Professor Samuel Tobin Publishes Game Design Book

Posted by Matthew Bruun on August 10, 2014 at 9:06 AM

Samuel Tobin, communications media professor, published Portable Play in Everyday Life via Palgrave Pivot in October, 2013. Despite the fact that the Nintendo DS is one of the most popular game systems of all time, theorists have largely ignored it.


In the book, Tobin argues that the reason for this is the DS is literally and figuratively beneath notice, not just by game scholars but its own players as well. Indeed, it is the very “everydayness” of the Nintendo DS and of mobile gaming in general that is invisible yet filled with critical potential.

Portable Play in Everyday Life explores how this device fits into players’ homes, commutes and lives. Drawing on discourse analysis and ethnographic methods, Tobin looks at the contexts, constraints and desires that animates and complicates mobile play. This is a significant shift away from examining the fantastic spaces inside of games to looking instead at the real world and lives in which play happens and why sometimes the “good enough” is just right.

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Topics: Meet the Faculty