Rowman & Littlefield Publishers / Rowman & Littlefield International
Trim: 5¾ x 8¾
978-1-78348-981-7 • Hardback • September 2016 • $123.00 • (£95.00)
978-1-78348-982-4 • Paperback • September 2016 • $41.00 • (£32.00)
978-1-78348-983-1 • eBook • September 2016 • $39.00 • (£30.00)
Chris Goto-Jones is Professor of Philosophy and Dean of Humanities at the University of Victoria. He is also a Professorial Research Fellow of SOAS, University of London.
Introduction: (Video)games and violence/1. Violence and Self-Cultivation: Embodied Orientalism/2. Digital Embodiment and the Dōjō/3. The Virtual Ninja Manifesto/4. From Techno-Orientalism to Gamic Orientalism/Conclusion: Videogames and Emancipation/Bibliography/Index
[T]his thought-provoking volume is certainly worth reading for anyone interested in videogames, Japanese philosophy, or frameworks of cross-cultural perception such as Orientalism. The contributions of the illustrator Siku and the use of poetic language in the manifesto make this a very attractive and entertaining volume for people to read. Mixing this material with the academic analysis is a bold move, one which pays off, broadening the target audience and opening up what has often been seen as the closed world of fighting-game culture.
— Pacific Affairs
Often misunderstood, marginalized, and mistreated, we, the gamers, train to acquire strategic thinking and analytical skills while making life-time friendship through fighting games. Goto-Jones uncovers this kind of engagement as the practice of pure discipline. This eye-opening and ground-breaking study is deeply significant to us, the gamers, revealing the connections between what we have gained through those experiences and the martial arts. As a gamer-philosopher, Professor Goto-Jones exposes the wonders of fighting games from an academic standpoint with unusual insight and passion. I completely agree that Street Fighter has made me the “better person” that I am today. Now kids have a legitimate reason to argue with their parents.
— Daigo 'The Beast' Umehara
By turns playful and profound, The Virtual Ninja Manifesto sticks to the pragmatic question: what sort of truths do we make playing video games? Demonstrating that the truths of video games cannot be judged in isolation from the benefits they produce for individuals in their everyday lives, Chris Goto-Jones overturns everything you thought you knew about video games but to forge a new path: this is everything you are already doing with video games but were too afraid to know!
— Tom Lamarre, Professor, McGill University
There’s been a lot of talk about competitive gaming as ‘eSport' lately, but the connection between videogames and sports has always been rhetorical more than material. Goto-Jones offers a creative and smart correction, thanks to Street Fighter: maybe mastery in competitive games can be re-interpreted as mastery in the martial arts, rather than expertise in sports. Anyone who’s interested in contemporary competitive gaming, from CounterStrike to WarCraft, Street Fighter to League of Legends, needs to read this book.
— Ian Bogost, Professor, Georgia Institute of Technology
This magnificent book does what I thought was impossible: it makes virtual ninja real. For aren’t fighting games spaces of deep learning and transformation, the training grounds for a prosthetic selfhood that is both virtual and real? Isn't synthetic violence a mode of personal cultivation that deserves respect? Chris Goto-Jones succeeds with his own 'miraculous reversal play,' bringing the virtual worlds of ninja into a contemporary, living public sphere, and offering a deep meditation — both philosophical and spiritual — on the timeless desire to face worthy opponents. For all you would-be ninja, this is a must-read gem.
— Ian Condry, Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology