Game Changers: Toys

Nintendo Game and Watch with Game and Watch man themed Amiibo

Research question:

How might the study of toys help the designer of games in the postdigital era*? Discuss with reference to your own toy culture and to new and emerging technologies.

* postdigital culture: constituted by the physical, material and embodied as well as the digital and the virtual.

Suggested reading: 

Allison, Anne 2006. Millenial Monsters: Japanese toys and the global imagination. University of California Press.

Bak, Meredith A. 2016. Building blocks of the imagination: children, creativity, and the limits of Disney Infinity. Velvet Light Trap, no.78. 53-64.

Fleming, Dan 1996. Powerplay: children, toys and popular culture. Manchester: Manchester University Press. [copy in WSA library]

Giddings, Seth 2014. Gameworlds: virtual media and children’s everyday play. New York: Bloomsbury. Open Access here. Or extracts on toys and materiality here.

Giddings, Seth 2014. Bright bricks, dark play: on the impossibility of studying LEGO, in Mark J.P. Wolf (ed.) LEGO Studies: examining the building blocks of a transmedial phenomenon. New York: Routledge.

Giddings, Seth  (2019) ‘Toying with the singularity: AI, automata and imagination in play with robots and virtual pets’, in Giovanna Mascheroni & Donell Holloway (eds) The Internet of Toys: practices, affordances and the political economy of children’s smart play. Palgrave Macmillan. Link.

Hills, Matt . LEGO Dimensions meets Dr Who: transbranding and new dimensions of transmedia storytelling? Icono 14(1): 8-29. 

Kline, Stephen 1993 Out of the Garden: toys, TV, and children’s culture in the age of marketing. New York: Verso. [copy in WSA library]

Lauwaert, Maaike 2009. The Place of Play: toys and digital cultures. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. Open Access here.

Nørgård, Rikke Toft & Toft-Nielsen, Claus 2014. Gandalf on the Death Star: levels of seriality between bricks, bits and blockbusters. Eludamos: journal for computer game culture 8(1): 171-198.

Sicart, Miguel 2014. Play Matters. Cambridge MA: MIT Press [chapter on toys – e-book in library]

Sutton-Smith, Brian (1986) Toys as Culture. New York: Psychology Press. [copy in WSA library]

Tyni, Heikki, Kultima, Annakaisa, Kankainen, Ville & Mayra, Frans 2016 Hybrid Playful Experiences: playing between material and digital. Game Research Lab, University of Tampere.

Wolf, Mark J.P. (ed.) 2014. LEGO Studies: examining the building blocks of a transmedial phenomenon. New York: Routledge. [e-book in library]