• Mondo Nano: Fun and Games in the World of Digital Matter

    Author(s):
    Pages: 424
    Illustrations: 131 illustrations
    Sales/Territorial Rights: World
    Series: Experimental Futures
  • Cloth: $104.95 - In Stock
    978-0-8223-5729-2
  • Paperback: $29.95 - In Stock
    978-0-8223-5743-8
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  • Press Start  1

    Just for Fun  7

    Digital Matters  39

    Tempest in a Teapot  77

    Massively Multiplayer Laboratories  108

    Weapons-Grade Cartoons  135

    Have Nanosuit—Will Travel  173

    Nanopolitanisms  201

    My Little Avatar  236

    Game Over—Play Again?  293

    Acknowledgments  301

    Notes  305

    Bibliography  349

    Index  399
  • Winner, 2016 Science Fiction and Technoculture Studies Book Prize from the University of California, Riverside’s SFTS Program

  • “[Mondo Nano] offers a clear demonstration of how the methods, dispositions and goals of nanotechnology often converge with video game development and culture. … Milburn argues convincingly that video games let us try out different visions of the future, and better understand the present, from the nanoscale up.”  

    “Milburn's profession isn't about judging the truth of nanotechnological hypotheses; it is about teasing out their technoscientific origins and effects. … Readers bearing that in mind will find Mondo Nano a thoroughly researched, thought provoking read that offers many points to ponder. . . .”

    "Sure enough, by the end of Mondo Nano, the connection between games and nanotechnology becomes so obvious, so pervasive, and so ubiquitous that one wonders how it was possible that we did not see it earlier. Needless to say, this is exactly how a really compelling argument works, and the elegance with which Milburn maps the terrain only adds graceful transparency to his discussion. . . . Mondo Nano is cultural scholarship at its very best, and it sets the bar very high for similar projects."

    "Mondo Nano revisits, in a new frame, the classic questions of technological media studies initially considered by scholars like [Walter] Benjamin: not whether the images have value as art or commerce, but more fundamentally, how do we enter into the worlds these intensively mediated images present? . . . Milburn takes those familiar questions seriously by seriously thinking about play. . . . Mondo Nano is itself designed as a game that playfully goes awry, mixing categories, subjecting science fact to science fiction history, speaking truth to power by reading cartoons of weaponized bodies rather than the actual super soldiers who remain a twinkle in their inventors’ phallic, futural gaze."

    "[I]deas from Mondo Nano could open new areas for exploration on the role of play in innovation, team building in interdisciplinary collaborations, and outreach/education, and thus, targeted reads of certain sections may prove beneficial for groups with different interests. This may also be an interesting read for members of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) community who are reflecting on the Bplay^ aspects of their work and/or who are interested in connecting their nano-based research to philosophy or STS."

    "Required reading for anyone working in the digital humanities, media studies, or in the transdisciplinary spaces of science and literature, Milburn’s book models several different literary approaches to digital objects."

    "Demonstrating the deadly serious consequences of the ubiquity of gaming experiences in a context of highly militarized speculative science, Mondo Nano...shows us that science fiction has become the realism of our time and gives us the tools to analyse and respond to this new technocultural condition."

    "Milburn's study is a brilliant, expansive, and eye-opening read."

    "...Mondo Nano is a radical reading journey that can take us deeply and critically into nanotech culture and inspire new modes of scholarship and pedagogy."

    "I have closely followed the work of Colin Milburn since 2003, and I have always found his papers to be thoughtful and informative. But in Mondo Nano he achieves a new level of writing. He shows how much this material delights him, and I see how delightful it is for the reader to read him."

    Awards

  • Winner, 2016 Science Fiction and Technoculture Studies Book Prize from the University of California, Riverside’s SFTS Program

  • Reviews

  • “[Mondo Nano] offers a clear demonstration of how the methods, dispositions and goals of nanotechnology often converge with video game development and culture. … Milburn argues convincingly that video games let us try out different visions of the future, and better understand the present, from the nanoscale up.”  

    “Milburn's profession isn't about judging the truth of nanotechnological hypotheses; it is about teasing out their technoscientific origins and effects. … Readers bearing that in mind will find Mondo Nano a thoroughly researched, thought provoking read that offers many points to ponder. . . .”

