3-4 | Utopic Dreams and Apocalyptic Fantasies: Critical Approaches to Researching Video Game Play

Book Review

Utopic Dreams and Apocalyptic Fantasies: Critical Approaches to Researching Video Game Play

J. Talmadge Wright, David G. Embrick, and Andras Lukacs, eds.
Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2010. Contents, tables, charts, references, index. 274 pp. $75.00 cloth. ISBN: 9780739147009

by Emma Westecott

First Paragraph:

Digital games are a significant new form of play, exploding in the past thirty years from the rarified setting of the research lab to the noisy arcade and to many American homes. Game studies, the academic analysis of video games, formally emerged only as recently as 2001 with the launch of the online academic journal, Game Studies. Prior to this, the most prominent academic work on video games focused on the alleged negative effects of video game play. Academics worldwide have approached the study of video games from a number of perspectives and disciplines. Like many new fields, game studies has taken the first faltering steps to establish itself in a number of respects, not least in terms of the methodological approaches to understanding the cultural, social, economic, and innovative impact and value of the digital game form. A key challenge is how best to build effective methodological tool kits and rigorous academic enquiry in a rapidly evolving technological landscape.