Portable play in everyday life: The Nintendo ds . United Kingdom: Palgrave Macmillan (2013). 151 pp. isbn 978-1-1373-9658-7. Price: $70. The main theme of Tobin’s book is practices of Nintendo ds play in everyday life settings. ds Play is viewed as a ‘compromise’ (42) between ‘places and times, players and games,’ a ‘secondary-ness’ (12) that ‘thrives in contingency,’ and a ‘moderation’ (112) that ‘flies in the face of conceptions of play as emancipatory and excessive.’ Tobin’s ‘utilitarian ludus’ (103) evidently joins the recent rise of criticisms of Huizinga’s holistic ‘magic circle’ approach that sees play as an isolated situation (Consalvo 2009; Pargman & Jakobsson 2008) and embraces a narrative of ‘everyday life’: how play is intertwined with or delimited by facets of everyday life. This argument alone is no longer novel as the academic passions for lived experiences have well penetrated games studies (Apperley & Jayemane 2012); that said, the nuanced and calculative distinctions of different everyday spaces, scenarios, affordances, materiality and corresponding analysis makes this book an absorbing read. The book begins with a chapter on the history of the ds as a platform, followed by a digital ethnography of forum reviews and recommendations of ds games.
Asiascape: Digital Asia – Brill
Published: Sep 18, 2015
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