Death, Culture & Leisure: Playing Dead

Matt Coward-Gibbs
University of York, UK

Product Details
20 Aug 2020
Emerald Publishing Limited
232 pages - 152 x 229mm
Emerald Studies in Death and Culture
Death consumes our lives. As such, it is unsurprising that our leisure time, recreational activities and playful exploits are also infatuated with dying, death and the dead. Death, Culture and Leisure offers a playful exploration of the way in which we play with both death and the dead. This inter- and multi-disciplinary work brings together a variety of scholars to consider the nexuses that exist between death, culture and leisure. Edited by Matt Coward-Gibbs, this collection provides an exploration of how our leisure time and playful exploits are interwoven with death. Embracing an array of tensions and contradictions, this book draws on a diverse trajectory of examples ranging from play in the post-Anthropocene to the articulate undead, and from the depictions of death in children's picture books to the playful activism of the death positivity movement. Bringing together debates from thanatology, game studies, sociology, music studies, theatre studies, contemporary literature, religious studies and media studies, this innovative collection offers up a rich assemblage of interdisciplinary voices. This text invites readers to not only consider the diverse ways in which we play dead but also invokes a call to explore the myriad of presentations of death, dying and disposal that exist in leisure environs.
Chapter 1, Nonhuman Games: Playing in the Post-Anthropocene; Paolo Ruffino 
Chapter 2, Peaceful in Death: Encountering Death in the Pokémon Universe; Ashley Darrow 
Chapter 3, Staying Dead: The Corpse, Burial and Exhumation in Three Contemporary British History Plays; Benjamin Poore 
Chapter 4, Death, Playfulness and Picture Books; Maggie Jackson 
Chapter 5, Living and Dying in the City of the Damned: A Close Reading of Mordheim’s Gothic Post-Apocalypse; Jonathan D Stubbs 
Chapter 6, Prepare to Die: Reconceptualising Death, and the Role of Narrative Engagement in the Dark Souls Series (2011-2018); Andreas Theodorou 
Chapter 7, ‘He Died a Lot’: Gothic Gameplay in What Remains of Edith Finch; Ewan Kirkland 
Chapter 8, Dead Chatty: The Rise of the Articulate Undead in Popular Culture; Bethan Michael-Fox 
Chapter 9, The Slender Man: The Internet’s Playful Creation of a Monster; Vivian Asimos 
Chapter 10, Gameful Interactions: The ‘Ludification’ of Zombie Fiction; Chloé Germaine Buckley 
Chapter 11, The Jovial Aesthetics of the Death-Positivity Movement: Notes on the Appeal of Playfulness in Activism; Solveiga Zibaite 
Chapter 12, Some Games You Just Can’t Win: Crowdfunded Memorialisation, Grief and That Dragon, Cancer; Matt Coward-Gibbs 
Chapter 13, Suicide, Angst and Popular Music; Christopher Partridge
Matt Coward-Gibbs is an Associate Lecturer in the Department of Sociology at the University of York. His research focuses on leisure and recreation, gamers and gaming, death and the undead, ritual and contemporary religious practice. He is a member of the Death Culture Network steering group.

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