The second issue of Transformative Works and Cultures, an online peer-reviewed journal devoted to popular media and fan communities, is now out — another splendid and substantial package of theory, praxis, and reviews. The theme for Volume 2, which was guest-edited by Rebecca Carlson, is Games as Transformative Works.
My favorite piece of the bunch is probably an essay by Will Brooker, “Maps of Many Worlds,” on computer-game fandom in the 1980s. It’s smartly written and full of insights, as one would expect from Brooker (whose work on Star Wars fandom has been enormously productive for me), but it’s also unexpectedly — and rewardingly — personal, recollecting his own imaginative engagement with the graphical realms of games played on the Sinclair ZX Spectrum. My own U.S.-based cognate for this was the Commodore 64, but Brooker’s observations hold true across the cultural and commercial borders of computer culture. I’m currently working on an essay about retrogames for an upcoming MIT Press collection on “Spreadable Media” (if you’re reading this, Henry and Sam, don’t lose faith! the piece is on its way), and so found Brooker’s discussion of, and evident reverence for, 8-bit graphics not only entertaining but useful. I highly recommend it, along with the rest of the issue.
Regarding upcoming volumes of TWC, I quote below the words of co-editors Kristina Busse and Karen Hellekson:
We are soliciting and reviewing for our general issue No. 3 (Fall 2009) at the moment, as well as two forthcoming special issues, one on the CW show _Supernatural_ (“Saving People, Hunting Things,” edited by Catherine Tosenberger; see CfP http://journal.transformativeworks.org/index.php/twc/announcement/view/5) and one on history and fandom (“Fan Works and Fan Communities in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,” edited by Nancy Reagin and Anne Rubenstein; see CfP http://journal.transformativeworks.org/index.php/twc/announcement/view/6). If you have any questions, please contact us or the special editors directly.