Archive for 'Theory'

What Trolls Can Teach Us About Race

Posted 03 March 2014 | By | Categories: Theory | No Comments

I’ve got a new article out in Fibreculture that I’m proud of and think readers of this blog would enjoy. It’s called “/b/lackup: What Trolls Can Teach Us About Race” and it’s an adaptation of some research and writing I did for my dissertation. This is an article years — I think about four total — […]

The Killer of Sheep of Videogames

Posted 09 March 2013 | By | Categories: Gaming, Theory | No Comments

[NOTE: A version of this work was presented at the 2013 Society for Cinema and Media Studies conference. Here is a PDF of the slide deck.] Measured Representation We’ve seen the fight for diversity in videogame culture gain ground in recent years. Women, people of color, and LGBTIQ identifying individuals and communities have productively re-framed and countered the […]

Fallout 3′s Curious System of Race

Posted 04 January 2012 | By | Categories: Theory | 5 Comments

Fall In Non-fantasy roleplaying games don’t often allow the player to choose a race.  However, Fallout 3, Bethesda’s open world roleplaying game set in post-apocalyptic Washington DC, allows players to select from four races: African American, Asian, Caucasian, and Hispanic, with Caucasian—unfortunately but not unsurprisingly—the default choice. An explicit breakdown of races in this way, along lines […]

The Trap of Representation

Posted 23 May 2011 | By | Categories: Theory | 9 Comments

Header image from Robbie Cooper’s Alter Ego. When we evaluate race in games, character creation seems to draw most of our focus. And there’s good reason for this: character creation appears to facilitate the kind of bodily manipulation promised by digital technologies during the mythic imaginings of the early internet. In some way we’ve been […]

Spatialized Difference in Videogames

Posted 13 March 2011 | By | Categories: Theory | 12 Comments

Maps, Levels, and the Orchestration of Conflict The notion that maps, and the cartographic processes behind those maps, are functions of power, most commonly imperial power, is a fundamental assumption of critical geography. As the diagrammatic products of territorial struggles between political forces, maps are both representations of the world and constructions of that world. […]

Colorblind Character Design in Videogames

Posted 18 October 2010 | By | Categories: Theory | 3 Comments

Ambiguity Non-white characters are a shameful rarity in videogames and when they are present (aliens and monsters don’t count) they’re often so ambiguously raced as to be completely indeterminate. I was reminded of this a year back while playing Resident Evil 5 cooperatively with a friend over Xbox Live. About a third of the way […]

A Case for Narrating Gameplay

Posted 19 August 2010 | By | Categories: Theory | 6 Comments

1982 I begin on the shaggy tan carpet of my living room in front of a wood paneled television flickering the image of a game I later find out is called Missile Command. My hands grip the rubber of the joystick and click it violently left and right, smashing the big concave red buttons in […]

Cultural Politics, Critique and the Digital Humanities

Posted 25 May 2010 | By | Categories: Theory | 10 Comments

Word cloud image via ghbrett. In November 2009, I had the privilege of participating in a roundtable at the American Studies Association (ASA) conference with Anna Everett, Deborah Kimmey, Tara McPherson, Lisa Nakamura, and Kara Thompson on the Digital Humanities (DH). The panel was titled “Neoliberalism, Multiculturalism, and the Means of Digital Humanities Production.” Convened […]