General Cyberculture Bibiography
Below is a short, partially annotated list of important books and articles that raise key questions about various aspects of culture in relation to new media and cyberspaces. (More specific bibliographies accompany most of the topic sites listed on our navigation bar.)
The list includes some early work (from the 1990s) that often exaggerated the pros and cons of digital culture, but remain important because they largely set the terms for analyzing digital cultures, as well as more recent work that offers more complex analysis and more careful empirical study of what actually goes on in cyberspace(s).
These works reflect a range of opinion and a diversity of viewpoints, but they all agree on the principle that cultural history and cultural context always matter in trying to understand the meanings and impacts of the web, digital games and other aspects of a network computing society.
General Cyberculture Theory
Aronowitz, Stanley. Technoscience and Cyberculture. Routledge, 1996.
Bakardjieva, Maria. Internet Society: The Internet in Everyday Life. SAGE, 2005.
Banks, Michael A. On the Way to the Web: The Secret History of the Internet and Its Founders. New York: Apress, 2008.
Bell, David. Cyberculture: The Key Concepts. Routledge, 2004.
--. Cyberculture Theorists : Manuel Castells and Donna Haraway. Routledge, 2007.
--. The Cybercultures Reader. 1st ed. Routledge, 2000. Breakthrough collection of critical studies.
--. An Introduction to Cybercultures. Routledge, 2001. Accessible guide to major issues in the study of the diversity of digital cultures.
Boler, Megan, et al. eds, Digital Media and Democracy: Tactics in Hard Times. MIT, 2010. Excellent collection of essays on the theory and practice of radically democratic digital media.
Coleman, Stephen, and Jay G. Blumler. The Internet and Democratic Citizenship: Theory, Practice and Policy. Cambridge University Press, 2009.
Creeber, Glen, and Royston Martin. Digital Culture: Understanding New Media. Open University Press, 2008.
Darley, Andrew. Visual Digital Culture: Surface Play and Spectacle in New Media Genres. Routledge, 2000.
Donath, Judith. "Identity and Deception in the Virtual Community." On identity play online.
Dutton, William. Society on the Line: Information Politics in the Digital Age. Oxford University Press, 1999.
Escobar, Arturo. "Welcome to Cyberia: Notes on the anthropology of cyberculture" in Z. Sardar and J.R. Ravetz, eds. Cyberfutures: Culture and Politics on the Information Superhighway. New York University Press, 1996: 111-137. Brilliant analysis of the complex task of understanding online cultures ethnographically.
Fuchs, Christian. Internet and Society: Social Theory in the Information Age. Routledge, 2008. Balanced, theoretically sophisticated analysis of where the Internet fits into larger social formations.
Gauntlet, David, ed. Web Studies: Rewiring Media Studies for the Digital Age. Arnold Publishers, 2004. Set of essays surveying the range of issues in and approaches to cyberculture studies. See especially the piece by David Silver.
Gere, Charlie. Digital Culture. Chicago: Reaktion, 2008.
Gibbs, Jennifer. “Self-Presentation in Online Personals.” Communication Research 33.2 (2006): 152-177.
Gitelman, Lisa. Always Already New: Media, History, and the Data of Culture. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2008. Rich exploration of historical rootedness versus newness in the adoption and use of communication media.
Gillespie, Joanie and Jane Gackenbach. Cyber.Rules: What You Really Need to Know About the Internet. Norton & Norton, 2007. Insightful survey of scholarship on the impact of new media on psycho-social development of chldren.
Gray, Chris Hables. Cyborg Citizen. Routledge, 2002. Best book yet on what a future, posthuman cyborgian politics might look like.
---. Peace, War and Computers. Routledge, 2004. Excellent study of the matrix of connections between postmodern technology, the so-called 'war on terror' and democratic struggle for peace with justice.
Hand, Martin. Making Digital Cultures: Access, Interactivity, and Authenticity. Ashgate, 2008.
Haney, William S. Cyberculture, Cyborgs and Science Fiction: Consciousness and the Posthuman. Rodopi, 2006.
Hayles, N. Katheriine. How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetic Literature
and Informatics. U of Chicago Press, 1999.
--. How We Think: The Transforming Power of Digital Technologies. U of Chicago Press, 2012.
--. My Mother Was a Computer: Digital Subjects and Literary Texts. U of Chicago Press, 2005
Harris, Jan L. Digital Matters: Theory and Culture of the Matrix. Routledge, 2005.
