Aesthetic theory and the video game

Hardcover | August 31, 2011

byGraeme Kirkpatrick

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This book draws on aesthetic theory, including ideas from the history of painting, music and dance, to offer a fresh perspective on the video game as a popular cultural form. It argues that games like Grand Theft Auto and Elektroplankton are aesthetic objects that appeal to players because they offer an experience of form, as this idea was understood by philosophers like Immanuel Kant and Theodor Adorno.
 
Video games are awkward objects that have defied efforts to categorize them within established academic disciplines and intellectual frameworks. Yet no one can deny their importance in re-configuring contemporary culture and their influence can be seen in contemporary film, television, literature, music, dance and advertising. This book argues that their very awkwardness should form the starting point for a proper analysis of what games are and the reasons for their popularity. This book will appeal to anyone with a serious interest in the increasingly playful character of contemporary capitalist culture.

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This book draws on aesthetic theory, including ideas from the history of painting, music and dance, to offer a fresh perspective on the video game as a popular cultural form. It argues that games like Grand Theft Auto and Elektroplankton are aesthetic objects that appeal to players because they offer an experience of form, as this idea...

Graeme Kirkpatrick is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Manchester.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:240 pages, 7.91 × 5.31 × 0.98 inPublished:August 31, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0719077176

ISBN - 13:9780719077173

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements * Introduction * The Aesthetic Approach * Why an aesthetic approach? * Play and form * Form, taste and society * Art and politics * Culture industry revisited * Ludology, Space and Time * From ergodicity to ludology * Gameness and its limits * Abstraction, virtual space and simulacra * The rhythm of suspended time * Ludology, narratology and aesthetics * 3. Controller, Hand, Screen * Form, vision and matter * Hands and touch * The controller * Video game image * Embodied activity and culture * 4. Games, Dance and Gender * Dance and art * Habitus and embodied play * Choreography in ‘Mirror’s Edge’ * A dance aesthetic * Choreography and discourse * Aesthetics and gender * 5. Meaning and Virtual Worlds * Fictional worldness * Neo-baroque entertainment culture * Form and fictional content * Death and allegory * Play and mourning * 6. Political Aesthetics * Unit operations * Rhetoric and persuasion * Badiou’s inaesthetics * The ludological truth-event * Dancing our way to where? * Index