College of Communication > About > College News > 2015 News Archive > Game Play: Paratextuality in Contemporary Board Games

Game Play: Paratextuality in Contemporary Board Games

Game Play book cover 
Originally published in Newsline.
Our society has entered a board game renaissance. At a time when national news media hypes summer blockbuster attendance, cable television invites millions of new viewers and video game sales skyrocket past the box office, there is something heartwarming about learning that board game sales have also increased by more than 20% over the past decade. Once associated with geek subcultures, complex board games are becoming more mainstream, more popular and more common. Game Play examines complex board games based on book, TV, film and video game media franchises, such as the The Walking Dead or Lord of the Rings. By studying the relationship between these media products and their original board game paratexts, Game Play illustrates the cultural connections between cult media, gameplay and narrative in a digital media environment.

What makes your book different or unique from others in the same genre?
To date, there have been no full-length book studies analyzing contemporary complex board games as media texts. Game Play attempts to correct this imbalance by bringing a critical-cultural focus to board game studies through lenses of paratextuality and new media studies. It complements these studies by bringing to light an understudied but important area of media studies research. Board games remain a popular form of media entertainment, but unlike their video cousins, are neglected and even ridiculed. Game Play is unlike any other book published because of its unique focus on the intersection of new media theories and paratextual board games. It augments contemporary scholarship in both media studies and game studies, and offers an advantage over the competition by presenting contemporary analyses of relatively new phenomena.
About the author
Paul Booth is an associate professor of Media and Cinema Studies. He received his PhD in communication and rhetoric from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York. His interests and research lie in fandom, new media, games, popular culture, technology and cultural studies. He has authored and edited several books, including Digital Fandom: New Media Studies, Playing Fans: Negotiating Fandom and Media in the Digital Age, set for release in 2015, and many others. He is currently enjoying a cup of coffee.
Publisher, publication date, length:
Bloomsbury, April 2015, 224 pages
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