Tuesday, 6 November 2007

New book: Videogame, player, text

Videogame, player, text

Image of book cover for Videogame, player, text Edited by Barry Atkins & Tanya Krzywinska

Videogame, player, text examines both the playing and playful subject through a series of analytical essays focused on particular videogames and playing experiences. With essays from a range of internationally renowned game scholars, the major aim of this collection is to show how it is that videogames communicate their meanings and provide their pleasures. Each essay focuses on specific examples of gameplay dynamics to tease out the specificities of videogames as a new form of interaction between text and digital technology for the purposes of entertainment.

That modes of engagement with the videogame text are many and varied, and construct the playing subject in different ways, provides the central theme of the collection. Online play, clan membership, competitive or co-operative play, player modification of game texts, and the solo play of a single player are each addressed through individual analyses of the gameplay experiences produced by, for example, The Sims, Grand Theft Auto, Prince of Persia, Doom, Quake, World of Warcraft, Street Fighter and Civilisation.

Introduction: Videogame, player, text – Barry Atkins and Tanya Krzywinska
1. Beyond Ludus: narrative, videogames and the split condition of digital textuality – Marie-Laure Ryan
2. All too urban: to live and die in SimCity – Matteo Bittanti
3. Play, modality and claims of realism in Full Spectrum Warrior – Geoff King
4. Why am I in Vietnam? – The history of a video game – Jon Dovey
5. 'It's Not Easy Being Green': real-time game performance in Warcraft – Henry Lowood
6. Being a determined agent in (the) World of Warcraft: text/play/identity – Tanya Krzywinska
7. Female Quake players and the politics of identity – Helen W. Kennedy
8. Of eye candy and id: the terrors and pleasures of Doom 3 – Bob Rehak
9. Second Life: the game of virtual life – Alison McMahan
10. Playing to solve Savoir-Faire – Nick Montfort
11. Without a goal – on open and expressive games – Jesper Juul
12. Pleasure, spectacle and reward in Capcom's Street Fighter series – David Surman
13. The trouble with Civilization – Diane Carr
14. Killing time: time past, time present and time future in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time – Barry Atkins

Barry Atkins is Senior Lecturer in Computer Games Design at the University of Wales, Newport. Tanya Krzywinska is Professor of Screen Studies at Brunel Unversity

198x129mm 320pp
31 August 2007
hb 9780719074004 £50.00
pb 9780719074011 £15.99

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New book: Time And Relative Dissertations In Space

Time and relative dissertations in space

Image of book cover for Time and relative dissertations in space Critical perspectives on Doctor Who
Edited by David Butler

"Time And Relative Dissertations In Space adds to existing scholarship on Doctor Who in important ways … the book brings together the work of an impressive range of writers that collectively present an engaging, thought-provoking and complex analysis of the texts of Doctor Who. "
Cathy Johnson, Department of Media Arts, Royal Holloway University of London

Time and Relative Dissertations in space takes the reader on a rich and varied study of one of the greatest television programmes of all time: Doctor Who.
This book is the first study of Doctor Who to explore the Doctor's adventures in all their manifestations: on television, audio, in print and beyond. Although focusing on the original series (1963–89), the collection recognises that Doctor Who is a cultural phenomenon that has been 'told' in many ways through a myriad of texts.
Combining essays from academics as well as practitioners who have contributed to the ongoing narrative of Doctor Who, the collection encourages debate with contrasting opinions on the strengths (and weaknesses) of the programme, offering a multi-perspective view of the Doctor and the reasons for his endurance.

