Categories
Articles (non-refereed)

Wicked Games, Part II: Blood, Sex, and Pixels

Citation:

Payne, Matthew Thomas and Peter Alilunas. “Wicked Games, Part II: Blood, Sex, and Pixels.” Flow: A Critical Forum on Television and Media Culture 22.4 (February 2016). Solicited for inclusion.

Categories
Articles (non-refereed)

“Wicked Games, Part I: Twenty-sided Demons”

Citation:

Payne, Matthew Thomas and Peter Alilunas. “Wicked Games, Part I: Twenty-sided Demons.” Flow: A Critical Forum on Television and Media Culture 22.2 (November 2015). Solicited for inclusion.

Categories
Articles (refereed)

“Regulating the Desire Machine: Custer’s Revenge and 8-Bit Atari Porn Games”

NGaXSoFry7Bo1P2tkTWSTCJNFXd4lcOeK8E-LgP0SdECitation:

Payne, Matthew Thomas and Peter Alilunas. “Regulating the Desire Machine: Custer’s Revenge and 8-Bit Atari Porn Video Games,” Television and New Media, in press.

Abstract:
Exploring the short and largely forgotten history of adult-oriented 8-bit video games produced for the Atari 2600 home game console, this essay argues that the games represent an important attempt by media producers to bridge the adult film and interactive entertainment industries. Although American Multiple Industries, Playaround, and Universal Gamex failed to establish a market, their titles nevertheless demonstrate how adult games function as desire machines within an erotic economy that sells a host of anticipatory pleasures. Indeed, the resulting public outcry not only led to the game industry’s first sex-based controversy, but the antagonism signals the desire to regulate sexual expression on a new media technology as game producers—following the lead of adult video professionals—attempted to transport users’ joysticks from living rooms into bedrooms.

Categories
Articles (refereed)

“Policing the Sandbox in Grand Theft Auto Online”

Citation:

Payne, Matthew T. & Fleisch, Michael. “Policing the Sandbox in Grand Theft Auto Online,” Media Fields 8 (2014).

 

Abstract:

From the issue’s introduction: “The first essay in this issue, Matthew Thomas Payne and Michael Fleisch’s “Policing the Sandbox in Grand Theft Auto Online” explores the theme of the playground directly. Considering RockStar’s machinations in Grand Theft Auto Online against players’ attempts to manipulate the economic structure of the game’s open world, Payne and Fleisch highlight the fraught politics of policing a space that on its surface purports to offer players a world in which rules are made to be broken. In this sense, play takes on a para-ludic character as cunning players find ways to manipulate the game’s virtual marketplace while the developer moves to protect a vested interest in the game’s real economic potential, carefully curated micro-transactions.”

Categories
Other essays

“Wound Raider: Authorizing Trauma in Lara Croft’s Origin Story”

Citation:

Payne, Matthew T. & Derek Frank. “Wound Raider: Authorizing Trauma in Lara Croft’s Origin Story.” In Media Res: a Media Commons Project. 13 March 2013.

Categories
Articles (refereed)

“Marketing Military Realism in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

Citation:

Payne, Matthew T. “Marketing Military Realism in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare,”Games & Culture 7.4 (July 2012): 305-327.

Abstract:

This essay investigates the challenges that video game marketing encounters when selling the pleasures of playing virtual war. While marketing paratexts are crucial to video games because of the vagaries of their industry, they are especially important for Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, as it is the first of the franchise to be set in the 21st century and immerse players in contemporary theaters of war. These marketing paratexts not only generate hype for the game and work to drive sales, but as importantly, they also suggest particular textual readings over others with the goal of insulating Call of Duty’s virtual war play from interpretations and criticisms that might link the violent play on-screen to the worldly violence unfolding in Iraq and Afghanistan.