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Professor

James Newman

  • Professor and Senior Lecturer in Film, Media and Creative Computing
  • Email: J.Newman@bathspa.ac.uk
  • Telephone: +44 (0)1225 876 225
  • School or Department: CoLA - Digital Academy
  • Campus: Newton Park
  • Office: NP.CM.203
2

Personal statement

James Newman researches, writes about, talks about, and, perhaps most importantly, plays videogames. He has written widely on aspects of videogames and gaming cultures. His key books include volumes for Routledge Playing with Videogames (2008) and Videogames (2004); and BFI Publishing 100 Videogames (2007) and Teaching Videogames (2006). This influential and widely-cited work has been pivotal in establishing the viability of videogames as objects of study for scholars of media, film and cultural studies and has been central to establishing game studies as a discrete and rigorous academic discipline. James has recently updated 'Videogames' which was published by Routledge in 2013.

Over the past decade, James' work has contributed to both building and validating the study of videogames and has continued to push it into new areas, challenging taken-for-granted orthodoxies and synthesising apparent schisms born of limited understanding of the form or the vested interests of discipline-specificity. James work on videogames has now become a respected part of the core of new media studies and its influence is felt widely within the fields of media, popular culture and technology studies where it is widely cited and adopted on teaching curricula in Europe and the US. His book Playing with Videogames has been described as signalling a Second Wave of game studies (Arceneaux, 2010, New Media and Society, 12(1) pp. 161166) while his book 'Best Before: videogames, supersession and obsolescence' Routledge (2012) is the first book dealing with the issues and challenges of game preservation. James is currently contracted to BFI Publishing and Routledge to deliver books on material cultures and gaming history (A History of Videogames in 50 Objects, BFI Publishing, 2014); and cultures of development international practice (The Videogame Handbook, Routledge 2014).

James consultancy, public-facing writing, presentations and numerous media appearances have heightened the visibility and importance of academic research within the videogames industry and translated many of its complicated concepts for non-expert audiences. Alongside his work on videogames, James is an active researcher and practitioner of e-learning and has been responsible for the implementation of innovative learning, teaching and student support systems throughout his academic career and across academic disciplines (e.g. through collaboration with colleagues in Geography and Earth Sciences).

In addition to his academic output, James also writes for a variety of other publications (e.g. Edge magazine, 360) and makes regular media appearances (most recently discussing videogame preservation on BBC World Service's Digital Planet; user generated content in relation to Sonys LittleBigPlanet and the history and legacy of Nintendos Super Mario series on his appearances on BBC Radio 4's Front Row; the history of games for BBC4 TV's Games Britannia series on which he also acted as advisor. He is a frequent interviewee and writer in the specialist gaming and wider technology press (most recently on game history and preservation in Games TM, The Escapist, Gamasutra and the Washington Post, videogame music in the New Statesman, as well as on the iPad launch for The Sunday Times. Throughout 2013, James is working as Co-I with colleagues at NTU and the British Library on an AHRC-funded project on oral histories and the cultures of videogaming.

Since 2006, James has worked closely with the organisers of the GameCity international videogame festival and has programmed, presented and chaired numerous sessions for popular, academic and industry audiences. Most recently, James has collaborated with teams from Nottingham Trent University and the National Media Museum on the National Videogame Archive project which is the UKs official collection of videogames and the ephemera of game development and culture. His current academic research draws on the collections as well as the connections that arise from the National Videogame Archive network of digital media preservation practitioners (e.g. The National Archives; The British Library; The Design Museum; Science Museum). Throughout 2012-13 James took part in a public engagement and exhibition tour based around the National Videogame Archive collections (venues included BFI Southbank, Liverpool FACT, Bristol Arnolfini, Cambridge Junction, Midland Arts Centre). The tour will continue in 2013-14 and James now has a quarterly residency at BFI Southbank to deliver public-facing events on videogames, development and digital media.

In 2013, James was awarded a BSU University Teaching Fellowship in recognition of his teaching, course leadership and development work and pedagogical research.

 
  • BA(Hons)
  • PhD 

Recent professional updating

To support research and scholarship in the field of videogames and new media studies, I have attended a number of conferences and events (e.g. 'Preservation of Complex Digital Objects symposium on game preservation'; JISC Digital Media Seminars; Digital Games Research Association; Clash of Realities; Ludomusicology).

