Playing with Religion in Digital Games

Heidi A. Campbell and Gregory P. Grieve. Indiana Univ., (302p) $85 ISBN 978-0-253-01244-9 $30 trade paper ISBN 978-0-253-01253-1
Scholars have recently begun giving serious attention to digital games instead of seeing them as pop entertainment for young enthusiasts. Campbell and Grieve, media and religious studies professors respectively, show academics studying games as a way of understanding cultures and cultural identities. Many essays begin with the premise that any artistic medium is participating in a culture and its assumptions - so that, for example, a digital game in which a player portrays an American soldier fighting in Iraq is making biased assumptions about a foreign "other." Putting aside the persistent question of whether games are art, the essayists analyze digital games' depictions of religious imagery and theology and consider the implications of how different cultural groups receive and project these ideas. Many of the essayists examine the relationship between the historical and symbolic importance of sacred games/spaces and play as a meaning-making activity. Though some essays are less rigorous and overreach in their observations, this is overall an ambitious and impressive compendium offering intriguing possibilities for further research and theory for the burgeoning field of cultural studies. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/14/2014
Release date: 04/01/2014
Open Ebook - 314 pages - 978-0-253-01263-0
Hardcover - 314 pages - 978-0-253-01244-9
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