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East Asian Popular Culture

Mapping Digital Game Culture in China

From Internet Addicts to Esports Athletes

Authors: Szablewicz, Marcella

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  • Demonstrates that digital leisure culture fosters affective experiences that are sometimes at odds with and sometimes aligned with dominant cultural representations
  • Examines how digital media is subject to a double discursive construction whereby it is simultaneously framed as something with both positive benefits and negative consequences
  • Provides a critical lens onto youth culture and the politics of everyday life in contemporary China
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eBook $64.99
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  • ISBN 978-3-030-36111-2
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Hardcover $84.99
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  • ISBN 978-3-030-36110-5
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About this book

In this book, Marcella Szablewicz traces what she calls the topography of digital game culture in urban China, drawing our attention to discourse and affect as they shape the popular imaginary surrounding digital games. Szablewicz argues that games are not mere sites of escape from Real Life, but rather locations around which dominant notions about failure, success, and socioeconomic mobility are actively processed and challenged. Covering a range of issues including nostalgia for Internet cafés as sites of youth sociality, the media-driven Internet addiction moral panic, the professionalization of e-sports, and the rise of the self-proclaimed loser (diaosi), Mapping Digital Game Culture in China uses games as a lens onto youth culture and the politics of everyday life in contemporary China. Based on ethnographic fieldwork conducted between 2009 and 2015 and first-hand observations spanning over two decades, the book is also a social history of urban China’s shifting technological landscape.

About the authors

Dr. Marcella Szablewicz is Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at Pace University in New York City, where she teaches classes about digital media, popular culture, and moral panics about technology. She is a former recipient of a Fulbright scholarship and previously served as a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her work has been published in peer-reviewed journals such as Games and Culture and the Chinese Journal of Communication, and she has authored chapters in Online Society in China (2011) and China’s Contested Internet (2015). You may follow her on Twitter @MSzabs or on her website, www.feiyaowan.com. 

Reviews

Mapping Digital Game Culture in China brings refreshing cultural studies perspectives to China studies by analyzing competing narratives about digital gaming and the contested ideological forces that give rise to them. Szablewicz’s innovative approach generates unique insights into a new media and popular cultural phenomenon with latent political implications. Her rich ethnography invites us to more critically reflect on a historical period of dramatic economic, cultural, and technological changes within China and beyond.’

— Fan Yang, Associate Professor, Media and Communication Studies, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, USA

 ‘This is a must-read for anyone interested in youth, video games, and internet culture in contemporary China.  Based on first-hand, ethnographic research, the book explores key issues in China today, from internet addiction, to e-sports, to video game cafes in the rapidly changing urban landscapes of a country at the center of global technological and cultural change.   To know young people in China today, we need to understand their diverse relationships to the cultural powerhouse that the Internet and video games have become.'  

--Ian Condry, Professor, Japanese Cultural Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, author of The Soul of Anime and Hip-Hop Japan


Table of contents (7 chapters)

Table of contents (7 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $64.99
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-36111-2
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $84.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-030-36110-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Mapping Digital Game Culture in China
Book Subtitle
From Internet Addicts to Esports Athletes
Authors
Series Title
East Asian Popular Culture
Copyright
2020
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-36111-2
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-36111-2
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-36110-5
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XVII, 218
Number of Illustrations
2 b/w illustrations
Topics