Axel Bruns on Sat, 2 Jan 1999 05:49:47 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> [weekender addendum] Issue five of M/C now online

G'day !

We'd be delighted if you could include this announcement of our new issue
in your mailing-list. Please don't hesitate to contact me for further

-----------------------------------  8<  ----------------------------------


  The Media and Cultural Studies Centre at the University of Queensland
           is proud to present issue five of the award-winning

                  M/C - A Journal of Media and Culture

M/C is an award-winning journal that crosses over between the popular and
the academic. It is attempting to engage with the 'popular', and integrate
the work of 'scholarship' in media and cultural studies into our critical
work. We take seriously the need to move ideas outward, so that our
cultural debates may have some resonance with wider political and cultural

Issue five of M/C looks at the concept of 'play'. Playing is a fundamental
occupation not only, but perhaps especially of humans: actively we play
games, play sports, play instruments, or sometimes perhaps just play the
fool, while passively we're playing CDs and videos, or watch as others play
and perform for our entertainment. In this issue, our authors play with the
concepts connected to 'play'. These are the articles included in issue five
of M/C:

  "In the Garden of Forking Paths: Contingency, Interactivity and Play in
Belinda Barnet traces the new opportunities which the interactive quality
of hypertext opens, noting that hypertext can be, in many aspects, a
playful medium.

  "Racing Simulacra?"
Sherman Young offers a personal history of racing simulations, finding that
the reality these games seek to emulate doesn't exist anymore.

  "Old Players, New Players: The Main Event That Isn't"
Axel Bruns reviews the recent wave of resurrected 'big name' bands,
claiming that 'stadium rock' replay only seeks to mask the music industry's
underlying alienation from its most lucrative markets.

  "At Our Convenience: Working and Playing in the Convenience Store"
Kirsty Leishman recounts her experiences as a convenience store employee,
finding many examples of the form of playful worker tactics first described
by de Certeau.

  "Controlling Gameplay"
Gameplay is a term that both gamers and game designers use to describe the
experience of a player's visceral immersion in and interactive engagement
with a particular game's environment. John Banks asks if cultural studies
provide us with the theoretical vocabulary to engage with the experience
and event of playing computer games.

  "How Do You Play?"
Rebecca Farley questions the distinctions between work and play that have
been regarded as a given, finding that in today's working environments, the
boundaries are often increasingly fuzzy.

  "It's a Scream: Playful Murder and the Ideology of Yuppie Horror"
Ben King investigates the recent spate of horror movies featuring the young
and prosperous at the business end of a carving knife, pointing to a
blurring of the lines between killer and victim, and to a playful
desensitisation to murder.

  "Games R US -- and Most of the Western World as Well: The Hegemony of the
   Strategic Computer Game"
Nick Caldwell takes a critical look at the civilisatory models in computer
strategy games such as Sim City, Populous, and Civilization, finding a
thoroughly westernised view of the development and progress of humankind
which serves to reinforce the hegemony of the United States and its allies.

                             And introducing

               M/C Reviews - An ongoing series of reviews
                   of events in culture and the media.

M/C Reviews is a companion piece to the M/C journal itself. Publication on
the Internet gives us the freedom to keep its link to M/C proper ambiguous:
M/C Reviews is neither simply a sub-section of M/C, nor completely
independent of it; you, the reader, decide how you want to see it. The
reviews are informed by the culture-critical perspective of M/C, but you
don't need to take notice of this fact; if you do, however, you'll find
that they tie in to some of the debates represented in greater length in
M/C. New articles are continually added to M/C Reviews.

Issue five of M/C is now on the Web, at <>.
Previous issues of M/C on various topics are also still available online.
M/C Reviews is now available at <>.
All M/C contributors are available for media contacts:


                                                          Axel Bruns

M/C - A Journal of Media and Culture        
The University of Queensland            
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