Herman, Andrew, and Thomas Swiss, eds. The World Wide Web and Contemporary Cultural Theory. New York: Routledge, 2000. Excellent advanced text demonstrating how various current cultural theories can be used to study cybercultures.
Howard, Philip E. N., and Steve Jones. Society Online: The Internet in Context. SAGE, 2004.
Jenkins, Henry. Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century. MIT Press, 2009.
--. Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. Revised. New York University Press, 2008.
Karaganis, Joe. Structures of Participation in Digital Culture. Social Science Research Council, 2008.
Kellner, Douglas. Cyberculture and Society. Wiley-Blackwell, 2009.
Kleiman, Daniel Lee. Science and Technology in Society: From Biotechnology to the Internet. Wiley-Blackwell, 2005.
Kline, Stephen. Digital Play: The Interaction of Technology, Culture, and Marketing. McGill-Queen's University Press, 2003.
Matrix, Sidney Eve. Cyberpop: Digital Lifestyles and Commodity Culture. Routledge, 2006.
McPherson, Tara. Digital Youth, Innovation, and the Unexpected. MIT Press, 2007.
Mossberger, Karen, Caroline J. Tolbert, and Ramona S. McNeal. Digital Citizenship: The Internet, Society, and Participation. MIT Press, 2007.
Nayar, Pramod K. ed. The New Media and Cybercultures Anthology. Wiley-Blackwell, 2010. Wide ranging collection of strong essays.
Newlitz, Annallee. "Surplus Identity On-Line." Bad Subjects On how and why online identities differ from offline ones.
Palfrey, John, and Urs Gasser. Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives. Basic Books, 2008.
Poster, Mark. Information Please: Culture and Politics in the Age of Digital
Machines. Duke U Press, 2006.
--. What's the Matter with the Internet? U of Minnesota Press, 2001.
Rheingold, Howard. Virtual Community: Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier. MIT Press, 2000 . Classic early book on online communities.
Schafer, Mirko Tobias. Bastard Culture! How User Participation Transforms Cultural Production [Pdf version.] Also available in book form from U of Chicago Press, 2011. Excellent critique of the over-hyped notion that digital technology levels the cultural playing field.
Schell, Bernadette H. The Internet and Society: A Reference Handbook. ABC-CLIO, 2006.
Silver, David. ed. Critical Cyberculture Studies. New York University Press, 2006.
Excellent, varied collection of essays exemplifying the range of methods used to analyze cybercultures.
Slevin, James. The Internet and Society. Polity, 2000.
Social Science Research Council (U.S.). Structures of Participation in Digital Culture. Social Science Research Council, 2007.
Trend, David, ed. Reading Digital Culture. Wiley-Blackwell, 2001.
Turkle, Sherry. Life on the Screen. Simon and Schuster, 1995. Landmark early study of the formation of online identities.
Turner, Fred. From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism. U of Chicago Press, 2006.
Vaidhyanathan, Siva. The Anarachist in the Library. Basic Books, 2004. Study of the struggle between opening up and diversifying, versus attempts by commerce and states to control and confine knowledge, in the digital age.
Watkins, C Craig. The Young and the Digital. Beacon, 2009. Well-researched study of the impact of young people "migrating to social networks, games and anytime anywhere media."
Woolgar, Steve. Virtual Society? Get Real!: Technology, Cyberbole, Reality. Oxford U Press, 2003.
Challenges utopian hype (“cyberbole”) about the web solving all social ills.
Wu, Weihua. “Beyond Virtual Carnival and Masquerade.” Games and Culture 2.1 (2007): 59-89.
Selected Works Highlighting Particular Digital Devices, Apps, and Modalities
Dean, Jodi. Blog Theory. Polity, 2010. Rich theoretical examination of blogging cultures in relation to neoliberal, communicative capitalism.
Farman, Jason. Mobile Interface Theory: Embodied Space and Locative Media. NY: Routledge, 2011. Lucid analysis drawing upon poststructuralist and phenomenological approaches to unpack the psycho-social impact of mobile digital media (like smartphones, handheld gaming devices, and netbooks), particularly as they reshape the sense of space and place.
Fischer, Caude. America Calling: A Social History of the Telephone to 1940. Berkeley: U of California P, 1992. Model history of a communication technology that offers a cautionary tale vis-a-vis exaggerating the impact of new devices or media.
