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My Life As A Night Elf Priest

RRP $260.99

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"Ever since the creators of the animated television show "South Park" turned their lovingly sardonic gaze on the massively multiplayer online game "World of Warcraft" for an entire episode, "WoW"'s status as an icon of digital culture has been secure. "My Life as a Night Elf Priest" digs deep beneath the surface of that icon to explore the rich particulars of the "World of Warcraft" player's experience."
--Julian Dibbell, "Wired"

""World of Warcraft" is the best representative of a significant new technology, art form, and sector of society: the theme-oriented virtual world. Bonnie Nardi's pioneering transnational ethnography explores this game both sensitively and systematically using the methods of cultural anthropology and aesthetics with intensive personal experience as a guild member, media teacher, and magical quest Elf."
--William Sims Bainbridge, author of "The Warcraft Civilization" and editor of "Online Worlds" "Nardi skillfully covers all of the hot button issues that come to mind when people think of video games like "World of Warcraft" such as game addiction, sexism, and violence. What gives this book its value are its unexpected gems of rare and beautifully detailed research on less sensationalized topics of interest such as the "World of Warcraft" player community in China, game modding, the increasingly blurred line between play and work, and the rich and fascinating lives of players and player cultures. Nardi brings "World of Warcraft" down to earth for non-players and ties it to social and cultural theory for scholars. " . . . "the best ethnography of a single virtual world produced so far."
--Lisa Nakamura, University of Illinois

"World of Warcraft" rapidly became one of the most popular online world games on the planet, amassing 11.5 million subscribers--officially making it an online community of gamers that had more inhabitants than the state of Ohio and was almost twice as populous as Scotland. It's a massively multiplayer online game, or MMO in gamer jargon, where each person controls a single character inside a virtual world, interacting with other people's characters and computer-controlled monsters, quest-givers, and merchants.

In "My Life as a Night Elf Priest," Bonnie Nardi, a well-known ethnographer who has published extensively on how theories of what we do intersect with how we adopt and use technology, compiles more than three years of participatory research in "Warcraft" play and culture in the United States and China into this field study of player behavior and activity. She introduces us to her research strategy and the history, structure, and culture of "Warcraft"; argues for applying activity theory and theories of aesthetic experience to the study of gaming and play; and educates us on issues of gender, culture, and addiction as part of the play experience. Nardi paints a compelling portrait of what drives online gamers both in this country and in China, where she spent a month studying players in Internet cafes.

Bonnie Nardi has given us a fresh look not only at "World of Warcraft" but at the field of game studies as a whole. One of the first in-depth studies of a game that has become an icon of digital culture, "My Life as a Night Elf Priest" will capture the interest of both the gamer and the ethnographer.

Bonnie A. Nardi is an anthropologist by training and a professor in the Department of Informatics in the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of California, Irvine. Her research focus is the social implications of digital technologies. She is the author of "A Small Matter of Programming: Perspectives on End User Computing" and the coauthor of "Information Ecologies: Using Technology with Heart" and "Acting with Technology: Activity Theory and Interaction Design."

Cover art by Jessica Damsky


Samuel Coleridge-taylor, A Musical Life

RRP $457.99

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At the beginning of the twentieth century, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912) was one of Britain's most popular and acclaimed composers. The illegitimate child of an African doctor, Coleridge-Taylor managed to escape his humble roots by studying composition at the Royal College of Music, where he won a scholarship in 1893. Though he composed mainly for piano and violin, his Song of Hiawatha was performed nationwide for choir and orchestra to great critical acclaim. He died from pneumonia at the age of thirty-seven. Green's study is more than a biography of an Anglo-African composer. Using a wide range of public and private records, this extensively researched work becomes a social history based around an artist who lived at the height of British imperialism. The first comprehensive study of Coleridge-Taylor's life for almost a century, it reveals how class-ridden Britain could embrace even the most unlikely of cultural icons.


Communication In Everyday Life

RRP $218.00

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Communication in Everyday Life, Second Edition remains the only introductory communication book to explore fundamental concepts, theories, and skills aimed at helping readers apply the material to their personal and professional lives - with a thematic integration of the relational perspective and a focus on demonstrating its direct relevance to their own everyday communication. Steve Duck and David T. McMahan  help readers develop a strong foundation in communication concepts, theory, and research, as well as practical communication skills such as listening, critical thinking, using technology to communicate, understanding nonverbal communication, creating persuasive strategies, and managing group conflict. TheSecond Edition also introduces readers to important emerging areas in communication studies, offering unique chapters on health communication and family communication. Ideal for the 21st-century, this book provides up-to-date insight into the communication topics central to everyday life.


The Dead Sea Scrolls

RRP $23.99

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Since their discovery in 1947, the Dead Sea Scrolls have become an icon in popular culture that transcends their status as ancient Jewish manuscripts. Everyone has heard of the Scrolls, but amidst the conspiracies, the politics, and the sensational claims, it can be difficult to separate the myths from the reality.

In this Very Short introductions, Timothy Lim discusses the cultural significance of the finds, and the religious, political and legal controversies during the seventy years of study since the discovery. He also looks at the contribution the Scrolls have made to our understanding of the Old Testament or Hebrew Bible, and the origins of early Christianity. Exploring the most recent scholarly discussions on the archaeology of Khirbet Qumran, and the study of the biblical texts, the canon, and the history of the Second Temple Period, he considers what the scrolls reveal about sectarianism in early Judaism. Was the archaeological site of Qumran a centre of monastic life, a fortress, a villa, or a pottery factory? Why were some of their biblical texts so different from the ones that we read today? Did they have 'a Bible'? Who were the Essenes and why did they think that humanity is to be divided between 'the sons of light' and those in darkness? And, finally, do the Scrolls reflect the teachings of the earliest followers of Jesus?


ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.


The Life Of A Mountain Girl

RRP $27.50

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"The next morning daddy took us outside and pointed at the highest mountain I had ever seen. There was a little cart on tracks going up the mountain. Daymon asked, 'What is that thing?' "Daddy said, 'That is how we will get to the top!'"

Join Madge on her travels, and explore her life stories. Experience the joys and sadness of the mountains she has loved all her life. Will she stay, or will she leave the wondrous hills and valleys?



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