Computer Game Worlds

Claus Pias

Computer Game Worlds

Claus Pias

Distributed for Diaphanes

Translated by Valentine A. Pakis
350 pages | 180 halftones | 6 x 9 1/4
Paper $50.00 ISBN: 9783035800135 Published November 2017
Computer games have become ubiquitous in today’s society. Many scholars have speculated on the reasons for their massive success. Yet we haven’t considered the most basic questions: Why do computer games exist? What specific circumstances led to the creation of this entirely new type of game? What sorts of knowledge facilitated the requisite technological and institutional transformations?

With Computer Game Worlds, Claus Pias sets out to answer these questions. Tracing computer games from their earliest forms to the unstoppable commercial and cultural phenomena they have become today, Pias then provides a careful epistemological reconstruction of the process of playing games, both at computers and by computers themselves. The book makes a valuable theoretical contribution to the ongoing discussion about computer games.

 
Review Quotes
Wendy Chun, Brown University
“A brilliant, wide-ranging, and provocative analysis of the centrality of game worlds to modern computing: from Taylorism to the analytic challenges posed by the Vietnam War, from serial storytelling to Pong.  Finally—an English translation of the works of one of the most important German media theorists. This book is sure to change new media theory in the English-speaking world, as it has in Germany.”
Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht, Stanford University
“Pias’s path-breaking book shows how computer games have neither been a deliberate invention nor a welcome innovation in the realm of our pastime. As the result of a complex web of conditions out of our control and agency, they came into our lives—and continue playing with us.”
Friedrich Kittler
“A far-reaching and consistent historiography and epistemology of computer games.”
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