A Play of Bodies: How We Perceive Videogames (2018, MIT Press)


Our bodies engage with videogames in complex and fascinating ways. Through an entanglement of eyes-on-screens, ears-at-speakers, and muscles-against-interfaces, we experience games with our senses. But, as Brendan Keogh argues in A Play of Bodies, this corporal engagement goes both ways; as we touch the videogame, it touches back, augmenting the very senses with which we perceive. Keogh investigates this merging of actual and virtual bodies and worlds, asking how our embodied sense of perception constitutes, and becomes constituted by, the phenomenon of videogame play. In short, how do we perceive videogames?

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This book challenges some of the dominant discourses of game studies in a way that is vital to the field right now. But it also adds a very specific focus on the body, which many people have referenced in game studies but not dealt with directly.

—Adrienne Shaw. Assistant Professor, Media Studies and Production, Temple University; author of Gaming at the Edge and coeditor of Queer Game Studies

Brendan Keogh’s A Play of Bodies is a map to the future of game studies. Thoughtful and provocative, Keogh brings the body back to play in all its crucial multiplicities, and gives us a vocabulary for bolder, more inclusive games research.

—Miguel Sicart. Associate Professor, Center for Computer Games Research, IT University of Copenhagen; author of Play Matters


Killing is Harmless: A Critical Reading of Spec Ops The Line (2012, Stolen Projects)


One of the most critically discussed games of 2012, 2K and Yager’s Spec Ops: The Line turns a reflexive lens back onto the genre of the military shooters to ask some hard questions: just what is going on in these games? What does it say about us if we enjoy playing such games? Is virtual violence really harmless? Killing is Harmless isn’t an attempt to answer these questions so much as an exploration of just how the game is able to ask them in the first place. It follow’s the lead character, Walker, in his steps across Dubai to discover just how The Line is able to make so many players interrogate their own complicity in virtual acts of violence.

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