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.
John Lydgate’s ‘Soteltes for the coronation banquet of Henry VI’
‘involves cognitive perception as two kinds of literacy: readingtext
and interpreting visual signs’.3 In counterpoint, Michael Camille
asserts that attending to the manuscript involves more than
confronting medieval reliance upon both word and image; it also
requires assessing the sensory experiences manifested through
the tactility of parchment.4 Yet, as critics studying the materiality
of digital media have shown, details like these that represent the
‘forensic materiality’ of works are only one among a number of
ways that materiality constitutes meaning
might not be visible in the same way that Lara Croft remains visible at all times, but it always intervenes to reconfirm that we are
readingtext and not acting in the world.
1 http://sierrastudios.com/games/half-life (accessed September 2001).
2 This is beginning to change, both in frequency and in the reference
not just to an author who is accepted as proficient outside the world
of the computer game (as an ‘award winning’ writer of genre horror
fiction, for example), but in the naming of games designers as ‘authors’. The most obvious current