002
Edition description: 1ST
Pages: 223
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Mark J. P. Wolf is Professor of Communication at Concordia University Wisconsin.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword: Ralph H. Baer
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction: Mark J. P. Wolf
  • I. The Emergence of the Video Game
    1. The Video Game as a Medium (Mark J. P. Wolf)
    2. Super Mario Nation (Steven L. Kent)
  • II. Formal Aspects of the Video Game
    1. Space in the Video Game (Mark J. P. Wolf)
    2. Time in the Video Game (Mark J. P. Wolf)
    3. Narrative in the Video Game (Mark J. P. Wolf)
    4. Genre and the Video Game (Mark J. P. Wolf)
  • III. The Video Game in Society and Culture
    1. Hot Circuits: Reflections on the 1989 Video Game Exhibition of the American Museum of the Moving Image (Rochelle Slovin)
    2. Play It Again, Pac-Man (Charles Bernstein)
    3. Archetypes on Acid: Video Games and Culture (Rebecca R. Tews)
  • Appendix: Resources for Video Game Research (Mark J. P. Wolf)
  • Index
  • About the Contributors

What People are Saying About This

Heather Gilmour

"This book offers a historical, formal analysis of video games that no other book to date has provided in such detail. . . . Wolf also effectively investigates the scientific and market forces that aligned with the development of video games to create a powerful cultural force."

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