Critical Distance: Keywords in Play
Keywords in Play Episode 16 - Felan Parker on Cutural Intermediaries

Keywords in Play Episode 16 - Felan Parker on Cutural Intermediaries

November 19, 2021

This episode we speak with Felan Parker about his work on cultural intermediaries and indie games. Felan is Assistant Professor of Book & Media Studies at St. Michael’s College in the University of Toronto, and a scholar of media industries and cultures specializing in games, digital media, and film. His ongoing research, supported from 2016-2019 by the Indie Interfaces SSHRC Insight Development Grant, explores the production, distribution, and reception of independent or “indie” digital games with a particular focus on the role of intermediary actors like curators, critics, and community organizers in the cultural ecosystem of the game industry.

Dr. Parker is also co-investigator on the Swarming Comic-Con SSHRC Insight Grant, a collaborative ethnographic research endeavour that examines the famous San Diego Comic-Con and its cultural and economic resonance across entertainment industries. Other interests include game development in Canada, transmedia franchises, blockbusters and spectacle, authorship, genre, and analog games. His work has been published in leading journals and presented at conferences around the world, and he co-edited Beyond the Sea: Critical Perspectives on Bioshock, a 2018 anthology of essays on the influential game series. More on Felan's work: https://stmikes.utoronto.ca/about-us/contact-us/directory/felan-parker

 

“Keywords in Play” is a monthly interview series about game research supported by Critical Distance and the Digital Games Research Association. As a joint venture, “Keywords in Play” expands Critical Distance’s commitment to innovative writing and research about games while using a conversational style to bring new and diverse scholarship to a wider audience.

Our goal is to highlight the work of graduate students, early career researchers and scholars from under-represented groups, backgrounds and regions. The primary inspiration comes from sociologist and critic Raymond Williams. In the Preface to his book Keywords: a vocabulary of culture and society, Williams envisaged not a static dictionary but an interactive document, encouraging readers to populate blank pages with their own keywords, notes and amendments. “Keywords in Play” follows Williams in affirming that “The significance is in the selection”, and works towards diversifying the critical terms with which we describe games and game culture. For more on games writing and culture (as well as transcriptions of each Keywords in Play episode) please visit https://www.critical-distance.com/

 

Please consider supporting Critical Distance at https://www.patreon.com/critdistance

Production Team: Darshana Jayemanne, Zoyander Street, Emilie Reed.

Audio Direction and Engineering: Damian Stewart

Double Bass: Aaron Stewart

Transcription: Charly Harbord

Keywords in Play Episode 15 - Leon Xiao

Keywords in Play Episode 15 - Leon Xiao

October 15, 2021

This episode we speak with Leon Xiao about the paper "What are the odds? Lower compliance with Western loot box probability disclosure industry self-regulation than Chinese legal regulation", co-authored with Laura Henderson and Philip Newall. This empirical study of loot boxes and probability disclosure is (as of this interview) a preprint and hence subject to change during peer-review. The current version is available here: https://osf.io/g5wd9/

Leon is a Teaching Associate at Queen Mary University of London. He researches video game law, particularly the regulation of loot boxes, a quasi-gambling monetisation mechanic in video games. He has appeared before the Law Commission of England and Wales, and submitted policy recommendations to the Spanish, Singaporean, and UK Governments. His research has been published in peer-reviewed lawpsychology, and behavioural public policy journals. He has presented at conferences in various disciplines, including at DiGRA Australia, British DiGRA, and the Chinese chapter of DiGRA. He won the poster prize for student research at the 2020 annual conference of the Society for the Study of Addiction. A full list of his publications is available at https://sites.google.com/view/leon-xiao/.

 

Please consider supporting Critical Distance at https://www.patreon.com/critdistance

Production Team: Darshana Jayemanne, Zoyander Street, Emilie Reed, Bettina Bodi.

Audio Direction and Engineering: Damian Stewart

Double Bass: Aaron Stewart

Transcription: Charly Harbord

Keywords in Play Episode 14 - Adrienne Shaw

Keywords in Play Episode 14 - Adrienne Shaw

September 17, 2021

This episode we speak with Adrienne Shaw about the paper "Encoding and decoding affordances: Stuart Hall and interactive media technologies". This paper brings Stuart Hall's concepts of encoding and decoding into proximity with ideas of affordance and technology. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0163443717692741

Adrienne Shaw is an Associate Professor in Temple University’s Department of Media Studies and Production and a member of the Lew Klein College of Media and Communication graduate faculty. From 2019-2022 she will serve the first director of Temple’s new Graduate Certificate in Cultural Analytics. Shaw is author of Gaming at the Edge: Sexuality and Gender at the Margins of Gamer Culture (winner of the 2016 International Communication Association’s Popular Communications Division’s Book Award)She has co-edited three anthologies: Queer Game Studies (2017, University of Minnesota Press), Queer Technologies: Affordances, Affect, Ambivalence (2017, Routledge), and Interventions: Communication Research and Practice (2018, Peter Lang). She is also the founder of the LGBTQ Game Archive and co-curator of Rainbow Arcade, the world’s first exhibit of LGBTQ game history (Dec 2018-May 2019 in Berlin, Germany).  From 2011 to 2015 she was also part of the multi-million dollar and award winning CYCLES project, which developed games to train users to identify and mitigate cognitive biases. A full list of her publications is available via Google Scholar.

