Additional reading

Hyperlocal games

Hyperlocal games were quite common in Czechoslovak homebrew production of the late 1980s and early to mid-1990s. They are the subject of my new chapter Adventures in everyday spaces, which was developed simultaneously with my book and can be read as its sequel (as it focuses on the period of 1989-1992). The chapter came out in the book Game History and the Local, edited by Melanie Swalwell. The abstract follows:

Švelch introduces the term “hyperlocal games” to describe computer and video games created by people from a particular place about that place and about the people who inhabit it, written primarily (but not exclusively) for the local community. Drawing from three case studies from 1980s and 1990s Czechoslovakia, Švelch reads hyperlocal games as instances of de Certeau’s concept of spatial tactics and the Situationist practice of dérive. In these games, young amateurs recreated the sites of their everyday lives, such as schools, towns or hobby clubs, and subjected the resulting game spaces to their own rules, fulfilling their ambitions and challenging adult authorities. Švelch argues that studying hyperlocal games can sensitize game scholars and historians to the everyday contexts of game production.

The three cases are: The Revenge of the Insane Atari User (1989), Emgeton Story (1991), and Stodman (1992). The first one took place in a local Atari club, the second in local town, and the third in a school and its surroundings. The chapter draws from interviews I did with the authors of these three games as well as the close readings of the games themselves. Check out the two loading screens of Stodman below:

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