Authored by: Andrew Baerg

The Routledge Companion to Video Game Studies

Print publication date:  December  2013
Online publication date:  January  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415533324
eBook ISBN: 9780203114261
Adobe ISBN: 9781136290510


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The sports game genre has played an important role in video game history. Some of the most important video games in the medium’s past, Ralph Baer’s Magnavox Odyssey games and Nolan Bushnell’s PONG (1972), are based on sports. Sports video games have also been among the most profitable game genres (Crawford, 2005b) and continue to occupy a vital place in the development of the industry and the medium. Yet, in 2006, critical cultural studies theorist, David Leonard, could assert that academic attention to the sports game genre represented “a barren wasteland of knowledge” (p. 393); sports game studies were essentially non-existent. Since that time, scholars have slowly begun to cultivate this wasteland.

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