Games of Empire

Global Capitalism and Video Games

Games of Empire

In the first decade of the twenty-first century, video games are an integral part of global media culture, rivaling Hollywood in revenue and influence. No longer confined to a subculture of adolescent males, video games today are played by adults around the world. At the same time, video games have become major sites of corporate exploitation and military recruitment. In Games of Empire, Nick Dyer-Witheford and Greig de Peuter offer a radical political critique of such video games and virtual environments as Second Life, World of Warcraft, and Grand Theft Auto, analyzing them as the exemplary media of Empire, the twenty-first-century hypercapitalist complex theorized by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri. The authors trace the ascent of virtual gaming, assess its impact on creators and players alike, and delineate the relationships between games and reality, body and avatar, screen and street. Games of Empire forcefully connects video games to real-world concerns about globalization, militarism, and exploitation, from the horrors of African mines and Indian e-waste sites that underlie the entire industry, the role of labor in commercial game development, and the synergy between military simulation software and the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan exemplified by Full Spectrum Warrior to the substantial virtual economies surrounding World of Warcraft, the urban neoliberalism made playable in Grand Theft Auto, and the emergence of an alternative game culture through activist games and open-source game development. Rejecting both moral panic and glib enthusiasm, Games of Empire demonstrates how virtual games crystallize the cultural, political, and economic forces of global capital, while also providing a means of resisting them.

Empire De/Centered

New Spatial Histories of Russia and the Soviet Union

Empire De/Centered

In 1991 the Soviet empire collapsed, at a stroke throwing the certainties of the Cold War world into flux. Yet despite the dramatic end of this 'last empire', the idea of empire is still alive and well, its language and concepts feeding into public debate and academic research. Bringing together a multidisciplinary and international group of authors to study Soviet society and culture through the categories empire and space, this collection demonstrates the enduring legacy of empire with regard to Russia, whose history has been marked by a particularly close and ambiguous relationship between nation and empire building, and between national and imperial identities. Parallel with this discussion of empire, the volume also highlights the centrality of geographical space and spatial imaginings in Russian and Soviet intellectual traditions and social practices; underlining how Russia's vast geographical dimensions have profoundly informed Russia's state and nation building, both in practice and concept. Combining concepts of space and empire, the collection offers a reconsideration of Soviet imperial legacy by studying its cultural and societal underpinnings from previously unexplored perspectives. In so doing it provides a reconceptualization of the theoretical and methodological foundations of contemporary imperial and spatial studies, through the example of the experience provided by Soviet society and culture.

The Game of Empires

A Warning to America

The Game of Empires


The Language of Empire

Myths and Metaphors of Popular Imperialism, 1880-1918

The Language of Empire

The author defines the role of discourse in determining this perception of reality - looking at the construction of Empire through the huge body of popular texts ranging from fiction, poetry and children's stories to history and biography. This study will appeal to readers interested in British imperialism, those engaging in literature and cultural studies as well as to specialists in colonial history.

From the Edge of Empire: A Memoir

From the Edge of Empire: A Memoir

This tells of why and how a young Rhodesian army Captain decided in 1963 not to fight the oncoming war over majority rule. His future unknown, he leaves the country for studies in Cape Town; marries; wins a Beit Fellowship to Oxford; and is recruited to a career at the World Bank. In time he becomes an expert on Eastern Europe. Invited home in 1975 to help prepare Rhodesia's transition to Zimbabwe, he spends three years living through the very war he chose to avoid. Rejoining the Bank, he works on Hungary and, in a unique period after communism fell in 1989, he lives in Poland as Resident Representative. A man of two transitions, he explains how they are separate but ironically linked. His book, a testament to the value of education and the power of family, is written as a memoir to his grandchildren. Now himself a proud American, he offers them a world view-what he calls a moral equilibrium- to harmonize their vexed heritage with today's divided America. Happy with his life, he regrets the outcomes in the country he left. He describes a different path to majority rule his countrymen could have taken, instead of herd-think support of Ian Smith's UDI and war. Had they done so, both the war as well as the brutality, corruption and devastation of Mugabe's Zimbabwe could well have been avoided. As a life's message to his grandchildren, he exhorts them not to make similar mistakes: beware the herd; think for yourself.

