Mark J.P. Wolf is Professor and Chair of the Communication Department at Concordia University Wisconsin. He has a B.A. (1990) in Film Production and an M.A. (1992) and Ph.D. (1995) in Critical Studies from the School of Cinema/Television (now renamed the School of Cinematic Arts) at the University of Southern California. His books include Abstracting Reality: Art, Communication, and Cognition in the Digital Age (2000), The Medium of the Video Game (2001), Virtual Morality: Morals, Ethics, and New Media (2003), The Video Game Theory Reader (2003), The World of the D’ni: Myst and Riven (2006), The Video Game Explosion: A History from PONG to PlayStation and Beyond (2007), The Video Game Theory Reader 2 (2008), Before the Crash: An Anthology of Early Video Game History (2012), the two-volume Encyclopedia of Video Games: The Culture, Technology, and Art of Gaming (2012), Building Imaginary Worlds: The Theory and History of Subcreation (2012), The Routledge Companion to Video Game Studies (2014), LEGO Studies: Examining the Building Blocks of a Transmedial Phenomenon (2014), Video Games Around the World (2015), the four-volume Video Games and Gaming Culture (forthcoming), Revisiting Imaginary Worlds: A Subcreation Studies Anthology (forthcoming), and two novels for which he is looking for an agent and publisher. He is also founder and co-editor of the Landmark Video Game book series from University of Michigan Press. He has been invited to speak in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Second Life, and is on the advisory boards of Videotopia and the International Journal of Gaming and Computer-Mediated Simulations, and on several editorial boards including those of Games and Culture, The Journal of E-media Studies, and Mechademia: An Annual Forum for Anime, Manga and The Fan Arts. He lives in Wisconsin with his wife Diane and his sons Michael, Christian, and Francis.
The Medium of the Video Game
Over a mere three decades, the video game has become the entertainment medium of choice for millions of people, who now spend more time in the interactive virtual world of games than they do in watching movies or even television. The release of new games or game-playing equipment, such as the PlayStation 2, generates great excitement and even buying frenzies. Yet, until now, this giant on the popular culture landscape has received little in-depth study or analysis.
In this book, Mark J. P. Wolf and four other scholars conduct the first thorough investigation of the video game as an artistic medium. The book begins with an attempt to define what is meant by the term "video game" and the variety of modes of production within the medium. It moves on to a brief history of the video game, then applies the tools of film studies to look at the medium in terms of the formal aspects of space, time, narrative, and genre. The book also considers the video game as a cultural entity, object of museum curation, and repository of psychological archetypes. It closes with a list of video game research resources for further study.
The Video Game Theory Reader 2
The Video Game Theory Reader 2 picks up where the first Video Game Theory Reader (Routledge, 2003) left off, with a group of leading scholars turning their attention to next-generation platforms-the Nintendo Wii, the PlayStation 3, the Xbox 360-and to new issues in the rapidly expanding field of video games studies. The contributors are some of the most renowned scholars working on video games today including Henry Jenkins, Jesper Juul, Eric Zimmerman, and Mia Consalvo. While the first volume had a strong focus on early video games, this volume also addresses more contemporary issues such as convergence and MMORPGs. The volume concludes with an appendix of nearly 40 ideas and concepts from a variety of theories and disciplines that have been usefully and insightfully applied to the study of video games.