The Digital Age has created massive technological and disciplinary shifts in tabletop role-playing, increasing the appreciation of games like Dungeons & Dragons. Millions tune in each week to watch and listen to RPG players on podcasts and streaming platforms, while virtual tabletops connect online players across the world. Such shifts elicit new scholarly perspectives from a variety of disciplines. This collection includes essays on the transmedia ecology that has connected analog with digital and audio spaces. Essays explore the boundaries of virtual tabletops and how users engage with a variety of technology to further role-playing. Authors map the growing diversity of the TRPG fandom and detail how players interact with RPG-related podcasts. Interviewed are content creators like Griffin McElroy of The Adventure Zone podcast, Roll20 co-creator Nolan T. Jones, board game designers Nikki Valens and Isaac Childres and fan artists Tracey Alvarez and Alex Schiltz. These essays and interviews expand the academic perspective to reflect the future of role-playing.
This two-volume set investigates the evangelical presence in America as experienced through digital media, examining current evangelical ideologies regarding education, politics, family, and government. • Compares and contrasts evangelical media across time and across platforms • Provides insight into the influence of the electronic church in the digital age • Documents the reach of the electronic church through radio, TV, and digital media • Reports what evangelical mass media is saying about today's key issues • Considers how voices within religious mass media persuade or dissuade the American public with their discourse
Featuring interviews with the creators of 37 popular video games--including SOCOM, Shadow of the Colossus, Tekken Tag Tournament and Sly Cooper--this book gives a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of some of the most influential and iconic (and sometimes forgotten) games of the original PlayStation 2 era. Recounting endless hours of painstaking development, the challenges of working with mega publishers and the uncertainties of public reception, the interviewees reveal the creative processes that produced some of gaming's classic titles.
When viewed through the context of an interactive play, a video game player fulfills the roles of both actor and spectator, watching and influencing a game's story in real time. This book presents video gaming as a virtual medium for performance, scrutinizing the ways in which a player's interaction with the narrative informs personal, historical, social and cultural understanding. Centering the author's own experiences as both video game player and performance scholar, the book thoroughly applies concepts from theatre and performance studies. Chapters argue that the posthuman player position now challenges what can be contextualized as a lived experience, and how video games can change players' relationships with historical events and contemporary concerns, ultimately impacting how they develop a sense of self. Using the author's own gaming experiences as a framework, the book focuses on the intersection between player and narrative, exploring what engagement with a storyline reveals about identity and society.
Featuring interviews with the creators of 39 popular video games--including Halo 3, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Medal of Honor and Metroid Prime--this book gives a behind-the-scenes look at the origins of some of the most iconic shooter games. Interviewees recount endless hours of painstaking development, the challenges of working with mega-publishers, the growth of the genre and the creative processes that produced some of the industry's biggest hits, cult classics and indie successes.
Prior to the arrival of the Sega Genesis, video games were still largely considered "kid stuff," but with a far more mature and eclectic range of titles, and an understanding of what gamers wanted, Sega and its Genesis/Mega Drive console began to shift the expectations for what gaming could be. Never scared to innovate, Sega's impact on the industry continues to this day through the games they originally developed and the technology their consoles pushed into the mainstream. Featuring interviews with the creators of over 40 games on the Sega Genesis console including Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Altered Beast, Aladdin, Earthworm Jim and NHL 95, this book gives a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of some of the influential, iconic, and sometimes forgotten games on Sega's most important contribution to the game industry. The interviewees reveal the challenges of working with mega publishers, the uncertainties of public reception, and the creative processes that produced some of the 16-bit era's classic titles.