To ensure the maintenance and development of my professional practice, I have attended a number of learning and teaching conferences (e.g. HEA conference) and have undertaken research degree supervision, interviewing and viva chairing training.

To support research in the use of mobile and rich media in VLEs and onsite in fieldwork (see current research above), I have attended conferences, seminars and symposia on VLEs, intellectual property and the location, use and embedding of audio-visual media in learning and teaching environments (e.g. 'Finding and Using Audio-Visual Media in Further and Higher Education'; iTunes U at Apple UK' Executive Briefing Centre).

Professional memberships

  • FHEA (Fellow of the Higher Education Academy)
  • MeCCSA (Media Communication and Cultural Studies Association)
  • IGDA Game Preservation Special Interest Group

External examiners

  • Undergraduate programmes in Animation, Arts and Product Design subject area, Southampton Solent University (2013-2017)
  • Undergraduate programmes in Media, Journalism and Cultural Studies at Staffordshire University (October 2003 - September 2007)
  • External Advisor for the review of undergraduate Media provision at Trinity and All Saints College (University of Leeds, March 2005).
  • PhD external examiner at Griffith University, Australia (2005-6); Loughborough University (2010)

Other external roles

  • AHRC Peer Review College member
  • Reviewer for DiGRA and Nordic DiGRA games conference (various tracks)
  • Co-investigator AHRC-funded Creative Economies Knowledge Exchange Project (oral histories and archives project): 2012.
  • Co-founder of The National Videogame Archive (DCMS-funded UK national collection of videogames and gaming culture). Collaboration with National Media Museum and Science Museum.
  • Steering group, programming and production for GameCity festival (2006-present)
  • Review book proposals and manuscripts on aspects of digital media for international academic publishers including Routledge, Sage, BFI Publishing, MIT Press and University of Chicago Press
  • International Editorial Board of Game Studies: the International Journal of Computer Game Studies
  • Commissioned by The Wellcome Trust to produce a literature review on game studies and a strategy document on videogames as part of the Trusts Broadcast Strategy for public engagement (2010)
  • Provided consultancy services for a number of different organisations including Eidos on their Championship Manager series of football simulation games (2005-06)
  • Consultancy for Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, Flamingo research and JCPR on the European launch strategy for PlayStation 2 and the Mental Wealth campaign (2000-2001)
  • Strategic consultancy for Screenplay games conference and festival (Broadway Arts Cinema, Nottingham. 2005-6)
  • Research funding reviewer for the Veni programme (Government-sponsored Innovational Research Incentives Scheme 2004. Netherlands)
  • Curriculum consultancy for Nottingham Trent University. Designing undergraduate videogames provision for the Creative Media Studies programme (2006-7)
  • Staff development on videogames in learning and teaching, Nottingham Trent University (2006)
  • Consultancy for Nottingham Creative Partnerships on videogames education programmes (2007).

Teaching specialism

Current teaching includes:

  • videogame studies
  • digital media histories
  • media fandom
  • media preservation.

Current scholarship

  • James is currently working on book projects exploring gameplay spectatorship, and the history of early videogame sound and music.
  • He is a member of the curatorial group at the National Videogame Arcade and is currently working on a number of exhibition and interpretatiation projects.
  • James' current work on game preservation is supported by a British Academy/Leverhulme research grant 2017-18.

Research and academic outputs

Go to ResearchSPAce

The videogames handbook
book

Newman, J and Simons, I, eds. (2017) The videogames handbook. Media practice . Routledge, Abingdon. ISBN 9780415383530 (Forthcoming)


Spectate! Watching, recording and streaming videogames
book

Newman, J (2017) Spectate! Watching, recording and streaming videogames. Bloomsbury Academic. (Forthcoming)


A history of early videogame sound and music: before the Red Book
book

Newman, J (2017) A history of early videogame sound and music: before the Red Book. Palgrave. (Forthcoming)


Videogames (2nd ed.)
book

Newman, J (2013) Videogames (2nd ed.). Routledge, Abingdon, Oxon. ISBN 9780415669160


Best Before: videogames, supersession and obsolescence
book

Newman, J (2012) Best Before: videogames, supersession and obsolescence. Routledge, Abingdon. ISBN 9780415577915


