Gaming essays on algorithmic culture

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gaming essays on algorithmic culture

Gaming: Essays On Algorithmic Culture by Alexander R. Galloway

Video games have been a central feature of the cultural landscape for over twenty years and now rival older media like movies, television, and music in popularity and cultural influence. Yet there have been relatively few attempts to understand the video game as an independent medium. Most such efforts focus on the earliest generation of text-based adventures (Zork, for example) and have little to say about such visually and conceptually sophisticated games as Final Fantasy X, Shenmue, Grand Theft Auto, Halo, and The Sims, in which players inhabit elaborately detailed worlds and manipulate digital avatars with a vast—and in some cases, almost unlimited—array of actions and choices.

In Gaming, Alexander Galloway instead considers the video game as a distinct cultural form that demands a new and unique interpretive framework. Drawing on a wide range of disciplines, particularly critical theory and media studies, he analyzes video games as something to be played rather than as texts to be read, and traces in five concise chapters how the “algorithmic culture” created by video games intersects with theories of visuality, realism, allegory, and the avant-garde. If photographs are images and films are moving images, then, Galloway asserts, video games are best defined as actions.

Using examples from more than fifty video games, Galloway constructs a classification system of action in video games, incorporating standard elements of gameplay as well as software crashes, network lags, and the use of cheats and game hacks. In subsequent chapters, he explores the overlap between the conventions of film and video games, the political and cultural implications of gaming practices, the visual environment of video games, and the status of games as an emerging cultural form.

Together, these essays offer a new conception of gaming and, more broadly, of electronic culture as a whole, one that celebrates and does not lament the qualities of the digital age.

Alexander R. Galloway is assistant professor of culture and communication at New York University and author of Protocol: How Control Exists after Decentralization.
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Gaming : essays on algorithmic culture

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The literature of video games is a curious one. Ranging from Martin Amis' all but forgotten debut, Invasion of the Space Invaders; a compendium of hot tips for arcade classics like Defender; to the coin-op psychologizing of Charles Bernstein; Play It Again, Pac-Man; and beyond, it somehow manages to encompass at once the enthusiasms of that British belletrist and analyses from every imaginable clique of critical theory. Different as those two camps might be, a recent addition to this growing body of work, Alexander R. Galloway's Gaming: Essays on Algorithmic Culture, has drawn from both. An NYU professor, media theorist, and founding member of Radical Software Group RSG , Galloway states from the outset that his is a book about loving video games; setting him firmly apart from the more clinically-minded of his peers.

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Skip to content. Skip to navigation. Coming soon. In Gaming, Alexander R. Galloway considers the video game as a distinct cultural form that demands a new and unique interpretive framework. Using examples from more than fifty video games, Galloway constructs a classification system of action in video games, and, ultimately offers a new conception of gaming and, more broadly, of electronic culture, one that celebrates the qualities of the digital age. Galloway is active as both a scholar and an expert player of the video games he is analyzing.

Free shipping. Algorithmic Game Theory , Hardcover. Galloway; Eugene Thacker. Be the first to write a review. Galloway Minnesota.

1 thoughts on “Gaming: Essays On Algorithmic Culture by Alexander R. Galloway

  1. Extremely excellent, and written by a guy who clearly is comfortable with the new culture he's talking about.

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