Part I: An earthly programme: origins and directions
1. How to pilot a TARDIS: audiences, science fiction and the fantastic in Doctor Who – David Butler
2. The child as addressee, viewer and consumer in mid-1960s Doctor Who – Jonathan Bignell
3. 'Now how is that wolf able to impersonate a grandmother?' History, pseudo-history and genre in Doctor Who – Daniel O'Mahony
4. Bargains of necessity? Doctor Who, Culloden and fictionalising history at the BBC in the 1960s – Matthew Kilburn
Part II: The subtext of death: narratives, themes and structures
5. The empire of the senses: narrative form and point-of-view in Doctor Who – Tat Wood
6. The ideology of anachronism: television, history and the nature of time – Alec Charles
7. Mythic identity in Doctor Who – David Rafer
8. The human factor: Daleks, the 'evil human' and Faustian legend in Doctor Who – Fiona Moore and Alan Stevens
Part III: The seeds of television production: making Doctor Who
9. The Filipino army's advance on Reykjavik: world-building in studio D and its legacy – Ian Potter
10. 'Who done it': discourses of authorship during the John Nathan-Turner era – Dave Rolinson
11. Between prosaic functionalism and sublime experimentation: Doctor Who and musical sound design – Kevin J. Donnelly
12. The music of machines: 'special sound' as music in Doctor Who – Louis Niebur
Part IV: The parting of the critics: value judgements and canon formations
13. The talons of Robert Holmes – Andy Murray
14. Why is 'City of Death' the best Doctor Who story? – Alan McKee
15. Canonicity matters: defining the Doctor Who canon – Lance Parkin
16. Broader and deeper: the lineage and impact of the Timewyrm series – Dale Smith
17. Televisuality without television? The Big Finish audios and discourses of 'tele-centric' Doctor Who – Matt Hills
Afterword: My adventures – Paul Magrs

David Butler is Lecturer in Screen Studies at the University of Manchester

234x156mm 352pp
31 August 2007
hb 9780719076817 £55.00
pb 9780719076824 £15.99

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New book: The politics of housing

The politics of housing

Image of book cover for The politics of housing Power, consumers and urban culture
Peter Shapely

Exploring the politics of housing during 1890-1990, this fascinating study examines the interaction not only of national and local politics but also of local influential factors such as civic culture, key local players, local discourse and geographical and demographic problems.

Unlike other housing histories, this book also looks at the position of the tenant. Local discourse, it argues, reflects the growing dissatisfaction of the tenant and, from that, a partial shift in local political values. Increasingly, tenants acted as consumers of a public service. This argument will have a significant impact on the way we view political discourse and how notions of consumerism increasingly shaped responses to the housing debate.

The first section provides the national context by looking at the changes and impact of twentieth century legislation on housing policy in different cities across the country. The second and third sections provide a more detailed account of the politics of housing in Manchester. Section Two focuses on the dreadful Victorian legacy, the development of civic culture, the impact of the voluntary sector, the emergence of local government intervention, slum houses, tenants, slum clearance and the post-war policy of creating overspill estates. Section Three looks at the building of new system-built flats and their rapid deterioration, rising tenant anger and protests, the rise and demise of the New Left’s control of the council and the beginning of a new approach based on consultation and partnerships.

The book will be of value to anyone studying urban history, politics, governance, civic culture, social policy and society.

Section One – The National Framework
1. Government, local authorities and housing, 1919-87
2. National interpretations
Section Two – The rise of municipal housing
3. Civic culture, voluntarism and Council intervention
4. Slum houses, slum dwellers and slum clearance
5. The post-war housing problem and the great overspill drive
Section Three – The decline of municipal legitimacy: inner city developments and tenants reactions, 1962-92
6. New slums and the rising tide of tenant anger
7. New slums, New Left and new partnerships
Conclusion – Consumers, locality, and discourse

234x156mm 272pp
01 October 2007
hb 9780719074332 £55.00

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New book: Salman Rushdie

Salman Rushdie

Image of book cover for Salman Rushdie Andrew Teverson

Salman Rushdie is one of the world’s most important writers of politicised fiction. He is a self-proclaimed controversialist, capable of exciting radically divergent viewpoints, a novelist of extraordinary imaginative range and power, and an erudite, and often fearless, commentator upon the state of global politics today. In this brand new and lucid critical study, Andrew Teverson examines the intellectual, biographical, literary and cultural contexts from which Rushdie’s fiction springs, in order to help the reader make sense of the often complex debates that surround the life and work of this major contemporary figure. Teverson also offers detailed critical readings of all Rushdie’s novels, from Grimus through to Shalimar the Clown.

