1st Edition

Fans and Videogames Histories, Fandom, Archives

Edited By Melanie Swalwell, Angela Ndalianis, Helen Stuckey Copyright 2017
    252 Pages
    by Routledge

    252 Pages 18 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This anthology addresses videogames long history of fandom, and fans’ important role in game history and preservation. In order to better understand and theorize video games and game playing, it is necessary to study the activities of gamers themselves. Gamers are active creators in generating meaning; they are creators of media texts they share with other fans (mods, walkthroughs, machinima, etc); and they have played a central role in curating and preserving games through activities such as their collective work on: emulation, creating online archives and the forensic archaeology of code. This volume brings together essays that explore game fandom from diverse perspectives that examine the complex processes at work in the phenomenon of game fandom and its practices. Contributors aim to historicize game fandom, recognize fan contributions to game history, and critically assess the role of fans in ensuring that game culture endures through the development of archives.

    1. Introduction

    [Melanie Swalwell, Helen Stuckey and Angela Ndalianis]

    Part I: Historicizing Game Fandom

    2. Early Games Production, Gamer Subjectivation and the Containment of the Ludic Imagination

    [Graeme Kirkpatrick]

    3. Transitioning to the Digital: Run5 magazine as archive and account of SSG’s dialogue with wargamers in the 1980s

    [Helen Stuckey]

    4. Keeping the Spectrum alive: Platform fandom in a time of transition

    [Jaroslav Švelch]

    5. Pirates, Platforms, and Players: Theorizing post-consumer fan histories through the Sega Dreamcast

    [Skot Deeming and David Murphy]

    Part II: Fan Contributions to Game History

    6. EVE Online’s War Correspondents: Player journalism as history

    [Nick Webber]

    7. NES Homebrew and the Margins of the Retrogaming Industry

    [John Vanderhoef]

    8. Museums of Failure: Fans as curators of ‘bad’, unreleased, and ‘flopped’ videogames

    [Victor Navarro-Remesal]

    9. Glitching, Codemining and Procedural Level Creation in Super Mario Bros. [James Newman]

    Part III: The Archive

    10. Repacking my Library

    [Jennifer deWinter and Carly Kocurek]

    11. Sega Saturn Fan Sites and the Vernacular Curation of Videogame History

    [Benjamin Nicoll]

    12. Unusable Archives: Everyday play and the Everyplay archives

    [James Manning]

    13. Moving on from the Original Experience: Philosophies of preservation and dis/play in game history

    [Melanie Swalwell]


    Melanie Swalwell is an Associate Professor and ARC Future Fellow in Screen and Media at Flinders University, Australia. She is co-editor of the anthology, The Pleasures of Computer Games (2008). Melanie is currently completing a monograph Homebrew Gaming and the Beginnings of Vernacular Digitality for the MIT Game Histories series.

    Helen Stuckey is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Flinders University, Australia. Her research explores the curation and collection of videogames. A games curator and historian, she has worked at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image and was the Director of the Games Program at RMIT University.

    Angela Ndalianis is Professor in Screen Studies at the University of Melbourne, Australia, where she also directs the Transformative Technologies Research Unit. Her publications include Neo-Baroque Aesthetics and Contemporary Entertainment (2004), Science Fiction Experiences (2010), The Horror Sensorium (2012) and The Contemporary Comic Book Superhero (2008).

    "This book is an essential read for those of us who study what people (especially communities) do with games beyond designing and playing them. It will be of interest to anyone working in game history and especially those who study issues of preservation and archives. It should also be useful for fan scholars."- Samuel Tobin, Fitchburg State University,American Journal of Play