Playing with Videogames
book

Newman, J (2008) Playing with Videogames. Routledge, London. ISBN 9780415385237


100 videogames
book

Newman, J (2007) 100 videogames. BFI Publishing, London. ISBN 9781844571628


Teaching Videogames
book

Newman, J and Oram, B (2006) Teaching Videogames. BFI Education. ISBN 1844570789


Videogames
book

Newman, J (2005) Videogames. Routledge. ISBN 041528192X


Difficult questions about videogames
book

Newman, J (2004) Difficult questions about videogames. Suppose Partners, Nottingham. ISBN 9780954882501


Glitching, codemining and procedural level creation in Super Mario Bros.
book_section

Newman, J (2017) 'Glitching, codemining and procedural level creation in Super Mario Bros.' In: Swalwell, M, Ndalianis, A and Stuckey, H, eds. Fans and videogames: histories, fandom, archives. Routledge, Abingdon, pp. 146-162. ISBN 9781138679672


Walkthrough
book_section

Newman, J (2016) 'Walkthrough.' In: Lowood, H and Guins, R, eds. Debugging game history: a critical lexicon. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, pp. 409-417. ISBN 9780262034197


Game preservation
book_section

Newman, J (2015) 'Game preservation.' In: Mansell, R, Ang, P.H, Steinfield, C, van der Graaf, S, Ballon, P, Kerr, A, Ivory, J.D, Braman, S, Kleine, D and Grimshaw, D.J, eds. The international encyclopedia of digital communication and society. Wiley. ISBN 9781118767771


Out of the shadows: Star Wars, videogames and transmedia storytelling
book_section

Newman, J and Simons, I (2014) 'Out of the shadows: Star Wars, videogames and transmedia storytelling.' In: Cook, J and Wright, P, eds. Star Wars: exploring an expanding universe. I.B.Tauris, London. ISBN 9781845118570


It's all about the music: the SID chip and the videogamings noisy revolution
book_section

Newman, J (2013) 'It's all about the music: the SID chip and the videogamings noisy revolution.' In: Revolution in the bedroom, war in the playground: video gaming 1979-1989. The National Centre for Craft and Design.


The great gaming crash of '83'
book_section

Newman, J (2013) 'The great gaming crash of '83'.' In: Blain, L, ed. Guinness world records 2014: gamer's edition. Guinness World Records, London, pp. 82-83. ISBN 9781904994749


Codemining, modding and gamemaking
book_section

Newman, J (2012) 'Codemining, modding and gamemaking.' In: Zagal, Jose P, ed. The videogame ethics reader. Cognella, San Diego, California, pp. 263-286. ISBN 9781609276355


"Tips and tricks to take your game to the next level": expertise and identity in FPS games
book_section

Newman, J and Ashton, D (2012) '"Tips and tricks to take your game to the next level": expertise and identity in FPS games.' In: Voorhees, G, Call, J and Whitlock, K, eds. Guns, grenades and grunts: first-person shooter games. Approaches to digital game studies . Bloomsbury Academic, pp. 225-247. ISBN 9781441193537


Using the Force: Star Wars: the video game, intertextuality, narrative, and play
book_section

Newman, J and Simons, I (2011) 'Using the Force: Star Wars: the video game, intertextuality, narrative, and play.' In: Page, R and Thomas, B, eds. New narratives: stories and storytelling in the digital age. Frontiers of Narrative . University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, Nebraska, pp. 239-253. ISBN 9780803217867


How the elephant forgot its politics
book_section

Newman, J and Molloy, C (2003) 'How the elephant forgot its politics.' In: Shakur, T and D'Souza, K, eds. Picturing South Asian culture in English: textual and visual representations. Open House Press, Liverpool, pp. 176-191. ISBN 9780954446307


Ghanaian Seventh Day Adventists on and offline: problematising the virtual communities discourse
book_section

Newman, J and Ackah, W (2003) 'Ghanaian Seventh Day Adventists on and offline: problematising the virtual communities discourse.' In: Karim, K, ed. The media of diaspora: mapping the globe. Routledge Research in Transnationalism . Routledge, Abingdon, Oxon, pp. 203-214. ISBN 0415279305