“Keywords in Play” is a monthly interview series about game research supported by Critical Distance and the Digital Games Research Association. As a joint venture, “Keywords in Play” expands Critical Distance’s commitment to innovative writing and research about games while using a conversational style to bring new and diverse scholarship to a wider audience.

Our goal is to highlight the work of graduate students, early career researchers and scholars from under-represented groups, backgrounds and regions. The primary inspiration comes from sociologist and critic Raymond Williams. In the Preface to his book Keywords: a vocabulary of culture and society, Williams envisaged not a static dictionary but an interactive document, encouraging readers to populate blank pages with their own keywords, notes and amendments. “Keywords in Play” follows Williams in affirming that “The significance is in the selection”, and works towards diversifying the critical terms with which we describe games and game culture. For more on games writing and culture please visit https://www.critical-distance.com/

 

Please consider supporting Critical Distance at https://www.patreon.com/critdistance

Production Team: Darshana Jayemanne, Zoyander Street, Emilie Reed.

Audio Direction and Engineering: Damian Stewart

Double Bass: Aaron Stewart

Episode 13 - Alenda Y. Chang

Episode 13 - Alenda Y. Chang

June 11, 2021

This episode we speak with Alenda Y. Chang about games, ecology, literature, and environmental relations. Alenda is an Associate Professor in Film and Media Studies at UC Santa Barbara. With a multidisciplinary background in biology, literature, and film, she specializes in merging ecocritical theory with the analysis of contemporary media. Her writing has been featured in Ant Spider BeeInterdisciplinary Studies in Literature and EnvironmentQui Parle, the Journal of Gaming & Virtual Worlds, and Ecozon@, and her first book Playing Nature: Ecology in Video Games (University of Minnesota Press, December 2019), develops ecological frameworks for understanding and designing digital games.

 

“Keywords in Play” is a monthly interview series about game research supported by Critical Distance and the Digital Games Research Association. As a joint venture, “Keywords in Play” expands Critical Distance’s commitment to innovative writing and research about games while using a conversational style to bring new and diverse scholarship to a wider audience.

Our goal is to highlight the work of graduate students, early career researchers and scholars from under-represented groups, backgrounds and regions. The primary inspiration comes from sociologist and critic Raymond Williams. In the Preface to his book Keywords: a vocabulary of culture and society, Williams envisaged not a static dictionary but an interactive document, encouraging readers to populate blank pages with their own keywords, notes and amendments. “Keywords in Play” follows Williams in affirming that “The significance is in the selection”, and works towards diversifying the critical terms with which we describe games and game culture. For more on games writing and culture please visit https://www.critical-distance.com/

 

Please consider supporting Critical Distance at https://www.patreon.com/critdistance

Production Team: Darshana Jayemanne, Zoyander Street, Emilie Reed.

Audio Direction and Engineering: Damian Stewart

Double Bass: Aaron Stewart

Keywords in Play Episode 12 - Aaron Trammell

Keywords in Play Episode 12 - Aaron Trammell

May 14, 2021

This episode we talk with Aaron Trammell about challenging canonical thinkers, race, torture and TTRPGs, with special reference to his open-access piece "Torture, Play and the Black Experience" https://www.gamejournal.it/torture-play/. Aaron is Assistant Professor of Informatics and Core Faculty in Visual Studies at UC Irvine. He writes about how Dungeons & Dragons, Magic: The Gathering, and board games inform the lived experiences of their players. Specifically, he is interested in how these games further values of white privilege and hegemonic masculinity in geek culture. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Analog Game Studies and the Multimedia editor of Sounding Out! You can get in touch at trammell [at] uci [dot] edu

“Keywords in Play” is a monthly interview series about game research supported by Critical Distance and the Digital Games Research Association. As a joint venture, “Keywords in Play” expands Critical Distance’s commitment to innovative writing and research about games while using a conversational style to bring new and diverse scholarship to a wider audience.

