1st Edition

Video Games A Popular Culture Phenomenon

By Arthur Asa Berger Copyright 2002
    132 Pages
    by Routledge

    130 Pages
    by Routledge

    From their inception, video games quickly became a major new arena of popular entertainment. Beginning with very primitive games, they quickly evolved into interactive animated works, many of which now approach film in terms of their visual excitement. But there are important differences, as Arthur Asa Berger makes clear in this important new work. Films are purely to be viewed, but video involves the player, moving from empathy to immersion, from being spectators to being actively involved in texts. Berger, a renowned scholar of popular culture, explores the cultural significance of the expanding popularity and sophistication of video games and considers the biological and psychoanalytic aspects of this phenomenon.Berger begins by tracing the evolution of video games from simple games like Pong to new, powerfully involving and complex ones like Myst and Half-Life. He notes how this evolution has built the video industry, which includes the hardware (game-playing consoles) and the software (the games themselves), to revenues comparable to the American film industry.

    1: Theoretical Concerns; 1: Video Games: A Popular Culture Phenomenon; 2: Narratives in the Electronic Age; 3: Video Games as Cultural Indicators; 4: A Bio-Psycho-Social Perspective on Video Games; 2: Analyzing Representative Games; 5: Myst, Riven , and the Adventure Video Game; 6: Lara Croft and the Problem of Gender in Video Games; 7: Half-Life and the Problem of Monsters; 8: Conclusions


    Arthur Asa Berger