Playing Along: Digital Games, YouTube, and Virtual Performance

By Grimes, Sara M. | American Journal of Play, Winter 2014 | Go to article overview

Playing Along: Digital Games, YouTube, and Virtual Performance


Grimes, Sara M., American Journal of Play


Playing Along: Digital Games, YouTube, and Virtual Performance

Kiri Miller

New York: Oxford University Press, 2012. Notes, references, index. 272 pp. $27.95 paper. ISBN: 9780199753468

From Double Dutch to limbo competitions, games that meld music, performance, and play are easy to find. In more recent years, the rise and spread of digital technologies have given way to a whole new, and ever-widening, range of practices that combine, recombine, and expand upon this tradition. This is particularly true of digital games (video games, arcade games, and computer games) in which music has long fulfilled a core function, both in terms of adding significantly to games' narratives and aesthetics, as well as providing an intuitive way of giving feedback to players. Some of the early arcade games had soundtracks that contained hidden clues about the right time to make a particular move or that forewarned players they were running out of time or were about to experience a change of speed. More recently, rhythm games, such as PaRappa the Rapper (1996) and Dance Dance Revolution (1998), have incorporated beat as a core component of their game-play mechanics-where a player's moves are only successful if made in musical time. As digital games have become more social (and more socially acceptable), events such as weekly Rock Band competitions at the local pub and sharing a musical creation made in the game Sound Shapes (2012) with thousands of other players online are increasingly common.

Kiri Miller's Playing Along: Digital Games, YouTube, and Virtual Performance is a timely and important work that tackles multiple aspects of the complex intermingling of music, performance, and play that is currently taking place within digital culture. The book features a range of relevant examples and draws important linkages between contempo rary and traditional leisure practices. The results of the author's own research in this area-which includes interviews with players, ethnographic fieldwork and firsthand experimentation with the games and practices involved-are described in close detail in three parts, divided by the case study or practice examined. Part 1 examines the highly popular and controversial single-player console game Grand TheftAuto: San Andreas (2004), in which music plays an integral role not only in setting the tone for game play, but also within the players' own in-game identity performance and role-play experiences. Part 2 focuses on music-performance games Guitar Hero (2005) and Rock Band (2007) and delves into some of the uncomfortable questions these games arguably raise about issues of authenticity (playing music) and consumerism (playing at playing music). Last, part 3 considers some of the ways leisure activities are learned and taught through YouTube and other social media, as well as how such tools are increasingly used to establish new, leisure-based communities of practice. Playing Along also comes with a companion website, which features a series of audio and video clips of some of the interviews with players and online videos discussed in the book.

To help the reader navigate this, at times, dauntingly diverse range of topics, Miller supplies an eloquent and wellgrounded theoretical framework at the book's outset. The concepts and questions Miller lays out in the introductory chapter not only provide a useful way to map and make sense of the research laid out in parts 1 to 3, but they also help establish the interdisciplinary approach that Miller adopts in both her research and in the book itself. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Playing Along: Digital Games, YouTube, and Virtual Performance
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.