From the award-winning video game writer of such hits as Star Wars Battlefront and BioShock comes an exclusive "compelling look into a world that doesn't like to spill its secrets to outsiders" (NPR): the video game industry.When his satirical musings in a college newspaper got him discharged from the Air Force, it became clear to Walt Williams that his destiny in life was to be a writer--he just never thought he'd end up writing video games, including some of the biggest franchises today. A veteran video game narrative designer, Williams pulls back the curtain on an astonishingly profitable industry that has put its stamp on pop culture and yet is little known to those outside its walls. As Williams walks you through his unlikely and at times inglorious rise within one of the world's top gaming companies, he exposes an industry abundant in brain power and out-sized egos, but struggling to stay innovative. Significant Zero also provides clear-eyed criticism of the industry's addiction to violence and explains how the role of the narrative designer is crucial for expanding the scope of video games into more immersive and emotional experiences. Significant Zero is a rare and illuminating look inside "the video gaming industry in all its lucrative shine and questionable morality... and] provides a refreshing and realistic portrayal of succeeding at attaining a dream via an unforeseen career trajectory" (Booklist).
Set an even longer time ago in a galaxy far, far away, BioWare's 2003 RPG Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic wowed Jedi and Sith Lords alike with its compelling characters, lightsaber customization, complex morality choices, and one of the greatest plot twists in video game history. Among the droids and blasters, the game delves into themes like choice, free will, and the construction of identity and memory. Featuring brand new interviews with Lead Designer James Ohlen and Senior Writer Drew Karpyshyn, game critic Alex Kane's book unveils how this classic game was made, analyzes KotOR's worldview through the lens of philosophy, mythology, and the ethics of war, and investigates how the game borrows techniques from contemporary films like The Sixth Senseand Fight Club. Whether you align with the light or the dark side, you're invited to dive into this fun and thoughtful exploration of the most beloved Star Wars game of all time.
Praise for Working the Phones
"A sharp reminder of the difficulties faced by call-center workers." --The Financial Times
"Jamie Woodcock shows us what call-centers can tell us about bleakness and resistance in the modern workplace." --VICE
"Jamie Woodcock's brilliant insider account of life in a British call-center reveals the dirty realities of digital capitalism . . . a book that is sure to become a classic." --Peter Fleming, author of The Mythology of Work
"Woodcock knows not only his theory but his subject inside out. There's casualization, cruelty, and regimentation, but also subversion, and his focus on employee resistance offers a flicker of hope." --Times Higher Education
In Marx at the Arcade, acclaimed researcher Jamie Woodcock delves into the hidden abode of the gaming industry. In an account that will appeal to hardcore gamers, digital skeptics, and the joystick-curious, Woodcock unravels the vast networks of artists, software developers, and factory and logistics workers whose seen and unseen labor flows into the products we consume on a gargantuan scale. Along the way, he analyzes the increasingly important role the gaming industry plays in contemporary capitalism and the broader transformations of work and the economy that it embodies.
Jamie Woodcock is a sociologist of work, focusing on digital labor, the gig economy, and resistance. He is currently a fellow at the London School of Economics and is the author of the award-winning Working the Phones (2016). He is on the editorial board of Historical Materialism and an editor of Notes from Below, an online journal of workers' inquiry.
You have been awakened.
Floppy disk inserted, computer turned on, a whirring, and then this sentence, followed by a blinking cursor. So begins Suspended, the first computer game to obsess seven-year-old Michael, to worm into his head and change his sense of reality. Thirty years later he will write: "Computer games have taught me the things you can't learn from people."
Gamelife is the memoir of a childhood transformed by technology. Afternoons spent gazing at pixelated maps and mazes train Michael's eyes for the uncanny side of 1980s suburban Illinois. A game about pirates yields clues to the drama of cafeteria politics and locker-room hazing. And in the year of his parents' divorce, a spaceflight simulator opens a hole in reality.
In telling the story of his youth through seven computer games, Michael W. Clune captures the part of childhood we live alone.
*Dominate all online multiplayer maps with strategies from the pros
*Teamwork tactics to make your squad an effective combat unit
*Labeled multiplayer maps with waypoint, vehicle and fixed turret locations
*Choose the right tools for every job with breakdowns of all classes and weapons
*Step-by-step walkthrough to assist you and your fellow Marines survive missions in the USA, Middle East, and Europe.
After more than thirty years of existence, the Zelda saga has been renewed from top to bottom with its last episode, so acclaimed, Breath of the Wild. Open world offering a total freedom of movement, this episode also charmed by its ingenuity and its atmosphere. It was enough to give a volume 2 to our best-seller History of a Legendary Saga, entirely devoted to Breath of the Wild. Creation of the game, explanation of its universe, decryption of its gameplay await you in this book event.
How the influential industry that produced such popular games as Oregon Trail and KidPix emerged from experimental efforts to use computers as tools in child-centered learning.
Today, computers are part of kids' everyday lives, used both for play and for learning. We envy children's natural affinity for computers, the ease with which they click in and out of digital worlds. Thirty years ago, however, the computer belonged almost exclusively to business, the military, and academia. In Engineering Play, Mizuko Ito describes the transformation of the computer from a tool associated with adults and work to one linked to children, learning, and play. Ito gives an account of a pivotal period in the 1980s and 1990s, which saw the rise of a new category of consumer software designed specifically for elementary school-aged children. "Edutainment" software sought to blend various educational philosophies with interactive gaming and entertainment, and included such titles as Number Munchers, Oregon Trail, KidPix, and Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?.
The children's software boom (and the bust that followed), says Ito, can be seen as a microcosm of the negotiations surrounding new technology, children, and education. The story she tells is both a testimonial to the transformative power of innovation and a cautionary tale about its limitations.