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1. Presents cutting-edge research on videogame platforms and histories that have not been discussed in the existing scholarly literature. The monograph's key contribution is that it presents new research on previously overlooked areas of game history, including an analysis of the first and only vector-based home game platform and the history of South Korea's counterfeit game industry. To research these histories, Minor Systemsdeploys an archive of videogame magazines from South Korea, North America, and Britain. It combines this archival research with theoretical and empirical analyses of the platforms themselves. In doing so, Minor Systems does more than simply describe the histories of its case studies. It also offers a set of theoretical and methodological interventions that will advance the way scholars discuss the medium and its histories. 2. Contributes new methods and theoretical frameworks to the cultural and historical study of videogames, while advancing existing approaches within the field. Rather than bringing a totalizing methodology to bear upon each of its case studies, Minor Systems develops a number of frameworks in order to track moments of difference and discontinuity in game history. For example, the chapter on the Vectrex merges critical debates from film and art history with approaches from media theory and platform studies. The chapter on the Zemmix, meanwhile, draws influence from cultural studies research on the transnational dynamics of the East Asian media industries, including research that looks at media piracy and cross-cultural adaptation. The monograph then takes a sociological turn in its analysis of the Neo Geo's 'imaginary' qualities. Through an analysis of the Neo Geo's articulation in North American and British magazine discourses, it looks at the fantasies and fears associated with gaming's transition from the arcade to the home in the early 1990s. The chapter on the Sega Saturn introduces perspectives from fan and museum studies, and reflects more broadly on the 'fetishization' of failure and obsolescence in game history. The final chapter redeploys several of the aforementioned frameworks and brings them into contact with ideas from queer theory, as a means by which to analyse the Twine platform. Minor Systems also builds on a number of existing approaches from game history and media studies - including platform studies, regional game studies, and the growing body of research around videogame preservation - in order to discuss and further develop these approaches. Minor Systems will not only expand the study of game history and historiography, but also make an important theoretical intervention in the field of game studies more broadly. 3. Offers an interdisciplinary take on game history that will attract a wide readership, including readers from media studies, game studies, cultural studies, and non-academic backgrounds. Much of the existing research on game history is targeted at game studies academics, and urgently requires a more rigorous grounding in wider discussions about media history, screen studies, and digital media studies. Minor Systems aims to make the study of game history relevant to an interdisciplinary audience in this way. In particular, its focus on the 'archaeology' of minor platforms is relevant to the concerns and limitations of frameworks such as media archaeology. The monograph draws on a diverse set of thinkers, including the work of Siegfried Zielinski, Nanna Verhoeff, Raiford Guins, Nick Montfort and Ian Bogost, Stuart Hall, Melanie Swalwell, Thomas Elsaesser, and Graeme Kirkpatrick. The subject matter and accessibility of Minor Systems - including its focus on platforms rarely or never discussed in the popular literature - will attract a general readership, beyond the narrow reach of game and media studies.
About the Author
Benjamin Nicoll =============== Benjamin Nicoll is a Lecturer in Digital Media and Communication in the School of Communication and a member of the Digital Media Research Centre at Queensland University of Technology, Australia.