    "Sure enough, by the end of Mondo Nano, the connection between games and nanotechnology becomes so obvious, so pervasive, and so ubiquitous that one wonders how it was possible that we did not see it earlier. Needless to say, this is exactly how a really compelling argument works, and the elegance with which Milburn maps the terrain only adds graceful transparency to his discussion. . . . Mondo Nano is cultural scholarship at its very best, and it sets the bar very high for similar projects."

    "Mondo Nano revisits, in a new frame, the classic questions of technological media studies initially considered by scholars like [Walter] Benjamin: not whether the images have value as art or commerce, but more fundamentally, how do we enter into the worlds these intensively mediated images present? . . . Milburn takes those familiar questions seriously by seriously thinking about play. . . . Mondo Nano is itself designed as a game that playfully goes awry, mixing categories, subjecting science fact to science fiction history, speaking truth to power by reading cartoons of weaponized bodies rather than the actual super soldiers who remain a twinkle in their inventors’ phallic, futural gaze."

    "[I]deas from Mondo Nano could open new areas for exploration on the role of play in innovation, team building in interdisciplinary collaborations, and outreach/education, and thus, targeted reads of certain sections may prove beneficial for groups with different interests. This may also be an interesting read for members of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) community who are reflecting on the Bplay^ aspects of their work and/or who are interested in connecting their nano-based research to philosophy or STS."

    "Required reading for anyone working in the digital humanities, media studies, or in the transdisciplinary spaces of science and literature, Milburn’s book models several different literary approaches to digital objects."

    "Demonstrating the deadly serious consequences of the ubiquity of gaming experiences in a context of highly militarized speculative science, Mondo Nano...shows us that science fiction has become the realism of our time and gives us the tools to analyse and respond to this new technocultural condition."

    "Milburn's study is a brilliant, expansive, and eye-opening read."

    "...Mondo Nano is a radical reading journey that can take us deeply and critically into nanotech culture and inspire new modes of scholarship and pedagogy."

    "I have closely followed the work of Colin Milburn since 2003, and I have always found his papers to be thoughtful and informative. But in Mondo Nano he achieves a new level of writing. He shows how much this material delights him, and I see how delightful it is for the reader to read him."

  • "Offering a compelling theory of how nano discourse pervasively structures our experience of the world, Mondo Nano firmly establishes Colin Milburn as one of the most important critics of technoculture. Exploring the conflation of labor and play across research, entertainment, and educational sites, this volume sets an agenda for studying, as he puts it, 'the ways in which our recreational pleasures are made into bankable commodities, corporate securities, and militarized appliances.' An essential read." — Sherryl Vint, author of Science Fiction: A Guide for the Perplexed

    "Mondo Nano's range is comprehensive and impressive: from nanotechnology that mimics video games to the nanotechnological bases of Second Life, from 'queering' nanotechnology video games to comic books. Colin Milburn has put his finger on an important topic and moment, creating an important merging of media and science and technology studies. There are moments of sheer brilliance here." — Wendy Chun, author of Programmed Visions: Software and Memory

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  • Description

    In Mondo Nano Colin Milburn takes his readers on a playful expedition through the emerging landscape of nanotechnology, offering a light-hearted yet critical account of our high-tech world of fun and games. This expedition ventures into discussions of the first nanocars, the popular video games Second Life, Crysis, and BioShock, international nanosoccer tournaments, and utopian nano cities. Along the way, Milburn shows how the methods, dispositions, and goals of nanotechnology research converge with video game culture. With an emphasis on play, scientists and gamers alike are building a new world atom by atom, transforming scientific speculations and video game fantasies into reality. Milburn suggests that the closing of the gap between bits and atoms entices scientists, geeks, and gamers to dream of a completely programmable future. Welcome to the wild world of Mondo Nano.

    About The Author(s)

    Colin Milburn is Gary Snyder Chair in Science and the Humanities and Professor of English, Science and Technology Studies, and Cinema and Technocultural Studies at the University of California, Davis. He is the author of Nanovision: Engineering the Future, also published by Duke University Press.
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