The Archaeology of the Olympics presents a stirring reevaluation of the Olympic Games (and related festivals) as they actually were, not as the ancient Greeks wished—and we still wish—they might have been. Historians, archaeologists, and classicists examine the evidence to ask such questions as, How did the athletes train? What did they eat? Can we trace the roots of the games as far back as the Bronze Age of Crete and Mycenae? Or even to Anatolia, where similar athletic activities occurred? Were the ancient games really so free of political overtones as modern Olympic rhetoric urges us to believe?
Donna M. Lanclos writes about children on the school playgrounds of working-class Belfast, Northern Ireland, using their own words to show how they shape their social identities. The notion that children's voices and perspectives must be included in a work about childhood is central to the book. Lanclos explores children's folklore, including skipping rhymes, clapping games, and "dirty" jokes, from five Belfast primary schools (two Protestant, two Catholic, and one mixed). She listens for what she can learn about gender, family, adult-child interactions, and Protestant/Catholic tensions. Lanclos frequently notes violent themes in the folklore and conversations that indicate children are aware of the reality in which they live. But at the same time, children resist being marginalized by adults who try to shield them from this reality.
For Lanclos, children's experiences stimulate discussions about culture and society. In her words, "Children's everyday lives are more than just preparation for their futures, but are life itself."
At Play in Belfast is a volume in the Rutgers Series in Childhood Studies, edited by Myra Bluebond-Langner.
How was it possible for drama, especially biblical representations, to appear in the Christian West given the church's condemnation of the theatrum of the ancient world?In a book with radical implications for the study of medieval literature, Lawrence Clopper resolves this perplexing question.
Drama, Play, and Game demonstrates that the theatrum repudiated by medieval clerics was not "theater" as we understand the term today. Clopper contends that critics have misrepresented Western stage history because they have assumed that theatrum designates a place where drama is performed. While theatrum was thought of as a site of spectacle during the Middle Ages, the term was more closely connected with immodest behavior and lurid forms of festive culture. Clerics were not opposed to liturgical representations in churches, but they strove ardently to suppress May games, ludi, festivals, and liturgical parodies. Medieval drama, then, stemmed from a more vernacular tradition than previously acknowledged-one developed by England's laity outside the boundaries of clerical rule.
Evolution, Games, and God explores how cooperation and altruism, alongside mutation and natural selection, play a critical role in evolution, from microbes to human societies. Inheriting a tendency to cooperate and self-sacrifice on behalf of others may be as beneficial to a population’s survival as the self-preserving instincts of individuals.
This collection of essays examines the vogue for games and game playing as expressed in art and literature in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Europe. Focusing on games as a leitmotif of creative expression, these scholarly inquiries are framed as a response to two main questions: how were games used to convey special meanings in art and literature, and how did games speak to greater issues in European society? In chapters dealing with chess, playing cards, board games, dice, gambling, and outdoor and sportive games, essayists show how games were used by artists, writers, game makers and collectors, in the service of love and war, didactic and moralistic instruction, commercial enterprise, politics and diplomacy, and assertions of civic and personal identity. Offering innovative iconographical and literary interpretations, their analyses reveal how games“played, written about, illustrated and collected“functioned as metaphors for a host of broader cultural issues related to gender relations and feminine power, class distinctions and status, ethical and sexual comportment, philosophical and religious ideas, and conditions of the mind.
This pioneering collection of nine original essays carves out a new conceptual path in the field by theorizing the ways in which the language of games and warfare inform and illuminate each other in the early modern cultural imagination. They consider how warfare and games are mapped onto each other in aesthetically and ideologically significant ways in the plays, poetry, or prose of William Shakespeare, Thomas Morton, John Milton, Margaret Cavendish, Aphra Behn, and Jonathan Swift, among others. Contributors interpret the terms ‘war games’ or ‘games of war’ broadly, freeing them to uncover the more complex and abstract interplay of war and games in the early modern mind, taking readers from the cockpits and clowns of Shakespearean drama, through the intriguing manuals of cryptographers and the ingenious literary war games of Restoration women authors, to the witty but rancorous paper wars of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries.
Games in the Global Village compares and contrasts television game shows in fifty countries. These shows have a “blank-slate” quality that makes them ideal for comparing entertainment television across borders.
Game shows can run the gamut of many subject areas or focus on one, such as rock music (MTV’s Remote Control) or football (ESPN's NFL Trivia Game). They can spotlight dazzlingly high IQs (the BBC’s erudite Mastermind) or nude assistants and contestants (Germany’s Tutti Frutti). They can limp along in mid-morning time slots or smash the competition in prime time (France’s La Roue de la Fortune).
