May 3, 2018

Game Lecture Series - Arcade Tales: British Arcade Play Culture - Dr Alan Meades

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24th May 18h00 @ Institute of Digital Games

Game Lectures are held approximately once a month at the IDG and are public, open, free events on weekday evenings which bring together academics, practitioners and enthusiasts with a common love for games of any type: digital, analog, urban, free-form, etc.

About the talk:

In this talk, Alan will introduce his research project ‘Arcade Tales’, currently being developed as a monograph for MIT Press’ Game Histories series. The project attempts to present a social history of the British amusement arcade: its development from itinerant travelling fairs; the rise of low-stakes gambling as a popular play mechanic; the story of the creation of the penny pusher; the contribution of distributors, designers, and innovators; and the significant role that the arcade played – and still plays – in British culture.

During Alan’s research Canterbury Christ Church University discovered a major archive of British amusement arcade photography, the George Wilson collection, which allows us to see into an arcade in the early 1980s. Furthermore, Alan’s project has made use of novel research methods to drive engagement with diverse research participants, including the translation of early oral histories into freely-distributed comic books. Alan’s visually rich public lecture will present Arcade Tales, discuss the opportunities and pitfalls of implementing comics into games research, and offer some insight into the cultural significance of the British arcade.

About Alan:

Alan Meades is Principal Lecturer in Media, Art and Design at Canterbury Christ Church University. He is programme director for BA (Hons) Games Design and Director of Curriculum Development.

Alan is a game studies researcher publishing in the areas of videogame and play histories, transgressive play, play subcultures, hacking, glitching and illicit modding. He is actively involved in game preservation, having archived a lost Street Fighter 2 ‘whack a mole’ hybrid arcade game – Ken Sei Mogura, and a prototype SEGA tennis arcade game, both of which are now available on MAME. He is a graphic designer, an illustrator, a glitch artist, third-rate Street Fighter 2 player, and ethnographer.

Alan is the author of Routledge’s Understanding Counterplay in Video Games (2015), based upon his PhD from Brunel University where he conducted an ethnography of Xbox 360 hacking, glitching and modding communities.