|Playtesting and QA: Creators/Mediators of Culture (In progress…)
This spring I started interviewing past and present playtesters and quality assurance (QA) specialists in game development. This is the first phase of a monograph about labor relations in the games industry.
|Joystick Soldiers: The Politics of Play in Military Video Games (Completed!)
Edited by Nina B. Huntemann and Matthew Thomas Payne (Routledge, 2009)
Joystick Soldiers is the first anthology to examine the reciprocal relationship between militarism and video games. War has been an integral theme of the games industry since the invention of the first video game, Spacewar! in 1962.While war video games began as entertainment, military organizations soon saw their potential as combat simulation and recruitment tools. A profitable and popular relationship was established between the video game industry and the military, and continues today with video game franchises like America’s Army, which was developed by the U.S.Army as a public relations and recruitment tool.
This collection features all new essays that explore how modern warfare has been represented in and influenced by video games. The contributors explore the history and political economy of video games and the military-entertainment complex; present textual analyses of military-themed video games such as Metal Gear Solid; and offer reception studies of gamers, fandom, and political activism within online gaming.
|Live Music Project (On going…)
Live Music Project is fascinating and on-going study of the development of one suburban girl of the 80′s musical tastes. Essentially, this is a near-complete list of ever pop concert I have ever attended, including the venue and (if known) the ticket price. Enjoy!
|Vintage Hobby Books (On going…)
I’m not one to collect things (except for concert ticket stubs), but I do have a fondness for vintage hobby books. As a child I liked to make things. Predictably, I made clothes for my Barbie dolls and jewelry for my friends and family, but I also made computer programs in BASIC on my Dad’s TI-99/4A.
In the past few years I have come across old knitting books (I am an avid knitter), computer education books for kids, video game strategy guides, sewing manuals and so on. The books, of course, strike a nostalgic chord and take me back to rainy weekends spent in my bedroom dreaming up the most beautiful evening gown for Barbie with beads, fabric, yarn, ribbons and sequins strewn across the pink shag carpet (really, it was pink shag). The books also fill in a bit of history about DIY culture which has experienced a renaissance and surge of interest in the last 10 years. The 1980s – my teen years – did not celebrate crafting the way Martha Stewart Living and ReadyMade magazines do today. But making things was a significant, inter-generational activity for many. My Grandmother and Mother taught me how to knit and sew, and my Dad taught me how to program the TI-99/4A and Commodore64, as well as how to solder transistors and mix chemicals in my chemistry set. Crafting and ‘science’ experiments were the primary creative outlets of my youth, and continue to enrich my hobby life today.
I’ve scanned a few of the books I’ve discovered thus far, and will continue to add to the collection. Here is a sample.
game of thrones / hbo
philharmonics / agnes obel
bioshock: infinite / ps3
ready player one / ernest cline