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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