Gaming the Iron Curtain

Gaming the Iron Curtain

How amateur programmers in 1980s Czechoslovakia discovered games as a medium, using them not only for entertainment but also as a means of self-expression. Aside from the exceptional history of Tetris, very little is known about gaming culture behind the Iron Curtain. But despite the scarcity of home computers and the absence of hardware and software markets, Czechoslovakia hosted a remarkably active DIY microcomputer scene in the 1980s, producing more than two hundred games that were by turns creative, inventive, and politically subversive. In Gaming the Iron Curtain, Jaroslav Švelch offers the first social history of gaming and game design in 1980s Czechoslovakia, and the first book-length treatment of computer gaming in any country of the Soviet bloc. Švelch describes how amateur programmers in 1980s Czechoslovakia discovered games as a medium, using them not only for entertainment but also as a means of self-expression. Sheltered in state-supported computer clubs, local programmers fashioned games into a medium of expression that, unlike television or the press, was neither regulated nor censored. In the final years of Communist rule, Czechoslovak programmers were among the first in the world to make activist games about current political events, anticipating trends observed decades later in independent or experimental titles. Drawing from extensive interviews as well as political, economic, and social history, Gaming the Iron Curtain tells a compelling tale of gaming the system, introducing us to individuals who used their ingenuity to be active, be creative, and be heard.

Download Now

Author
Publisher MIT Press
Release Date
ISBN 0262038846
Pages 400 pages
Rating 4/5 (43 users)

More Books:

Gaming the Iron Curtain
Language: en
Pages: 400
Authors: Jaroslav Svelch
Categories: Games & Activities
Type: BOOK - Published: 2018-12-25 - Publisher: MIT Press

How amateur programmers in 1980s Czechoslovakia discovered games as a medium, using them not only for entertainment but also as a means of self-expression. Asid
Homebrew Gaming and the Beginnings of Vernacular Digitality
Language: en
Pages: 256
Authors: Melanie Swalwell
Categories: Games & Activities
Type: BOOK - Published: 2021-08-17 - Publisher: MIT Press

The overlooked history of an early appropriation of digital technology: the creation of games though coding and hardware hacking by microcomputer users. From th
Video Games and Comedy
Language: en
Pages: 362
Authors: Krista Bonello Rutter Giappone
Categories: Performing Arts
Type: BOOK - Published: 2022-03-26 - Publisher: Springer Nature

Video Games and Comedy is the first edited volume to explore the intersections between comedy and video games. This pioneering book collects chapters from a div
Game History and the Local
Language: en
Pages: 240
Authors: Melanie Swalwell
Categories: Civilization
Type: BOOK - Published: 2021 - Publisher: Springer Nature

This book brings together essays on game history and historiography that reflect on the significance of locality. Game history did not unfold uniformly and the
Remapping Cold War Media
Language: en
Pages: 324
Authors: Alice Lovejoy
Categories: History
Type: BOOK - Published: 2022-08-02 - Publisher: Indiana University Press

-- Alice Lovejoy is located in Minneapolis, MN -- Mari Pajala is located in Turku, Finland -- Alice Lovejoy's first IUP book was named co-winner of the Modern L
Minor Platforms in Videogame History
Language: en
Pages:
Authors: Benjamin Nicoll
Categories: Art
Type: BOOK - Published: 2019-09-06 - Publisher: Amsterdam University Press

Videogame history is not just a history of one successful technology replacing the next. It is also a history of platforms and communities that never quite made
Gaming Globally
Language: en
Pages: 279
Authors: N. Huntemann
Categories: Sports & Recreation
Type: BOOK - Published: 2016-01-26 - Publisher: Springer

Video games are inherently transnational by virtue of industrial, textual, and player practices. The contributors touch upon nations not usually examined by gam
Playing Nature
Language: en
Pages: 320
Authors: Alenda Y. Chang
Categories: Games & Activities
Type: BOOK - Published: 2019-12-31 - Publisher: U of Minnesota Press

A potent new book examines the overlap between our ecological crisis and video games Video games may be fun and immersive diversions from daily life, but can th
The Casino, Card and Betting Game Reader
Language: en
Pages: 512
Authors: Mark R. Johnson
Categories: Games & Activities
Type: BOOK - Published: 2021-12-30 - Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

Casino games and traditional card games have rich and idiosyncratic histories, complex subcultures and player practices, and facilitate the flow of billions of
The Unity Game Engine and the Circuits of Cultural Software
Language: en
Pages: 123
Authors: Benjamin Nicoll
Categories: Social Science
Type: BOOK - Published: 2019-08-22 - Publisher: Springer Nature

Videogames were once made with a vast range of tools and technologies, but in recent years a small number of commercially available 'game engines' have reached