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The computer game as fictional form

This book is dedicated to the study of computer games in terms of the stories they tell and the manner of their telling. It applies practices of reading texts from literary and cultural studies to consider the computer game as an emerging mode of contemporary storytelling. The book contains detailed discussion of narrative and realism in four of the most significant games of the last decade: ‘Tomb Raider’, ‘Half-Life’, ‘Close Combat’, and ‘Sim City’. It recognises the excitement and pleasure that has made the computer game such a massive global phenomenon.

Open Access (free)
Reading SimCity
Barry Atkins

effect of high crime rates on property values, for example), but it does not seem to relate to the real in a clear way, and certainly not in a manner comparable to a game-fiction such as Close Combat. This is graphically and ideologically a game based firmly in the United States, whatever international landmarks are placed in the middle of the map, but it does not describe itself as such. What we have here is a ‘sim city’ located within a ‘sim nation’ populated by individual ‘sims’ who spend ‘simoleons’. ‘Sim’ as a contraction or truncation of ‘simulation’ makes clear

in More than a game