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Playing with Virtuality

Theories and Methods of Computer Game Studies

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Edited By Benjamin Bigl and Sebastian Stoppe

Computer games have fascinated millions of users for more than 30 years. Today, they constitute the strongest sector in the media-entertainment industry and are part of the experience of digital daily life. Computer Game Studies require a deep understanding of functional and communicational mechanisms of games that support the player’s immersion in virtual worlds. Unfortunately, the discussion and the academic research about usage and effects of computer games mostly takes place isolated within different scientific contexts with various theoretical and methodological approaches. Therefore, this anthology combines the perspectives of Media Studies, Game Studies, and Communication Studies, and presents their findings in an interdisciplinary approach.

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Preface

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Games as entertainment medium for everyone 25 million people in Germany play computer or video games at least once per month. Almost 2 billion euros are spent on video games in the German market. The industry’s revenue is bigger than the revenues of the music industry (1,48 billion euros) and film industry (958 million eu- ros). Nevertheless computer and videogames are widely seen as a pastime for young men. But the picture is much more colorful. By far the majority of Wooga gamers are, for example, women aged between 25 and 50 years. The image of game designers is also changing. With Jade Raymond (Ubi- soft), Verena Delius (Goodbeans) and Stephanie Kaiser (Head of Studio, Wooga) all being industry leading figures, more and more women are at the helm of the virtual worlds we’re entering into. There is still room for improvement, however. Still, one thing is clear: the princess no longer needs Mario and Luigi to escape from Bowser’s castle. There is one aspect that is proving to be a real game changer though. It is the reason why perspectives are changing on gaming as a reputable pas- time, and that is the internet and mobile. We are more connected than ever, and we’re becoming increasingly more so. This kind of digital con- nectivity is changing the way we interact with the world around us, and each other. As game designers, graphic artists and engineers work away on the interfaces of the newest and most innovative platforms, Wooga...

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