Thursday, February 25, 2010

Games of Empire

Games of Empire, by Nick Dyer-Witheford and Greig de Peuter (University of Minnesota Press) is a provocative look at "ludocapitalism" with a Marxist bent. That's the plus and the minus right there, but beautifully written with great scope, and very much worth reading.

The Warcraft Civilization

The Warcraft Civilization by William Sims Bainbridge (aka Bill, not to mention Computabull, Incognita, and several other cleverly named WoW characters) is a new MIT Press book on World of Warcraft. It's an elegant romp through Azeroth by a distinguished sociologist.

Bainbridge is a program director at the National Science Foundation, and has spearheaded efforts to fund research on virtual worlds.

Gaming and Literacy

There's a lot of great material in this area, but I am particularly fond of Jonathan Alexander's essay in College Composition and Communication:

Gaming, Student Literacies, and the Composition

Classroom: Some Possibilities for Transformation

Chris Paul's work

I am a big fan of Chris Paul's research. Chris is a professor of Communication and Film Studies at Seattle University. Read his work just for the dreamy prose, but if you are interested in media, rhetoric, and gaming (or any of the above), the content will grab you too.

Here's a very nice piece that came out recently in Games and Culture:

Welfare Epics? The Rhetoric of Rewards in World of Warcraft