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Paperback | $19.00 Short | £13.95 | ISBN: 9780262513289 | 240 pp. | 7 x 9 in | 1 illus.| August 2009
 
ebook | $13.00 Short | ISBN: 9780262251211 | 240 pp. | 7 x 9 in | 1 illus.| August 2009
 

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Cheating

Gaining Advantage in Videogames

Overview

The widely varying experiences of players of digital games challenge the notions that there is only one correct way to play a game. Some players routinely use cheat codes, consult strategy guides, or buy and sell in-game accounts, while others consider any or all of these practices off limits. Meanwhile, the game industry works to constrain certain readings or activities and promote certain ways of playing. In Cheating, Mia Consalvo investigates how players choose to play games, and what happens when they can't always play the way they'd like. She explores a broad range of player behavior, including cheating (alone and in groups), examines the varying ways that players and industry define cheating, describes how the game industry itself has helped systematize cheating, and studies online cheating in context in an online ethnography of Final Fantasy XI. She develops the concept of "gaming capital" as a key way to understand individuals' interaction with games, information about games, the game industry, and other players.Consalvo provides a cultural history of cheating in videogames, looking at how the packaging and selling of such cheat-enablers as cheat books, GameSharks, and mod chips created a cheat industry. She investigates how players themselves define cheating and how their playing choices can be understood, with particular attention to online cheating. Finally, she examines the growth of the peripheral game industries that produce information about games rather than actual games. Digital games are spaces for play and experimentation; the way we use and think about digital games, Consalvo argues, is crucially important and reflects ethical choices in gameplay and elsewhere.

About the Author

Mia Consalvo is Associate Professor of Telecommunications at Ohio University.

Endorsements

"Mia Consalvo's analysis of cheating is a bold contribution to the growing games studies literature. She shows how the concept can help us draw meaningful connections between the technical, economic, aesthetic, and social aspects of game culture. How can we cheat if the possibilities are hardcoded into the game, and if the tips or tools we are using are sold to us by the game company? How can players have so many different and contradictory ideas about what constitutes cheating in an electronic game? Where does cheating end and social networking/collaboration begin? I will be pondering some of these questions long after I put the book aside."--Henry Jenkins, Co-Director, Comparative Media Studies Program, MIT, and author of *Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide*"—

"An intriguing look at one of the most maligned aspects of gameplay, *Cheating* explores the act of subverting game rules from a range of perspectives and finds, surprisingly, not villains and spoilsports, but players of all types engaged in a complex negotiation of personal, cultural, and industrial exchange." Tracy Fullerton , Codirector, Electronic Arts Game Innovation Lab, University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts"—

"*Rules of Play* makes a monumental contribution to the development of game theory, criticism, and design. It will instantly become a standard textbook in the field on the basis of its rigor and scope -- yet it is written in such an engaging style that many will read it for pleasure. Salen and Zimmerman do for games what Sergei Eisenstein did for cinema -- offer an expert practitioner's perspective on central aspects of the aesthetics and cultural importance of an emerging medium."--Henry Jenkins, Co-Director, Comparative Media Studies Program, MIT, and author of *Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide*"—

"Irving Singer's *Three Philosophical Filmmakers* is the kind of book which rarely gets written any more. Singer pushes aside the encrusted secondary literature which surrounds Hitchcock, Welles, and Renoir to engage with their works from a loving and knowing perspective. In the course of the book, he gives us a deeper appreciation of how these three men thought about and through the cinema. Some of what he has to say is certainly debatable -- and that is part of this book's pleasure -- because it comes from a lifetime of filmgoing rather than speaking through the borrowed authority of some theoretical grand master. Singer writes with an analytic eye and a conversational tone, showing how we must bring our minds and our hearts to bear on art that matters."--Henry Jenkins, Co-Director, Comparative Media Studies Program, MIT, and author of *Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide*Please note: Endorser gives permission to excerpt from quote."—

"Reading *Play Between Worlds* is anything but grinding. Taylor has long been one of the most nuanced scholars of life in the massively multiplayer game world -- someone who knows her orc from her dark elves, who understands the complex intertwining of on-line and off-line identities, and who has interesting things to teach us about the ethics of power gaming. At the same time, she is someone who asks big questions about the relationship between work and play, about the debates surrounding gender and games, and about issues of online governance and intellectual property which will shape the future interactions between gamers and game companies. Each of the book's chapters could be read and taught on its own terms; taken as a whole, they add up to a vivid picture of a world where many of us are spending lots of time these days."--Henry Jenkins, Co-Director, Comparative Media Studies Program, MIT, and author of *Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide*Please note: Endorser gives permission to excerpt from quote."—

"Peter Ludlow and Mark Wallace offer a fascinating frontline perspective on life in the emerging multiverses -- rich, immersive multiperson game worlds where people live, conduct business, engage in politics, and struggle with crime, corruption, and other forms of moral transgression. The issues that *The Second Life Herald* examines will be ones with which society will be grappling for years to come, but they come alive here through vivid portraits of the settlers, politicos, griefers, entrepreneurs, and con artists who are the early adapters of these online worlds."--Henry Jenkins, Co-Director, Comparative Media Studies Program, MIT, and author of *Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide*"—

"An intriguing look at one of the most maligned aspects of game play, *Cheating* explores the act of subverting game rules from a range of perspectives and finds, surprisingly, not villains and spoilsports, but players of all types engaged in a complex negotiation of personal, cultural, and industrial exchange."--Tracy Fullerton, Co-Director, Electronic Arts Game Innovation Lab, University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts"—