Driving the SID chip: assembly language, composition and sound design for the C64
article

Newman, J (2017) 'Driving the SID chip: assembly language, composition and sound design for the C64.' GAME: The Italian Journal of Game Studies, 6. ISSN 2280-7705 (Forthcoming)


Kaizo Mario Maker: ROM hacking, abusive game design and Nintendos Super Mario Maker
article

Newman, J (2016) 'Kaizo Mario Maker: ROM hacking, abusive game design and Nintendos Super Mario Maker.' Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies. ISSN 1354-8565


Mazes, monsters and multicursality. Mastering Pac-Man 1980–2016
article

Newman, J (2016) 'Mazes, monsters and multicursality. Mastering Pac-Man 1980–2016.' Cogent Arts & Humanities, 3 (1). p. 1190439. ISSN 2331-1983


Stampylongnose and the rise of the celebrity videogame player
article

Newman, J (2016) 'Stampylongnose and the rise of the celebrity videogame player.' Celebrity Studies, 7 (2). pp. 285-288. ISSN 1939-2397


Illegal deposit: game preservation and/as software piracy
article

Newman, J (2013) 'Illegal deposit: game preservation and/as software piracy.' Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, 19 (1). pp. 45-61. ISSN 1354-8565


Ports and patches: digital games as unstable objects
article

Newman, J (2012) 'Ports and patches: digital games as unstable objects.' Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, 18 (2). pp. 135-142. ISSN 1354-8565


Slow play strategies: digital games walkthroughs and the perpetual upgrade economy
article

Newman, J and Ashton, D (2011) 'Slow play strategies: digital games walkthroughs and the perpetual upgrade economy.' Transformations, 20. ISSN 1444-3775


(Not) playing games: player-produced walkthroughs as archival documents of digital gameplay
article

Newman, J (2011) '(Not) playing games: player-produced walkthroughs as archival documents of digital gameplay.' International Journal of Digital Curation, 6 (2). pp. 109-127. ISSN 1746-8256


In front of the children
article

Newman, J (2010) 'In front of the children.' Archive (17). pp. 20-27.


Relations of control: walkthroughs and the structuring of player agency
article

Newman, J and Ashton, D (2010) 'Relations of control: walkthroughs and the structuring of player agency.' The Fibreculture Journal, 16. ISSN 1449-1443


Save the videogame! The National Videogame Archive: preservation, supersession and obsolescence
article

Newman, J (2009) 'Save the videogame! The National Videogame Archive: preservation, supersession and obsolescence.' M/C Journal, 12 (3).


Playing the system: videogames/players/characters
article

Newman, J (2009) 'Playing the system: videogames/players/characters.' Semiotica, 173. pp. 509-524. ISSN 0037-1998


e-Learning or a-Gimmick? Evaluating the use of rich media in geography fieldwork
article

Newman, J and Jones, R (2008) 'e-Learning or a-Gimmick? Evaluating the use of rich media in geography fieldwork.' Planet (20). pp. 47-50. ISSN 1473-1835


Video games
article

Newman, J (2006) 'Video games.' The New Statesman. ISSN 1364-7431


Playing (with) Videogames
article

Newman, J (2005) 'Playing (with) Videogames.' Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, 11 (1). pp. 48-67. ISSN 13548565


In Search of the Videogame Player: the Lives of Mario
article

Newman, J (2002) 'In Search of the Videogame Player: the Lives of Mario.' New Media and Society, 4 (3). pp. 405-422. ISSN 1461-7315


The myth of the ergodic videogame
article

Newman, J (2002) 'The myth of the ergodic videogame.' Game Studies: The International Journal of Computer Game Research, 2 (1). ISSN 1604-7982


Game over? The past, present and future of videogame preservation
conference_item

Newman, J (2017) Game over? The past, present and future of videogame preservation. In: Professorial Lecture Series 2016-17, 7 June 2017, Bath Spa University, Bath, UK.


Game changer - a conversation with Hisakazu Hirabayashi
conference_item

Newman, J and Hirabayashi, H (2016) Game changer - a conversation with Hisakazu Hirabayashi. In: The Japan Foundation's Game Series, 24 November 2016, Impact Hub King's Cross, London, UK.


