10-2 | Fans and Videogames: Histories, Fandom, Archives

Book Review

Fans and Videogames: Histories, Fandom, Archives

Melanie Swalwell, Helen Stuckey, and Angela Ndalianis, eds.
New York, NY: Routledge, 2017. Acknowledgments, introduction, and index. 242 pp. $97.43 cloth. ISBN: 9781138679672

by Samuel Tobin

First Paragraph:

Fans and Videogames: Histories, Fandom, Archives consists of thirteen chapters by a range of scholars and an introduction by the editors. The book is divided into three sections: Historicizing Game Fandom, Fan Contributions to Game History, and The Archive. These sections and the book’s subtitle highlight the methodological and conceptual orientation of the book; it is a collection of works about game history. This focus is noteworthy for a few reasons. First, it suggests the growing importance of historically oriented research in contemporary game studies. The editors Melanie Swalwell, Helen Stuckey, and Angela Nda-lianis argue in their introduction: “Game history is a relatively understudied aspect of game studies” (p. 4). I am unconvinced, game history is arguably the most vibrant and active subfield in game studies, at least of late. The high quality of the work in this collection will only make it more so. Second, in connecting games studies and fan studies through history, the concept and figure and practices of the fan are recast in meaningful ways. At the same time, the figure of the fan allows the contributors to talk about people and practices beyond the player and play, a long-standing problem in game studies.