Wordplay and the Discourse of Video Games

Analyzing Words, Design, and Play

By Christopher A. Paul

© 2012 – Routledge

222 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415834995
pub: 2013-02-13
US Dollars$43.95
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Hardback: 9780415893060
pub: 2012-02-14
US Dollars$140.00
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About the Book

In this timely new book, Christopher Paul analyzes how the words we use to talk about video games and the structures that are produced within games shape a particular way of gaming by focusing on how games create meaning, lead to identification and division, persuade, and circulate ideas. Paul examines the broader social discourse about gaming, including: the way players are socialized into games; the impact of the lingering association of video games as kid's toys; the dynamics within specific games (including Grand Theft Auto and EA Sports Games); and the ways in which players participate in shaping the discourse of games, demonstrated through examples like the reward system of World of Warcraft and the development of theorycraft. Overall, this book illustrates how video games are shaped by words, design and play; all of which are negotiated, ongoing practices among the designers, players, and society that construct the discourse of video games.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The New Rhetoric of Video Games I. The Context 1. Socializing Gamers 2. Video Games as ‘Kid’s’ Toys 3. Talking Game Design 4. Consoles Read Rhetorically II. The Texts 5. GTA, Humor, and Protagonists 6. EA Sports and Planned Obsolescence 7. Rearticulating Rewards in WoW 8. Theorycraft and Optimization 9. Balance and Meritocracies III. Using Wordplay 10. Words, Design, and Play

About the Author

Christopher A. Paul is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at Seattle University. His work applies rhetorical analysis to video games and has been published in Games and Culture, Game Studies, the Journal of Virtual Worlds Research, First Monday, and the International Journal of Role-Playing.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in New Media and Cyberculture

This series is our home for innovative research in the field of digital media. It includes monographs and targeted edited collections that provide new insights into this subject as its influence and significance grow into the twenty-first century.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
GAM013000
GAMES / Video & Electronic
LAN015000
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Rhetoric
SOC022000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Popular Culture
SOC052000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies