Routledge – 2011 – 190 pages
Video gaming is economically, educationally, culturally, socially and theoretically important, and has, in a relatively short period of time, firmly cemented its place within contemporary life. It is fair to say, however, that the majority of research to date has focused most specifically on either the video games themselves, or the direct engagement of gamers with a specific piece of game technology.
In contrast, Video Gamers is the first book to explicitly and comprehensively address how digital games are engaged with and experienced in the everyday lives, social networks and consumer patterns of those who play them. In doing so, the book provides a key introduction to the study of gamers and the games they play, whilst also reflecting on the current debates and literatures surrounding gaming practices.
"'Video Gamers' outlines the extensive range and richness of player studies, and provides great service to students and research community alike by building bridges between several important research traditions. Moving from theories of gameplay to audience studies, player demographic research, as well as to studies of effects, immersion, performance, gamer fandom, subcultures, and beyond, Garry Crawford manages to demonstrate the versatility and depth of the social approach into the field of video gaming." - Frans Mäyrä, Professor of Digital Culture & Game Studies, University of Tampere, Finland
"This concise, persuasive volume is an exemplar of recent scholarship that focuses on video game contexts instead of video games as texts… With its useful chapter summaries and substantial bibliography, this accessible, thorough study would serve as an excellent introductory textbook. But it also makes original contributions to the study of video gamers, and so would be a valuable resource outside the classroom. Summing Up: Highly recommended." - N. A. Baker, Earlham College, CHOICE
1. Studying Video Games. Introduction. Terminology. What is a Video Game?. (Video) Game Studies. Chapter Summary. Further Reading 2. Understanding Video Gameplay. Introduction. Theories of Play. The Magic Circle. Frame Analysis. Chapter Summary. Further Reading 3. Video Gamers as Audience. Introduction. Video Games as ‘Audienceless’. Audience Research. Video Gamers, Performers, Users and the Continued Importance of Audiences. Chapter Summary and Further Reading 4. Who Plays Video Games?. Introduction. (Stereo)typing Video Gamers. Counting Video Gamers. Gender and Excluded Gamers. Video Gamer Types. Video Gamer Careers. Chapter Summary and Further Reading 5. Key Aspects of Video Gameplay. Introduction. Rules. Effects. Interactivity. Immersion, Engagement and Flow. Performance. Identity, Roles and Embodiment. Intertextuality and Transmedia. Narrative. Geography. Chapter Summary. Further Reading 6. Conceptualizing Video Game Culture. Introduction. Subcultures and Neo-Tribes. Fans. Knowledge Community. Players, Otaku and Gamers. Scenes. Habitus. Chapter Summary. Further Reading 7. Video Gamer Productivity. Introduction. Textual Productivity. Websites. Mods and Hacks. Private Server Gaming. Game Guides, Walkthroughs and FAQs. Fan Fiction and Art. Semiotic and Enunciative Productivity. Semiotic Production. Producing Community. Narrative Identity. Chapter Summary. Further Reading 8. Video Games and Everyday Life. Introduction. Theorizing Everyday Life. Video Games and Everyday Life. Video Games as Ordinary. The Domestication of Technology. Chapter Summary. Further Reading
Garry Crawford is a Senior Lecturer in Cultural Sociology at the University of Salford. He is the author or editor of a number of books including Consuming Sport (2004), Dictionary of Leisure Studies (2009, with T. Blackshaw) and Online Gaming in Context (2011, edited with V.K Gosling and B. Light).