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How to Play Video Games


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About the Author

Matthew Thomas Payne is an associate professor in the Department of Film, Television, & Theatre at the University of Notre Dame. He is author of Playing War: Military Video Games after 9/11, and is co-editor of the anthologies Flow TV: Television in the Age of Media Convergence and Joystick Soldiers: The Politics of Play in Military Video Games. Nina B. Huntemann is Director of Academics and Research at edX, a nonprofit online education provider founded by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is co-editor of Global Gaming: Production, Play and Place (Palgrave, 2013) and Joystick Soldiers: The Politics of Play in Military Video Games (Routledge, 2010).


This text is an approachable and relevant edited collection of essays that examine a broad array of video games through a critical academic lens. Despite its title, this book is not a guide on how to play video games, as is explained by the editors in the introduction, but can be a provocation to reflect on deeper aspects of culture and media while playing them... this text is an excellent introduction to game studies. It is also a valuable resource for any course that includes content related to gaming, such as media studies, digital studies, STS (science, technology, society), sociology of games/media, and literary analysis of games as text. -- Choice
An indispensable collection of original key terms and case studiesall the best scholarship in the field is here. Canonical voices in the field as well as a newer generation of scholars bring welcome approaches to ethics, labor, race, gender, sexuality, capitalism, and affect to the table. Anyone can read this carefully curated book; everyone should. -- Lisa Nakamura,University of Michigan
Across a broad range of diverse and accessible perspectives on gaming culture from many of the leading authorities in the field, Payne and Huntemann offer a valuable companion to those interested in the past and present of the games we play. -- Jon-Paul Dyson,The Strong National Museum of Play

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