Why Write About a Book?

An Editorial About Book Reviews

Editorial - One Year

In fact, if there’s anything I regret from my tenure as review editor, it’s not going far enough to promote different perspectives. I wish I had dedicated more time to pursuing a wider diversity of reviewers, and, especially in the early days of FPS, I regret pushing reviewers to hit that formal, authoritative tone instead of pursuing their own voice and position. It’s to that end, in fact, that I’ve been very grateful for the review model pioneered by Elise Vist, as I think it really draws out the multitude of approaches that can be brought to bear on long-form criticism, asking what a given work meant to the reviewer’s research, to the field, the classroom, and to the reviewer personally. These are questions worth asking. Most of all, though, I regret not stepping further out of the academic field in terms of the books themselves. I’m proud of how multidisciplinary the reviews are—we’ve got reviews about ethnography and sociology, genre and gender, games for health and game culture. There’s some edging towards criticism outside of academia, but not enough. Further, I would have liked more reviews on things that blur the line of engagements with games entirely: gamebooks, game art books, longform criticism like Leigh Alexander’s Lo-Fi Let’s Plays. Chris will have his own vision of where the Book Reviews will go, but these are my own roads not traveled. Continue Reading

I Put on my Robe & Wizard Hat

A Brief Introduction to Erotic Role Play

Essay - RobeAndHat

At the heart of this post is an effort to define and explain the social phenomenon of erotic role play for those unfamiliar with the term. The post compares and contrasts erotic role play with other types of online sexuality and after arriving at a thorough definition, asks the dreaded ‘so what?’ question. Rather than summarise the findings of my research, as I have laboriously done in my recently-defended thesis, I would instead like to use this blog post as an opportunity to highlight some of the questions that arise from playing with erotic content in imaginary worlds. Although, through research, I have developed my own answers to some of these questions, they are presented here as a rhetorical exercise to illustrate not only the fruitfulness in studying how erotic role players play with sexuality, but also what this play might mean to our conceptualisation of role playing games, reality, and relationships. Answers, musings, and follow up questions are encouraged in the comments. Continue Reading