Our goal is to highlight the work of graduate students, early career researchers and scholars from under-represented groups, backgrounds and regions. The primary inspiration comes from sociologist and critic Raymond Williams. In the Preface to his book Keywords: a vocabulary of culture and society, Williams envisaged not a static dictionary but an interactive document, encouraging readers to populate blank pages with their own keywords, notes and amendments. “Keywords in Play” follows Williams in affirming that “The significance is in the selection”, and works towards diversifying the critical terms with which we describe games and game culture. For more on games writing and culture please visit https://www.critical-distance.com/

 

Please consider supporting Critical Distance at https://www.patreon.com/critdistance

Production Team: Darshana Jayemanne, Zoyander Street, Emilie Reed.

Audio Direction and Engineering: Damian Stewart

Double Bass: Aaron Stewart

Keywords in Play Episode 11 - Victor Navarro-Remesal and Thiago Falcão

Keywords in Play Episode 11 - Victor Navarro-Remesal and Thiago Falcão

April 14, 2021

Víctor Navarro-Remesal is a media scholar specialized in games. He teaches History of Videogames and Interactive Narrative at Tecnocampus, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, and Game Design at UOC. He’s the author of ‘Libertad dirigida: Una gramática del análisis y diseño de videojuegos’ (Shangrila, 2016) and ‘Cine Ludens: 50 diálogos entre el juego y el cine’ (Editorial UOC, 2019), as well as the editor of ‘Pensar el juego. 25 caminos para los game studies’ (Shangrila, 2020). His research interests are player freedom, Zen-inspired games, gêmu, and game preservation. He is one of the founding members of DIGRA Spain.

 

https://medium.com/game-studies-espa%C3%B1a/monogr%C3%A1ficos-dedicados-al-videojuego-en-revistas-acad%C3%A9micas-59e08566a8bd

“Ludonarrativas: La complejidad narrativa en los videojuegos” http://www.revistaatalante.com/index.php?journal=atalante&page=issue&op=current

Pensar el juego: 25 caminos para los game studies https://shangrilaediciones.com/producto/pensar-el-juego/

 

Thiago Falcão is Professor of Digital Media Communication Course and Professor of the Graduate Program in Communication at the Federal University of Paraíba (UFPB). He holds a PhD in Communication and Contemporary Culture from the Federal University of Bahia and was a PDSE/Capes fellow at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. He has a Post-Doctorate in Audiovisual Communication from Anhembi Morumbi University in São Paulo/SP. Thiago currently researches themes regarding politics and entertainment, with special attention to the ties between the Brazilian esports scene and cultural dynamics associated to neoliberalism / late capitalism. 

 

Link for the Special Issue CFP "The Colonization of Play by Neoliberal Capitalism": https://periodicos.uff.br/contracampo/announcement/view/491

Rede Metagame: Brazilian Research network on Games and Political Culture: twitter.com/redemetagame

 

“Keywords in Play” is a monthly interview series about game research supported by Critical Distance and the Digital Games Research Association. As a joint venture, “Keywords in Play” expands Critical Distance’s commitment to innovative writing and research about games while using a conversational style to bring new and diverse scholarship to a wider audience.

Our goal is to highlight the work of graduate students, early career researchers and scholars from under-represented groups, backgrounds and regions. The primary inspiration comes from sociologist and critic Raymond Williams. In the Preface to his book Keywords: a vocabulary of culture and society, Williams envisaged not a static dictionary but an interactive document, encouraging readers to populate blank pages with their own keywords, notes and amendments. “Keywords in Play” follows Williams in affirming that “The significance is in the selection”, and works towards diversifying the critical terms with which we describe games and game culture. For more on games writing and culture please visit https://www.critical-distance.com/

Keywords in Play Episode 10 - Thi Nguyen

Keywords in Play Episode 10 - Thi Nguyen

March 12, 2021

C. Thi Nguyen is a former food writer, now a philosophy professor at University of Utah. He writes about trust, art, games, and communities, and is interested in the ways that our social structures and technologies shape how we think and what we value.

His first book is Games: Agency as Art. It’s about how games are the art form that work in the medium of agency. A game designer doesn’t just create a world – they create who we are in that world. Games shape temporary agencies for artistic purposes. And games turn out to be our way of writing down and communicating modes of agency; by playing them, we can try out different forms of agency.  (Here’s a summary of the book and Thi's website is https://objectionable.net/.)

“Keywords in Play” is a monthly interview series about game research supported by Critical Distance and the Digital Games Research Association. As a joint venture, “Keywords in Play” expands Critical Distance’s commitment to innovative writing and research about games while using a conversational style to bring new and diverse scholarship to a wider audience.

