Category Archives: issue no. 2

On Not Becoming Gamers: Moving Beyond the Constructed Audience

To borrow a turn of phrase from Simone de Beauvoir (1989 [1949]): one is not born a gamer, one becomes one. [T.L. Taylor makes a similar twist of the classic phrase in Play Between Worlds when she says “One is not born an Everquest player, one becomes one” (2006, p. 32).] This is perhaps even truer of being a gamer … Continue reading On Not Becoming Gamers: Moving Beyond the Constructed Audience

Casual Games, Time Management, and the Work of Affect

Casual games are stupid and they are taking over our lives. This is what a recent New York Times Magazine article concluded. Sam Anderson, the article’s author, writes, “Tetris and its offspring (Angry Birds, Bejeweled, Fruit Ninja, etc.) have colonized our pockets and our brains and shifted the entire economic model of the video-game industry. … Continue reading Casual Games, Time Management, and the Work of Affect

Casual Threats: The Feminization of Casual Video Games

There has been a long history of linking mainstream or popular culture with the feminine for the purpose of denigrating both (Huyseen 1986). So-called casual video games lend themselves well to mainstream or popular audiences because of their pick-up-and-play nature and intuitive controls. In fact, some developers even prefer the name mainstream or mass market … Continue reading Casual Threats: The Feminization of Casual Video Games

“C’mon! Make me a man!”: Persona 4, Digital Bodies, and Queer Potentiality

In her 2009 article “Putting the Gay in Games: Cultural Production and GLBT Content in Video Games,” Adrienne Shaw poses an extremely valid question to the fields both of video game theory and queer theory: “Why then, when video games have been a popular medium since the 1970s, are questions about the representation of diverse … Continue reading “C’mon! Make me a man!”: Persona 4, Digital Bodies, and Queer Potentiality

Collective Organizing, Individual Resistance, or Asshole Griefers? An Ethnographic Analysis of Women of Color In Xbox Live

We are steadily witnessing the appropriation of new communication technologies to facilitate collective organizing and mobilization. As Eltantawy and Wiest (2011) explain, the development of social media creates opportunities for digital and web based social movements to change the reality of collective action. Cyberactivists have incorporated a host of tools to facilitate their organizational activities … Continue reading Collective Organizing, Individual Resistance, or Asshole Griefers? An Ethnographic Analysis of Women of Color In Xbox Live

Self-Saving Princess: Feminism and Post-Play Narrative Modding

Since Donkey Kong tossed his first barrel in 1981, princesses in video games have served one purpose: to be saved.  Successful completion of Donkey Kong (Nintendo 1981) sees Kong defeated and Jumpman and Lady lovingly reunited. Lady had found her hero and Jumpman had won his prize. Women were cast as damsels in distress and … Continue reading Self-Saving Princess: Feminism and Post-Play Narrative Modding