Playing (with) Star Wars
conference_item

Newman, J (2016) Playing (with) Star Wars. In: Clash of Realities: 7th International Conference on the Art, Technology and Theory of Digital Games, 14 - 16 November 2016, Cologne Game Lab, TH Köln, Cologne, Germany.


Game(play) preservation: preserving games without playing them?
conference_item

Newman, J (2016) Game(play) preservation: preserving games without playing them? In: Clash of Realities: 7th International Conference on the Art, Technology and Theory of Digital Games, 14 - 16 November 2016, Cologne Game Lab, TH Köln, Cologne, Germany.


Let videogames die!
conference_item

Newman, J (2016) Let videogames die! In: Game History Symposium: Preserving / Prolonging / Remixing Play, 28 - 30 June 2016, Montreal, Canada.


Ear candy: the SID chip and the birth of chiptunes
conference_item

Newman, J (2016) Ear candy: the SID chip and the birth of chiptunes. In: Ludo2016: Fifth Anniversary Conference on Video Game Music and Sound, 8 - 10 April 2016, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK.


Computer games
conference_item

Newman, J (2016) Computer games. In: New Media Gatekeepers: Ecosystems of Access and Denial Symposium, 22 April 2016, Coventry University, Coventry, UK.


Across sectors and platforms: content partnerships, technology advancements and digital distribution
conference_item

Newman, J (2016) Across sectors and platforms: content partnerships, technology advancements and digital distribution. In: Westminster eForum Keynote Seminar: The UK Video Games Industry - Technology, Policy Priorities and New Avenues for Growth, 25 February 2016, Whitehall, London, UK.


Welcome to the Minus World: you'll never leave! Glitch hunting, codemining and the hidden world of Super Mario Bros.
conference_item

Newman, J (2015) Welcome to the Minus World: you'll never leave! Glitch hunting, codemining and the hidden world of Super Mario Bros. In: Replaying Japan 2015, 21-23 May 2015, Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, Japan.


Next generation - mobile gaming, 'connected consoles’ and digital distribution
conference_item

Lovell, N, Croft, P, Bennett, S and Newman, J (2014) Next generation - mobile gaming, 'connected consoles’ and digital distribution. In: Westminster Media Forum Keynote Seminar: The UK Video Games Industry - Innovation, Commercial Opportunities and Next Steps for Policy, 16 October 2014, Royal Aeronautical Society, London, UK.


Preserving videogames: gameplay as cultural heritage
conference_item

Newman, J and Simons, I (2014) Preserving videogames: gameplay as cultural heritage. In: Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation Public Seminar Series, 3 June 2014, Daiwa Foundation, London, UK.


Game(play) preservation
conference_item

Newman, J (2013) Game(play) preservation. In: International Conference for Game Preservation, 18 January 2013, Shigureden, Kyoto.


You’re all going to die! Media preservation
conference_item

Newman, J, Lowood, H and Wisdom, S (2012) You’re all going to die! Media preservation. In: GameCity 7, 29 October 2012, Nottingham.


Dead games: the National Videogame Archive and the preservation of play
conference_item

Newman, J (2012) Dead games: the National Videogame Archive and the preservation of play. In: DIGCULT12: Theory, Context and the Internet, 13-14 June 2012, University of Salford, MediaCity.


Preserving and exhibiting digital games
conference_item

Newman, J and Woolley, T (2009) Preserving and exhibiting digital games. In: JISC Digital Media Seminar 2: The Digital Media Collection +100 Years, 16 September 2009, University of Bristol.


Media under the microscope: how popular culture will change the face of science
conference_item

Newman, J (2009) Media under the microscope: how popular culture will change the face of science. In: Doc/Fest, 4-5 November, Sheffield.


Next gen games and gamers
conference_item

Newman, J (2007) Next gen games and gamers. In: Games Marketing Forum, 22 November 2007, London.


Videogames and public engagement
commissioned_report

Newman, J and Simons, I (2010) Videogames and public engagement.


Modern playing
performance

Newman, J, Simons, I and Kim, S (2013) Modern playing. In: EKC 2013 conference in 'EU Korea Conference on Science and Technology: Open Innovation, Science and Technology Closer to Humanity), Brighton, 24-26 July 2013.


Ear candy
other

Newman, J (2006) Ear candy. 360 Magazine (6). pp. 100-105.


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