This collection considers new phenomena emerging in a convergence environment from the perspective of adaptation studies. The contributions take the most prominent methods within the field to offer reconsiderations of theoretical concepts and practices in participatory culture, transmedia franchises, and new media adaptations. The authors discuss phenomena ranging from mash-ups of novels and YouTube cover songs to negotiations of authorial control and interpretative authority between media producers and fan communities to perspectives on the fictional and legal framework of brands and franchises. In this fashion, the collection expands the horizons of both adaptation and transmedia studies and provides reassessments of frequently discussed (BBC’s Sherlock or the LEGO franchise) and previously largely ignored phenomena (self-censorship in transnational franchises, mash-up novels, or YouTube cover videos).
Stephen Prince Rutgers University Press, 2019 Library of Congress TR860.P78 2018 | Dewey Decimal 777
Digital Cinema considers how new technologies have revolutionized the medium, while investigating the continuities that might remain from filmmaking’s analog era. In the process, it raises provocative questions about the status of realism in a pixel-generated digital medium whose scenes often defy the laws of physics. It also considers what these changes might bode for the future of cinema. How will digital works be preserved and shared? And will the emergence of virtual reality finally consign cinema to obsolescence?
Stephen Prince offers a clear, concise account of how digital cinema both extends longstanding traditions of filmmaking and challenges some fundamental assumptions about film. It is essential reading for anyone interested in understanding how movies are shot, produced, distributed, and consumed in the twenty-first century.
In our unprecedentedly networked world, games have come to occupy an important space in many of our everyday lives. Digital games alone engage an estimated 2.5 billion people worldwide as of 2020, and other forms of gaming, such as board games, role playing, escape rooms, and puzzles, command an ever-expanding audience. At the same time, “gamification”—the application of game mechanics to traditionally nongame spheres, such as personal health and fitness, shopping, habit tracking, and more—has imposed unprecedented levels of competition, repetition, and quantification on daily life.
Drawing from his own experience as a game designer, Patrick Jagoda argues that games need not be synonymous with gamification. He studies experimental games that intervene in the neoliberal project from the inside out, examining a broad variety of mainstream and independent games, including StarCraft, Candy Crush Saga, Stardew Valley, Dys4ia, Braid, and Undertale. Beyond a diagnosis of gamification, Jagoda imagines ways that games can be experimental—not only in the sense of problem solving, but also the more nuanced notion of problem making that embraces the complexities of our digital present. The result is a game-changing book on the sociopolitical potential of this form of mass entertainment.
Indie Cinema Online
Sarah E.S. Sinwell Rutgers University Press, 2020 Library of Congress PN1995.9.D57S56 2020 | Dewey Decimal 384.83
Indie Cinema Online investigates the changing nature of contemporary American independent cinema in an era of media convergence. Focusing on the ways in which modes of production, distribution, and exhibition are shifting with the advent of online streaming, simultaneous release strategies, and web series, this book analyzes sites such as SundanceTV, YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, and other online spaces as a means of redefining independent cinema in a digital era. Analyzing the intersections among cinema studies, cultural studies, and new media studies within contemporary convergence culture, author Sarah E.S. Sinwell looks at sites of media convergence that are often ignored within most studies of digital media. Emphasizing the ways in which the forms and technologies of media culture have changed during the age of convergence, this book analyzes contemporary production, distribution, and exhibition practices as a means of examining the changing meanings of independent cinema within digital culture.
In the past twenty years, we have seen the rise of digital effects cinema in which the human performer is entangled with animation, collaged with other performers, or inserted into perilous or fantastic situations and scenery. Making Believe sheds new light on these developments by historicizing screen performance within the context of visual and special effects cinema and technological change in Hollywood filmmaking, through the silent, early sound, and current digital eras.
