In his book Playback: A Genealogy of 1980s British Videogames (Bloomsbury Academic, 2018), Alex Wade examines the culture of bedroom coding, arcades, and format...

In his book Playback: A Genealogy of 1980s British Videogames (Bloomsbury Academic, 2018), Alex Wade examines the culture of bedroom coding, arcades, and format wars in 1980s Britain. Wade interviews gamers, developers and journalists to better understand the cultural habitus of early gaming. Wade expertly explores the bedroom culture of early coders, examining the ways in which games were copied and distributed among players. He situates gaming in the underground subcultures of arcades, connecting early arcade cultures to present-day gambling and gaming. Wade analyzes the ways that 1980s gaming gave rise to today’s gaming industry. Through his in-depth research into 1980s British gaming culture, Wade argues that video games give insight into social, political, and cultural landscapes in ways that deserve exploration and recognition. Wade’s work on gaming and gaming culture is essential reading in games studies and media and his focus on sociology of gaming makes for an appeal to a wide audience.


Rebekah Buchanan is an Associate Professor of English at Western Illinois University. She researches zines, zine writers and the influence of music subcultures and fandom on writers and narratives. She is the author of Writing a Riot: Riot Grrrl Zines and Feminist Rhetorics (Peter Lang, 2018). You can find more about her on her website, follow her on Twitter @rj_buchanan or email her at [email protected].

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