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Performing the Force: Essays on Immersion into Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Environments [Paperback]

Kurt Lancaster , Thomas J. Mikotowicz

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Book Description

1 Feb 2001
With the technology of the new millennium continuing to advance, there has been an increased interest in participatory forms of science fiction, fantasy, and horror entertainment such as role-playing and computer games, websites, and virtual reality settings. People seem to have a desire to go beyond the ordinary and well into the fantastic. This work is a compilation of new essays (all but one never before published) written by experts in both electronic and non-electronic game genres, covering computer games, web pages, Internet role-playing, interactive movies, table-top games, live-action role-playing, ghost hunts, action figures and amusement park rides.

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3.0 out of 5 stars A Mixed Bag 16 Jun 2011
By Michael A. Torregrossa - Published on Amazon.com
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Covering a wide-range of topics, Performing the Force looks primarily at the activities and actions of fans of various media and multimedia franchises, though one (the final one) explores a modern legend. The essays appear to have come out of a class (or series of classes) taught by the editors, and, as such, there is a mixed quality to them. That said most are very informative regarding their chosen topic, and there are a few that rise above the others through the author's insightful comments or unique approaches to their subjects.


Introduction: Popular Entertainment and the Desire for Transcendence: Immersion into Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Performances / Kurt Lancaster and Tom Mikotowicz.

Pt. I. The Desire for the Fantastic: Escape or Self-Elucidation?
The Quest: Dreams and Desires in Fantasy and Science Fiction / Heather Jean Fitch.

Pt. II. Performing the Myth of Science Fiction's Popular Culture Icons.
The Mythology of the Stanley Kubrick Image / Christine Witmer.
The Performance of George Pal / Snezhana Kushnir.
George Lucas: His Roles and His Myths / Steve Bebout.
The Myth of George Lucas Surrounding: The Phantom Menace / Robert Delaney.
Star Wars: The Magic of the Anti-Myth / Daniel Mackay [reprinted/revised from Foundation 76 [1999]).
Man and Myth: Social Implications of Chris Carter and The X-Files / Jennifer Anderson.
Alex Proyas: A Consistent Image / Claudia Debs.
A Robert Jordan Book Signing / Jesse Snedden.

Pt. III. Performing in Computer Games.
The Performance of War Games / Benjamin N. Fox [on Warhammer Fantasy Battle].
Playing Video Games as a Performance / Christopher Shade [on Colony Wars].
The Re-performance of Star Wars in Computer Games / Kellee Santiago.
Virtual Simulated Environments: Performing in "The Ages of Myst and Riven" / Tom Mikotowicz.

Pt. IV. At the Interface: Webpages as Sites of Immersion.
Interface Design as Performance: A Link Between Fantasy and Reality / Tracy N. Schmetterer [on the Buffy the Vampire Slayer website].
Godzilla Attacks the World Wide Web / Rebecca Feldman.
Mulder and Scully Together at Last: The Feminine Demonstration of Scully in Fan Art on the Web / Stephanie Dalquist.
Immersion Through an Interface in The Blair Witch Project / Kurt Lancaster.

Pt. V. Interactive Movies.
"Let's Do the Time Warp Again": The Survival of the Rocky Horror Picture Show / Lauren Kerchner.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show: A No-Tech Virtual-Reality Film Experience / Michael Urdaneta.

Pt. VI. Marketing and Playing with Action Figures.
Action Figures: Props of Performance / Vera Zago.
Action Figures: Another Style of Performance / Heather Jewels.
The Action of Star Wars Comes Home / David Rodriguez.

Pt. VII. Performing in Role-Playing Games.
The Performance of William Gibson's Tropes in Cyberpunk 2020 / J. T. Dorr-Bremme.
Ultima Online: A Performance, or an Evolution Toward a Second Society? / Geoffrey Arend.
Vampire: The Masquerade--A Countercultural Performance / Rachel Werkman.

Pt. VIII. Environmental Fantasies.
Participation in Another Dimension / Alison Vason [Disney's Tower of Terror attraction].
The Dudleytown Witch Project: A Personal Account / Christopher Kam.
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