Games of empire : global capitalism and video games / Nick Dyer-Witheford and Greig de Peuter.

by Dyer-Witheford, Nick, 1951-Looking glass; De Peuter, GreigLooking glass.

Series: Electronic mediations: Publisher: Minneapolis, MN ; University of Minnesota Press, [2009]Description: xxxv, 298 pages ; 23 cm.ISBN: 9780816666119; 9780816666102.Subject(s): Video games -- Social aspectsLooking glass | Video games -- Economic aspects | Capitalism -- Social aspectsLooking glass | Imperialism -- Social aspects
Contents:
Introduction: Games in the age of empire -- Game engine : labor, capital, machine -- Immaterial labor : a workers' history of videogaming -- Cognitive capitalism : electronic arts -- Machinic subjects : the XBOX and its rivals -- Gameplay : virtual/actual -- Banal war : full spectrum warrior -- Biopower play : world of warcraft -- Imperial city : grand theft auto -- New game? -- Games of multitude -- Exodus : the metaverse and the mines.
Note: BIbliography: pages 239-275. - Includes index.
Item type Home library Collection Class number Status Date due Barcode Item reservations
Short loan London College of Communication
Main collection
Printed books 794.8 DYE (Browse shelf (Opens below)) Available 54103347
Long loan London College of Communication
Main collection
Printed books 794.8 DYE (Browse shelf (Opens below)) Available 54158469
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

In the first decade of the twenty-first century, video games are an integral part of global media culture, rivaling Hollywood in revenue and influence. No longer confined to a subculture of adolescent males, video games today are played by adults around the world. At the same time, video games have become major sites of corporate exploitation and military recruitment.

In Games of Empire , Nick Dyer-Witheford and Greig de Peuter offer a radical political critique of such video games and virtual environments as Second Life , World of Warcraft , and Grand Theft Auto , analyzing them as the exemplary media of Empire, the twenty-first-century hypercapitalist complex theorized by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri. The authors trace the ascent of virtual gaming, assess its impact on creators and players alike, and delineate the relationships between games and reality, body and avatar, screen and street.

Games of Empire forcefully connects video games to real-world concerns about globalization, militarism, and exploitation, from the horrors of African mines and Indian e-waste sites that underlie the entire industry, the role of labor in commercial game development, and the synergy between military simulation software and the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan exemplified by Full Spectrum Warrior to the substantial virtual economies surrounding World of Warcraft, the urban neoliberalism made playable in Grand Theft Auto, and the emergence of an alternative game culture through activist games and open-source game development.

Rejecting both moral panic and glib enthusiasm, Games of Empire demonstrates how virtual games crystallize the cultural, political, and economic forces of global capital, while also providing a means of resisting them.

BIbliography: pages 239-275. - Includes index.

Introduction: Games in the age of empire -- Game engine : labor, capital, machine -- Immaterial labor : a workers' history of videogaming -- Cognitive capitalism : electronic arts -- Machinic subjects : the XBOX and its rivals -- Gameplay : virtual/actual -- Banal war : full spectrum warrior -- Biopower play : world of warcraft -- Imperial city : grand theft auto -- New game? -- Games of multitude -- Exodus : the metaverse and the mines.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

Riffing productively on Michael Hardt and Toni Negri's influential Empire (CH, Oct'00, 38-1208), Dyer-Witheford (information and media studies, Univ. of Western Ontario) and de Peuter (a doctoral candidate, communication, Simon Fraser Univ.) offer a powerful, readable Marxian expose of the video-game industry. After establishing the industry's social and economic significance in the early 21st century, the authors document, in three parts, the industry's collusion in globalization. Part 1, "Game Engine," considers immaterial labor (the creative work of game developers and computer technologists) and its exploitation. Part 2, "Gameplay," discloses bio-power (the insinuation of the state into the individual bodies of its citizens) at work in three popular games: Full Spectrum Warrior, used in training US troops; World of Warcraft, with its spin-off gold-mining real-world factories in China; and Grand Theft Auto, played in nightmare neoliberal versions of real-world US cities. The concluding section, "New Game," ends the volume, as Hardt and Negri ended theirs, with a note of confidence in humanity. Facing the empire's triple-threat of extinction--global warming, pandemics, and rampantly growing social inequalities--the multitude may yet discover, through massively multiplayer game technologies, that an alternative, more peaceful and creative world is possible. One hopes that their optimism, like Hardt's and Negri's, has basis. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readers. A. J. Wharton Duke University

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Nick Dyer-Witheford is associate professor and associate dean in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at the University of Western Ontario.

Greig de Peuter is a doctoral candidate in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University.

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