Making Believe incorporates North American film reviews and editorials, actor and crew interviews, trade and fan magazine commentary, actor training manuals, and film production publicity materials to discuss the shifts in screen acting practice and philosophy around transfiguring makeup, doubles, motion capture, and acting to absent places or characters. Along the way it considers how performers and visual and special effects crew work together, and struggle with the industry, critics, and each other to define the aesthetic value of their work, in an industrial system of technological reproduction. Bode opens our eyes to the performing illusions we love and the tensions we experience in wanting to believe in spite of our knowledge that it is all make believe in the end.
Screens are ubiquitous today. They display information; present image worlds; are portable; connect to mobile networks; mesmerize. However, contemporary screen media also seek to eliminate the presence of the screen and the visibilities of its boundaries. As what is image becomes increasingly indistinguishable against the viewer’s actual surroundings, this unsettling prompts re-examination about not only what is the screen, but also how the screen demarcates and what it stands for in relation to our understanding of our realities in, outside and against images. Through case studies drawn from three media technologies – Virtual Reality; holograms; and light projections – this book develops new theories of the surfaces on and spaces in which images are displayed today, interrogating critical lines between art and life; virtuality and actuality; truth and lies. What we have today is not just the contestation of the real against illusion or the unreal, but the disappearance itself of difference and a gluttony of the unreal which both connect up to current politics of distorted truth values and corrupted terms of information. The Post-Screen Through Virtual Reality, Holograms and Light Projections: Where Screen Boundaries Lie is thus about not only where the image’s borders and demarcations are established, but also the screen boundary as the instrumentation of today’s intense virtualizations that do not tell the truth. In all this, a new imagination for images emerges, with a new space for cultures of presence and absence, definitions of object and representation, and understandings of dis- and re-placement – the post-screen.
Tempest: Geometries of Play
Judd Ethan Ruggill and Ken S. McAllister University of Michigan Press, 2015 Library of Congress GV1469.35.T46R + | Dewey Decimal 794.8
Atari’s 1981 arcade hit Tempest was a “tube shooter” built around glowing, vector-based geometric shapes. Among its many important contributions to both game and cultural history, Tempest was one of the first commercial titles to allow players to choose the game’s initial play difficulty (a system Atari dubbed “SkillStep”), a feature that has since became standard for games of all types. Tempest was also one of the most aesthetically impactful games of the twentieth century, lending its crisp, vector aesthetic to many subsequent movies, television shows, and video games. In this book, Ruggill and McAllister enumerate and analyze Tempest’s landmark qualities, exploring the game’s aesthetics, development context, and connections to and impact on video game history and culture. By describing the game in technical, historical, and ludic detail, they unpack the game’s latent and manifest audio-visual iconography and the ideological meanings this iconography evokes.
Virtual reality (VR) refers to technologies that use headsets to generate realistic images, sounds and other sensations that replicate a real-world environment or create an imaginary setting. VR also simulates a user's physical presence in this environment. In virtual reality, six degrees of freedom allows users to not only look around, but also to move around the virtual world and look from above, below or behind objects. To have a true VR experience, the hardware must provide six degrees of freedom, using both orientation tracking (rotational) and positional tracking (translation).
Jonna Eagle Rutgers University Press, 2020 Library of Congress U310.E24 2019 | Dewey Decimal 793.92
The word “wargames” might seem like a contradiction in terms. After all, the declaration “This is war” is meant to signal that things have turned deadly serious, that there is no more playing around. Yet the practices of war are intimately entangled with practices of gaming, from military videogames to live battle reenactments. How do these forms of play impact how both soldiers and civilians perceive acts of war?
This Quick Take considers how various war games and simulations shape the ways we imagine war. Paradoxically, these games grant us a sense of mastery and control as we strategize and scrutinize the enemy, yet also allow us the thrilling sense of being immersed in the carnage and chaos of battle. But as simulations of war become more integrated into both popular culture and military practice, how do they shape our apprehension of the traumatic realities of warfare?
Covering everything from chess to football, from Saving Private Ryan to American Sniper, and from Call of Duty to drone interfaces, War Games is an essential guide for anyone seeking to understand the militarization of American culture, offering a compact yet comprehensive look at how we play with images of war.