Carly A. Kocurek, PhD - Games, Scholarship, Media

Casual Thinking. Serious Gaming.

Coin-Operated Americans has a cover!

Category : Gender, Research, Youth Culture May 4th, 2015

I’m so excited about this that I’m using exclamation marks: Coin-Operated Americans: Rebooting Boyhood at the Video Game Arcade, the book I’ve been working on since sometime in 2009 or so, now has an actual cover and is available on pre-order from Barnes & Noble. I first saw the cover a few weeks ago, but I’ve been sitting tight until it started cropping up somewhere outside my inbox. Now that it’s out on the wilds of the Internet, I figure I’m allowed to share.

The cover of Coin-Operated Americans.

The cover of Coin-Operated Americans.

The official about reads like so:

Video gaming: it’s a boy’s world, right? That’s what the industry wants us to think. Why and how we came to comply are what Carly A. Kocurek investigates in this provocative consideration of how an industry’s craving for respectability hooked up with cultural narratives about technology, masculinity, and youth at the video arcade.

From the dawn of the golden age of video games with the launch of Atari’s Pong in 1972, through the industry-wide crash of 1983, to the recent nostalgia-bathed revival of the arcade, Coin-Operated Americans explores the development and implications of the “video gamer” as a cultural identity. This cultural-historical journey takes us to the Twin Galaxies arcade in Ottumwa, Iowa, for a close look at the origins of competitive gaming. It immerses us in video gaming’s first moral panic, generated by Exidy’s Death Race (1976), an unlicensed adaptation of the film Death Race 2000. And it ventures into the realm of video game films such as Tron and WarGames, in which gamers become brilliant, boyish heroes.

The book is being published by University of Minnesota Press, and will hit shelves officially sometime in September. For now, though, you can preorder hardback and paperback. I believe an ebook is also forthcoming.