Dr. Mark J. P. Wolf is a Professor in the Communication Department at Concordia University Wisconsin. He has a B. A. (1990) in Film Production and an M. A. (1992) and Ph. D. (1995) in Critical Studies from the School of Cinema/Television (now renamed the School of Cinematic Arts) at the University of Southern California.
His books include Abstracting Reality: Art, Communication, and Cognition in the Digital Age (2000), The Medium of the Video Game (2001), Virtual Morality: Morals, Ethics, and New Media (2003), The Video Game Theory Reader (2003), The World of the D’ni: Myst and Riven (2006), The Video Game Explosion: A History from PONG to PlayStation and Beyond (2007), The Video Game Theory Reader 2 (2008), J. R. R. Tolkien: Of Words and Worlds: (2009), Before the Crash: Early Video Game History (2012), Building Imaginary Worlds: The Theory and History of Subcreation (2012), Encyclopedia of Video Games (forthcoming), and two novels for which he has begun looking for an agent and publisher.
He is on the advisory boards of Videotopia, and the International Journal of Gaming and Computer-Mediated Simulations, and several editorial boards including those of Games and Culture, The Journal of E-media Studies, and Mechademia: An Annual Forum for Anime, Manga and The Fan Arts.
Phone: (262) 243-4262
Encyclopedia of Video Games: The Culture, Technology, and Art of Gaming (Greenwood/ABC-CLIO Press, August 2012). This two-volume encyclopedia addresses the key people, companies, regions, games, systems, institutions, technologies, and theoretical concepts in the world of video games, serving as a unique resource for students. The work comprises over 300 entries from 97 contributors, including Ralph Baer and Nolan Bushnell, founders of the video game industry and some of its earliest games and systems.
Before the Crash: Early Video Game History (Wayne State University Press, May 2012). This book investigates the technologies of early video games, as well as the cultural context of the early period from aesthetic, economic, industrial, and legal perspectives. This volume of early history not only helps readers to understand the pre-crash era, but also reveals much about the present state of the industry.
Myst & Riven: The World of the D’ni (University of Michigan Press, 2011). A revised and updated version of Wolf’s The World of the D’ni: Myst and Riven, published in Italian in 2006, this volume is a close analysis of the games Myst (1993) and Riven (1997) and the contexts on which they occurred.
The Video Game Theory Reader 2 (Routledge, 2008). A sequel to the first Reader, this book is also a collection of essays looking at video games from various theoretical perspectives, and includes an Appendix looking the multidisciplinary nature of video game studies.
The Video Game Explosion: A History from PONG to PlayStation and Beyond (Greenwood Press, 2007). An academic history of video games which includes essays on arcade games, home console games, home computer games, handheld games, and on-line games, and the contexts surrounding them.
The Video Game Theory Reader (Routledge, 2003). A collection of essays looking at video games from various theoretical perspectives. Chosen as “book of the month” for March 2006 by the Resource Center for Cyberculture Studies.
Virtual Morality: Morals, Ethics, and New Media (Peter Lang Publishing, 2003). A look at how technology, community, and religion interact. The book is Vol. 3 in the Digital Formations series edited by Steve Jones. Chosen as the “book of the month” for March 2007 by the Resource Center for Cyberculture Studies.
The Medium of the Video Game (University of Texas Press, 2001). An early look at video games as a medium, including such aspects as space, time, narrative, and genre, as well as video games as cultural artifacts. The book also has a Foreword by Ralph Baer, the father of the home video game industry.
Abstracting Reality: Art, Communication, and Cognition in the Digital Age (University Press of America, 2000). A look at how digital technology has changed art, communication, and cognition, including such topics as computer-generated imagery and indexicality, virtual reality, and cultural biases inherent in digitization.