[SIGCIS-Members] two more new books!

Melanie Swalwell mswalwell at swin.edu.au
Tue Sep 7 20:35:48 PDT 2021


It's great to hear all this love and appreciation for recent publications! I am pleased to be able to add 2 more to the tally of computer history books published recently.

  1.  In August, my monograph Homebrew Gaming and the Beginnings of Vernacular Digitality was published, with MIT Press. Here's the blurb:
>From the late 1970s through the mid-1980s, low-end microcomputers offered many users their first taste of computing. A major use of these inexpensive 8-bit machines-including the TRS System 80s and the Sinclair, Atari, Microbee, and Commodore ranges-was the development of homebrew games. Users with often self-taught programming skills devised the graphics, sound, and coding for their self-created games. In this book, Melanie Swalwell offers a history of this era of homebrew game development, arguing that it constitutes a significant instance of the early appropriation of digital computing technology.
Drawing on interviews and extensive archival research on homebrew creators in 1980s Australia and New Zealand, Swalwell explores the creation of games on microcomputers as a particular mode of everyday engagement with new technology. She discusses the public discourses surrounding microcomputers and programming by home coders; user practices; the development of game creators' ideas, with the game Donut Dilemma as a case study; the widely practiced art of hardware hacking; and the influence of 8-bit aesthetics and gameplay on the contemporary game industry. With Homebrew Gaming and the Beginnings of Vernacular Digitality, Swalwell reclaims a lost chapter in video game history, connecting it to the rich cultural and media theory around everyday life and to critical perspectives on user-generated content.

The title is #6 in the MIT Press Game Histories series, edited by Henry Lowood and Raiford Guins. More info: https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/homebrew-gaming-and-beginnings-vernacular-digitality

  1.  In May, my latest anthology Game History and the Local was published by Palgrave. The blurb:
This book brings together essays on game history and historiography that reflect on the significance of locality. Game history did not unfold uniformly and the particularities of space and place matter, yet most digital game and software histories are silent with respect to geography. Topics covered include: hyper-local games; temporal anomalies in platform arrival and obsolescence; national videogame workforces; player memories of the places of gameplay; comparative reception studies of a platform; the erasure of cultural markers; the localization of games; and perspectives on the future development of 'local' game history.

The title brings together some of the most exciting authors and work happening in game history at the moment, in my opinion. I think it will be of particular interest to scholars working at the interface of game history/computer history, but hopefully many others as well.

Chapters 1 and 12 are available open access. If your institution has Springerlink, then you may have access to the whole thing here: https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-030-66422-0



Melanie Swalwell
Professor of Digital Media Heritage
Co-Chair, SIGCIS<http://www.sigcis.org/>

Centre for Transformative Media Technologies
School of Social Sciences, Media, Film and Education
Swinburne University
PO Box 218, Hawthorn Vic 3122 Australia

Tel +61 3 9214 3911
mswalwell at swin.edu.au

New books out in 2021!
Homebrew Gaming and the Beginnings of Vernacular Digitality<https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/homebrew-gaming-and-beginnings-vernacular-digitality>
Game History and the Local<https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-030-66422-0>

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