Search results

Open Access (free)
The computer game as fictional form
Author: Barry Atkins

This book is dedicated to the study of computer games in terms of the stories they tell and the manner of their telling. It applies practices of reading texts from literary and cultural studies to consider the computer game as an emerging mode of contemporary storytelling. The book contains detailed discussion of narrative and realism in four of the most significant games of the last decade: ‘Tomb Raider’, ‘Half-Life’, ‘Close Combat’, and ‘Sim City’. It recognises the excitement and pleasure that has made the computer game such a massive global phenomenon.

Open Access (free)
Reading Close Combat
Barry Atkins

4 Replaying history: reading Close Combat Close Combat [inc. Close Combat (1996), Close Combat II: A Bridge Too Far (1997), Close Combat III: The Russian Front (1998), Close Combat IV: The Battle of the Bulge (1999), Close Combat: Invasion Normandy (2000)]. Real-time strategy/wargame. As the titles indicate, various episodes are set in different military campaigns during the Second World War. The game is split between the strategic management of large formations on campaign maps and the tactical control (in ‘real-time’) of small numbers of troops on battlefield

in More than a game
Open Access (free)
Reading SimCity
Barry Atkins

narrative pretensions in their reliance on the telling of lengthy ‘quest’ or ‘escape’ narratives with a strong drive towards the specific conclusion of an already emplotted story, and Close Combat’s campaigns showed its potential for the construction of an extended counterfactual narrative, any comparable narrative ambition in SimCity is less than obvious. As the manual for SimCity 2000 informs the new player, this is a different kind of text: ‘When you play SimCity 2000, you become the planner, designer and mayor of an unlimited number of cities. You can take over and

in More than a game
Barry Atkins

1 The computer game as fictional form For when the One Great Scorer comes To write against your name, He marks – not that you won or lost – But how you played the game. (Grantland Rice) Life’s too short to play chess. (H. J. Byron) The origins of this project can be located in an experience that could not have been further distanced, at the time, from the academic practice and teaching of cultural and literary criticism which usually fills my days: the successful conclusion of Close Combat II: A Bridge Too Far (1997), a strategic wargame set in the Second World

in More than a game
Open Access (free)
Barry Atkins

Matters of structural organisation inevitably contribute to meaning, and what might appear to have been an odd or even eccentric ordering of the chapters of this volume would probably benefit from some belated explanation. Faced with the task of looking in detail at four specific examples, the simple question of the order in which to place the individual readings comes to the fore. To fall chap6.p65 147 13/02/03, 14:24 148 More than a game back on the standard of chronological sequence (sequels aside, something like SimCity, Tomb Raider, Close Combat, Half

in More than a game