Hills, Ken, et al. Google and the Culture of Search. Taylor and Francis, 2012. Challenges the notion that Google does no evil, while exploring the wider terrain of how search engines function and how users use and are used by them.
Horst, Heather A., and Daniel Miller. The Cell Phone: An Anthropology of Communication. Berg, 2006. Superb, long-range history of the cell phone as a series of devices whose impact has included many positive transformations in the lives of poor people as evidenced by their ethnographic study of Jamaican communities.
Mandiberg, Michael. The Social Media Reader. NYU Press, 2012. Wide ranging collection of essays on various dimensions of social media.
Murphy, Dhiraj. Twitter. Polity, 2013. In-depth study of twitter and the phenomenon of microblogging.
Vaidhyanathan, Siva. The Googlization of Everything: (And Why We Should Worry). U of California P, 2011. Incisive critique arguing that Google's slogan, "Don't be evil," hasn't kept it from some subtly and not-so-subtly evil impacts in terms of surveillance, knowledge fragmentation, search bias, and monopoly practices.
Works on Gaming Culture
Bogost, I. How to Do Things With Videogames.. U of Minnesota Press, 2011. Richly imaginative survey of the many things videos games can or could do, offering an analysis that moves beyond simplistic attacks or equally simplistic defenses of the form.
---. Unit Operations: An Approach to Videogame Criticism. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2006.
Children Now. Fair Play? Violence, Gender and Race in Video Games. Oakland, CA: Children Now, 2001.
Corneliussen, Hilde. and Jill Walker Rettberg. eds. Digital Culture, Play, and Identity: A World of Warcraft® Reader. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2008. Excellent collective study of the most popular massively multiplayer online game.
Egenfeldt-Nielsen, Simon , Jonas Heide Smith, and Susana Pajares Tosca. Understanding Video Games NY: Routledge, 2008.
Garrelts, Nate. ed. Digital Game Play: Essays on the Nexus of Game and Gamer. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co, 2005.
Juul, Jesper. The Casual Revolution: Reinventing Video Games and Their Player. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2009.
--. Half-Real: Video Games between Real Rules and Fictional Worlds. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2005
King, G., and K Tanya.. Tomb Raiders and Space Invaders: Videogame Forms and Contexts. London: I.B. Tauris, 2006
Kline, S., Dyer-Witheford, N., & De Peuter, G. Digital Play: The Interaction of Technology, Culture, and Marketing. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2003.
Mateas, M., & Stern, A. "Interaction and Narrative," In K. Salen & E. Zimmerman, eds. The Game Design Reader: A Rules of Play Anthology. 642-669. Cambridge: MIT Press. 2006.
Wardrip-Fruin, N., & Harrigan, P. First Person: New Media as Story, Performance, and Game. Cambridge, MA.: MIT Press, 2004.
--. Second Person: Role-Playing and Story in Games and Playable Media. Cambridge, MA.: MIT Press, 2007.
--. Third Person: Authoring and Exploring Vast Narratives. Cambridge, MA.: MIT Press, 2009.
Wark, MacKenzie. Gamer Theory. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 2007.
Wolf, Mark J.P. and Bernard Perron. eds. The Video Game Theory Reader. NY: Routledge, 2003.
-- eds. The Video Game Theory Reader 2. NY: Routledge, 2008.
On the Politics of Technologies
Itrona, Lucas and Helen Nissenbaum. "Shaping the Web: Why the Politics of Search Engines Matter." Demonstrates how even so seemingly neutral a thing as a search engine can contain significant cultural and political bias.
Kannabiran, Gopinath, and Marianne Graves Peterson. "Politics at the Interface: A Foucauldian Power Analysis." Uses two very different case studies, gender designation in Facebook and digital control of a home heating system, to illustrate the power politics at play in design and use of technologies.
Parker, Ian. "Absolute Powerpoint: Can a Software Package Edit our Thoughts" Argues that PowerPoint programs shape our sense of issues, problems and fields in ways that privilege bullet-points over the elements of discourse, storytelling and other less linear forms of thought.
Selfe, Cynthia L, and Richard J. Selfe, Jr."The Politics of the Interface: Power and Its Exercise in Electronic Contact Zones." Classic essay examining how various computer interfaces shape interaction in a classroom, and how the design and use of interfaces often entails class, race and cultural biases.
Winner, Langdon. "Do Artifacts Have Politics?" Classic essay examining the ways in which technological devices and processes are both the product of and shapers of political and social relations.