Synopses & Reviews
For years, major film studios have licensed products related to their most popular films; video game spin-offs have become an important part of these licensing practices. Where blockbuster films are concerned, the video game release has become the rule rather than the exception. In Hollywood Gamers, Robert Alan Brookey explores the business conditions and technological developments that have facilitated the convergence of the film and video game industries. Brookey treats video games as rhetorical texts and critically examines several games to determine how specific industrial conditions are manifest in game design. Among the games (and films) discussed are Lord of the Rings, The Godfather, Spider-Man, and Iron Man.
Brookey (communication, Northern Illinois Univ.) offers an expansive book that does much more than its modest title promises. Applying, extending, and interrogating ideas from Henry Jenkins' Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide (CH, Jun'07, 44-5465), he looks at the economic, aesthetic, industrial, rhetorical, technological,
and narrative implications related to the synergistic practices of film and video-game industries. In doing so, he provides a comprehensive transdisciplinary history of ideas, performing a necessary critical convergence in order to encompass the complexity of his topic. Focusing on the Lord of the Rings and Godfather franchises, and also using
the Marvel and Disney corporations as touchstones, Brookey successfully harnesses media and cultural studies approaches to create an evolutionary, next-generation game-studies methodology--one that carefully seeks to understand the processes and products of this industrial cross-pollination. Among the important ideas this book explores: the connection between game interactivity and incorporation and consumption practices; author/auteur tensions and reconfigurations within studio systems; and the relationship between intertextuality, fan cultures, 'glocalization,' and cultural imperialism. But this small sample does not do justice to this book's true scope. And Brookey uses game summaries and detailed media and franchise histories to contextualize his ideas. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels. -- ChoiceJ. A. Saklofske, Acadia University, June 2011 Indiana University Press Indiana University Press Indiana University Press
"In touring the half-world of film-games, Brookey shows how brands are cross-marketed and why the production of multimedia brands has failed to live up to the talk." --Edward Castronova, Indiana University
"With his clear, concise, and enthusiastic writing, Robert Alan Brookey provides an informative and timely contribution to the new and emerging fields of game studies and media industry studies.... Hollywood Gamers proves to be a rich source for scholars interested in the various levels of parallels and interdependence that goes on between the film and vieo game industries." --Convergence
"Highly recommended. All levels." --Choice, June 2011
Video game design and the video gaming community share the limelight in this study of the convergence of video games and movies such as Lord of the Rings, The Godfather, Kingdom Hearts, Spiderman, and Ironman. Robert Alan Brookey addresses video games as both narrative text and lived practice to argue that video games based on movies use a rhetoric in which game play involves the players in the construction of narrative messages that support corporate interests. Rather than escaping the influences of traditional media or passively receiving such messages, players are incorporated into the political economy of the video game or film franchise.
About the Author
Robert Alan Brookey is Associate Professor of Communication Studies at Northern Illinois University and author of Reinventing the Male Homosexual (IUP, 2002).
Table of Contents
1. Playing Together
2. Playing the Games, Being the Heroes
3. Coppola Sleeps with the Fishes
4. Marvel Goes to the Movies
5. Disney Saves the World(s)
6. What Shall We Play Next?