Final Fantasy VII altered the course of video game history when it was released in 1997 on Sony's PlayStation system. It converted the Japanese role-playing game into an international gaming standard with enhanced gameplay, spectacular cutscenes and a vast narrative involving an iconic cast. In the decades after its release, the Final Fantasy VII franchise has grown to encompass a number of video game sequels, prequels, a feature-length film, a novel and a multi-volume remake series. This volume, the first edited collection of essays devoted only to the world of Final Fantasy VII, blends scholarly rigor with fan passion in order to identify the elements that keep Final Fantasy VII current and exciting for players. Some essays specifically address the game's perennially relevant themes and scenarios, ranging from environmental consciousness to economic inequity and posthumanism. Others examine the mechanisms used to immerse the player or to improve the narrative. Finally, there are several essays devoted specifically to the game's legacy, from its influence on later games to its characters' many crossovers and cameos.
Instruction tailored to the individual student, learning and teaching outside the limits of time and space—ideas that were once considered science fiction are now educational reality, with the prospect of an intelligent Web 3.0 not far distant. Alongside these innovations exists an emerging set of critical-thinking challenges, as Internet users create content and learners (and teachers) take increased responsibility in their work. Learning and Instruction in the Digital Age nimbly balances the technological and pedagogical aspects of these rapid changes, gathering papers from noted researchers on a wealth of topics relating to cognitive approaches to learning and teaching, mental models, online learning, communications, and innovative educational technologies, among them: Cognition and student-centered, Web-based learning, The progression of mental models throughout a course of instruction, Experiencing education with 3D virtual worlds, Expanding educational boundaries through multi-school collaboration, Adapting e-learning to different learning styles, The student blog as reflective diary. With its blend of timely ideas and forward thinking, Learning and Instruction in the Digital Age will enrich the work of researchers in educational psychology, educational technology, and cognitive science.
Role-playing games seemed to appear of nowhere in the early 1970s and have been a quiet but steady presence in American culture ever since. This new look at the hobby searches for the historical origins of role-playing games deep in the imaginative worlds of Western culture. It looks at the earliest fantasy stories from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, at the fans--both readers and writers--who wanted to bring them to life, at the Midwestern landscape and the middle-class households that were the hobby's birthplace, and at the struggle to find meaning and identity amidst cultural conflicts that drove many people into these communities of play. This book also addresses race, religion, gender, fandom, and the place these games have within American capitalism. All the paths of this journey are connected by the very quality that has made fantasy role-playing so powerful: it binds the limitless imagination into a "strict" framework of rules. Far from being an accidental offshoot of marginalized fan communities, role-playing games' ability to hold contradictions in dynamic, creative tension made them a necessary and central product of the twentieth century.
Actual play is a movement within role-playing gaming in which players livestream their gameplay for others to watch and enjoy. This new medium has allowed the playing of games to become a digestible, consumable text for individuals to watch, enjoy, learn from, and analyze. Bridging the gap between the analog and the digital, actual play is changing and challenging our expectations of tabletop role-playing and providing a space for new scholarship. This edited collection of essays focuses on Dungeons and Dragons actual play and examines this phenomenon from a variety of different disciplinary approaches. Authors explore how to define actual play, how fans interact with and affect the narrative and gameplay of actual play, the diversity of gamers (or lack thereof) within actual play media, and how audiences can use actual play media for more than mere entertainment.
Some board games--like Candy Land, Chutes & Ladders, Clue, Guess Who, The Game of Life, Monopoly, Operation and Payday--have popularity spanning generations. But over time, updates to games have created significantly different messages about personal identity and evolving social values. Games offer representations of gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, religion, age, ability and social class that reflect the status quo and respond to social change. Using popular mass-market games, this rhetorical assessment explores board design, game implements (tokens, markers, 3-D elements) and playing instructions. This book argues the existence of board games as markers of an ever-changing sociocultural framework, exploring the nature of play and how games embody and extend societal themes and values.
A lot of work has been done talking about what masculinity is and what it does within video games, but less has been given to considering how and why this happens, and the processes involved. This book considers the array of daily relationships involved in producing masculinity and how those actions and relationships translate to video games. Moreover, it examines the ways the actual play of the games maps onto the stories to create contradictory moments that show that, while toxic masculinity certainly exists, it is far from inevitable. Topics covered include the nature of masculine apprenticeship and nurturing, labor, fatherhood, the scapegoating of women, and reckoning with mortality, among many others.