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This book introduces the critical concepts and debates that are shaping the emerging field of game studies. Exploring games in the context of cultural studies and media studies, it analyses computer games as the most popular contemporary form of new media production and consumption. The book: argues for the centrality of play in redefining reading, consuming and creating culture; offers detailed research into the political economy of games to generate a model of new media production; and, examines the dynamics of power in relation to both the production and consumption of computer games. This is key reading for students, academics and industry practitioners in the fields of cultural studies, new media, media studies and game studies, as well as human-computer interaction and cyberculture.