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
Edited Book Chapters

“Connected Viewing, Connected Capital: Fostering Gameplay Across Screens”

Citation:
Payne, Matthew Thomas. “Connected Viewing, Connected Capital: Fostering Gameplay Across Screens.” Connected Viewing: Selling, Sharing, and Streaming Media in a Digital Era. Edited by Jennifer Holt and Kevin Sanson (New York: Routledge, 2014): 183-201.

From the anthology’s Introduction:
“Matthew Thomas Payne considers how gamers participate in transmedia play as a way to connect with fellow players, and how these extended forms of immersion add interest in franchises and build users’ gaming capital.” (p. 10)

Categories
Articles (refereed)

Super Meat Boy: A Love Letter”

Citation:

Payne, Matthew T. & Campbell, Stephen. “Super Meat Boy: A Love Letter.” Well Played: A Journal on Video Games, Value, and Meaning 2.1 (2012).

 

Abstract:

Super Meat Boy (2010) playfully draws on the representational tropes and narrative conventions popularized by classic video game platformers, while simultaneously improving on the core design principles found in this popular genre. In particular, this game invites players of different skill levels to best its tiered challenges, which scale elegantly in difficulty from one level to the next. With its tight controls and its non-punitive punishment system, Super Meat Boy demonstrates that an ostensibly “hardcore” platformer can nevertheless appeal to broader gaming audiences.

Categories
Articles (refereed)

“Stories from the Seats of Power: Chopper versus Chopper as Dueling Travelogues”

Citation:

Payne, Matthew Thomas & Michael Fleisch. “Stories from the Seats of Power: Chopper versus Chopper as Dueling Travelogues.” Well Played: A Journal on Video Games, Value, and Meaning 2.1 (2012).

Abstract:

The “Chopper versus Chopper” multiplayer game mode included in Grand Theft Auto IV’s expansion pack, “The Lost and the Damned” (2009), pits one gamer on a motorcycle against another piloting an assault helicopter in alternating rounds where the pilot must eliminate the biker before the latter scores points by crossing a series of checkpoints. The design of this one-on-one game mode is notable for elegantly distilling a massive and complex synthetic environment into a singularly focused affair between two combatants that fosters competing ways of seeing and understanding their shared space, as well as inciting emergent narratives of narrow escapes and fantastic collisions that draw gamers back round after round.

Categories
Other essays

“Broadband of Brothers: Fostering Gameplay Across Screens”

Citation:
Payne, Matthew Thomas. “Broadband of Brothers: Fostering Gameplay Across Screens.” White Paper presented to Warner Bros. Digital Distribution. Sponsored by Warner Bros. and the University of California at Santa Barbara (2012).

Executive Summary:
This report evaluates the efficacy of second screen applications to incentivize repeated gameplay sessions in online, multiplayer video games. Specifically, this research project analyzes the multiplatform support applications for two best-selling military shooters: “Elite,” for Activision’s Modern Warfare 3, and “Battlelog,” for Electronic Arts’ Battlefield 3. During the project’s six-week data gathering phase, fifteen participants kept detailed journals chronicling their hundreds of hours of collective gameplay while using these support apps. The participants also completed numerous questionnaires during that period. The data was later coded and analyzed to assess if “Elite” and “Battlelog” positively affected the participants’ online experiences. The report finds that the second screen applications amplified participants’ engagement with the video games because “Elite” and “Battlelog” gave the participants insider knowledge and strategies for subsequent play sessions.

Categories
Other essays

“Advergaming and Niche Branding”

Gurney, David & Payne, Matthew T. “Advergaming and Niche Branding.” In Media Res: a Media Commons Project. 18 August 2011.

Categories
Edited Book Chapters

“Everything I Need to Know About Filmmaking I Learned from Playing Video Games: The Educational Promise of Machinima”

Citation:

Payne, Matthew Thomas. “Everything I Need to Know About Filmmaking I Learned from Playing Video Games: The Educational Promise of Machinima.” The Machinima Reader. Edited by Henry Lowood and Michael Nitsche. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2011: 241-256.

