[SIGCIS-Members] ROMchip Presents: Jaroslav Švelch on Player vs. Monster // FRI March 8, 1PM EST

Laine Nooney laine.nooney at gmail.com
Wed Feb 28 10:33:20 PST 2024

Join us Friday, March 8, as *ROMchip: A Journal of Game Histories *hosts
games studies scholar Jaroslav Švelch for a talk about his recent book, *Player
vs. Monster: The Making and Breaking of Video Game Monstrosity.* The event
will be at 1PM EST on the ROMchip Twitch channel,
https://www.twitch.tv/romchipjournal. Sign up for our newsletter
to never miss an update.


*About the Book*
Since the early days of video games, monsters have played pivotal roles as
dangers to be avoided, level bosses to be defeated, or targets to be
destroyed for extra points. But why is the figure of the monster so
important in gaming, and how have video games come to shape our culture's
conceptions of monstrosity? To answer these questions, *Player vs.
Monster *explores
the past half-century of monsters in games, from the dragons of early
tabletop role-playing games and the pixelated aliens of *Space Invaders *to
the malformed mutants of *The Last of Us *and the bizarre beasts of
*Bloodborne*, and reveals the common threads among them.

Covering examples from aliens to zombies, Jaroslav Švelch explores the art
of monster design and traces its influences from mythology, visual arts,
popular culture, and tabletop role-playing games. At the same time, he
shows that video games follow the Cold War–era notion of clearly defined,
calculable enemies, portraying monsters as figures that are irredeemably
evil yet invariably vulnerable to defeat. He explains the appeal of such
simplistic video game monsters, but also explores how the medium could
evolve to present more nuanced depictions of monstrosity.

*About the Author*
Jaroslav Švelch is Assistant Professor in the Department of Media Studies
at Charles University, Prague, and Lecturer in the Department of Game
Design at the Film and TV School of Academy of Performing Arts in Prague.
He is the author of *Gaming the Iron Curtain: How Teenagers and Amateurs in
Communist Czechoslovakia Claimed the Medium of Computer Games*.

*About ROMchip**ROMchip: A Journal of Game Histories
<https://www.romchip.org/>* is a free, online scholarly journal for game
history. *ROMchip *develops, edits, and publishes ad-free, open access game
history research for a range of audiences. It supports any discipline of
work enlivening the history of games in local and global contexts, and
embraces diversity in how game history is studied, documented, collected,
preserved, and practiced. *ROM**c**hip* is a donation-based organization
fiscally sponsored by Fractured Atlas <https://www.fracturedatlas.org/>; to
donate to ROMchip, please visit our sponsor website


Laine Nooney <http://www.lainenooney.com/>

Assistant Professor |  MCC <http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/mcc/> @ NYU
<http://www.nyu.edu/>  | they/them

-Need to make an appt? Click, don't email: https://bit.ly/2GIHuK0
-Probably typed by voice recognition, so please cherish typos
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