This definitive guide will be of interest to those working in the fields of contemporary world writing in English, postcolonial studies, twentieth and twenty-first century British literatures, and studies in the novel.

1. Contexts and intertexts
2. From science fiction to history: Grimus and Midnight's Children
3. Tragedy in Shame
4. Satire in The Satanic Verses
5. Pessoptimistic fictions: Haroun and the Sea of Stories and The Moor's Last Sigh
6. The pop novel in the age of globalisation: The Ground Beneath Her Feet and Fury
7. Critical overview and conclusion
Afterword: Shalimar the Clown

Andrew Teverson is Lecturer in English Literature at Kingston University

Contemporary World Writers

198x129mm 256pp
31 August 2007
hb 9780719070501 £45.00
pb 9780719070518 £11.99

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New book: Social change and everyday life in Ireland 1850-1922

Social change and everyday life in Ireland, 1850–1922

Image of book cover for Social change and everyday life in Ireland, 1850–1922 Caitriona Clear

Men and women who were born, grew up and died in Ireland between 1850 and 1922 made decisions – to train, to emigrate, to stay at home, to marry, to stay single, to stay at school -based on the knowledge and resources they had at the time. This, the first comprehensive social history of Ireland for the period 1850–1922 to appear since 1981, tries to understand that knowledge and to discuss those resources on the island, for men and women at all social levels, as a whole.

Using original research, particularly on extreme poverty and public health, and neglected published sources – local history journals, popular autobiography, newspapers – as well as folklore and Irish language sources, this is a remarkable study on a crucial period in Irish history. It is also a lively read, reproducing the voices of the people and the stories of individuals whenever it can, questioning much of the accepted wisdom of Irish historiography over the past five decades.

A fascinating book on Irish social history that will be enjoyed by both the student and general reader, written in a non-clich├ęd, jargon-free style.

Key dates in Irish political history
Religion: explanatory note
1. Farm work
2. Non-agricultural work
3. Education
4. Emigration and migration
5. Marriage
6. Public health
7. Institutions
8. On the margins: vagrants and prostitutes
9. Housing, food, clothes

Caitriona Clear lectures in modern Irish and European History at NUI, Galway

216x138mm 224pp
31 August 2007
hb 9780719074370 £50.00
pb 9780719074387 £14.99

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Thursday, 1 November 2007

New Book: Communism in Britain, 1920-39 by Thomas Linehan

Communism in Britain, 1920-39

From the cradle to the grave

Thomas Linehan

Based on extensive use of primary evidence, this is the first study of interwar British communism to set the communist experience within the framework of the life cycle. Communism offered a complete identity that could reach into virtually all aspects of life; the Party sought influence even over members' personal conduct, moral codes, health and diet, personal hygiene, and aesthetic judgements. The British Communist Party (CPGB) sought to address the communist experience at all the principal phases of the life cycle, and its reach therefore extended to take in children, youth, and the various aspects of the adult experience, including marital and kinship relations. The book also considers the contention that the Communist Party functioned as a 'political religion' for some joiners who opted to enter the congregation of the communist devoted.

Preface and acknowledgements
List of abbreviations
PART I: The communist life cycle: the early years
1 In the home: communist mothercraft and child rearing
2 Into the Party structure: the communist children movement
3 A bright and purposeful life: youth and the Young Communist League
PART II: The communist life cycle: adulthood
4 A single communist personality?: communist couples and Red families
5 Being in a familiar place: the life of the adult activist
PART III: The communist life cycle: Shaping communists
6 Tending the communist body: the quest for physical fitness
7 Communist life style: fostering correct habits, good behaviour, and right ways of living
8 Communists at play
9 Culture from below: a culture for proletarians
PART IV: The communist life cycle: end of the cycle
10 In memoriam
Select Bibliography

Thomas Linehan is Lecturer in History at Brunel University

234x156mm 256pp
hb 9780719071409 £55.00