What Is a Game?

Essays on the Nature of Videogames

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About the Book

What is a video game? What makes a video game “good”? If a game is supposed to be fun, can it be fun without a good story? If another is supposed to be an accurate simulation, does it still need to be entertaining? With the ever-expanding explosion of new video games and new developments in the gaming world, questions about video game criticism are becoming more complex. The differing definitions that players and critics use to decide what a game is and what makes a game successful, often lead to different ideas of how games succeed or fail.
This collection of essays puts on display the variety and ambiguity of video games. Each essay is a work of game criticism that takes a different approach to defining the game and analyzing it. Through analysis and critical methods, these essays discuss whether a game is defined by its rules, its narrative, its technology, or by the activity of playing it, and the tensions between these definitions. With essays on Overwatch, Dark Souls 3, Far Cry 4, Farmville and more, this collection attempts to show the complex changes, challenges and advances to game criticism in the era of video games.

About the Author(s)

Gaines S. Hubbell is an assistant professor of English and writing program administrator at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. His work focuses on the history of rhetoric and methods of game criticism.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Gaines S. Hubbell. Series Editor Matthew Wilhelm Kapell
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages:
Bibliographic Info: photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2020
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6837-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3901-7
Imprint: McFarland
Series: Studies in Gaming