Book: The formation of gaming culture: UK gaming magazines, 1981-1995

The Formation of Gaming Culture: UK gaming magazines, 1981-1995 by Graeme Kirkpatrick describes how games played on computers became computer games. By analysing the first gaming magazines, which were published in Britain in the 1980s, the book shows how a culture of reception and appreciation was formed around games produced for home computers and circulated in the hobbyist culture of ‘bedroom coding’.
A new way of talking about software was developed specifically in connection with games, which assessed them according to the quality of their gameplay. Readers of the magazines, for whom this discourse made sense of their experiences with the new objects, came to recognise themselves as gamers and as a result gaming culture was born. In the years before Nintendo ‘revived’ gaming and began its transformation into a global entertainment industry, gaming culture was created. The book shows how the formation of this culture was entwined with changes to the economics and technologies of game production in the 1980s.
Table of contents:
1. Approaches to Gaming’s field
2. Studying the magazines
3. Getting a feel for the games
4. Game addicted freaks
5. Wimps, YOBS and game busters
Conclusion: Gaming’s field and game studies
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