From the anthology’s Introduction:

“Matthew Thomas Payne describes the pedagogical value of machinima, using The Sims as a case study for the development of media literacy through machinima.” (p. x)

Categories
Edited Book Chapters

“F*ck You, Noob Tube!: Learning the Art of Ludic LAN War”

Citation:
Payne, Matthew Thomas. “F*ck You, Noob Tube!: Learning the Art of Ludic LAN War.” Joystick Soldiers: The Politics of Play in Military Video Games. Edited by Nina B. Huntemann and Matthew T. Payne (New York: Routledge, 2009): 206-222.

From the anthology’s Introduction:
“In the second chapter on players, Matthew Payne reports on his participant observations of a gaming center to explore the social codes and conventions present in a commercial play space. Payne’s ethnography finds that the dynamic gaming environment is shaped as much by the war-oriented texts as it is by the devoted players who frequent the gaming center.The “ludic war” experience that Payne details highlights how militarism and gaming technologies influence play behavior that dominates a semi-public, shared play space.” (p. 15)

Categories
Books

Joystick soldiers: The Politics of Play in Military Video Games

Citation:

Huntemann, Nina B., and Matthew Thomas Payne (Eds.). Joystick soldiers: The Politics of Play in Military Video Games. New York: Routledge, 2009.

 

Description:

Joystick Soldiers is the first anthology to examine the reciprocal relationship between militarism and video games. War has been an integral theme of the games industry since the invention of the first video game, Spacewar! in 1962.While war video games began as entertainment, military organizations soon saw their potential as combat simulation and recruitment tools. A profitable and popular relationship was established between the video game industry and the military, and continues today with video game franchises like America’s Army, which was developed by the U.S.Army as a public relations and recruitment tool.

This collection features all new essays that explore how modern warfare has been represented in and influenced by video games. The contributors explore the history and political economy of video games and the “military-entertainment complex;” present textual analyses of military-themed video games such as Metal Gear Solid; and offer reception studies of gamers, fandom, and political activism within online gaming.

Categories
Edited Book Chapters

“Interpreting Gameplay through Existential Ludology”

Citation:
Payne, Matthew Thomas. “Interpreting Gameplay through Existential Ludology.” Handbook of Research on Effective Electronic Gaming in Education. Edited by Richard E. Ferdig (Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference, 2009): 621-635.

Abstract:
This chapter introduces and operationalizes an innovative interpretive strategy called “existential ludology” to explain how the game-play mechanics of two tactical shooter video gamesAmerica’s Army: Rise of a Soldier (Microsoft’s Xbox) and Full Spectrum Warrior (Sony’s PlayStation 2)educate gamers on how to play militarily. These titles, both produced in part by the U.S. Department of Defense, engender strict, doctrinal learning opportunities by embedding official combat protocols into their game-play structures. By employing existential ludology as an interpretive tool we can understand these military-backed games from an experiential, player-centric perspective, while also recognizing how their seemingly innocuous game-play is located within, and linked to, larger networks of power. Moreover, existential ludology’s flexibility as an interpretive instrument encourages educators to recognize the educational affordances of popular video games so that they might adopt these popular media artifacts for their own pedagogical ends.

Categories
Edited Book Chapters

“Playing the Deja-New: Plug it in and Play TV Games and the Cultural Politics of Classic Gaming”

Citation:

Payne, Matthew T. “Playing the Deja-New: Plug it in and Play TV Games and the Cultural Politics of Classic Gaming.” Playing the Past: History and Nostalgia in Video Games. Edited by Zach Whalen and Laurie N. Taylor. Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Press, 2008: 51-68.

From the anthology’s Introduction:

“‘Playing the Deja-New: Plug it in and Play TV Games and the Cultural Politics of Classic Gaming’ discusses the marketing logic and intellectual property issues surrounding the popular dedicated controller devices. Comparing the games licensed for these plug-and-play units with the open source MAME (Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator), Payne argues that these commercially licensed properties create a revisionary almost mythological narrative of gaming history that downplays the gritty reality that MAME and home-brew community celebrate.”  (pp. 7-8)