The Virtual Ninja Manifesto: Fighting Games, Martial Arts and Gamic Orientalism, by Chris Goto-Jones

We are delighted to announce that the first book to be published in the Martial Arts Studies book series will be The Virtual Ninja Manifesto: Fighting Games, Martial Arts and Gamic Orientalism, by Chris Goto-Jones.
 
The publisher’s page for the book is here:
 
 
Here are some of the endorsements for it:
 

Daigo Umehara, The Beast: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.”

Tom Lamarre, McGill University: “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!”

Ian Bogost, Professor, Georgia Institute of Technology“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 Condry, MIT: “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 a must-read gem.”

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Tamiaho Herangi-Searancke 2016

Maori Warrior Epistemology (Triangulation of Meaning; Body, Mind & Spirit).

Epistemology as viewed by the Maori Warrior as an ancient stream of knowledge that continues through (living & dying) like the sacred staff, illuminating insights and wisdoms through lived experiences. Maori Epistemology is a spiritual principle that nests itself in a wider and wider space of Truth in deeper and deeper dimensions. The Triangulation of Meaning; the synergy of Body, Mind & Spirit, then lends itself to the quantum (authentic) leap into new ways of viewing reality and challenging what is perceived as time, space and knowing – where the eternal struggle of forms objective, subjective and cultural are in direct collision. Genuine knowledge must be experienced directly, as it assists in the organisation of Triangulation to become the Architects of meaning shaping spaces yet unseen.

Tamiaho Herangi-Searancke Biography:

Tamiaho was born February 2nd, 1979, beneath the sacred rising Sun star of Sirius which signals harvest is in abundance. He is a Master of all traditional Maori Weaponry (short and long staff), Sports Athlete, Academic, Culturally and Spiritually Leader.

In other forums of National & Central Government Education, Health and Business, Tamiaho is a National Director in Sport Fitness & Health, Traditional Weaponry Martial Arts, Traditional Game Skills, Traditional Warrior dance and performance arenas.

Tamiaho grew up in the heartland of Northland New Zealand under the chieftainship of his Grandfather (renowned World War 2 Commander) and his High Ranking Nana (Dame Whina Cooper – Paramount Chieftainess of the Northern Tribes). The Eldest of 10 children he was thrust into Leadership roles and obligations from an early age, and before he was 10 years old he had powerfully memorized over a 5000 years of genealogy and sacred history of his people. He now spends every waking moment passing on this rare intelligence to the young people for preservation for generations to come. In his Adolescence years Tamiaho purposefully moved to live within the tribal lands of his central Waikato people. At an early age he was inducted fully into the tribes Warrior Class house of learning skills at arms, to which he would later (currently) hold the prestigious role of Guardianship, Protectorate and Master in Rituals to the New Zealand Maori King Tuheitia Paki.

At 36 years of age Tamiaho believes he still has much to learn about life and the values handed down through the passages of time by his ancestors. As that journey continues to unfold, he will give everything he has to the positive development and advancements of potentials of all peoples of Aotearoa New Zealand and indeed the world in which we live.

Alex Stewart 2016

Embodying the fight game:

The social construction of desire among English professional boxers

This paper draws on the findings of ethnographic research conducted over a five year period among amateur and professional boxers based in and around London, England, to outline reasons why boxers willingly risk harming their body in pursuit of the often brutal athletic practice of professional boxing. The strategic rationale for conducting this ethnography was from the outset premised upon my ability to adopt an ‘insider’ research role having garnered many years’ experiences as a reasonably successful amateur boxer. I was thus able to gain a professional boxers licence to investigate, and endeavour to make sense of, the relationships between wider (popular) cultural and social forces and the embodied practices and interactional nuances through which boxing-practitioners constructed patterns of meaning informing their worldviews, values and actions. This ‘insider’ ethnographic journey entailed a necessarily introspective journey through which I reflexively grappled with the realities I upheld as a male and heterosexual ‘boxer’, of Anglo-Greek heritage, with fieldwork experiences grounded in complex social and cultural factors related to the sport ethic, media representation and commercialization, gender ideology and ideas about masculinity, and the cultural dynamics of social class in England. This paper seeks to inspire an open forum of discussion on the significance of sensuous, aesthetic and symbolically creative dimensions through which desire, and understandings of violence, are socially constructed by boxers in and through their sporting experiences.

 

Bio

Having conducted a five-year ethnographic study of amateur and professional boxers in England, my central research interests now lie in the examination of cultural and social aspects of the sporting experience. Reciprocally my academic interests and teaching competences take in the following related areas: the socialisation process into and through sport; embodiment and identity formation; sport violence; sporting subcultures; and sport development in relation to aspects of inclusion/exclusion; athlete welfare; youth development; crime reduction and education. In a previous life I spent my time split between boxing competitively as an amateur and briefly a professional boxer and backpacking and working my way around the globe.