I haven't written all that much about it, because I haven't wanted to jinx the process, but last night I sent the final manuscript of Perceiving Play: The Art and Study of Computer Games off to Peter Lang Publishers. It's supposed to be in the stores some time in spring 2009 - most likely March.
It's been an educational experience. There are so many words which are hard to translate between English and Norwegian, and I feel like I have run into every one of them as I have tried to negotiate with the publishers and editors. Also, I never knew I had contract-phobia until I had spent 3 months not signing one. And I have learned several new meanings of "proof-reading."
But it's also been a good experience. The editors Michele Knobel and Colin Lankshear have been amazingly patient when I have panicked, although at times I think I may not have panicked enough. I have also loved to work with the content. This is the book I want people to read before they contact me and say "there's nothing written about computer games!" (Alternatively: "There's no research done on computer games.") I have not been able to read and cover everything, but I have made an effort to cover a wide range of topics, and treat them fairly. Now, a fellow guildie told us all generously in chat that 90% of everything written about game studies is crap. I am not sure how to use that statement. I have some options
1) I can assume that not covering the whole field doesn't matter, as I have covered the 10% worth writing about.
2) I should have quoted this person a lot more!
3) I can assume that my book, not being all that, is perfect for the majority of what is published in game studies.
4) I can ignore what's being said in exuberance at midnight, Friday night, online, and just hope my books doesn't prove such statements right.
One thing I think is really hilariously funny though. I have illustrated parts of the book myself. I am getting published also as a graphic artist ;) Now how cool is that? OK, so the graphics are drawings of game screenshots, but hey, those are MY pencil lines! I never thought that a career of intense reading would ever lead me to publishing images - something I haven't done since I was 20 and worked in a tiny local newspaper in Hardanger. Where I actually worked on one of the first computers in use for setting papers in Norway. Oh, the joys of aging - when you have been part of history.
Anyway: Now that it's accepted, and sent, and the wheels are turning towards publication, I am relieved as I havent' been for a year. It's good. It's really good. Champagne tonight, I think.