Where Else Can You Read about Games and Cultural Heritage?

Jul 12, 11 Where Else Can You Read about Games and Cultural Heritage?

While Play the Past is no doubt your favorite and most important source of smart, scholarly explorations of games and cultural heritage, we know we are not the only people writing about the intersection of meaningful play, history, and culture.

I wanted to take the time in this post to highlight a few other sources of criticism, reviews, and discussion of games and cultural heritage, with an emphasis on open access venues. And I also invite you to use the comments to add your own favorite journal or blog to the list.

Scholarly Journals

  • Games and Culture – a subscription-based journal published by Sage with an emphasis on videogames and the social sciences
  • Games Studies – an open-access, international journal covering a variety of disciplinary (and occasionally, designer) perspectives
  • eludamos – open-access, international, and multidisciplinary, ELUDAMOS makes forays into territory very familiar to Play the Past readers
  • Loading… – the official (open-access) journal of the Canadian Game Studies Association, Loading… often features articles that focus on videogames and narrative

Blogs

There’s no end to the blogs devoted to videogames (or games in general). Mainstream blogs like Kotaku or Gamasutra occasionally feature longer articles that address cultural heritage and games, but of more relevance are the blogs of individual academics and journalists who write about games and culture. Ian Bogost‘s writings are a lightning rod for game studies, while Grand Text Auto aggregates the individual blogs of a number of important figures in game studies, such as Nick Montfort, Mary Flanagan, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin. Clive Thompson writes about games for Wired and The New York Times, and he often links to or reproduces his articles on his own blog, Collision Detection.

Other Sources

There a host of other sources to consider if you’re interested in games and cultural heritage. The Well Played series of books from ETCPress is full of close-readings of videogames, though the quality of individual chapters is uneven (the books are not peer-reviewed). The archive of the Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) conference contains some gems, though you’ll need to dig around to find them.

What Else?

What else is there? This smattering of sources should only be the start of a roundup of writing relevant to Play the Past readers. We encourage you to add your own must-read journals, blogs, and book series in the comments!

[Downhill photograph of the old mahjong table courtesy of Flickr user Christian Södergren / Creative Commons Licensed]

http://www.playthepast.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/mahjong.jpg

7 Comments

  1. Ah I wrote a book called Playing With The Past…seems to deal with this topic..

  2. @Erik, thanks for stopping by! I was sticking with journals and online sources in this post, but you’re right that there are some worthwhile books to mention. There’s your Playing with the Past as well as the similarly named (but differently themed) Playing the Past: History and Nostalgia in Video Games.

  3. Truly great resource, yet Play the Past initially strikes as just a tad continentally centric, despite our whole world out here, why even in our near bankrupt lickle island we have a community site that has been offering info, opinion, articles, resources while connecting, industry, academia and the general gamer / student populations for about seven years now: http://www.gamedevelopers.ie/home/

    Just sayin’….

    THX X2

    clevercelt

    • Ethan Watrall /

      Michael – thanks for your comment. Couple of things to note. First off, Play the Past is focused exclusively on games for (and in) cultural heritage – as opposed to being a more general game design/game studies/industry oriented publication (sich as your own site). Second we are always looking for new contributors – regardless of where they hail from. The composition of authors has more to do with our own existing scholarly social networks than a desire to exclude any non-north american contributions.

  4. Kind thanks to you Ethan for your response. I had gleaned the focus, just thought a suggestion re broadening your catchment/engagement(as opposed to that focus) may have enriched the depth of future investigations/discussions.

    There was some excellent work being done under the banner of ‘entertainment computing’ both in Europe & Asia, elements of which struck me as being perhaps in a similar vein to technological elements of your ‘gamifying’ idea. The site I mentioned isn’t mine, just an example of a little outpost of endeavor where, like others such as http://www.dichtung-digital.de/ and to answer Mark Sample’s Question, I can read about games and cultural heritage. If perhaps in a little less focused way (-:

  5. Great post Mark. You asked for links to other games with a focus on the past. I run a blog called Ancient Egyptian Games that deals specifically with games related to Ancient Egypt:

    http://games.talkingpyramids.com/

    There is also Mary Harrsch’s blog called Ancient Games:
    http://ancientgames.blogspot.com/

    Thanks,

    Vincent Brown

  6. There is always Critical Distance: http://www.critical-distance.com/

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