新书出版预告 | 《打怪兽》Player vs Monster by Jaroslav Švelch

A study of the gruesome game characters we love to beat—and what they tell us about ourselves.

Since the early days of video games, monsters have played pivotal roles as dangers to be avoided, level bosses to be defeated, or targets to be destroyed for extra points. But why is the figure of the monster so important in gaming, and how have video games come to shape our culture’s conceptions of monstrosity? To answer these questions, Player vs. Monster explores the past half-century of monsters in games, from the dragons of early tabletop role-playing games and the pixelated aliens of Space Invaders to the malformed mutants of The Last of Us and the bizarre beasts of Bloodborne, and reveals the common threads among them.

Covering examples from aliens to zombies, Jaroslav Švelch explores the art of monster design and traces its influences from mythology, visual arts, popular culture, and tabletop role-playing games. At the same time, he shows that video games follow the Cold War–era notion of clearly defined, calculable enemies, portraying monsters as figures that are irredeemably evil yet invariably vulnerable to defeat. He explains the appeal of such simplistic video game monsters, but also explores how the medium could evolve to present more nuanced depictions of monstrosity.




本书简体中文版由恒先文化引进出版,预计于 2025 年初上市,敬请期待!

作者简介 Author

Jaroslav Švelch is Assistant Professor in the Department of Media Studies at Charles University, Prague, and Lecturer in the Department of Game Design at the Film and TV School of Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. He is the author of Gaming the Iron Curtain: How Teenagers and Amateurs in Communist Czechoslovakia Claimed the Medium of Computer Games.

雅罗斯拉夫·斯维尔奇(Jaroslav Švelch ), 捷克布拉格查尔斯大学媒体研究系助理教授,布拉格表演艺术学院电影电视学院游戏设计系讲师。他出版过有关电子游戏历史和理论、游戏与社交媒体幽默的著作,包括《铁幕游戏:共产主义捷克斯洛伐克的青少年和业余爱好者如何占据电脑游戏媒介》等,个人信息可参看。

评价 Praise

“Švelch shows us how monsters in video games are created, where they run rampant, what they mean, and how we came to kill them, enabling us to make sense of such monstrosities with intelligence and wit.”

—— Bernard Perron, Full Professor of Film and Game Studies at Université de Montréal; author of The World of Scary Video Games


——贝尔纳·佩隆(Bernard Perron),《恐怖电子游戏的世界》作者,蒙特利尔大学电影与游戏研究专业正教授

“The book elegantly reveals the running tensions and contradictions in the figure of the monster and how games transform their cultural meaning, combining academic elegance and rigor in equal measure.”

—— Clara Fernández-Vara, Associate Arts Professor at the NYU Game Center


——克拉拉·费尔南德斯-瓦拉(Clara Fernández-Vara),纽约大学游戏中心艺术副教授

“Švelch casts the ubiquitous figure of the videogame monster under a sharply critical, historically informed analytical lens. What emerges is a radical new understanding of monstrosity and otherness as constitutive of videogames’ form and meaning.”

—— Daniel Vella, Senior Lecturer, Institute of Digital Games, University of Malta; coauthor of Virtual Existentialism


——丹尼尔·韦拉(Daniel Vella),《虚拟存在主义》作者(合著),马耳他大学数字游戏研究所高级讲师

You might also like