This is the first comprehensive comparison of TV entertainment content, and it gives new meaning to McLuhan’s concept of the “Global Village.”
To study the strategic interaction of individuals, we can use game theory. Despite the long history shared by game theory and political science, many political scientists remain unaware of the exciting game theoretic techniques that have been developed over the years. As a result they use overly simple games to illustrate complex processes. Games, Information, and Politics is written for political scientists who have an interest in game theory but really do not understand how it can be used to improve our understanding of politics. To address this problem, Gates and Humes write for scholars who have little or no training in formal theory and demonstrate how game theoretic analysis can be applied to politics. They apply game theoretic models to three subfields of political science: American politics, comparative politics, and international relations. They demonstrate how game theory can be applied to each of these subfields by drawing from three distinct pieces of research. By drawing on examples from current research projects the authors use real research problems--not hypothetical questions--to develop their discussion of various techniques and to demonstrate how to apply game theoretic models to help answer important political questions. Emphasizing the process of applying game theory, Gates and Humes clear up some common misperceptions about game theory and show how it can be used to improve our understanding of politics.
Games, Information, and Politics is written for scholars interested in understanding how game theory is used to model strategic interactions. It will appeal to sociologists and economists as well as political scientists.
Scott Gates is Assistant Professor of Political Science, Michigan State University. Brian D. Humes is Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
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.
"Frank C. Zagare combines a deep command of historical scholarship and the sophisticated skills of an applied game theorist to develop and test a theory of why deterrence failed, catastrophically, in July 1914. . . . Zagare concludes with sage advice on how to avoid even more cataclysmic breakdowns in a nuclear world."
---Steven J. Brams, New York University
"Zagare's deft study of the origins of the First World War using his perfect deterrence theory uncovers new insights into that signal event and shows the value of formal theory applied to historical events. A must-read for those interested in security studies."
---James D. Morrow, University of Michigan
"Through an exemplary combination of formal theory, careful qualitative analysis, and lucid prose, The Games of July delivers important and interesting answers to key questions concerning the international political causes of World War I. Its well-formed narratives and its sustained engagement with leading works in IR and diplomatic history . . . make it a rewarding read for security scholars in general and a useful teaching tool for international security courses."
---Timothy W. Crawford, Boston College
Taking advantage of recent advances in game theory and the latest historiography, Frank C. Zagare offers a new, provocative interpretation of the events that led to the outbreak of World War I. He analyzes key events from Bismarck's surprising decision in 1879 to enter into a strategic alliance with Austria-Hungary to the escalation that culminated in a full-scale global war. Zagare concludes that, while the war was most certainly unintended, it was in no sense accidental or inevitable.
The Games of July serves not only as an analytical narrative but also as a work of theoretical assessment. Standard realist and liberal explanations of the Great War are evaluated along with a collection of game-theoretic models known as perfect deterrence theory.
Frank C. Zagare is UB Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the State University of New York at Buffalo.
Cover illustration: Satirical Italian postcard from World War I. Used with permission from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Libraries.
In Games of Property, distinguished critic Thadious M. Davis provides a dazzling new interpretation of William Faulkner’s Go Down, Moses. Davis argues that in its unrelenting attention to issues related to the ownership of land and people, Go Down, Moses ranks among Faulkner’s finest and most accomplished works. Bringing together law, social history, game theory, and feminist critiques, she shows that the book is unified by games—fox hunting, gambling with cards and dice, racing—and, like the law, games are rule-dependent forms of social control and commentary. She illuminates the dual focus in Go Down, Moses on property and ownership on the one hand and on masculine sport and social ritual on the other. Games of Property is a masterful contribution to understandings of Faulkner’s fiction and the power and scope of property law.
Rich connections between gaming and theater stretch back to the 16th and 17th centuries, when England's first commercial theaters appeared right next door to gaming houses and blood-sport arenas. In the first book-length exploration of gaming in the early modern period, Gina Bloom shows that theaters succeeded in London's new entertainment marketplace largely because watching a play and playing a game were similar experiences. Audiences did not just see a play; they were encouraged to play the play, and knowledge of gaming helped them become better theatergoers. Examining dramas written for these theaters alongside evidence of analog games popular then and today, Bloom argues for games as theatrical media and theater as an interactive gaming technology.
