New Release: Thought-Provoking Play

The ETC Press is proud to announce the release of Martin Roth’s Thought-Provoking Play: Political Philosophies in Science Fictional Videogame Spaces from Japan.

This book aims to show that videogames can be radically political spaces that prompt us to rethink the foundations of life in common and imagine alternatives to our present situation. Their expressive and experiential qualities emerge from a negotiation between the designers, the player and the computer, which may result in thought-provoking conflicts at play.

At the same time, this negotiation constitutes a distinct, exploratory mode of thinking, which invites us to actively experiment with novel ideas. The potential of the medium is explored both theoretically and in the analysis of selected science fictional videogames from Japan. While we may not discover full-fledged utopia, these examples stimulate our thinking beyond the familiar, thus potentially guiding our political action towards improvement and change.

About Martin Roth

Dr. Martin Roth is Assistant Professor of Japanese Studies at Leipzig University. His research interests include videogames and play, digital media and digital culture, political philosophy, communities, empirical methodologies and digital humanities. He founded the Japanese Videogames Research Initiative ([j]Games, at Leipzig University.

Martin is trained in Japanese Studies and Media and Communication Studies. He received his PhD from Leiden University in 2014 for a thesis on the political potentials of Japanese videogames, as part of the VICI project Beyond Utopia – New Politics, the Politics of Knowledge, and the Science Fictional Field of Japan ( Currently, he co-leads the DFG-funded project diggr – data-based infrastructure for global game culture research ( Martin also acts as reviews editor of the journal Asiascape: Digital Asia and is co-founder of the open access publication forum ReVisions (

About Carnegie Mellon University’s ETC Press

ETC Press is a publishing imprint with a twist. We publish books, but we’re also interested in the participatory future of content creation across multiple media. We are an academic, open source, multimedia, publishing imprint affiliated with the Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and in partnership with

ETC Press publications will focus on issues revolving around entertainment technologies as they are applied across a variety of fields. Authors publishing with ETC Press retain ownership of their intellectual property. ETC Press publishes a version of the text with author permission and ETC Press publications will be released under Creative Commons licenses. Every text is available for free download, and we price our titles as inexpensively as possible because we want people to have access to them. We’re most interested in the sharing and spreading of ideas.

About CMU’s Entertainment Technology Center

The ETC is the premiere professional graduate program for interactive entertainment as it’s applied across a variety of fields. Our unique, two-year, Master of Entertainment Technology (MET) degree is jointly conferred by Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science and the College of Fine Arts.

The ETC was founded in 1998 with Randy Pausch and Don Marinelli as the co-directors. The faculty and staff worked together to articulate our academic mission which focuses on educational goals and creative development. And we also created an R&D Agenda exploring transformational games, innovation by design and interactive storytelling. Throughout, we work to prepare students to graduate as creative professionals.