Critical Digital Studies

A Reader, Second Edition

Critical Digital Studies

Since its initial publication, Critical Digital Studies has proven an indispensable guide to understanding digitally mediated culture. Bringing together the leading scholars in this growing field, internationally renowned scholars Arthur and Marilouise Kroker present an innovative and interdisciplinary survey of the relationship between humanity and technology. The reader offers a study of our digital future, a means of understanding the world with new analytic tools and means of communication that are defining the twenty-first century. The second edition includes new essays on the impact of social networking technologies and new media. A new section – “New Digital Media” – presents important, new articles on topics including hacktivism in the age of digital power and the relationship between gaming and capitalism. The extraordinary range and depth of the first edition has been maintained in this new edition. Critical Digital Studies will continue to provide the leading edge to readers wanting to understand the complex intersection of digital culture and human knowledge.

Media Franchising

Creative License and Collaboration in the Culture Industries

Media Franchising

"Johnson astutely reveals that franchises are not Borg-like assimilation machines, but, rather, complicated ecosystems within which creative workers strive to create compelling 'shared worlds.' This finely researched, breakthrough book is a must-read for anyone seeking a sophisticated understanding of the contemporary media industry." —Heather Hendershot, author of What's Fair on the Air?: Cold War Right-Wing Broadcasting and the Public Interest While immediately recognizable throughout the U.S. and many other countries, media mainstays like X-Men, Star Trek, and Transformers achieved such familiarity through constant reincarnation. In each case, the initial success of a single product led to a long-term embrace of media franchising—a dynamic process in which media workers from different industrial positions shared in and reproduced familiar cultureacross television, film, comics, games, and merchandising. In Media Franchising, Derek Johnson examines the corporate culture behind these production practices, as well as the collaborative and creative efforts involved in conceiving, sustaining, and sharing intellectual properties in media work worlds. Challenging connotations of homogeneity, Johnson shows how the cultural and industrial logic of franchising has encouraged media industries to reimagine creativity as an opportunity for exchange among producers, licensees, and evenconsumers. Drawing on case studies and interviews with media producers, he reveals the meaningful identities, cultural hierarchies, and struggles for distinction that accompany collaboration within these production networks. Media Franchising provides a nuanced portrait of the collaborative cultural production embedded in both the media industries and our own daily lives.

Edge of Empire

Postcolonialism and the City

Edge of Empire

British imperialism carved its way through space: possessing and ordering territories across the globe. This spatial legacy is not a relic of the past, it lingers in the present and shapes the nature of postcolonial futures. Edge of Empire examines struggles over urban space in three contemporary First World cities in an attempt to map the real geographies of colonialism and postcolonialism. From London, the one-time heart of the empire, to Perth and Brisbane, scenes of Aboriginal claims for the sacred in the space of the modern city, Jacobs emphasises the global geography of the local and unravels the spatialised cultural politics of postcolonial processes. Edge of Empire forms the basis for understanding imperialism over space and time, and is a recognition of the unruly spatial politics of race and nation, nature and culture, past and present.

Constantinople - End of Empire

Constantinople - End of Empire

Constantinople - End of Empire is the third and final book in Haig Tahta's marvellous trilogy set in and around the city from April 1915 to the end of 1923. It carries forward the characters from the first novel, April 1915, which explored the fateful consequences of the entry by the Ottomans into the Great War, and continued through the second book, Constantinople 1920, revolving round the Greco-Turkish War and reaching its climax in the horrific burning of Smyrna. The starting point of this final part of the trilogy is the day after that catastrophic fire. It follows the same characters and the fate of those forced to flee their ancestral homes, culminating in the demise of the Ottoman Empire and the end of the once great Imperial City.