I’m Michelle Callaghan, a second-year graduate student at Villanova University. This is our new column, “‘Cat in the Stacks.” I’m the ‘cat. Falvey Memorial Library is the stacks. I’ll be posting about living that scholarly life, from research to study habits to embracing your inner-geek, and how the library community might aid you in all of it.
Did you know Falvey Memorial Library houses the Villanova Electronic Enthusiasts Club? You can join Fridays from 2:30-4:30 p.m. in the first-floor lounge of Falvey Memorial Library for some fun. The VEEC is a social club, focused on recreation and relaxation. Participants gather to play video games in a safe and fun environment. The VEEC is always accepting new members and is open to all!
Spoiler alert: it’s good.
This shelf is undoubtedly my favorite shelf.
For full experience, you can find it (and probably me) in person here:
In lieu of that, a lot of our titles regarding video game scholarship are indeed accessible in full text online. For a list of our titles concerning video games, check out these search results.
Some random samplings:
Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter by Tom Bissell
This nifty book discusses how games work, why we like ‘em, and what they are achieving artistically. The author discusses titles such as Braid, Grand Theft Auto IV, Mass Effect and Fallout 3 at length.
First Person: New Media as Story, Performance, and Game by Noah Wardrip-Fruin and Pat Harrigan, eds.
The first of a series of three books, First Person is a collection of essays on the topic of new media as–which the title suggests–story, performance, and game. The second and third, which are currently not in our collection but hopefully will be soon, focus on roleplaying and story in games and playable media, and authoring and exploring vast narratives, respectively.
Final Fantasy and Philosophy: The Ultimate Walkthrough by Jason P. Blahuta and Michel S. Beaulieu
Shhh. Look at this cover! I feel like an explanation would only ruin the experience. As the title suggests, this book investigates philosophy in the Final Fantasy series.
Thinking about Video Games: Interviews with the Experts by David S. Heineman, ed.
This book features interviews with well-known game designers Nolan Bushnell (Pong) and Eugene Jarvis (Defender), contemporary designers Kellee Santiago (Journey) and Casey Hudson (Mass Effect), and game scholars Ian Bogost (How to Do Things With Videogames) and Edward Castronova (Exodus to the Virtual World). Yaaas.
As far as scholarly journals go, Games and Culture is my personal tops (for the literary/cultural studies lens, of course). The journal is “…peer-reviewed and published quarterly, is an international journal that promotes innovative theoretical and empirical research about games and culture within interactive media. The journal serves as a premiere outlet for ground-breaking work in the field of game studies and its scope includes the socio-cultural, political, and economic dimensions of gaming from a wide variety of perspectives.” You can access it through Falvey Memorial Library.
And now, after that glorious treasure trove, I leave you with an awesome performance of the end song from the game Journey as performed by the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra. (This song features an amalgam of quotes from The Aeneid, The Illiad, Beowulf, Joan of Arc, and the poet Bashō. Y’know, because what screams cultural merit louder than gratuitous allusions to some of the most influential pieces of literature? That said, play Journey if you get a chance. For only two and a half hours of your life, you won’t regret it.)
Article by Michelle Callaghan, graduate assistant on the Communication and Service Promotion team. She is currently pursuing her MA in English at Villanova University.
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