Our goal is to highlight the work of graduate students, early career researchers and scholars from under-represented groups, backgrounds and regions. The primary inspiration comes from sociologist and critic Raymond Williams. In the Preface to his book Keywords: a vocabulary of culture and society, Williams envisaged not a static dictionary but an interactive document, encouraging readers to populate blank pages with their own keywords, notes and amendments. “Keywords in Play” follows Williams in affirming that “The significance is in the selection”, and works towards diversifying the critical terms with which we describe games and game culture. For more on games writing and culture please visit https://www.critical-distance.com/

Keywords in Play Episode 9: Sonia Fizek

Keywords in Play Episode 9: Sonia Fizek

December 11, 2020

This episode's guest is Sonia Fizek, to discuss a forthcoming book on 'delegated' and 'interpassive' play. Sonia is a digital wanderer and a ludic thinker. On a more formal note, a professor at Cologne Game Lab in media and game studies and a co-editor in chief of the Journal of Gaming and Virtual Worlds. Previously a lecturer at Abertay University, a postdoctoral researcher at the Cent­re for Di­gi­tal Cul­tu­res at Leu­pha­na Uni­ver­si­ty Lüne­burg and a guest lecturer at: Leuphana University Lüne­burg, Goethe University Frankfurt, Hamburg Media School, and Design School Berlin.

“Keywords in Play” is an interview series about game research supported by Critical Distance and the Digital Games Research Association. As a joint venture, “Keywords in Play” expands Critical Distance’s commitment to innovative writing and research about games while using a conversational style to bring new and diverse scholarship to a wider audience.

Our goal is to highlight the work of graduate students, early career researchers and scholars from under-represented groups, backgrounds and regions. The primary inspiration comes from sociologist and critic Raymond Williams. In the Preface to his book Keywords: a vocabulary of culture and society, Williams envisaged not a static dictionary but an interactive document, encouraging readers to populate blank pages with their own keywords, notes and amendments. “Keywords in Play” follows Williams in affirming that “The significance is in the selection”, and works towards diversifying the critical terms with which we describe games and game culture.

 

Keywords in Play Episode 8 - Lindsay Grace

Keywords in Play Episode 8 - Lindsay Grace

November 13, 2020

This episode we speak with Lindsay Grace about love and affection in games. Lindsay is Knight Chair in Interactive Media and an associate professor at the University of Miami School of Communication. He is Vice President for the Higher Education Video Game Alliance and the 2019 recipient of the Games for Change Vanguard award. Lindsay's book, Doing Things with Games, Social Impact through Design, is a well-received guide to game design. In 2020, he edited and authored Love and Electronic Affection: a Design Primer on designing love and affection in games.

“Keywords in Play” is an interview series about game research supported by Critical Distance and the Digital Games Research Association. As a joint venture, “Keywords in Play” expands Critical Distance’s commitment to innovative writing and research about games while using a conversational style to bring new and diverse scholarship to a wider audience.

Our goal is to highlight the work of graduate students, early career researchers and scholars from under-represented groups, backgrounds and regions. The primary inspiration comes from sociologist and critic Raymond Williams. In the Preface to his book Keywords: a vocabulary of culture and society, Williams envisaged not a static dictionary but an interactive document, encouraging readers to populate blank pages with their own keywords, notes and amendments. “Keywords in Play” follows Williams in affirming that “The significance is in the selection”, and works towards diversifying the critical terms with which we describe games and game culture.

Keywords in Play Episode 7 - Malath Abbas

Keywords in Play Episode 7 - Malath Abbas

October 16, 2020

This episode we speak with Mal Abbas, an independent game designer, artist and producer working on experimental and meaningful games. Malath established Scotland's first game collective and co-working space Biome Collective, a diverse, inclusive melting pot of technology, art and culture for people who want to create, collaborate and explore games, digital art and technology. 

Work includes Killbox, an online game and interactive installation that critically explores the nature of drone warfare, its complexities and consequences, and Garden, a beautiful music based exploration interactive experience set in space.

“Keywords in Play” is an interview series about game research supported by Critical Distance and the Digital Games Research Association. As a joint venture, “Keywords in Play” expands Critical Distance’s commitment to innovative writing and research about games while using a conversational style to bring new and diverse scholarship to a wider audience.

Our goal is to highlight the work of graduate students, early career researchers and scholars from under-represented groups, backgrounds and regions. The primary inspiration comes from sociologist and critic Raymond Williams. In the Preface to his book Keywords: a vocabulary of culture and society, Williams envisaged not a static dictionary but an interactive document, encouraging readers to populate blank pages with their own keywords, notes and amendments. “Keywords in Play” follows Williams in affirming that “The significance is in the selection”, and works towards diversifying the critical terms with which we describe games and game culture.

 

Please consider supporting Critical Distance at https://www.patreon.com/critdistance

Production Team: Darshana Jayemanne, Zoyander Street, Emilie Reed.

Audio Direction and Engineering: Damian Stewart

Double Bass: Aaron Stewart

 
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