Gaming the Stage also introduces a new archive for game studies: scenes of onstage gaming, which appear at climactic moments in dramatic literature. Bloom reveals plays to be systems of information for theater spectators: games of withholding, divulging, speculating, and wagering on knowledge. Her book breaks new ground through examinations of plays such as The Tempest, Arden of Faversham, A Woman Killed with Kindness, and A Game at Chess; the histories of familiar games such as cards, backgammon, and chess; less familiar ones, like Game of the Goose; and even a mixed-reality theater videogame.
LA Sports brings together sixteen essays covering various aspects of the development and changing nature of sport in one of America’s most fascinating and famous cities. The writers cover a range of topics, including the history of car racing and ice skating, the development of sport venues, the power of the Mexican fan base in American soccer leagues, the intersecting life stories of Jackie and Mack Robinson, the importance of the Showtime Lakers, the origins of Muscle Beach and surfing, sport in Hollywood films, and more.
The Lone Actor
Viola Spolin Northwestern University Press, 2001 Library of Congress PN2071.I5S63 2001 | Dewey Decimal 792.028
The Mesoamerican Ballgame
Edited by Vernon L. Scarborough and David R. Wilcox University of Arizona Press, 1991 Library of Congress F1219.3.G3M47 1991 | Dewey Decimal 796.30896872
The Precolumbian ballgame, played on a masonry court, has long intrigued scholars because of the magnificence of its archaeological remains. From its lowland Maya origins it spread throughout the Aztec empire, where the game was so popular that sixteen thousand rubber balls were imported annually into Tenochtitlan. It endured for two thousand years, spreading as far as to what is now southern Arizona. This new collection of essays brings together research from field archaeology, mythology, and Maya hieroglyphic studies to illuminate this important yet puzzling aspect of Native American culture. The authors demonstrate that the game was more than a spectator sport; serving social, political, mythological, and cosmological functions, it celebrated both fertility and the afterlife, war and peace, and became an evolving institution functioning in part to resolve conflict within and between groups. The contributors provide complete coverage of the archaeological, sociopolitical, iconographic, and ideological aspects of the game, and offer new information on the distribution of ballcourts, new interpretations of mural art, and newly perceived relations of the game with material in the Popol Vuh. With its scholarly attention to a subject that will fascinate even general readers, The Mesoamerican Ballgame is a major contribution to the study of the mental life and outlook of New World peoples.
Videogame history is not just a history of one successful technology replacing the next. It is also a history of platforms and communities that never quite made it; that struggled to make their voices heard; that aggravated against the conventions of the day; and that never enjoyed the commercial success or recognition of their major counterparts. In *Minor Platforms in Videogame History*, Benjamin Nicoll argues that 'minor' videogame histories are anything but insignificant. Through an analysis of transitional, decolonial, imaginary, residual, and minor videogame platforms, Nicoll highlights moments of difference and discontinuity in videogame history. From the domestication of vector graphics in the early years of videogame consoles to the 'cloning' of Japanese computer games in South Korea in the 1980s, this book explores case studies that challenge taken-for-granted approaches to videogames, platforms, and their histories.
In Mondo Nano Colin Milburn takes his readers on a playful expedition through the emerging landscape of nanotechnology, offering a light-hearted yet critical account of our high-tech world of fun and games. This expedition ventures into discussions of the first nanocars, the popular video games Second Life, Crysis, and BioShock, international nanosoccer tournaments, and utopian nano cities. Along the way, Milburn shows how the methods, dispositions, and goals of nanotechnology research converge with video game culture. With an emphasis on play, scientists and gamers alike are building a new world atom by atom, transforming scientific speculations and video game fantasies into reality. Milburn suggests that the closing of the gap between bits and atoms entices scientists, geeks, and gamers to dream of a completely programmable future. Welcome to the wild world of Mondo Nano.
In 2007 at the Dutch Royal Academy of Sciences in Amsterdam, a colloquium on new perspectives on games and interaction brought together researchers on games in logic, computer science, linguistics, and economics in order to clarify their uses of game theory and identify promising new directions for the field. This volume is a collection of papers presented at the colloquium, and it testifies to the growing importance of game theory as a tool that can capture concepts of strategy, interaction, argumentation, communication, and cooperation amid the disciplines.
The Olympics thrill the world with spectacle and drama. They also carry a cultural and social significance that goes beyond the stadium, athletes, and fans. The Games are arenas in which individual and team athletic achievement intersect with the politics of national identity in a global context.
The Olympics at the Millennium offers groundbreaking essays that explore the cultural politics of the Games. The contributors investigate such topics as the emergence of women athletes as cultural commodities, the orchestrated spectacles of the opening and closing ceremonies, and the alternative sport culture offered via the Gay Games. Unforgettable events and decisions are discussed: Native American athlete Jim Thorpe winning—and losing—his two gold medals in 1912. Why America was one of the few countries to actually send Jewish athletes to the “Nazi Olympics.” The disqualification of champion Ewa Klobukowska from competing as a woman, due to chromosomal testing in 1967.
With the 2000 Sydney Games imminent, several essays address concerns with which every host country must contend, such as the threat of terrorism. Highlighting the difficult issues of racism and nationalism, another article explores the efforts of this country’s aboriginal people to define a role for themselves in the 2000 Games, as they struggle with ongoing discrimination. And with the world watching, Sydney faces profound pressure to implement a successful Olympics, as a matter of national pride.
Philadelphia sports—anchored by the Eagles, Flyers, Phillies, and 76ers—have a long, and sometimes tortured, history. Philly fans have booed more than their share and have earned a reputation as some of the most hostile in the country. They’ve been known, so the tales go, to jeer Santa Claus and cheer at the injury of an opposing player.
Strangely though, much of America’s perception of Philadelphia sports has been shaped by a fictional figure: Rocky. The series of Hollywood films named after their title character has told and retold the Cinderella story of an underdog boxer rising up against long odds. One could plausibly make the argument that Rocky is Philadelphia’s most famous athlete.
Beyond the major sports franchises and Rocky, lesser-known athletic competition in Philadelphia offers much to the interested observer. The city’s boxing culture, influence on Negro Leagues baseball, role in establishing interscholastic sport, and leadership in the rise of cricket all deserve and receive close investigation in this new collection. Philly Sports combines primary research and personal experiences—playing in the Palestra, scouting out the tombstones of the city’s best athletes, enjoying the fervor of a Philadelphia night with a local team in pursuit of a championship title. The essence of Philadelphia sport, and to a certain extent the city itself, is distilled here.
Prehistoric Games of North American Indians is a collection of studies on the ancient games of indigenous peoples of North America. The authors, all archaeologists, muster evidence from artifacts, archaeological features, ethnography, ethnohistory, and to a lesser extent linguistics and folklore. Chapters sometimes center on a particular game (chunkey rolling disc game or patolli dice game, for example) or sometimes on a specific prehistoric society and its games (Aztec acrobatic games, games of the ancient Fremont people), and in one instance on the relationship between slavery and gaming in ancient indigenous North American societies.
In addition to the intrinsic value of pursuing the time depth of these games, some of which remain popular and culturally important today among Native Americans or within the broader society, the book is important for demonstrating a wide variety of research methods and for problematizing a heretofore overlooked research topic. Issues that emerge include the apparently ubiquitous but difficult to detect presence of gambling, the entanglement of indigenous games and the social logic of the societies in which they are embedded, the characteristics of women’s versus men’s games or those of in-group and out-group gaming, and the close correspondence between gaming and religion. The book’s coverage is broad and balanced in terms of geography, level of socio-cultural organization and gender.
Donald E. Knuth’s influence in computer science ranges from the invention of methods for translating and defining programming languages to the creation of the TeX and METAFONT systems for desktop publishing. His award-winning textbooks have become classics that are often given credit for shaping the field, and his scientific papers are widely referenced and stand as milestones of development over a wide variety of topics. The present volume is the eighth in a series of his collected papers.
While indigenous languages have become prominent in global political and educational discourses, limited attention has been given to indigenous children’s everyday communication. Voices of Play is a study of multilingual play and performance among Miskitu children growing up on Corn Island, part of a multi-ethnic autonomous region on the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua.
Corn Island is historically home to Afro-Caribbean Creole people, but increasing numbers of Miskitu people began moving there from the mainland during the Contra War, and many Spanish-speaking mestizos from western Nicaragua have also settled there. Miskitu kids on Corn Island often gain some competence speaking Miskitu, Spanish, and Kriol English. As the children of migrants and the first generation of their families to grow up with television, they develop creative forms of expression that combine languages and genres, shaping intercultural senses of belonging.
Voices of Play is the first ethnography to focus on the interaction between music and language in children’s discourse. Minks skillfully weaves together Latin American, North American, and European theories of culture and communication, creating a transdisciplinary dialogue that moves across intellectual geographies. Her analysis shows how music and language involve a wide range of communicative resources that create new forms of belonging and enable dialogue across differences. Miskitu children’s voices reveal the intertwining of speech and song, the emergence of “self” and “other,” and the centrality of aesthetics to social struggle.